I fourth it

Guardian apparently calls for a revival of Maugham; Bookslut seconds it; Maud Newton thirds; I join the party and fourth it.

Long back, when I was in my ninth standard, an English teacher passed me a list of must-read books (and, lent me one or two books from his own collection). I do not remember the list now; but I do remember that Maugham’s The moon and sixpence was on the list. And, finally when I managed to lay my hands on a copy, I enjoyed it a lot; and then I went through the first five of the seven stages of falling in love with Maugham.

I also remember that one paragraph from his diary was very perceptive about the workings of brain and cognition; and when I gave a copy of that paragraph to Prof. Mukunda, after this talk of his, he was impressed.

And, what better way to revive Maugham than to read his books? Here is Gutenberg with four of his novels; and check out his novel The Razor’s Edge also; though Wiki does not mention it, I have seen people argue that it is based on Paul Brunton‘s life.

Finally, if nothing, here is a very good reason for my liking Maugham so much:

Narayan was not yet a celebrity. In fact, when Somerset Maugham visited Mysore and asked to meet a novelist of the city who was making a name for himself, he was solemnly assured by Charles Todhunter, Secretary to the Maharaja, that he did not know of any. University teachers knew him, of course, but high-school boys and others did not pause in the street to point him out to one another as he went on his walks.

Happy reading!

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3 Responses to “I fourth it”

  1. gaddeswarup Says:

    Seems that old age has crept in for me. I read all these long ago but only thing I remember is a quotation from The Razor’s Edge: approximately “The path to salvation is hard; it is like walking on a razor’s edge”. I remember Rain better.

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Swarup,

    It is never too late to revisit Maugham; probably, after rereading, you can pen your thoughts on your blog?

  3. In praise of Somerset Maugham « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] in his list. I managed to find the book in the local library, and did enjoy reading it. And, as I noted elsewhere, in the next several years, I became such a great fan of Maugham that I passed through the first […]

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