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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves


18.1.23

Dear R.G.

I've delayed thinking about it: and thinking is slow in B. block because people talk more readily. Now there is a sort of riot happening over by the fire: and so writing is made difficult.

The conclusion is that probably I won't. The escape from what is nearly squalor here was attractive: and ---- is out of the world (by the way passports won't be difficult: the I.0. will do that much for my sake. Lord Winterton was 'one of us' in Hejaz): but partly I came in here to eat dirt, till its taste is normal to me: and partly to avoid the current of other men's thinking: and in your hill-court there will be high thinking. My brain nearly went in Barton St. with the weariness of writing and re-writing that horrible book of mine: and I still am nervous and easily made frantic.

So I think I'm going to stay on in the R.A.F. which has the one great merit of showing me humanity very clear and clean. I've never lived commonly before, and I think to run away from the stress of it would be a failing.

I owe you a word about that book. It may be printed privately, in a limited subscription edition, next year. A sort of 15 guinea book, almost unprocurable. I hovered for a while this year with the notion of a censored version: but that seems dishonest, until the whole story is available.

I'm glad you're feeling easier. In mechanical jargon you've been 'revving' yourself too high for the last eighteen months. Such forced running means a very heavy fuel consumption, and it is not true economy.

Many thanks to ----- I very nearly came, but I wanted to too much for it to be a wholesome wish.

T.E.L.

Source: B:RG pp. 23-4
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 28 February 2006


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