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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers


Dear B.R.

Take these suggestions of mine, the few of them there are, just as suggestions, for your rejection or acceptance: or for improvement by yourself I like your emendations throughout, and have tried to embody them all in the substance of the text.

Many interruptions of my leisure lately. XIV is still revision and unfit for despatch. I am afraid that the flesh excuses for not working, on sunny evenings!

No news of Mrs. R: which means well I hope. She is putting up a fine fight. I do hope it will not exhaust all her strength, and that very soon all anxiety will be over. This is hard upon you.




1) The snag in 'bottled sunlight' is the limited meaning of the word 'bottle' today. 'Jarred sunlight' is impossible. 'Liquid sunlight' - how is that? or 'Sunny-surfaced wine' which is very near the Greek truth: 'Stored sunlight' is not bad at all. Of course bottled sunlight is the best, if we overlook the absence of glass. I agree that fizzy wines are detestable.

2) 'Mint it on' is not very happy. You mint in rather than on. 'Stamp it on your heart' is all right, though violent if you think of foot-stamping. 'Print' I rejected because printing is today a limited specialised sense of the old word. Also the Greek word can mean 'Keep it playing in your heart:' up and down, like a fountain. 'Ponder' the wise men say. 'Dandle' rather. These apparently simple words are the devil. 'Carry it ever in your heart' would do. 'Print' is jolly good, except for the modern meaning of printing.

3) I think I deliberately help out the sea-pieces a link, by using just enough technical terms to carry verisimilitude. In the original they are a bit amateurish: though nobody ever wandered about Greece and remained land-lubberly.

I'm very glad Mrs. R. goes well.

No, I think Philip Sassoon is already the target of too many arrows to be easily brought down. I like him: and he is cultivated, artistic, and public-spirited.

XI There's no doubt, I think, that he went home from that land journey: and I have a notion that he died in Ithaca: but I (also) have no Classical Dictionary.


Source: BR1 [61-2]
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 14 July 2006

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