The Daily Commute

Monday, March 5

After finishing Virginia Wolfe’s, Orlando, a couple of weeks ago I decided to pick up a book I’ve been meaning to dig into literally for years. I wrote an essay on T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) back in high school after seeing the movie and reading about him. I got a book that is a shortened form of his diaries originally published in 1923 called, Revolt in the Desert. It says in the forward that it’s a shortened version of his more famous writings, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. It’s an interesting read and makes me wish I was with my friend Kent over in Egypt to so I could get a little taste of the desert life and what it used to be.

For those who haven’t seen the movie or heard of T.E. Lawrence he was a young British Army officer, trained as a linguist I think (oddly enough, I noticed my copy of The Odyssey was translated by him). He was posted to what is present day Saudi Arabia / Syria … during the First World War to help with the Arab revolt against the Turks. He became a bit of a leader in his own right among the Arabs despite having no real combat experience. His descriptions and what I’m sure are exaggerations are very amusing to read and it’s a whole different kind of military autobiography compared to some of the writings from people in the trenches. His comments on Arab culture, tribal warfare, long desert caravans to bomb train lines and trying to find your place as a foreigner are very interesting and can’t help but make you romanticize the whole thing a bit. At least if like me, you think it would be pretty cool to go for weeks riding a camel hoping you’ll have enough water to reach the next well and eating nothing but bread baked in hot sand with the odd lamb and camel who didn’t make the trip.

It’s worth reading if you’re interested in TE Lawrence or that whole forgotten part of history. But then again the movie is pretty spectacular so might as well watch it, especially if you have a huge plama TV. I think I’ll pick it up and see how it looks on my little LCD.
nicholas, 11:19 AM


When I saw Peter O'Toole at the Oscars I added Lawrence of Arabia to my Netflix... can't wait to see it on my sweet lcd tv!!!
Anonymous Jeremy, at 8:00 PM  

Add a comment