The eighteenth issue of Notes, the last of this academic year, is loosely themed around inheritance. Gavin Stevenson’s essay explores the way in which we create narratives of human subjectivity within technology and points out how this affects how we see reproduction. Stevenson points out how we write narratives of visible genetic inheritance even when talking about children born using egg donation. The essay ‘Married Love’ discusses marriage as a construct designed to control the process of reproduction as well as inheritance of land and physical object; a construct that much later than one might think had a love-narrative imposed upon it. In Rob Oldham’s poem ‘Operation Overlord’ and Kat Addis’ ‘A Mother’s Legacy’ we see a less tangible notion of inheritance explored. Inheritance is explored as something received by the young, with sacrifice embedded in it. For the speaker in ‘Operation Overlord’, this sacrifice, and the violence that comes with it, is entrenched in everything that comes after. Both these poems deal with the nature of generational relationships, and the problematic negative presence of sacrifice and violence. In Oldham’s poem, the narrative of sacrifice corrupts benign actions like opening tubs of ice cream in the summer, but also encroaches upon the narrative of sacrifice itself. Finally, in Oldham’s imagination, burning soldiers leap from the fire, ‘rubbing their eyes like sleepy children’.
The final issue of Notes this year encourages discussion about the nature of generational relationships and about the narratives of inheritance and sacrifice we impose upon them. It is not, however, restricted to this, and we hope that this issue provides inspiration for future works and future discussion.
We would like to express our gratitude to Notes’ contributors and readers over this academic year. We hope you have a good break, and we will see you next year.
The Notes Team