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10. Chapters 15-16: “The process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay"
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore Chapters 15-16, during which Rivers visits Burns at this home in Aldeburgh, and at the end of which Sassoon decides that he will return to France. In particular, we focus on the moment where Burns finally opens up about his experiences in France (“That was the day before the Somme…”) and his reflection on humanity’s capacity for evil (“You know that thing in the Bible? “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”? I used to wonder why pick on that? Why his imagination? But it’s absolutely right.’”), before turning to Rivers’ return to Craiglockhart and Sassoon’s decision to return to France (“Oh, yes, I’m going back”).
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 - Chapters 15-16: “The process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay" [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapters-15-16-the-process-of-transformation-consists-almost-entirely-of-decay
McRae, J. "Pat Barker: Regeneration – Chapters 15-16: “The process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay"." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/pat-barker-regeneration/chapters-15-16-the-process-of-transformation-consists-almost-entirely-of-decay