May 6, 2015

Wednesday Writing Wisdom (6) Somerset Maugham





“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”



W. Somerset Maugham
            (1874 –  1965)

Curious facts about:



The success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897), persuaded him to quit medicine for writing.

Though his work was popular, he had a great many enemies because of his apparently malicious portraits of living people (for example, the characters based on Thomas Hardy and Hugh Walpole in Cakes and Ale) and because his view of humanity seemed to be one of contempt or of patronizing tolerance.


He worked hard, but his money did not bring him great happiness; he could be amusing or scarily haughty; he could hate with real venom; he was both extremely generous and vindictively cruel. In Cakes and Ale, he has his narrator (the Maugham character) remark: "It's very hard to be a gentleman and a writer." Maugham tried hard to be a gentleman but finally it wasn't in his nature.
 



6 comments:

  1. An interesting individual with a profound talent. Thanks for reminding me of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A complex person. My University graduation paper was on Somerset Maugham's stories.
      Thanks for visiting, Daisy!

      Delete
  2. I'm ashamed to say I'm not familiar with his work but he sounds like a most complex individual. I shall have to look him up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will fall in love with his writing, trust me, Mae. Thanks for checking the pots!

      Delete
  3. I'm so glad you showcased Somerset Maugham. I have not read Cakes and Ale. I love writers who can point out with such clarity the frailty and undesirable qualities of the human condition, yet still show fortitude and will to live. I had no idea he felt animosity toward Hardy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider him as one of my mentors. Thanks for visiting, Flossie!

      Delete