Robert Graves: From War Poet to ‘Good-bye to All That’

John Sutherland at Literary Review:

Graves’s life was, in every sense, chaotic, but purposely so. He believed that ‘tranquillity’ (the Wordsworthian recipe) narcotises true poetry. The poet, like the kettle, must boil to produce. A few weeks before Graves started on Good-bye to All That, Riding enlarged the ménageto quatre with an Irish literary adventurer. It went all wrong and she jumped out of a fourth-floor window in Hammersmith. Graves followed suit. Both survived.

Graves chronicled his life story, to most readers’ satisfaction, in Good-bye to All That. What, then, will the interested reader find that’s new here? Important, but of least importance, is that Wilson corrects details. Graves wrote Good-bye to All That in eleven weeks, often working for eighteen hours a day, still in post-traumatic shock following his self-defenestration sans parachute.

more here.