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9. Chapter 14: “The two bloody bargains on which a civilization claims to be based”
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore Chapter 14, which is the first to engage with the question of faith and religion. In particular, we think about Rivers’ reflections on religion as he sits in church (“The two bloody bargains on which a civilization claims to be based… Rivers thought, looking at Abraham and Isaac”) and his childhood, during which he became “interested in Darwin’s theory of evolution” and concluded that “Genesis was no more than the creation myth of a Bronze Age people”. We also return to Owen’s relationship with Sassoon, and the fateful moment that Sassoon gives Owen’s poem a new title: “Anthem for…” He thought for a moment, crossed one word out, substituted another… “Anthem for Doomed Youth”
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 14: “The two bloody bargains on which a civilization claims to be based” [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapter-14-the-two-bloody-bargains-on-which-a-civilization-claims-to-be-based
McRae, J. "Pat Barker: Regeneration – Chapter 14: “The two bloody bargains on which a civilization claims to be based”." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapter-14-the-two-bloody-bargains-on-which-a-civilization-claims-to-be-based