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T. E. Lawrence to Eric Kennington


[Karachi]

16. VI. 27.

Dear K.,

Perhaps I gave the 'Cheshire Cat' to a man called Richards, who lives at 3 Loudoun Road St John's Wood. He keeps all my books (not so many as the word 'all' sounds) and has, I think a picture or two, also. Let's hope so. I liked the C.C. If one had tickled it, it would have grinned.

You are an odd person. You say in every letter that your work does not go well: but that your family does. Why, it's the reverse. Your family is only two: whereas your successful works run into dozens: perhaps into hundreds. You can draw, and paint and sculp. Everything you attempt becomes about the best of its sort. Midas wasn't in it. Presumably he wanted gold. You, perhaps, subconsciously don't. At any rate, if you do, you haven't perhaps succeeded. It's about the only direction, though, in which you have not scored heavily: and I prophesy that in time you will achieve that too. 'Kenningtons' will be good investments.

Compare us. I've tried to sculp:- failure: to write:- failure. I've made other people a lot of money: but can't bear to keep any of it for myself. l've argued myself out of creation: and go on living because it is the line of least resistance, and go on learning because the more one learns the less one knows, and some day I may attain perfect ignorance, that way.

Hoots.

Wilson' tells me a Seven Pillars fetched £500, for U.S.A. I hope it will be yours!

The picture of you and C. sitting in Holly Copse and reading the great thing would have inspired me, had I been a comic artist, to a sheer masterpiece! However.

Many thanks for Ulysses. It is even worse to read than I had hoped. Months: and such dull stuff. Joyce is a genius, but an unlucky one. His writing has the architectural merit of Balham. It goes on for ever, and needn't ever vary in spirit. Why not try a bust of Joyce?

Many thanks for the Auda proof. It has gone on to make old Banbury rejoice. What a thing for the 1st Armoured Car Company when they see their Sergt. Major skipping like a young ram!

I wonder how you settled your war memorial. Accepted it, of course: but are you trampling on the committee?

Dobson once sketched a war memorial in clay. A single file or four or five earth-bound naked figures, marching in step, very close together, weighed down by a huge weight they jointly carried. The idea was good: the shape and outline good, from every angle. And simple. Good for D.

T.E.S.

Do you really like naked women? They express so little.

Source: DG 523-524
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 12 February 2006


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