Preview on The Looking Glass Anthology (June 2013)
We are the children of Trash, by Trash I mean our culture of bright colours, bright lights, loud sounds and strong smells from the commercial products that allow us to bury our senses in. The Looking Glass Anthology is comprised of works of student poets, playwrights and storytellers from the University of York, with almost 60 of them available it is a vast literary achievement that is sorely missed in our university.
Reading these poems, scripts and stories has helped me figure-out the ‘zeitgeist’ of young people of today, I believe that we are divided. Our organic senses are divided, as we can see in Karl O’Hanon’sAutumn’s Heart, and in Christian Foley’s Farther. Our senses collide against each other and we see things change as certainly as machines function, but they do so as if made of skin and bone.
“a pink smear that slowly turned into an ocean churning blue black”
Metaphors of trash culture demonstrated by the students of the University of York reveal not only how they think but also how you and I think and feel. Our world is one of a constant collision of opposites, as is shown in Alexander Ulyet’s Gratitude,
“manufactured crashes and robotic hymns”
The age old traditions still do live on but now they look like robots and advertisements for a product to sell. This is where the beauty of the Looking Glass Anthology’s pieces reside; the mundane world becomes strange and ecstatically beautiful,
“moulding tumbledriers and clothes pegs”
“I think of the strangest place in melody and multiply it”
(Beth Curtis, There’s an old Funk in the Basement and The Resting)
This new way of looking at our mundane world is a solution to our youthful problem of boredom, in which we bluntly experience a dullness and plainness of a monotonous life (see Bethany Wilson’s The Average Life). We, the young generation, swing between boredom and ‘nausea’ and between confused and ecstatic emotions. Today, our metaphors and poems are like innocent dreams on cocaine, such as Alexander Ulyet’s Bambi on Ice where youth, joy and hedonism propel us to our own disaster and leaves our teeth scattered on the ground.
The Looking Glass Anthology demonstrates beautifully the way the young person thinks and feels, this anthology is not merely for individual artistic recognition of writerly talent, it can help us understand the consequences of living in this multifaceted world.