T. E. Lawrence to Sydney Cockerell
March 19th, 1924
Miss Mew: too much emotion for her art, for her intellect, for her will. Such intensity of feeling is a sign of weakness. She is a real poet - but a little one, for the incoherency, the violence of over-wrought nerves does much harm to her powers of expression.
It's good stuff - Beside the Bed: On the Asylum Road: I have been through the Gates: On the Road to the Sea: these are four excellent things - but only the passion is molten: the form, the thought, the music, these are unresolved, to be guessed at, or worse, to be supplied by the reader if his passion is set burning by sympathy with hers. I'm frigid towards woman so that I can withstand her: so that I want to withstand her.
Moby Dick... ah, there's a titan of a book. Do you know Redburn, and Pierre, two of the less common ones? Whitejacket very good: Mardi dull: two early S. Sea adventures (Omoo and Typee) fair. One of his finest works is Clarel, in verse: but it isn't as fine verse as his War stuff. That's magnificent. Melville was a great man.
I got £20 for my Piazza Tales the other day. Someone is working a Melville boom, and I've sold all my early editions profitably.
Doughty: will you suggest that he makes a new contract for A.D. with Cape? Direct, not with Duckworth. He should get better terms for what is now a fine property. A.D. is selling hot in U.S.A.
|Source:||SCC 361-2 (also, with variant punctuation, DG 458-9)|
|Last revised:||1 January 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