by Harry on July 16, 2014

Atrocities, uncensored, here. No need to listen beyond the first 50 seconds.



Bloix 07.16.14 at 11:44 pm

Thanks for this. I’m not sure whether this is a better poem than the published version – it’s certainly angrier.

Have you read Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy? IMHO, the first book – Regeneration – which is about Craiglockhart War Hospital, where Sassoon and Wilfred Owen were treated for “shell shock” – is perhaps the greatest novel by any living English writer. That I’ve read, anyway. Except maybe for the third book (The Ghost Road), but Sassoon is barely in that one.

The reason I bring it up is that it’s said that Sassoon wrote Atrocities at Craiglockhart. The reference to “ghoulish dreams” in the original would have been literal – as Barker reports it, men who killed Germans face to face (either legitimately in battle or in cold blood) were often troubled by very horrible and recurrent dreams.


rootlesscosmo 07.17.14 at 1:34 am

Another vote for Barker’s “Regeneration” trilogy. And don’t neglect “The Eye in the Door,” the middle book of the three.


JakeB 07.17.14 at 5:51 am

I agree as to the greatness of Regeneration, but it seemed to me that the second and third book were disappointingly weaker. I’m afraid the thought that it’s a bit too much like slash fiction crossed my mind while reading the third book.

. . . I read Emily Croy Barker’s The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic recently, which I recommend to other fans of Lois McMaster Bujold & such. Late in the book the heroine discovers she can feed a soul-hungry ice demon by reciting poetry to it. When she recites “so much depends”, the demon, otherwise continuously hungry, is knocked off its feet into a stupor by the weight of the poem. All of which is to say I feel a bit like said ice demon, having followed the link.


John Quiggin 07.17.14 at 12:01 pm

I’d never heard of the original until now. Thanks, Harry


Dingbat 07.17.14 at 8:03 pm

Siegfried Sassoon died four months before the Tet Offensive.


Matt McKeon 07.17.14 at 8:25 pm

I’m currently rereading Sassoon’s “Memoirs of George Sherston” Very good. Understated line as he advances through the mud and bodies. “Anyhow, I hadn’t expected the Battle of the Somme to be quite like this.”


Bloix 07.17.14 at 11:17 pm

Years ago I picked up a schoolboy edition of “Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man” in a used bookstore in London and I’ve read it 2 or 3 times. Couldn’t tell you why I’ve never read vols 2 & 3 but now I’ll have to.


Andrew Smith 07.18.14 at 7:01 am

That’s an entirely different thing altogether, isn’t it?


George 07.20.14 at 12:03 am

Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man is vol 1 of the Memoirs of George Sherston.

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