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 -
|Last revised:||19 February 2006|
T. E. Lawrence chronology
1888 16 August: born at Tremadoc, Wales
1896-1907: City of Oxford High School for Boys
1907-9: Jesus College, Oxford, B.A., 1st Class Hons, 1909
1910-14: Magdalen College, Oxford (Senior Demy), while working at the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish
1915-16: Military Intelligence Dept, Cairo
1916-18: Liaison Officer with the Arab Revolt
1919: Attended the Paris Peace Conference
1919-22: wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1921-2: Adviser on Arab Affairs to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office
1922 August: Enlisted in the Ranks of the RAF
1923 January: discharged from the RAF
1923 March: enlisted in the Tank Corps
1923: translated a French novel, The Forest Giant
1924-6: prepared the subscribers' abridgement of Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1927-8: stationed at Karachi, then Miranshah
1927 March: Revolt in the Desert, an abridgement of Seven Pillars, published
1928: completed The Mint, began translating Homer's Odyssey
1929-33: stationed at Plymouth
1931: started working on RAF boats
1932: his translation of the Odyssey published
1933-5: attached to MAEE, Felixstowe
1935 February: retired from the RAF
1935 19 May: died from injuries received in a motor-cycle crash on 13 May
1935 21 May: buried at Moreton, Dorset