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Lottie2206

A sort-of book blog

This is my own personal record of the things I've read. Half of these will be books for uni (I'm a 2nd year literature undergraduate!)

Currently reading

The Woman He Loved Before: She's Out of His Life, But Is She Out of His Heart?
Dorothy Koomson
Progress: 263/462 pages

Good-bye To All That

Modern Classics Goodbye To All That: The Original Edition - Robert Graves

Graves has never been my favourite of the war poets, but his prose is clever and witty, although dry at times. As an autobiographical account of the trenches of the First World War, this book is invaluable. It was published in 1929 in the explosion of war memoirs from combatants, and is fairly typical in this respect.

 

One thing that never fails to amaze me about autobiographies from writers, is just how small the literary world is. There are references throughout to household names, both that you may expect, and those that you may not; beyond the other war poets of Sassoon, Owen & co. there are also references to relationships with T. S. Eliot, and T. E. Lawrence, among others.

 

Graves makes a conscious effort not to tie up ends at the end of the book, for which I am very appreciative. It leaves you to think of him not as a character, but as a man, and most of all as a work in progress.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the actual experiences of soldiers in the First World War, but would warn them it can take quite some getting into before you can really begin to enjoy the book.

 

Because I read this book for university, I was made aware of the controversy caused by the publication, with specific reference to Sassoon's reaction. It's worth looking this up in some detail before you read it, if you should choose to, because it highlights some apparent discrepancies in the text.