In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

199 volume, in that all of the essays are about him. Being Moore, however, he would have complained that the editor offers only £ perspective, that he is even more complex than his critics imagine, and he would have offered to guide them in the preparation of a sequel. That either he or I should wish to see another suggests that Janet Egleson Dunleavy and her contributors did a highly acceptable job with this one. Jack W. Weaver Winthrop College 4. FRAGMENTS OF T. E. LAWRENCE Stephen E. Tabachnick, ed. The T. E. Lawrence Puzzle. Athens, GA: Univ. of Georgia Press, 1984. $22.50 To call T. E. Lawrence merely "Lawrence of Arabia" is to limit him. Many are not aware, for instance, that he was a friend of Zionism. This collection of fourteen new essays by an international group of writers brings together the pieces of the enigma which is Lawrence and tries to set the record straight. Even those who tnink they know all about this king-maker and uncrowned king—this literary genius, this test driver of motorcycles and motorboats, this spy, archaeologist , guerilla leader, diplomat, and translator, too—will be impressed at the range of subjects included here; the book is a virtual encyclopedia on Lawrence. It sets forth guidelines to the various attitudes and problems inherent in assessing who Lawrence really was and in establishing his place in history—literary, military, and political. Was he hero or fraud, good or evil, genius or second-rate? The essays are almost always laudatory; yet they are objective, and well written and documented. Included is a bibliography of bibliographies and a selected list of books and dissertations from 1969-1983, "The T. E. Lawrence Revival." Those who have forgotten Lawrence's infinite variety will be stimulated to learn more. And how does the Cheshire cat come out of all this? Purring . . . and no wonder. A Subscriber's Edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom sells in 1984 for over 2,000 pounds; a May 1984 newspaper advertises "a 10-day tour that follows the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia." Englishmen still name their sons after him, and some Bedouin know he is alive. The little man with a head too large for his body died almost a half century ago; the legend, in spite of everything, remains. Tabachnick opens this collection with his long essay, "A Fragmentation Artist." He does a marvelous job in establishing the facts of Lawrence's career (though more might have been given on the family and early life) and in comparing 200 Lawrence's accomplishments to five of his contemporaries. Tabachnick also analyzes the important work done on Lawrence, particularly since 1969, while presenting the problems yet to be solved. The remaining essays are divided into two parts— "The Writer" and "Other Aspects." In the first part, M. D. Allen discusses the importance of "Lawrence's Medievalism" in his life and his writing. Thomas J. O'Donnell compares Lawrence's asserting himself in Seven Pillars and denying himself in The Mint. Keith N. Hull, on the other hand, emphasizes the wholeness of Lawrence as an artist. Tabachnick (in his second essay) compares Lawrence's use of ruins with T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land: "In both form and content, Lawrence's book may be seen as the equivalent of Eliot's . . . in twentieth-century autobiography . . . " (p. 42). Jeffrey Meyers uses The Mint to sum up Lawrence's sexual and spiritual nature. And finally, in this section, Rodelle Weintraub shows his success as a technical writer. In the second part, Charles Grosvenor makes a thorough study of Seven Pillars as visual art and of Lawrence's success and failure as book designer; he includes some interesting illustrations. Next Konrad Morsey argues that Lawrence must be seriously regarded as a strategic thinker whose theories "are under constant study in military academies around the world even today" (p. 43) . Gideon Gera gives reasons for Lawrence's secrecy: he was an intelligence officer whose famous secret trip behind the Turkish lines did take place. Maurice Lares asks, "T. E. Lawrence and France: Friends or Foes?" Friends. Aaron Klieman examines Lawrence 's colonial office career and concludes that "the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 199-202
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.