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ELT: VOLUME 34:2, 1991 perspective; and the author provides numerous insights into the individual works along the way. There is, however, a small price to be paid for painting what amounts to a global portrait on such a comparatively small canvas, for covering so many figures and works in under 150 pages of text. Occasionally , it seems as if Bock is discussing a different work of hterature every few pages; at times his treatment of the hterary work under consideration seems almost too brief to be truly effective (this is particularly noticeable in the chapter on Joyce and Barnes, in which Bock discusses seven of their texts in twenty pages). Further, one might question the usefulness of Bock's claim that the works of this heretical tradition are norm-breaking, when such a characterization defines perfectly the function of aU post-romantic literature that we prize (even including Wordsworth). Yet these minor points do not seriously mar Crossing the Shadow-Line: The Literature of Estrangement. We are indebted to Martin Bock for forcing us to reconsider, in a brand new way, this artisticaUy and philosophically important modernist counter-tradition. Brian W. Shaffer Rhodes College T. E. Lawrence Jeffrey Meyers. The Wounded Spirit: T E. Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom". 1973; New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. 239 pp. $35.00 FEW BOOKS have been so relentlessly scrutinized for clues to its author's hfe as Seven Pillars of Wisdom, whose hterary value long held second place to the book's biographical evidence. The 1973 appearance in Britain of Jeffrey Meyers's The Wounded Spirit marked a major effort to reverse this trend by studying and evaluating Seven Pillars as hterature. Now, however, Meyers's book makes its American appearance—late, but in a way timely. Although Meyers concentrates on Seven Pillars as hterature he sensibly fiUs in historical and personal information necessary for reading Lawrence's book knowledgeably. For a reader new to Lawrence there is useful material. The Wounded Spirit also offers abundant, clear, insightful critical ideas to readers interested in understanding Lawrence's 240 Book Reviews hterary achievement. In the final chapter, for example, Meyers states that Lawrence "creates a unique hterary form, a blend of imaginative and historical writing. The extraordinary quahty of the book arises from Lawrence's use of a background of romance, idealism and brutahty in ironic counterpoint to his private tragedy of self-betrayal." Such ideas are matters of judgment, of course, but anyone beginning to think seriously about Lawrence as hterary artist should appreciate Meyers's clarity and fruitfulness. In 1991, however, experienced Lawrence scholars wiU find in these passages ideas they have long since transcended. For these readers the reprint of The Wounded Spirit—and it is largely a reprint—might offer little besides Meyers's updated, indispensable bibliography. Even for the beginning scholar Meyers's approach has mixed weaknesses and strengths. The information and ideas he offers are valuable; arguments that contain such gems are often less so. Central to his analysis of Seven Pillars are three chapters that demonstrate the influence on Lawrence of C. M. Doughty, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche. In "Tolstoy and the Epic," Meyers argues that Tolstoy provided Lawrence a model for treating with epic scope themes common to both writers, his argument hinging on three specific, smaU-scale examples of influence; none really helps a reader understand how Seven Pillars can claim to be an epic or what the ramifications of such a claim might be. SimUarly, a chapter on Seven Pillars as military history hints at an intriguing issue. Lawrence described his book as "an effort to make history an imaginative thing," yet in this chapter Meyers concentrates on evaluating Seven Pillars's historical accuracy. Given his astute observation that "there is a darkening of mood and tone after Aqaba that corresponds to Lawrence's progressive mental, moral, spiritual, and physical deterioration," it is fair to ask what is the relationship of imagination to historiography? How does an author portray spiritual conflicts with the same material that portrays a pohtical movement? Can we really caU the results "military history?" Meyers is httle help here, though, oddly, his chapter "Composition and Revisions," a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 240-242
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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