W. Somerset Maugham quotes
W. Somerset Maugham
Birthdate: 25. January 1874
Date of death: 16. December 1965
Other names: Уильям Сомерсет Моэм
William Somerset Maugham, CH , better known as W. Somerset Maugham, was an English playwright, novelist, and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930s.Both Maugham's parents died before he was 10, and he was raised by a paternal uncle who was emotionally cold. He did not want to become a lawyer like other men in his family, so he trained and qualified as a physician. The initial run of his first novel Liza of Lambeth sold out so rapidly that he gave up medicine to write full-time.
During the First World War, he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service, for which he worked in Switzerland and Russia before the October Revolution of 1917. During and after the war, he travelled in India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and those experiences were reflected in later short stories and novels. Wikipedia
Quotes W. Somerset Maugham
„Tahiti is very far away, and I knew that I should never see it again. A chapter of my life was closed, and I felt a little nearer to inevitable death.“
Source: The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ch. 58, p. 213
Source: Cakes and Ale: Or, The Skeleton in the Cupboard (1930), p. 140.<!-- Doubleday Doran & Co. -->
Context: Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
„Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.“
The Razor's Edge (1943)
Context: Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.
„It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent.“
Source: Of Human Bondage (1915), Ch. 51
Context: You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh. They do not know how mean it makes you. It exposes you to endless humiliation, it cuts your wings, it eats into your soul like a cancer. It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank, and independent.
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„I sometimes think,' said the Eternal, 'that the stars never shine more brightly than when reflected in the muddy waters of a wayside ditch.“
"The judgement seat", p. 316
Short Stories, Collected short stories 1
The Razor's Edge (1943)
„He made one laugh sometimes by speaking the truth, but this is a form of humour which gains its force only by its unusualness; it would cease to amuse if it were commonly practised.“
Source: The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ch. 44, p. 157
„The modern clergyman has acquired in his study of the science which I believe is called exegesis an astonishing facility for explaining things away.“
Source: The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ch. 1, p. 8
Source: Of Human Bondage (1915), Ch. 70
„… habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.“
Source: The Summing Up (1938), p. 182
Source: The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Ch. 38, p. 129
„Now it is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it…“
The Mixture As Before (1940) "The Treasure"