While I'm actively writing, I need silence in the room so I can hear what my imaginary friends are saying. However, during the years it takes to complete a novel, there is always some sort of music I listen to obsessively. That music finds its way into the novels.

This book is an anomaly in several ways. It is a first-person narrative; it’s more autobiographical than any of the other novels; and music played a smaller part in its writing and its story.

However, T.E. Lawrence was in fact an early audiophile. As stated on page 240, he was particularly fond of Mahler’s 9th Symphony.

Here is a link to the 3rd movement, described on page 241. “Unless you’ve struggled to understand the third movement – with its pileup of polyphony and crazy complexity that nearly tips into madness – well, I don’t think you can truly appreciate the beauty and consolation of the fourth movement.”

I had never listened to Mahler prior to learning of Lawrence’s devotion to this composer, but I’m starting to enjoy this symphony.