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The Eye in the Door (1993)

av Pat Barker

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Regeneration (2)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,953466,338 (4.01)188
It is 1918, and Prior is in London working as an intelligence officer. His concern is the enemy within - though a clear definition of who exactly the enemy is proves harder to come by than he might have imagined.
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» Se även 188 omnämnanden

engelska (44)  tyska (1)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (46)
Visa 1-5 av 46 (nästa | visa alla)
Londres 1918: La primera guerra mundial parece no tener fin. Los soldados siguen muriendo por centenares de miles en las trincheras. Y mientras cada vez son mas los que se rebelan y optan por el pacifismo, mayor es también la represión y el rechazo social hacia los que apuestan por la paz y en contra de un patriotismo ciego que sólo acepta la destrucción del enemigo. ( )
  pedrolopez | Sep 10, 2019 |
“The epicritic grounded in the protopathic, the ultimate expression of the unity we persist in regarding as the condition of perfect health”

This is what Dr W.H.R Rivers (or perhaps Pat Barker) thinks as he struggles to help soldiers suffering from the effects of war in the trenches during the first world war. For a book that has a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist as its hero Barker does well in explaining the issues without the use of too much jargon and that is possibly why the extract above stood out from the text for me, because it is unrepresentative.

Barkers “The Eye in the Door” is an historical novel detailing the treatment of mentally wounded soldiers by Dr Rivers; one of whose tasks is to decide whether they are fit to return to active service. The time period is towards the end of the war when mental health issues were becoming more prevalent although little understood by many in the medical profession. While Doctor Rivers’ star patient Siegfried Sassoon is well documented the two major protagonist/patients; Billy Prior and Charles Manning are inventions by the author. The backdrop to the story are two major events of the period; an attempt to assassinate Lloyd George and the sensationalist headlines concerning a list of 47,000 people who because of their beliefs, race or sexual orientation were branded as undermining the British war effort. Prior and Manning’s invented stories interweave around the historical events in a way that is thoroughly convincing. In fact Barker’s depiction of an England that is suspicious, bureaucratic, nasty, class ridden, but jingoistic and fully committed to winning the war is distinctly plausible. It is a place where spies, intelligence and counter intelligence can destroy lives both innocent or guilty or more usually because they are seen to be different. Nasty grubby little people can flourish while across the channel the horrors of war still seem to be far enough away. Barker talks about bombing raids over London as though they were usual, but I think they were few and far between, it is the wounded soldiers and those home on leave that bring the war to England’s shores.

The novel is anti-war in so far as it describes in striking detail and imagery the horrors of trench warfare, but this contrasts with life in England where it is only citizens actions and thoughts about themselves and one another that cause problems. Soldiers experiencing a life at war as part of the war machine and then life at home amongst people who have no experience of the horrors, find themselves in two worlds and so it is unsurprising that people like Dr Rivers have to try put people back together again. It is a subject that provides fertile ground for novelists, but at the end of the day I am not convinced by ‘The Eye in the Door’. First of all it is all over far too quickly, Barker could have explored her characters further. I understand that those people who are well documented as part of the history of the times present limitations for the author, but even Manning and Prior her own characters hardly leap off the page and Dr Rivers is almost a cypher. Secondly I find her writing style curiously flat, I found there was nothing much on which to dwell and I ended up reading through it too quickly. There does not seem to be much of a plot, nothing appears resolved and I finished the book much as I started. These observations are personal to me as other readers might enjoy Barker’s writing style and as it is part of a trilogy of books then issues might feel more resolved in the final book. I have the third part of the trilogy sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but I can’t say I am really looking forward to it and so a niggardly three stars from me. ( )
  baswood | Jan 24, 2019 |
Exploring sexuality and masculinity during WWI. ( )
  brakketh | Feb 16, 2017 |
I wish I had read this a bit sooner after reading Regeneration. Some of the details from the first novel had faded in my mind, and it took me a while to re-orient myself. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful novel, precise in its dialogue and descriptions and devastating in its critique of war. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
THE EYE IN THE DOOR is book two in Pat Barker's WWI trilogy which began with REGENERATION, a superb novel. The story of Dr. William Rivers and his shell-shock patients - which include poet Siegfried Sassoon - continues here, but with something of a new emphasis on things like schizophrenia, as evidenced in character Billy Prior's frequent blackouts - blank spaces in his life during which he has no idea what he might have done. The Jekyll-Hyde comparison is used more than once in the story. Indeed, the book's epigraph is a quote from the R.L. Stevenson classic. Rivers begins to better understand Sassoon's own case thusly -

"Siegfried had always coped with the war by being two people: the anti-war poet and pacifist; the bloodthirsty, efficient company commander ... experience gained in one state was available to the other. Not just 'available': it was the serving officer's experience that furnished the raw material ... for the poems."

The dual personality, or schizophrenia, becomes relevant not just to Prior's case, but also to Sassoon and to Dr. Rivers himself, who, like Prior, may have suffered some undiagnosed psychological trauma in his own childhood.

Lt Billy Prior, in any case, is an ingenious, fascinating and utterly believable character - a marvelous creation, and, along with Rivers and Sassoon, a character central to all three novels. Molested by a priest as a boy, he seems at times to be utterly amoral in his tortured bisexuality, and is also ultra-aware (and contemptuous) of the constancy of the English class system within the army.

While I'm not sure THE EYE IN THE DOOR is quite as good as REGENERATION, it is certainly key to understanding the complete trilogy. Or at least I think it is. I am reading book three (THE GHOST ROAD) now. Very highly recommended. Pat Barker is a marvelous story teller who has an intimate grasp of what makes people tick. Her trilogy of the Great War is a look into the horrors of shell shock, 'neurasthenia,' or, as we know it today, PTSD.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Jan 5, 2017 |
Visa 1-5 av 46 (nästa | visa alla)
"The Eye in the Door" succeeds as both historical fiction and as sequel. Its research and speculation combine to produce a kind of educated imagination that is persuasive and illuminating . . . Occasionally the novel's pedagogic impulse, usually smoothly subterranean, surfaces. . . Ultimately, though, "The Eye in the Door" is an impressive work. . .
tillagd av christiguc | ändraNew York Times, Jim Shepard (May 15, 1994)
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Pat Barkerprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
宋瑛堂Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Fienbork, MatthiasÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Firth, PeterBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hansen, Fjord TrierBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Καφούρου, ΚατερίναÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Møller-Madsen, LisbethÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both...
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The reader may find it useful to have a brief outline of the historical events that occurred in 1917-1918 on which this novel is based. (Author's Note)
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It is 1918, and Prior is in London working as an intelligence officer. His concern is the enemy within - though a clear definition of who exactly the enemy is proves harder to come by than he might have imagined.

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