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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett


November 22, 1922]

Our letters crossed.

[10 lines omitted] I can't come this Saturday: and don't yet know about next. But we can leave that momently, till I hear how much you hate my cutting up of your cutting up of me. You are wrong to imagine that I disliked the abridgement. I like the complete book, of course, much better: but I fully realise that artistically it has no shape: and morally I detest its intimacy: and the abridgement is a good chance of screwing up my mind to lop it: it's now like one of those most genial trees of a bird-shape. Things I've always laughed at and longed to possess. Now I'm going to have one of my own: and it will be a delight. I'm most grateful to you for doing it: and when we meet we will have a talk about what to do with the stuff. Though I'm expecting abuse from you for some of my excisions.

There is another piece can come out - a long by-incident of perhaps 6,000 words. If you like the idea we'll amputate it together.

Do turn over in your mind who should write the preface: what book-divisions, if any, we should sub-divide it into: if and how we should indicate where bits have been cut out.

I've bought a motor-bike, so can get up to London in my spare time: when I have any spare time.

Yes, I've read that poem in Waley's translation: but all his translations are too subtle for my taste.

You said that my remark that I liked flowers in banks but not singly was illuminating, as regards my taste. Do tell me what my taste is -

E.L.

Source: DG 384-5
Checked: mv/
Last revised: 19 February 2006


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