Saturday, July 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: Arts

Bag Salad and Box Office
Culture & Literature, Literature, Theatre & Performance

Bag Salad and Box Office

By Daniel Pepin Do you like contemporary fiction? The kind of fiction that makes you squirm? Boundary pushing, unsettling, compulsive, a little bit sexy? Then chances are you have read or at least heard of Boy Parts by Eliza Clark – if you have not then please do so, for the above reasons. Clark’s debut novel was an instant cult classic, epitomising the manic and obsessive world of the internet era – criticising and dissecting modern gender conflict, classism, and performative art. The razor blade sharp book follows Irina, a Northern fetish photographer as she humiliates and captures explicit photos of young men and boys while surviving off a heady mix of coke, ket, Tesco bag salad, and La Mer. The playbook opens with ‘this is the story as Irina tells it. She is an artist, a monster, a...
How Did Life End Up With Us?
Culture & Literature, Literature, Opinion

How Did Life End Up With Us?

By Felix Poreé and Olivia Taylor Introduced as the first book of a quartet titled "The Secrets of Life: From Big Bang to Trump", SS O'Connor's How Did Life End Up With Us? presents itself as an attempt to answer the most pertinent of questions surrounding the laws of life, from the start of the Big Bang all the way to the ‘decisions’ that organisms make that ultimately determine their chances of survival. One anticipates that such questions would require substantial scientific research, and although O’Connor admits he is not a scientist, his undertaking, given to the reader in a conversational writing style, is divided into specific chapters that aim to cover such topics as natural selection, gene mutations, and evolutionary change, down to parasitism, mutualism, and altruism. O’Con...
Hopeless Romantic by Dolly Alderton
Culture

Hopeless Romantic by Dolly Alderton

I have held myself back from discussing Dolly Alderton for quite some time now. I first read her debut memoir Everything I Know About Love three years ago, during lockdown, and I have not shut up about it since. I’ll admit, her fictional debut, Ghosts, did not impress me as much; I quickly realised it was her confessional tone that caught my attention, hence why her autobiographical work and her ‘Dear Dolly’ advice column have left such a lasting impression. Since reading Everything I Know About Love, I have continued to stay up to date with her work, but I only recently found an essay she wrote for The Pound Project in 2018 titled ‘Hopeless Romantic’.  The Pound Project is an independent publishing company founded by JP Watson. Their message is to shout about ‘the value of readin...
<strong><em>Will you go on the record? </em>How ‘She Said’ reminds us of the sad realities of Hollywood. </strong>
Culture

Will you go on the record? How ‘She Said’ reminds us of the sad realities of Hollywood. 

Released five years after the original article from The New York Times was published, ‘She Said’ tells the story of the two journalists who uncovered the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are played by Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan respectively, yet the film also includes actresses who were victims of Weinstein including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd, who play/voice themselves.  The film itself is subtle, yet the statement it makes is bold. By criticising the very industry that it has been created in, the film sets out to confront the industry professionals who will be watching this film – many of whom will have worked with Weinstein, maybe even defended him. ‘She Said’ does not glamorise Hollywood or the media industry – it does the opposite.&...
<strong>“We are the weirdos, mister”: Queer Identity and the Horror Genre</strong>
Culture

“We are the weirdos, mister”: Queer Identity and the Horror Genre

As the days darken and the nights grow longer, I find myself contemplating my fascination with the horror genre. Of course, the endless fantastical possibilities that the genre provides (along with a natural inclination towards everything macabre) piques my interest in the topic, but there must be something else that keeps me coming back for more. Horror must offer something altogether more crucial than a quick scare or an opportunity for escapism that makes these films appeal to an overwhelmingly LGBTQ+ identified audience, something that resonates on a profound level and keeps us invested in the genre as both filmmakers and spectators alike. Why is it that horror stories hold so many queer people entranced?  To determine why horror means so much to me, I’ll cycle back to where i...
Issue Five Introduction: The Friend Game
Features, Lifestyle

Issue Five Introduction: The Friend Game

At six, I pledged to a girl named Isabel that she’d be my best friend forever. She was blonde. I was brunette. Despite this, Isabel always insisted on playing Gabriella when we re-enacted scenes from our beloved High School Musical. I started to hate her a tiny bit. At fourteen, we fell out over boys.  When I was nine, I told myself my best friend was a girl called Aoife. She was a bitch in the making, and something about that drew me in. She had a strength that I didn’t. But, like any blossoming bitch, she wanted to surround herself with other bitches (and despite my efforts, I was just a bit too off-the-wall to fit the bitch criteria). I haven’t spoken to Aoife since I was twelve, when her parents shipped her off to boarding school.  When I was thirteen, my best friend w...
oyvey
Creative Writing, Features

oyvey

behold the golem of prague how tothe first step is seeing them then talk to them then convince themsimpleso after saving them from that edgeplace your own edge on their throat and slice theirs open first before any seas can lay claim to it firstbefore earth before hearth before flame before greedy fingers pry their way to their tonguerip it out first beforeand then wear it in the mouthsit it in the right placecreak teeth out of placealign rows of molars incisors caninessculpt gum to fit perfectanother persons stolen tongueand when that is done and when you are caughtand when there is nothingleft to bare in their hotlampsleft to bear the roiling heatleft alone to step without rhythma syncopated disfunctionof them forcing that maw openad nauseam they will rip out your speechsear yo...
The Reality of Sex Work at University
Opinion

The Reality of Sex Work at University

All names have been changed to preserve anonymity. ‘I’ve been very lucky that all of the arrangements I’ve had have been with really genuine people’ – surely it indicates something foul when someone feels lucky to have encountered basic respect? Surely such respect, and ‘genuine people’, should be the norm? Are we so doomed as a society? I would like to believe we are not. However, when it comes to the industry of sex work, and young people entering it, it may be a different story.               According to a pre-pandemic stat by Leicester University, an estimated 5% of UK students turn to sex work, and one in five consider it. Remember, that is pre-pandemic. If Covid generated any mainstream student story, it was the...
An Ode to Domino’s
Opinion

An Ode to Domino’s

Pizza is the love language of people all around the world; I’ll continue to endorse this until my lactose intolerance wins its ongoing battle for my attention. It is an incredibly versatile comfort food, from the variety of toppings to the versatile uses. Hangovers, date nights, cram nights or simply in need of a trusted companion - pizza consistently provides. It’s a student staple, providing us with more stability than most of our love lives. Thus, I feel it is my duty as a student to finalise the long-lasting debate: which is the superior pizza takeaway? Within my first week at Royal Holloway, it became abundantly clear that Domino’s would be draining my bank account. Yes, it is higher on the price scale than other take outs, but you can quite literally taste the difference, to quot...