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The great war and the missing muse : the early writings of Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon

Author: Patrick J Quinn
Publisher: Selinsgrove : Susquehanna University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book presents a study of two English writers whose initial friendship developed from a chance meeting in the trenches of the Somme to one of the more important symbiotic soldier-poet relationships of the 1920s - Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Patrick J. Quinn examines both writers' autobiographical works, scrutinizing the transitions in their poetry, from pre-war jottings through post-war struggles, to  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Quinn, Patrick J., 1946-
Great war and the missing muse.
Selinsgrove : Susquehanna University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1994
(OCoLC)622392223
Named Person: Robert Graves; Siegfried Sassoon; Robert Graves; Siegfried Sassoon; Siegfried Sassoon; Robert (Schriftsteller) Graves
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Patrick J Quinn
ISBN: 0945636490 9780945636496
OCLC Number: 28217106
Description: 297 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: 1. Graves's War Poetry: Over the Brazier, Goliath and David, and Fairies and Fusiliers --
2. Love, Escape, and Country Sentiment --
3. Inward Explorations: The Pier Glass, Whipperginny, and The Feather Bed --
4. Philosophical Speculations: Mock Beggar Hall, Welchman's Hose, and The Poetic Unreason --
5. The Influence of Laura Riding: Collaboration and Good-bye To All That --
6. Sassoon's Early Lyrical Poetry: Music and Nature --
7. Sassoon's Early War Poetry: From Idealism to Disillusionment --
8. Counter-Attack: The Solitary Revolt --
9. Picture Show: War, Socialism, and Love --
10. Satirical Poems: The Search for Purpose --
11. The Heart's Journey: Toward Self-Discovery --
12. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man: The Reconstitution of Memory --
13. Graves and Sassoon: From Poetry to Prose.
Responsibility: Patrick J. Quinn.

Abstract:

The autobiographical works of both writers are examined providing a developmental framework within which to scrutinize the transitions in their poetry from prewar jottings through postwar struggles.  Read more...

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schema:description"This book presents a study of two English writers whose initial friendship developed from a chance meeting in the trenches of the Somme to one of the more important symbiotic soldier-poet relationships of the 1920s - Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Patrick J. Quinn examines both writers' autobiographical works, scrutinizing the transitions in their poetry, from pre-war jottings through post-war struggles, to find their poetic voices. This developmental approach provides an opportunity to evaluate much of their poetry that has hitherto been largely ignored, and helps explain why both men turned in the late 1920s to writing autobiographical prose fiction to purge the war and its aftereffects from their lives. Both Graves and Sassoon achieved their first real poetic successes during the Great War. Linked together as fellow officers and friends, and flushed with the promise of greater poetic achievement ahead, both writers perceived the war initially as a vehicle by which they could rid themselves of Victorian influences and produce startling results as realists. But as the war continued and both men began to suffer its effects, they realized that their verses had failed to alert a victory-determined British populace to its jingoistic mentality. By mid-1919 both poets were trying to adjust to civilian status and reorganize their lives after the upheavel of the war: Graves attempted at first to expiate his memories of the Western Front by writing sentimental verse, but dissatisfaction with his marriage and an inability to exorcise his neurasthenic nightmares led him to experiment with psychological self-analysis in his poetry. Sassoon's response to the war, in contrast, motivated largely by a homoerotic attachment to the enlisted men under his command and a conviction of social injustice, turned him briefly to socialism and social satire for a thematic approach to his poetry in the early 1920s. In their joint discontent, Sassoon and Graves searched throughout the mid-twenties for personal order and artistic direction. Graves delved into Eastern philosophy and biblical exegesis until, with the arrival of Laura Riding, his domestic and creative life was turned around; from Riding, Graves gained the strength to reject the values imposed upon him by his background and his literary peers. Similarly, Sassoon struggled to find a poetic cause commensurate with his talents, but his disillusionment with the modern world caused him to turn inward for inspiration. This introspection led Sassoon to a contemplation of his past, through which he was eventually to find the symmetry and positive cultural values that were lacking in the modern world. Thus, in their individual searches for creative inspiration, both Graves and Sassoon severed relations with contemporary British society and each turned to his own form of self-imposed exile."@en
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