Patriotism & the ‘great game’: the impact of Wilfred Owen’s poetic testimony
This panel will discuss Wilfred Owen’s devastating accounts of the conditions of war during World War One and his denouncement of the patriotism that persuaded an entire generation of young men to ‘step in line’ and play the ‘great game’ of war. This patriotic call to arms was a global affair, as can be seen in the first verse of A Lockhead’s poem, published in both the Times and The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand on 26th January 1915.
This discussion serves as an introduction and accompaniment to the performance of ‘The Pity of War’, which will take place on Thursday 13 October in King’s Chapel. Penny Rimbaud will perform the war poems of Owen accompanied by Liam Noble and Kate Shortt on piano and cello with visuals by Gee Vaucher. Both panel discussion and performance seek not to glorify victory, but to remember the terrible darkness brought by war.
Penny Rimbaud is the author of countless books, both of poetry and polemic, as well as a founding member of the iconic group Crass.
Phil Sutcliffe is the editor of Nobody of Any Importance: A Foot Soldier’s Memoir of World War I, his father Sam’s account of his personal experience at Gallipoli, the Somme, Arras and eight months as a prisoner of war.
Jan Willem Honig is Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s. His best known work is Srebrenica: Record of a War Crime.
Orkedeh Behrouzan is a physician, medical anthropologist, and lecturer in the department of Global Health and Social Medicine. She is the author of Prozak Diaries: psychiatry and generational memory in Iran and has experience as a cultural consultant in areas of health and education in the US and the UK.
This panel discussion is chaired by Penelope Quinton.