Episode 47 - Harry Parker: Part 2


The second part of our chat with Harry Parker about his debut novel Anatomy of a Soldier begins with a cheerful discussion of decay and destruction of both objects or people. Parker prefers the word entropy while discussing his own recovery after the bomb blast that destroyed his legs. From there we moved onto: 

  • can fiction resolve trauma?
  • questions of identity: what Parker sees in the mirror
  • 'fetish of the possible': prosthetic limbs as objects of hope
  • value and cost: how much is a human life worth?
  • anger and mourning: recovery and resolution
  • would Parker shake hands with the man who blew him up
  • 'If you are going to be stupid enough to be a soldier, then you have got to expect that this stuff might happen'
  • empathy or hatred: Parker's view of the insurgents
  • the Parker family's relationship with the British army
  • why did he join up
  • 'The best soldier is anti-war...'
  • 'It's bloody difficult': the challenges of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • did the occupying armies make life better or worse?
  • fear and boredom: life as a soldier on duty

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