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5. Chapter 8: “Probably the first poem that even attempts to look at the war realistically”
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore Chapter 8 of the novel, during which the focus turns a little more to Billy Prior. In particular, we look at Rivers’ attempts to treat Prior for his “inhuman detachment”, reflecting on his description of what it’s like to go ‘over the top’ (“All right. It felt… sexy”) as well as another story, in which he and his platoon were left “writing, like fish in a pond that’s drying out” after a shell-blast. It is during this chapter that we first meet Wilfred Owen, and in the second half of this module, we focus on the beginning of relationship between Owen and Sassoon, including their discussions about poetry (“That’s probably the first poem that even attempts to look at the war realistically”)
In this course, we explore Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration’. Set in 1917 in Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, the novel follows psychiatrist William Rivers as he treats shell-shocked soldiers, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. This course sees Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) read through novel chapter-by-chapter, focusing on key moments and episodes in the novel, thinking about the wider themes and issues with which this rich, complex, and enjoyable novel is engaged.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Pat Barker: Regeneration - Chapter 8: “Probably the first poem that even attempts to look at the war realistically” [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapter-8-probably-the-first-poem-that-even-attempts-to-look-at-the-war-realistically
McRae, John. "Pat Barker: Regeneration – Chapter 8: “Probably the first poem that even attempts to look at the war realistically”." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapter-8-probably-the-first-poem-that-even-attempts-to-look-at-the-war-realistically