The Young Desire It
REVIEW: There is nothing so seductive and yet elusive as the memories of our first experiences in love. We can recall the actions - shared glances, a sweet paralysis, then the first touch, perhaps a chaste kiss - but this is not what we desire. We want to feel again the fear, the pleasure, the tremors and the foreign breath. But it is this that eludes us.
Unless we stumble across an artist who can recreate these feelings for us.
Recently Text Publishing sent me a copy of The Young Desire It by Kenneth Mackenzie. Published to acclaim in 1937 and virtually lost to us since Mackenzie's early death in 1955, The Young Desire It is another great find and perfect fit for the Text Classics collection.
This is very much the work of a young novelist. Recounting a home schooled adolescent's experiences after he is sent to boarding school, there is very little story beyond this transformational transition from boy to man. Mackenzie was just seventeen when he started writing the novel and twenty-five when it was published. He was as close to the subject as any artist can hope to be and within these pages Mackenzie has captured for all time the sensation of first love. For which we must all be thankful though some may find the poetical prose hard going.