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Letter from the Editors

Catharsis cover artwork by Yury Aleksanyan.

Have we all reached boiling point? Has the creeping feeling of imminent explosion gotten to you yet? Do you feel like standing on the highest rock of Arthur’s Seat, alone at night, and screaming until the very last drop of air has been emptied from your lungs?


Well, we’ve got the perfect issue for you.


Welcome to the Catharsis issue! Amongst these (digital) pages, you’ll find an abundance of the release that you’ve been craving. Our writers and artists have done a powerful job of channelling all that emotion and potential energy into some truly stunning pieces. Whether it’s tales of personal cathartic experiences, dissections of cultural displays of catharsis, or discussions of the history of the concept, this issue is bound to provide you with the perfect piece to accompany your final-semester frenzy.


There are, technically, two definitions of ‘catharsis’. One involves, as we’ve talked about, emotional release. The other – its medical definition – refers to the expulsion or release of bodily substances. In this respect, Elli Efird in HPE brings us on an important journey of the catharsis of menstruation and its perception on a cultural level, from history to the present day. Elsewhere in HPE, Naya Sudra brings our attention to the classical roots that catharsis has in the tragedy of ancient Greek theatre.


There is much to consider in the world of Arts and Culture. Tasha Stewart, for example, tackles the rampant consumerism born of our fervently capitalistic culture, and the false sense of catharsis that it breeds in us. Meanwhile, Scarlett Smyth recounts the experience of seeing Luca Guadagnino’s film Bones and All, contemplating the metaphor of its cannibalistic subject matter. Over in Current Affairs, Cally Ullman-Smith takes on a rather different sensation – the infamous autobiography (you know the one).


The theme of catharsis gave those inclined to creative writing ample ground, as you can tell. They have given us a really beautiful selection of short stories, poetry, and personal pieces in a vast range of styles for us to get stuck into. A glorious example of creative release.


As always, a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this issue. All these pieces are accompanied by the work of our talented team of artists, who work incredibly hard to ensure that the Rattlecap is both visually and intellectually stimulating; so thank you! The two of us have particularly enjoyed consuming the content of the Catharsis issue; it’s scratched our frazzled brains perfectly, and we think it’ll do the same for you. Enjoy!


In solidarity,


Ali & Rebecca


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