Monday, May 31, 2004

Do you have get the feeling that Lawrence of Arabia was just as bonkers in real life as Peter O'Toole made him out to be in the movie? I do.

"When I wish to say ill of one outside our number, I do it: though there is less of this than was in my diary, since the passage of time seems to have bleached out men's stains. When I wish to praise outsiders, I do it: but our family affairs are our own. We did what we sat out to do, and have satisfaction of that knowledge. The others have liberty some day to put on record their story, one parallel to mine but not mentioning more of me than I of them, for each of us did his job by himself and as he pleased, hardly seeing his friends."

And so on. This passage from the introductory chapter to Seven Pillars of Wisdom doesn't quite capture the essential nuttiness of Lawrence's prose, but unfortunately no one passage does. Taken as a whole, it somehow smacks of utter insanity.


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