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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to  Edward Garnett


24.IV.23

It wasn't Nino Diabolo: it was The Piebald Horse, in the first edn. of The Purple Land, transferred geographically to the Banda Oriental; whereas it was written of the pampas, and is so returned in the El Ombu volume, with its place-names corrected back to truth.

The book filled a gap and gave me three evenings very great pleasure. There is something in Swedish stuff which gives me satisfaction. (Sorry for the prose, but I'm writing, a single hod-carrier on Babel, and no one with ears could write straight). It's an odd penance to have set oneself, to live amongst animals for seven years. Nebuchadnezzar did it, I suppose: the feel of tanks is so utterly unlike the R.A.F. and everything here disgusts me. My motor-bike is called into use when I find myself on parade facing an unconscious sergeant with my fists hard clenched. A hundred fast miles seem to make camp feel less confined afterwards.

Do you think Neb. made himself animal, like his companions? I thought of trying to write about him: a psychological study of the Frederic Manning manner....

When if you write again will you send me the London Mercury Office address?

Must stop writing: head gone to pap.

.L.

Source: DG 409-10
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 28 January 2006


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