Tag Archives: W. Somerset Maugham

He Said That? 1/30/19

From W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965), British playwright, novelist and short story writer, The Painted Veil (1925):

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.

He Said That? 3/22/16

From W. Somerset Maugham, (1874–1965) British playwright, novelist and short story writer, Of Human Bondage (1915):

Insensibly he formed the most delightful habit in the world, the habit of reading: he did not know that thus he was providing himself with a refuge from all the distress of life; he did not know either that he was creating for himself an unreal world which would make the real world of every day a source of bitter disappointment.

They Said That? 1/28/15

In a recent article, “Listen,” SLL extolled opening oneself to the literature of the past. A recommended novel is W. Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence. The novel tells the perpetually fascinating story of a loner genius, Charles Strickland, whose life is loosely inspired by that of Paul Gauguin. Maugham was a precise stylist who wrote crisp dialogue:

When the fat man had left I said:

“Dirk Stroeve thinks you’re a great artist.”

“What the hell do you suppose I care about that?”

“Will you let me see your pictures?”

“Why should I?”

“I might feel inclined to buy one.”

“I might not feel inclined to sell one.”

“Are you making a good living?” I asked, smiling.

He chuckled.

“Do I look it?”

“You look half starved.”

“I am half starved.”

“Then come and let’s have some dinner.”

“Why do you ask me?”

“Not out of charity,” I answered coolly. “I don’t really  care a twopenny damn if you starve.”

His eyes lit up again.

“Come on, then,” he said, getting up. “I’d like a decent meal.”

The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham