Kings Review – Extremes 2017
by Kings Review€14.00
Formed by graduate students at King’s Cambridge, KR is an interdisciplinary magazine that exists to promote accessible writing underpinned by long-term, rigorous research. KR was founded to provide a new kind of debate breaking pay-walls of journals and concrete walls of specialised jargon. Its vision is to ‘engage academia’: we use the analytical power of academic thought to present a grounded perspective on current events.
KR combines the sustained, detailed investigation central to academic work with longform journalism – accessible, but sacrificing nothing in the way of depth and discernment. We curate strands, built around issues of contemporary importance, that allow writers, editors and readers to participate in ongoing conversations.
Think a little about the word ‘extreme’. Extreme is from extrēmus, the Latin term for the most outward thing. Extreme things are those that are farthest from us, the last in a sequence, the most excessive in degree — the polar regions, the letter ‘Z’, the best or the worst or the most superlatively superlative. In popular usage, ‘extreme’ can act the same as the diluted modifiers ‘very’ or ‘really’ — the judgment ‘extremely good’ doesn’t aim to conjure up the image of something at the limits of goodness, it just means a thing is better than the usual. But all the same, ‘limits’ are a good way of thinking about extremity. e extreme thing, that thing in the distance, brushes right up against the limits of possibility or of what is known — the edges of a location, or the limits of the imagination. Latin grammar, as with British, also allows for a more extreme, a most extreme — a doubling-up of the superlative form, the most far-flung of the farthest things. ink of extremity as the crossing of limits: extremity as an emphatic step beyond the known, and an excursion into new arenas of thought and feeling.
This is, of course, all very abstract. But in putting together our 2017 issue on the theme of ‘Extremes’, we have had cause to think long and hard about the various ways in which human beings, sometimes loudly and sometimes very quietly, come up against different kinds of limits. We turned over the term as many times and as many ways as we could, and tried to think ‘extremes’ to its own extremities. And yet, we were still pleasantly surprised by the focal points and forms of the submissions we received.