Introduction

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.

James Baldwin

It seems so obvious today that everything and everyone is connected, doesn’t it? After all, one of the things we learn from impactful situations such as the pandemic, wars, and global warming is how closely tied our lives are. We are ecologically, politically, technologically, and personally entangled in this world. While living in global chaos shows us how our actions can have an impact, it may sometimes leave us in a desperate place where we feel lonely, helpless, and disconnected. However, facing this gloomy world can also encourage us to explore new possibilities, new forms of interactions, and new chances to evolve out of our echo chambers and grow together. Thus, with curiosity and compassion toward different perspectives, RevUU aims to create a platform for diverse voices and various forms of criticism. As literary critics, we are interested in what role literature has in global entanglement. How does it bind us together, help us understand each other, and share our desires and fears?

In this issue, we are once again proud to bring to you the various voices of aspiring writers and read what connection in literature looks like through their unique eyes. Maia Baum insightfully draws a connection between In: A Graphic Novel by Will McPhail and Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, taking the reader through a day without internet amongst housemates. Isabel Cramer investigates the paradoxes of disconnection in AI in her review of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun. Acacia Caven offers an analysis of the Under Milk Wood National Theatre play, based on Dylan Thomas’ 1954 play for voices, performed in times of isolation, and streamed online where the public could reunite virtually. Reflecting on Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, Naomi Tidball explores the power of food and music on mourning. And in a comparative analysis of two poems by Mark Doty and Leontia Flynn, Evelien Vermeulen examines how collective memory finds its form in poetry after the impactful events of the AIDS pandemic and the national crisis in Belfast. All these and more are waiting for you, reader, in our newest issue.

Moreover, we would like to offer our special attention to the authors of creative pieces for enriching our critical thinking by exploring the boundaries of literary criticism. Finally, we would like to thank our authors, team, and Mia You for the energy and time they have invested in producing the latest issue of RevUU. We sincerely hope you enjoy it!

On behalf of the RevUU team,

Amanda Castro Thijssen & Elif Kayahan

Chief Editors

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