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Actually, the movie's better The movie's better Lawrence Of Arabia by Jeremy Wilson General, 1,188 pages, $39.95
[SA2 Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Coren, Michael
Date: Feb 17, 1990
Start Page: M.17
Section: MAGAZINE
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Jeremy Wilson]'s solution to the problem was to expatiate at a length seldom witnessed in a one-volume biography. At almost 1,200 pages, this slab of prose should have had the last, as well as first, word on Lawrence. That it doesn't, that it plods and lumbers, and fails to convey a blood-red sense of the living Lawrence, is an indictment of book and author.

For long stretches we hear nothing of Lawrence, while archaic points of Arabic law and tradition are discussed at great length. So far are we taken from the pertinent areas that it is difficult to recapture the flow of Lawrence's life. Great events do not a life make, particularly when they appear to be disconnected from the daily existence of one's subject. Lawrence of Arabia was first Lawrence of England, Lawrence of his class, Lawrence of his personality.

Whenever the sordid details of a personal life were mentioned, the pre-war biographer Hesketh Pearson would take his teacup and cake to the window and gaze out onto bucolic perfection. Wilson exhibits a similar reluctance. There is nothing prurient about examining the details of Lawrence's capture, beating and homosexual rape by the Turks in 1917. The events transformed Lawrence, probably making him a celibate for the rest of his life, and provoking a profound distaste for physical contact of any sort.

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