It was a great pleasure to speak alongside Max Egremont, Santanu Das and Jon Stallworthy last night at an event in Cambridge celebrating the launch of the new Siegfried Sassoon exhibition. It runs until 23 December at the University Library, and is well worth a visit. In case you can't make it, the next best thing is to visit the website which shows off the exhibits effectively. There is also the archivists' blog, the BBC's audio slideshow, and an account of the launch party.
I met some fascinating people, including several who had known Sassoon, two of Edmund Blunden's daughters, and a Vietnam War veteran who insisted that Sassoon's 'The Kiss' has nothing to do with sex. 'Sometimes, Sigmund', he told me, 'a cigar is just a cigar'. But, I protested, the poem is called 'The Kiss'! A kiss is just a kiss, he might have countered, although in the light of the poem's sadistic fantasy, a still more appropriate musical allusion would have been to the kiss of Tosca.