Pat Barker’s Regeneration – a War Novel?

Topics: Siegfried Sassoon, World War I, World War II Pages: 21 (6677 words) Published: January 9, 2013
Universität Rostock Philosophische Fakultät Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik Hauptseminar: The Fiction of Pat Barker Veranstalter: Dr. Beate Rudlof Wintersemester 2010/2011

Pat Barker’s Regeneration – A war novel?

vorgelegt von: Emanuel Hollack 8. Semester LA Gym. Englisch/Geschichte/Religion Th.-Körner-Str. 8a 23992 Neukloster E-Mail-Adresse: emanuel.hollack@uni-rostock.de

Neukloster, den 25.03.2012

Table of Content

I. Introduction...................................................................................................3 II. Regeneration – A war novel? .......................................................................5 1. What is a war novel about – Defining war novel as literary term .............5 2. The characters – Mental instabilities and social status .............................6 III. Classification of Regeneration .....................................................................9 1. Subjectivity in Pat Barker’s Regeneration .................................................9 2. Understanding of war from an officer’s point of view ............................10 IV. Argumentation about fact and fiction in the historical novel ...................11 1. Historiographic metafiction – a definition ..............................................11 2. Style of narration in historiographic metafiction ....................................12 3. Intertextuality in Pat Barker’s Regeneration ...........................................13 Conclusion ......................................................................................................15 Bibliography ...................................................................................................16

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I. Introduction

Pat Barker was born on the 8th of May 1943 in Thornaby-on-Tees, England. She is an English author and published her first novel, Union Street, in 1982. She became famous by her Regeneration Trilogy in which she dealt with the First World War. The single works are Regeneration (1991), The Eye in the Door (1993) and The Ghost Road (1995). The third volume was priced with the ‘Man Booker Prize for Fiction’. In 2001 she received the literary prize by the German newspaper ‘Die Welt’. Today, Pat Barker is married and lives in Durham, England. This term paper will deal with Pat Barker’s Regeneration. 1 It is the first novel of the Regeneration Trilogy. The novel is about the time between July 1917 and November 1917. It is not based on the actual fighting but rather with the emotional and psychological consequences of it. The novel takes place at the British hospital for mentally ill soldiers at Craiglockhart and describes, among other things, the relationship between the army psychologist W.H.R. Rivers and anti-war activist and poet Siegfried Sassoon, who both are historical characters. Their stay in Craiglockhart, at this time, is verifiable through the publicly accessible diaries and letters of Siegfried Sassoon, as well as through the published notes of Rivers.2 The public protest about the conduct of war, which was read out in the House of Commons and which can be traced back accordingly, was the reason for Sassoon to be sent to a hospital for mentally ill officers. There Sassoon met Rivers for the first time, who treated him. The treatment consisted of talking sessions, in which Rivers tried to make his patients face their war experiences so that they could handle their traumata.3 Other historically verifiable characters in Barker’s novel are Wilfred Owen, who suffered from a shaky, tremulous and confused memory, after being blown up on a railway embankment and buried alive. He was therefore taken to the same hospital.4 Owen, however, was treated by Arthur Brock, who has also published a book about his methods of treatment, namely occupational therapy. A description of this treatment can be found in Dominic Hibberd’s biography of Owen. 5 Sassoon and Owen met the first time when Owen, who had admired Sassoon...

Bibliography: Barker, Pat. Regeneration. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1991. Bergonzi, Bernard. Heroes’ Twilight: A Study of the Literature of the Great War. Carcanet Press Ltd, 1996. Brannigan, John. Contemporary British Novelists. Pat Barker. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2005. Brown, Dennis. “The Regeneration Trilogy – Total War, Masculinities, Anthropology, and the Talking Cure”. in, Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker. Ed. Sharon Monteith et al. South Carolina: South Carolina Press, p. 187 – 195. Caesar, Adrian. Taking it like a man: Suffering, Sexuality and the War Poets Brooke, Sassoon, Owen, Graves. Manchester/New York: Manchester UP, 1993. Dawes, James. The Language of War, London: Harvard University Press, 2002. Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory, New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1975. Graves, Robert. Good-Bye to All That: An Autobiography. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd, 1929. Hibberd, Dominic. Wilfred Owen: A new Biography. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002. Hutcheon, Linda. “‘The Pastime of Past Time’: Fiction, History, Historiographical Metafiction”. Essentials of the Theory of Fiction. Ed. Michael J. Hoffmann, Patrick D. Murphy. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1996. p. 472 – 495. Hynes, Samuel. “Among Damaged Men”, http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/05/16/specials/barker-regeneration.html, 12/03/2011. Knutsen, Karen Patrick. Reciprocal Haunting: Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy. Münster: Waxmann, 2010. Löschnigg, Martin. “‘…the novelist’s responsibility to the past’: History, Myth, and the Narratives of Crisis in Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy (1991-1995)”. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik: A Quaterly of Language, Literature and Culture 47.3 (1999): 214 – 228.
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Monteith, Sharon. “Pat Barker”. Devon: Northcote House Publishers Ltd., 2002. Nünning, Ansgar. “’Beyond the Great Story’: Der postmoderne historische Roman als Medium revisionistischer Geschichtsdarstellung, kultureller Erinnerung und metahistoriographischer Reflexion”. Anglia 117.1,1999, p. 15 – 48. Paul, Ronald. “In Pastoral Fields – The Regeneration Trilogy and Classic First World War Fiction.”. in, Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker. Ed. Sharon Monteith et al. South Carolina: South Carolina Press, p. 147 – 161. Roberts, John Stuart. “Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)”. London: Richard Cohen Books, 1999. Sassoon, Siegfried. Siegfried’s Journey 1916 – 1920. London: Faber and Faber, ca. 1945. Sassoon, Siegfried. Sherston’s Progress. London: Faber and Faber, 1983. Sassoon, Siegfried. Siegfried Sassoon Diaries: 1915-1918. Ed. Rupert Hart-Davis. Bristol: New Western Printing Ltd, 1983. Stevenson, Sherly. “With the Listener in Mind – Talking about the Regeneration Trilogy with Pat Barker.“. in, Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker. Ed. Sharon Monteith et al. South Carolina: South Carolina Press, p. 175 – 184. Westman, Karin. “Pat Barker’s Regeneration. A Reader’s Guide”. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc., 2001. Wickert, Erwin. “Von der Wahrheit im historischen Roman und in der Historie “. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur 1,1993, p. 1 – 19. Whitehead, Anne. “Open to Suggestion – Hypnosis and History in the Regeneration Trilogy”. in, Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker. Ed. Sharon Monteith et al. South Carolina: South Carolina Press, p. 203 – 218.
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