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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Bruce Rogers


Dear B.R.

I sat over your letter for a while, and then set it aside, wondering if the problem would solve itself No luck. This Odyssey has put me in rather a hole. I enclose you a letter from Cape, with another cutting: and instinct warns me there may be others after that.

John o'London is a well-meaning little populariser of books, and it serves many people who would not read a high-brow paper. I give it pretty high marks. It does a lot ofgood: though its readers are not of the class to buy dear books. By all means have 'your' article in it (by your friend upon you, I mean) and do include the Bible and Odyssey. I have the Bible's pages always before me, and find them most satisfying.

Regarding the text of the Odyssey I should merely say 'a straightforward and close translation into English prose, by T.E. Shaw.' There is no use in praising an unfinished work (I have been unfortunately interrupted since I saw you, and have not done a line more. The earliest date to complete will now be in April) and no use in explaining T. E Shaw. He is unhappily, a public character. And as the subject is you and your books there is no need for me to be drawn slant-wise across the scent.

What are we going to do about England? Will E. W. be content with his luxury version, and give up the idea of any popular reprint? There is no money in the 26th version of the Odyssey, so I hope he will refrain from it. Of course it remains clear that my name will not be put on either, in cold print. It's everybody's secret that I have done it, and I don't care: but between that and legitimatising the child is a great gulf!



Source: BR1
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 15 July 2006

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