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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Edward Garnett


For days I have meant to write: but something hindered.

The 7 Pillars goes so slowly.

I like the Verga book. It is defective in form (pointillé almost, in analogy) but bright and very exciting. Dust-covers call it a masterpiece... but if so whereabouts? Low in the range, I fancy.

Did you ever read E.M. Forster's Longest Journey? I am struck all of a heap by it: though it is as faulty as Verga.

Can't Cape get F.L. Lucas' poems or prose in a collected volume? The review of Flecker enclosed is by him, and that accident has led me to write about him. He is a Cambridge Don: and the Athenaeum first and New Statesman later have been printing gems by him for eight years. One poem among the poems is as near perfection as a poem can be.

The cutting is sent you for its other side: the remarks upon not writing books by Affable Hawk. It expresses most excellently what I have always suspected in myself.

There is a faint chance, they say, of my return to the R.A.F. in May next. I've been deceived too often to dare hope now till the fulfilment - and then it will be too late to hope, probably: sad, because the hope is usually the only happy part of an achievement.

Cape has perhaps told you that I flirt again with the idea of an abridgement, for profit. Roughly it would be the abridgement which you made: translated into the revised text.


My abridgement consists in cutting out every fifth word of the old text: when possible. If the fifth won't go out, the sixth probably will.

Source: DG 473
Checked: mv\
Last revised: 8 February 2006

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