Mosaic / Reviews / January 28, 2010

Catch fall issue: a review

The latest issue of Catch has finally arrived — in the form of a wrinkled manila envelope with Knox stamps in the corner and marked with the release date, January 22. The cover is convincing as a manila envelope, as it draws some to touch the wrinkled-looking texture only to find it is smooth.

There was a major change to Catch this year, as the staff of Catch could not submit their work for publication in the journal. Among some students, Catch has a reputation for being pretentious and this issue is not as pretentious as some may think.

I commend Catch for the variety it has in its fall issue. Besides essays, poems, stories, and art, it also has a music composition based on the Emily Dickinson poem “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—“ by junior Edward Davis, newspaper articles by senior Chris Mouzakitis and a script by junior Caroline Castro.

“On Film” by Donald Rogers ’09 is a well-written short story about the relationship between the main character, Raymundo, and his porn star boyfriend Michael.

While the story focused on them, I thought the most interesting parts of the story did not have much to do with their relationship. The descriptions of Raymundo’s memories as a child watching a fire in Malibu from a lookout point and the images of burning palm trees and houses are very powerful. The relationship Raymundo has with his mother is much more emotional and captivating than what he has with his boyfriend.

A few changes to the issue could have made it better. A translation accompanying a Spanish essay by Elizabeth Barrios ’09 would have been helpful to understand what it was about for those who do not speak Spanish.

“Entered” by Olivia Engel ’09 is a short story told in first person limited about a woman eating in the same restaurant she had visited years ago. The opening sentence is not the most eye-catching and the rest of the story is bland, save for some descriptions and images about the buttered artichoke appetizer the main character eats at the end.

At times, there is too much description. At one point, the main character describes her green eye turning into the color of spring grass, with the next sentence describing white-tipped “crocus buds […] revealing a bright, visceral red in bloom.” To recap: green eyes turn into spring grass turning into white crocus buds which are actually red. The problem with the short story is it is mostly description, which does not progress or produce a story.

Opening the book and viewing the contents page, I immediately noticed how pieces done by the same student are lumped together instead of shuffled with other student work like past issues. Not only are student pieces lumped together, but all photographs and art are collected in the middle of the book. It would have been more interesting to have some color interspersing throughout the white pages.

There were good pieces in Catch, a few not so good, and those in between. Pick a copy of this fall issue and decide for yourself.

Sheena Leano


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