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War poet Siegfried Sassoon - in his own words

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Jul 2010 23:23    Onderwerp: War poet Siegfried Sassoon - in his own words Reageer met quote

War poet Siegfried Sassoon - in his own words
By BRIAN FERGUSON


A TREASURE trove of journals, manuscripts and letters belonging to a celebrated war poet sent to an Edinburgh military hospital when he refused to serve any longer has gone on public display for the first time.

Siegfried Sassoon, who struck up his famous friendship with fellow poet Wilfred Owen while the pair were being treated at Craiglockhart Hospital, wrote a famous declaration against the First World War in 1917 after going AWOL.

Kent-born Sassoon, who kept extensive journals while fighting on the Western Front, was sent north for treatment for shell-shock rather than be court-martialled after denouncing the horrors of the trenches.

The exhibition unveiled by Cambridge University - which bought a vast archive of material from Sassoon's surviving relatives last year - includes two letters he wrote from the hospital, as well as one of his original poems, Glory of Women, which was penned there.

The letters, to his friend Edward Dent, reveal his fears about being declared insane and committed to an asylum for refusing to fight in the war, and tell how his psychologist William Rivers persuaded him to atone for the perceived abandonment of his men by resuming his duties as an officer.

Sassoon, who spent five months at Craig-lockhart, went on to serve in both Palestine and France during the last year of the war before a further wound in July 1918 brought his active contribution to a close. A campaign to secure Sassoon's personal journals and papers was mounted last year by Cambridge, where he was an undergraduate and later became an honorary fellow. Writers Andrew Motion, Sebastian Faulks and Michael Morpurgo were among those to back the campaign.

The vast majority of material in the exhibition has never been seen in public.


It includes a notebook containing his famous statement against the war, accounts of the moment he was shot by a sniper at the Battle of Arras and the battlefield burial of one of his close friends, and a sketch of a statue he wanted to have put up
in Cambridge as a memorial after his death.

There are also notebooks and diaries recording his earlier fox-hunting, horse-riding and cricketing exploits, and childhood notebooks of poems and stories given as presents to his mother.

John Wells, the exhibition curator, said: "The period Sassoon spent in Edinburgh was crucial, as the relative calm gave him time to work on a number of poems, and was also where he met Wilfred Owen and formed their famous friendship.

"Sassoon felt he was certain to be court-marshalled after being summoned back to HQ by his commanding officer; he was surprised to be treated for shell-shock and the letters reveal how he felt he was being treated as an amiable idiot. In the later letter he admits that ‘going back to the war as soon as possible was my only chance of peace'."

Sassoon is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of the First World War thanks to classic works like Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man and Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.

http://news.scotsman.com/news/War-poet-Siegfried-Sassoon-.6433071.jp?articlepage=2
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Jul 2010 12:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WWI poet Sassoon's archive on show for first time
Jul 23, 6:50 am ET

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Personal papers from World War One poet Siegfried Sassoon's archive are on display for the first time at Cambridge University Library.

Highlights of the exhibition include the diary entry from Sassoon's first day on the Somme and the telegram summoning him to HQ when he refused to return to duty after being wounded.

Also on show are sketches, letters to and from family and friends, and drafts of his autobiographical prose trilogy, "Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man."

"Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War" offers an insight into the life and mind of a soldier whose writings are a defining voice of British involvement in World War One.

"This exhibition explores the ways in which documented, remembered, and imagined elements are interwoven in Sassoon's writings," exhibition curator John Wells in a statement.

Cambridge University Library bought the archive in 2009 from Sassoon's relatives for 1.25 million pounds ($1.9 million).

Along with the library's existing holdings, it is widely considered to be the most important collection of Sassoon manuscripts in the world.

Dream Voices: Siegfried Sassoon, Memory and War is on until December 23.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100723/lf_nm_life/us_exhibition_sassoon_1
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BerichtGeplaatst: 26 Jul 2010 15:50    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Public's first view of Sassoon's personal papers

Siegfried Sassoon's handwritten account of the first day of the Battle of the Somme has gone on display at Cambridge University Library.

It is just one of many personal papers, never before seen by the public, and bought by Cambridge University Library in 2009 for £1.25 million.

The archive includes the first draft of his 1917 statement, protesting at the continuation of the war.

Visitors can see the originals at the library from 21 July 2010.

Siegfried Sassoon

Sassoon was one of the leading World War I poets but, unlike Wilfred Owen or Rupert Brooke, he survived.

He joined up as soon as he could, and was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant and sent to France in 1915. He served through the Battle of the Somme, was wounded and was twice decorated for bravery.

The exhibition includes his wartime diaries, which reveal first-hand accounts of the Battle of the Somme and other major World War I battles. In them he details the fighting - and the boredom.

"A lot of people would have written letters home or kept diaries, very few of which have survived nowadays," John Wells, from the department of manuscripts at the University of Cambridge Library, explained.

"So to have Sassoon's diaries and his letters from the front means we're getting not only the view of a famous writer, but we're getting one more individual's account of what when on."

By 1917 Sassoon was appalled by the continuing slaughter and was fearful there was no end in view.

"He had seen generations of his battalion killed around him," John Wells said. "The war is a carnage which is continuing without any end in sight. He is convinced it would be possible to end the war with negotiations, so he writes his soldier's statement.

"In it he blames the politicians for continuing the war when it could be ended."

The archive, purchased in 2009, includes his draft of this statement, complete with crossings-out, and is on display at the library.

It was first read out in the House of Commons and then published in the Times.

People were appalled that a decorated officer and published poet was claiming the war was being deliberately prolonged by the government.

Craiglockhart War Hospital

At the time Sassoon was recovering from wounds in England.

Two telegrams were sent to him, recalling him back to the front, which can also be seen in the exhibition.

When he ignored them he expected to be court-martialled, but instead he was sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital, which specialised in helping shell-shocked officers.

"By being sent off to the hospital he's being brushed under the carpet and he's not happy," said John Wells. "He writes letters to his friend Edward Dent - we've got one in the exhibition here - complaining about it. He'd have preferred to have made a bigger splash."

In the end Sassoon returned to the front and was once again wounded in action.

Pictures and poetry

After the war he continued to write poetry and prose, including Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, while in Memoirs of an Infantry Officer he became the foremost British chronicler of World War I.

Cambridge University Library already had an extensive collection of Sassoon papers, and the addition of the personal archive means it is now the major world centre for Sassoon experts.

Alongside his diaries, visitors can see beautifully-illustrated poetry books, which he wrote and decorated as presents for his mother when he was around 10.

He continued to illustrate his work as an adult.

"In some cases he decorates books to give out to friends," said John Wells. "But this is a book of draft poems, a sort of working note book. He has done a lot of crossing-out, so it's not as if it's a late fair copy. It is clear he delighted in making this combination of poems and pictures in booklets. He did so as a child and did so right until the end of his life."

Sassoon's poetry continues to appeal today, according to John Wells, because: "It is about an astonishing subject, the horror of war, the suffering of the troops, but he's using a relatively straightforward technique. That, I think, is what brings his poetry its power, not only as he was writing it, but for us here today."

The exhibition is at Cambridge University Library until December 2010. It is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am until 6.00pm, and on Saturdays between 9.00am and 4.00pm.

Mét filmpje! http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cambridgeshire/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8838000/8838555.stm
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Sep 2011 5:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Alhoewel de expositie afgelopen is, is er nog veel online te bekijken:
http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/exhibitions/Sassoon/index.html

Dear Mr Sassoon… letters catalogue published
By Zoe, May 24, 2011 2:10 pm
Blog readers may recall that in August of last year I posted about the publication of a catalogue to a collection we call MS Add.8889. I am now pleased to publicise the publication of another online list to a similar, but rather larger, collection of Sassoon’s correspondence on the same catalogue website:
Link to the catalogue of MS Add.9375 on the Janus website

Again the content and authors of the letters are wide ranging, however this set does includes quite a number of items that might be termed ‘fan mail’. It is of various kinds: MS Add.9375/812-3 are from from a teenage school girl; MS Add.9375/772 is an example of contact from an old soldier spurred by a description of shared experience; and MS Add.9375/328 is one of many instances of old friends noting their appreciation of his latest work.

A nice feature of loading catalogues onto the Janus site is that readers can then use its powerful search facility to find related items across different collections. This image is a screen shot of a search for ‘Bonham-Carter’ showing that various members of family were corresponding with him and, as references occur in both MS Add.8889 and Ms Add.9375, that he can not have been keeping the correspondence in anything like a consistent way:

http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/deptserv/manuscripts/sassoonblog/
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