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Matlock1418

"Goodbye to all that" = Fact or Fiction?

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Matlock1418
Just now, Michelle Young said:

I don't  recall  it being an arm and a leg, it's a third printing of the 1929 edition, in reasonable condition. 

AbeBooks are worth a look 

Thanks I'll have a browse.

All this just because I borrowed a book from my local library!

Literary analysis and discussion not my normal bag, but finding it interesting thanks to GWF

Already cost me some for a growing bookshelf - and as I said my arms are short!

Onwards ... will never get all that reading done at this rate and not planning to take them "Graves'" to my grave.

;-)  :-)  :-)

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David Filsell

It's important to remember, the the school of disenchantment writing did not really take off until the late 1920's. The wartime and immediate post war the tone of writing about the war and by those involved  was very largely patriotic and reflective of personal experience.It seems to me that  both Graves and Sasoon (in particular) seem to reflect both the positive and the negative in their writing - whatever the accuracy of the 'stories' that they finally wrote. Equally it should be born in mind that despite his actions on the river Mersey, Sassoon also returned to the war.  

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Matlock1418

My compare and contrast exercise is shortly due on GTAT 1929/1957

From my limited reading, not just of Graves and Sassoon (a while back), many positive and negatives comments seem to have been made by many others too.

Can't say I have noticed a graduation from the war to late '20s (and the time of publishing of 1st ed GTAT) or beyond, or by author but that said I wasn't looking for that sort of thing - Now will be in future paying more attention to see if I detect such nuances.

4 hours ago, David Filsell said:

It seems to me that  both Graves and Sasoon (in particular) seem to reflect both the positive and the negative in their writing

I agree from my limited reading of Graves and Sassoon both positive and negative points / specific and general expressions & impressions of feeling seem to have been made.

Only chose this abstract from your post as I don't really understand it - especially the "Sassoon (in particular)" ???  Sorry, am I being obtuse?

 

And as you also said, both either apparently hoped to or actually went back to the front.

As previously mentioned in the thread perhaps the pressure of being an officer (not letting self and others down) and keeping up with the general sentiment as to patriotism often seems to have overridden other feelings - and often still seems to do today in many ways [even if we aren't military and in the middle of a massive war]

Keeping up appearances, and most notably to oneself, is a very powerful driver - often the sign of a very brave man to override perhaps more natural instincts of self-preservation or disillusionment.  Altruism or self-interest?

Or is it cowardice to not do what you might otherwise feel?

Not casting stones - just reflecting on the various potential interpretations that can play on all, not just on Graves, Sassoon or others from that time or now.

 

As for Fact or Fiction - most auto-biographical writers [and biographical??], in my opinion do usually play more positively on their performance, rather than on their negative, and can be selective in their recollections / admissions - and for them also to relate to the intended audience and the anticipated personal reflection / opinion that falls on themselves.

Seems to me to be human nature not to 'drop yourself in it' any further than you absolutely must - another powerful personal driver.

Graves' account [and undoubtedly many others] seems likely to have been embellished for the audience, and potentially to have a slight side-swipe on some of the readers, but also for financial reward.

The resulting content and style makes for a pretty easy read in GTAT at least.

 

Most of my reading is on practical/technical stuff and the common man and common junior officer too - daily life, tactics and the worm's eye view. Certainly not strategy, big battles and from lofty towers or rank.  Have read some of the latter group, but not my main interest.

I'm however looking forward to my forthcoming compare and contrast - as I said, not my normal style to get into literary analysis!

And still looking for those lines between F & F.

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kenf48
4 hours ago, David Filsell said:

It's important to remember, the the school of disenchantment writing did not really take off until the late 1920's. The wartime and immediate post war the tone of writing about the war and by those involved  was very largely patriotic and reflective of personal experience.It seems to me that  both Graves and Sasoon (in particular) seem to reflect both the positive and the negative in their writing - whatever the accuracy of the 'stories' that they finally wrote. Equally it should be born in mind that despite his actions on the river Mersey, Sassoon also returned to the war.  

 

Expressing surprise and on the publication and initial reception of GTAT Graves denied his work was anti -war, he wrote,

 

"I was surprised at being acclaimed in headlines of daily papers as the author of a violent treatise against war.  For I had tried not to show any bias for or against war as a human institution, but merely to describe what happened to me during a particular and not at all typical one in which I took part".  

As noted in a previous thread in correspondence with Spike Milligan in 1969 he made an unfavourable comparison of the Vietnam War to 'his' war stating,"at least it wasn't such a shameful, soulless, utterly filthy one as the Vietnam War'.

 

The issue of 'anti war' books really came to a head a couple of years after the publication of GTAT, and by then many considered some of the works we now consider 'classics' as obscene, Northampton Public Library for example banned 'All Quiet on the Western Front' from its shelves, such was the strength of feeling.  It became known as the 'War Books Controversy' with many of the familiar tropes that were trotted out during the centenary promoting the war as a tragic senseless slaughter and doomed men led by drunken officers marched to death by heartless generals to a futile end.  

 

The difference being in 1930 the war was still a recent memory in the lives of millions and many of those who survived had taken part in great historical event which had many more dimensions other than propaganda for peace.

 

Ken

 

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voltaire60
19 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

 

 

Not wanting to spoil your love life - am I invited too?

and/or should we get back to the main thrust of the thread? - Please!

  I,m not anti-social-the more the merrier- BUT if you nick all the popadoms, you're a dead man!!!

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phil andrade

About forty five years ago I actually encountered Graves in Oxford.  He scarcely gave me a glance, let alone talked to me : but I was in awe of his presence.  He struck me as a very narcissistic person ; for some reason, he makes me think of Jeremy Clarkson !

 

One of the books he wrote which I’m proud to possess is King Jesus, which was published just after the Second World War.  I think that it’s superb.

 

He concludes this extraordinary book with a chapter titled Historical Commentary, which is a kind of disclaimer to allay the charge of hyperbole : his account of the life and death of Jesus is, to say the least, somewhat controversial.  A significant passage on page 353, reads ..I undertake to my readers that every important element in my story is based on some tradition, however tenuous, and that I have taken more than ordinary pains to verify my historical background.

 

I wonder if he wrote that because he was sensitive to the allegation that there was rather too much of the “ tenuous” tradition in GTAT.

 

Phil

 

 

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