By Robert Hemmings
This booklet explores Siegfried Sassoon's writing of the twenties, thirties and forties, demonstrating the connections among trauma and nostalgia in a tradition saturated with the anxieties of war.Informed via the texts of Freud, W.H.R. Rivers and different mental writers of the early 20th century, in addition to modern theorists of nostalgia and trauma, this publication examines the pathology of nostalgia conveyed in Sassoon's unpublished poems, letters and journals, along with his released paintings. It situates his ongoing anxiousness approximately 'Englishness', modernity, and his relation to modernist aesthetics, in the context of different literary responses to the legacy of conflict, and the specter of war's go back, via writers together with Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves and T. E. Lawrence.
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Extra info for Modern Nostalgia: Siegfried Sassoon, Trauma and the Second World War
24 The most important aspect of this definition is the emphasis on severe ‘emotional disturbance’ or ‘mental strain’ as a root of the condition. 25 Myers admitted that the term ‘shell shock’ was ‘singularly ill-chosen’ since the condition may not be caused by a shell, and may not even be attributable to a single ‘shock’. 27 Nevertheless, Myers’s evocative initial designation endured. 28 Maghull, like Craiglockhart, was one of nineteen hospitals29 for war neuroses established during the war to accommodate the flood of psychological cases from the front.
19. Ibid. p. 134. 20. H. W. Massingham, quoted in Chase, ‘this is no claptrap, this is our heritage’, p. 138. 21. Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches: A Biography 1918–1967, vol. 2 (New York: Routledge, 2003), p. 284. 22. Collie Knox, For Ever England: An Anthology (London: Cassell, 1943), pp. 180–1. 23. ), In Broken Images: Selected Letters of Robert Graves, 1914–1946 (London: Hutchinson, 1982), p. 208. 24. See, for example, Paul Fussell, Great War; Bernard Bergonzi, Heroes’ Twilight, 2nd edn (London: Macmillan, 1980); Paul Moeyes, Siegfried Sassoon: Scorched Glory: A Critical Study (New York: St Martin’s, 1997).
6. Ibid. p. 28. 7. See, for example, Paul Fussell, Great War, p. 258. 8. ‘Engines’, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1944). 9. Blunden, ‘Midnight Skaters’, p. 28. 10. Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 281. 11. See Paul Fussell, ‘Arcadian recourses’, in Paul Fussell, Great War, pp. 231–69. 12. William Stafford, ‘ “This Once Happy Country”: Nostalgia for pre-modern society’, in Malcolm Chase and Christopher Shaw (eds), The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989), pp.