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The Story of Lawrence after Arabia
A Play in Two ActsBy
Peter Colley

L/A/C WALDEN:...It's just that title – The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I never could figure out what that meant.
LAWRENCE: (Startled) What did you say?...
L/A/C WALDEN: The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The name of your – (Stops himself) – that
LAWRENCE: (Alarmed) You must be thinking of "Revolt in the Desert". The Seven Pillars of
Wisdom hasn’t been published.
L/A/C WALDEN: No, I read ‘em both.
LAWRENCE: That’s impossible! The Seven Pillars – you’re absolutely sure?
L/A/C WALDEN: Yeah. There’s a mimeograph copy floating around the base somewhere.
Someone picked it up in London. Pirated, I suppose. I shouldn’t be telling you that, should I?
(...)LAWRENCE: Good God!
L/A/C WALDEN: Keep your shirt on, Lawrence – I mean, Broughie. You should be flattered
people want to steal it.
LAWRENCE: You don’t understand – that was released for private subscription only. It was
not to be read by just anyone. You say it’s here on the base?
L/A/C WALDEN: The C.O. heard it was around and ordered it to be given up. For some reason
he didn’t want us to read it – seemed to think it would be bad for our morals. ‘Course that meant
we all had to read it.
www.petercolley.com/LAWRENCE_PDF_Download/MAN_I... в виде HTML -
(These letters were part of the research on Lawrence's character for the play)
1910: On arriving in the east
"The sun rose, and like magic turned black to gold... in the distance a
mixture of all the reds and yellows you can think of."
(After the death of his brothers on the western front)
: "It doesn't seem right, somehow, that I should go on
living peacefully in Cairo."
1915: To his parents:
"I hope that when I die there will be nothing more to regret."
(Frustrated about being stuck at HQ)
"I am going to be in Cairo till I die. Yesterday I was at the
undertakers looking over samples of pyramids with a view to choosing
my style."
1916: (On meeting Faisal)
"I felt at first glance that this was the man I had come to Arabia to seek."
1916: (To his mother)
"It is so good to have helped a bit in making a new nation."
(This message, found heavily penciled over in Lawrence's wartime diary, was never sent)
To Brigadier-General
Clayton: "Clayton, I've decided to go off alone to Damascus, hoping to
get killed on the way: for all sakes try and clear up this show before it
goes any further. We are calling them to fight for us on a lie, and I can't
stand it!"
(Re: his march on Damascus)
"On this march I took risks with the hope of proving myself unworthy to
be the Arab assurance of final victory. A bodily wound would have been
a grateful vent for my internal perplexities, a mouth through which my
troubles might have found relief."
1917: (To his mother)
"Please don't put the rank of Major or CB* or any other letters (past,
present or future) after my name. These sort of things are only
nuisances to a person making only £250 a year and the intention of not
making any more. I'm sending back all private letters so addressed."
*CB is a British award for chivalry.
1917: (re: The Dera'a Incident) *Curiously, there are no wartime letters from Lawrence about the
infamous and much-disputed 1917 Dera'a incident.
1917: To E. T. Leeds:
"After being a sort of king-maker I will not be allowed to go digging
(as an
quietly again. Nuisance."
1918: To Vyvyan Richards
"My job is to foment an Arab rebellion against Turkey, so it's a kind of
foreign stage on which one plays day and night, in fancy dress, in a
strange language with the price of failure on one's head if the part is not
well filled."
1918: To Vyvyan Richards
"These years of detachment have cured of any desire to do anything for
myself. When they untie my bonds I will not find in me any spur to
action. This is like one of those dreams out of which you awake with a
start, and find that there is nothing left in the mind."
1918: To Vyvyan Richards
"Achievement, if it comes, will be a great disillusionment."
1918: To Vyvyan Richards
"I'm like sensitized film, turned black or white by the objects projected on
me; and if so, what hope is there?"
1918: To Vyvyan Richards
"I change my abode every day, my job every two days, and my language
every three days, and still remain always unsatisfied. I hate being in
front, I hate being back, and I don't like responsibility, and I don't obey
orders. Altogether no good just now."
Page 78
1918: To Major Scott in Cairo
"The old war is closing, and my use is gone."
1918: To Major Scott in Cairo
"We were an odd little set, and we have, I expect, changed History in the
near East. I wonder how the Powers will let the Arabs get on."
1919: To Chief Political Officer, Cairo. "I went to Dera'a in disguise to spy out their defenses, was
caught, and identified by Hajim Bey the Governor. Hajim was an ardent
pederast and took a fancy to me. So he kept me under guard till night,
and then tried to have me. I was unwilling, and prevailed after some
difficulty. Hajim sent me to the hospital, and I escaped before dawn,
being not as hurt as he thought. He was so ashamed of the muddle he
had made that he hushed the whole thing up."
*This contradicts Lawrence's
other accounts of the incident. In the Seven Pillars of Wisdom he claims he was NOT
recognized by Hajim Bey.
1919: To C. J. Kidston:
"You ask me why, and I'm going to tell you exactly what my motives in
the Arab affair were: Personal, I liked a particular Arab very much, and I
thought that freedom for the race would be an acceptable present. I also
wanted to feel what it was like to be the mainspring of a national
movement and have millions of people expressing themselves through
me. The ideal... the impulse that took us to Damascus, was the only
thing worth doing."
1919: To C. J. Kidston:
"I haven't done a crooked thing since I began to push the Arab
Movement, though I prostituted myself in Arab Service."
1920: To Sir Murray:
"I am painfully aware of what Lowell Thomas is doing. His (lectures) are
as rank as possible... I have neither the money nor the wish to maintain
my character as the mountebank he makes me."
1920: To FareedaEl Akle:
"An American
(Lowell Thomas)
has told a lot of lies about me. I'm afraid I
can't ever come to Syria again. Because I failed."
1920: To Colonel Newcombe: "In the history of the world (cheap edition) I'm a sublimated Aladdin, the
thousand and second Knight, a Strand-Magazine strummer. In the eyes
of "those who know" I failed badly in attempting a piece of work which a
little more resolution would have pushed through."
1920: To Robert Graves:
"Warn me before you come as my movements are as odd as my
1921: To FareedaEl Akle:
"The Arab war was not nearly as silly as Lowell Thomas makes out: and I
was not in charge of it, or even very prominent. Only I was in fancy
dress, and so made a good "star" for his film."
1922: To General Clayton:
"I wrote a book
(The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
about that dog-fight of ours in
Arabia. It's not for present publication, partly because it's too human a
document for me to disclose."
1922: To Edward Garnett:
"If that Dera'a incident had happened to yourself you would not have
recorded it. For weeks I wanted to burn the manuscript because I could
not tell the story face to face with anyone."
1922: To Edward Garnett:
"The Seven Pillars is not meant for ordinary intelligences and must
mislead them."
1922: To R.D. Blumenfeld:
"You know I was always odd and my tastes my own."
1922: To R.D. Blumenfeld:
"Please don't publish my eclipse. It will be common news one day, but
the later the better for my peace in the ranks. As you say, it reads like a
Page 79
cheap melodrama, and my life has been that, nearly since the odd
circumstances of my
1923: To Mrs Charlotte Shaw
(The wife of George Bernard Shaw)
: "It would be hard to remain inhuman while
jostling all days and nights in a crowd of clean and simple men. There is
something here which in my life before I'd never met – had hardly
dreamed of."
1923: To Mrs Charlotte Shaw
(The wife of George Bernard Shaw)
: "I showed my book to my mother and the
horrors of the book
(The Dera'a incident)
strike her painfully, and she hates
my having noted, or seen, such things."
1923: To Robert Graves:
"I came here
(into the lower ranks)
to eat dirt, till its taste is normal to me."
1923: To J. L. Garvin:
"I've been dismissed from the R.A.F. for possessing too large a publicity
factor to be decent in an A.C.2.
1923: To J. L. Garvin:
"What an unending nuisance being known is! I'm beginning to despair of
ever getting away from my past."
1923: To: H. W. Bailey:
"When that newspaper shriek came out about me the Air Ministry gave
me the sack. The idiot Press!"
1923: To Vyvyan Richards:
"Self-depreciation is a necessity with me."
1923: To Vyvyan Richards:
"I've been absurdly over-estimated. There are no supermen and I'm
quite ordinary."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"Why did I join up? Mind-suicide"
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"Perhaps there's a solution to be found in multiple personality."
1923: To R.A.M. Guy:
"I envy everyone who doesn't think continually."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"The acts of the soldiers in Hut 12 is not filth, because you can't call filthy
the pursuit of a bitch by a dog, or the mating of birds in the springtime;
and it's man's misfortune that he hasn't a mating season, but spreads his
emotions and excitements through the year. I lie in bed night after night
with this cat-calling carnality seething up and down the hut."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"The fault of birth rests somewhat on the child. I believe it is we who led
our parents on to bear us, and it's our unborn children who make our
flesh itch. A filthy business, all of it."
1923: To Colonel Wavell:
"I've suffered more than I can bear of public discussion and praise, and
the insufficiency and obliquity of it are like a nightmare of memory."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"My masochism remains and will remain, only moral. Physically, I can't
do it. Everything bodily is now hateful to me, and in my case hateful is
the same as impossible.
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"This sort of thing must be madness, and sometimes I wonder how far
mad I am, and if a mad-house would not be my next (and merciful)
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"I want to stay here
(in the ranks)
till it no longer hurts me; till the burnt child
no longer feels the fire."
Page 80
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"I sleep less than ever, for the quietness of the night imposes thinking
on me."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"I am richer and more experienced than any of the others here (in the
military). More of the world has passed over me in my 35 years than all
their twenties put together."
1923: To Lionel Curtis:
"Here in the ranks I have to answer only for my cleanness of skin,
cleanness of clothes and a certain mechanical neatness on the barracks-
1923: To Edmund Blunden:
"I wrote my beastly book in 1919. I have no intention on publishing it:
there has been far too much talk already. That poor purblind Lowell
Thomas creature imagined that he was doing me no harm. His story is a
myth, built on a very small foundation of official information, padded with
1923: To Jock Chambers:
"I wish I could see you. I'm homesick for the R.A.F. God be merciful to
us sinners."
1923: To R.A. Guy:
"I'm suffering from dryness of the brain and decay of the natural
affections. I'm in the army as penance to kill old Adam."
1923: To R.A. Guy:
"I wish we could meet again. Every R.A.F. uniform I see makes me
1925: To Mrs. Charlotte Shaw
(The wife of George Bernard Shaw)
: "Do you know what it is when you see,
suddenly, that your life is all a ruin? Tonight it is cold, and the barracks
dark and empty, with all the fellows out somewhere. Every day I haunt
their company, because the noise stops me thinking. Thinking drives me
mad, because of the invisible ties about me which limit my moving, my
wishing, my imaging. All these bonds I have tied myself, deliberately,
wishing to tie myself down beyond the hope and power of movement.
So long as there is breath in my body my strength will be exerted to keep
my soul in prison since nowhere else can it exist in safety. I am afraid of
myself. Is this madness? It's all a reaction to yesterday when I went
mad, rode to London and saw Faisal. (Faisal's friends) kept expecting
me to talk as though my R.A.F. uniform was a skin I could slough off any
while with a laugh. I couldn't. I've changed and the Lawrence who used
to be friendly and familiar with that sort of people is dead. He's worse
than dead. He's a stranger I once knew. My reason tells me all the while,
dins into me day and night, a sense of how I've crashed my life and self
and gone hopelessly wrong: and hopelessly it is, for I'm never coming
back. I'm pitching this letter straight away (into the mail) as written,
because in a hour I'll burn it, if I can get my hands on it."
1925: To his mother
"Once I used to like things (not people) and ideas. Now I don't care for
anything at all."
1927: To E. M. Forster
"I'm so funnily made up, sexually."
1934: Re: Clare Sydney Smith "Am I a beast? She wants something which I want to keep, and she
ought to understand it."© Peter Colley All Rights Reserved Draft: 25 March 2007

@темы: ccылки, литература, театр

2009-01-21 в 19:51 

Как весело кататься на санках, которые мчатся впереди тебя! (с)
Большое спасибо, потащу домой читать! :)

2009-01-21 в 20:11 

FleetinG_ Предупреждаю, не шедевр. :D

2009-02-10 в 18:23 

Как весело кататься на санках, которые мчатся впереди тебя! (с)
Да, сама ситуация этого судилища странноватая, и непривычно видеть ТЭЛ в окружении женщин...
Зато понравилось, как Crasher'у объяснили про любовь к С.А., и хорошо было сказано: I'm not nobody. I'm Aircraftsman Shaw.
А Tes - это действительно так Клэр его называла? Исходя из чего? :-D

2009-02-10 в 18:24 

Как весело кататься на санках, которые мчатся впереди тебя! (с)
1927: To E. M. Forster
"I'm so funnily made up, sexually."
Опять! Sensually, блин горелый! :lol2:

2009-02-10 в 19:02 

FleetinG_ А Tes - это действительно так Клэр его называла? Исходя из чего?Мне самой интересно, ясное дело...Даже от Томаса нет таких дериватов...I'm so funnily made up, sexually."Почти все так цитируют.

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Lawrence of Arabia