| William Somerset Maugham
25.1. 1874 Paris, Saint 16.12. 1965 Jean-Cap-Ferrat (Frankreich) W.S.Maugham
|Ambassador Sir Herbert
I'm not sure if a man isn't wiser to do what he wants very much to do and let the consequences take care of themselves. ( Ashenden or The British Agent, S. 236)
|"There is nothing more beautiful than goodness and
it has pleased me very often to show how much of it there is in persons who by
common standards would be relentlessly condemned." Summing
a good deal of time in the book-shops turning over the pages of books that
would have been worth reading if life were a thousand years long.
In: "The Traitor"
|Conversation after a time
bores me, games tire me, and my own thoughts, which we are told are the
unfailing resource of a sensible man, have a tendency to run dry. Then I fly to
my book as the opium-smoker to his pipe.
In: "The Book-Bag"
waste a lot of time going down blind alleys if you have no one to lead
It's hard not to ask yourself what life is all about and whether there's any sense to it or whether it's all a tragic blunder of blind fate.
It's a toss-up when you decide to leave the beaten track. Many are called but few are chosen.
I let myself be persuaded to do what I wanted to do.
I couldn't but surmise that the devil, looking at the cruel wars that Christianity has occasioned, the persecutions, the tortures Christian has inflicted on Christian, the unkindness, the hypocrisy, the intolerance, must consider the balance sheet with complacency.
The Razor's Edge, 1944
|"I'm on the threshold. I see vast lands of the
spirit stretching out before me, beckoning, and I'm eager to travel
"There are more answers than questions, ..."
Larry Darrell in The Razor's Edge, 1944
|"My poor country is becoming
hopelessly middle-class. You wouldn't believe it, my dear fellow, but last time
I was in America a taxi driver addressed me as brother."
Elliott Templeton in The Razor's Edge, 1944
|"Life's hell anyway, but if there is any fun to
be got out of it, you're only a god-damn fool if you don't get it." Sophie in The Razor's Edge, 1944
|I remember once asking him if
he wanted to write. He laughed and said he had nothing to write about.
"That's the most inconclusive reason for not writing that I've ever heard," I
The Razor's Edge, 1944
|Only a mediocre person is
always at his best.
Nur ein Mittelmäßiger ist ständig in Höchstform.
Quelle: Arthur Bell, Donald W. Heiney, Lenthiel H. Downs, Hg.:
English Literature: 1900 to the Present. New York: Barron's, 1994. S. 29
Dieses Zitat wird manchmal auch Oscar Wilde zugesprochen.
|She had a hard and facile
fund of chit-chat which in the society she moved in passed for
conversation. The Painted Veil, 1925
|... Sally's uncle, who was a man of means,
ordered six pots of beer.
Liza of Lambeth, 1897
|"... when a man can 'ave a family risin' into
double figures, it shows 'e's got the backbone of a Briton in 'im."
Mrs Kemp in Liza of Lambeth,
|Well, he may be a fool, but
there's no reason why he shouldn't become a general.
Everyone who can hold a pen is confident of his ability to criticise, and to criticise superciliously.
Happily men don't realise how stupid they are, or half the world would commit suicide.
Mrs Craddock, 1902
|... the General without an army is but the tame
hero of a market town.
...art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand.
It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set.
The Moon and Sixpence, 1919
|He thought the customs of the
country suited its inhabitants and had no patience with the missionary's
energetic efforts to destroy a way of life that for centuries had worked very
In: "The Vessel of Wrath"
|"And do you mean to say
that you've built up this important business and amassed a fortune of thirty
thousand pounds without being able to read or write? Good God, man what would
you be now if you had been able to?"
"I can tell you that, sir," said Mr Foreman, a little smile on his still aristocratic features. "I'd be verger of St Peter's, Neville Square."
In: "The Verger"
|... it had not escaped my notice
that Charlie was attracted as a rule by women whose breeding left something to
In: "The Virtue"
|Every woman knows that
however much a man may argue about a proposition he will generally accept a
fact with resignation. Tell him you want a Rolls-Royce and he will say he can't
afford it, but buy it and he will sign his cheque like a
...it is reasonable enough to suppose that many a man will hesitate to divorce his wife when he can only do it at the cost of a month's golf.
...he had risen to his present exalted station by a natural eloquence and an effective use of his gun when he wanted to make a point or emphasize a statement.
In: "The Closed Shop"
|...to the habitual reader
reading is a drug of which he is the slave.
In: "The Bum"
|"Marriage is a very good
thing, but I think it's a mistake to make a habit of it."
Richard Harenger in "The Treasure"
the only thing that matters. In comparison with art, wealth and rank and power
are not worth a straw."
Lea Makart in "The Alien Corn"
|"In this life one has to
limit oneself." Mrs Forrester in "The Creative
vergleiche dazu: "He was not a great man, but within the limits he set himself he made of his life a work of art." In: "The Alien Corn"
"What are you goin to live on?" Mrs Albert Forrester flung him a glance totally devoid of amiability. "God will provide," she answered in freezing tones. "I think it very unlikely," he returned.
In: "The Creative Impulse"
|"I don't deny that I've had a
bit of fun now and then. A man wants it. Women are different." "We only have
men's word for that," said Harry Blane, with a faint smile.
In: "The Colonel's Lady"
|Nations are governed by
self-interest, but they prefer to believe that their aims are
In: "Lord Mountdrago"
travel to see men. I avoid the great. I would not cross the road to meet a
president or a king
In: "In a Strange Land"
|We are a haphazard bundle
of inconsistent qualities.
In: "A Friend in Need"
|People are always a little
disconcerted when you do not recognize them, they are so important to
themselves, it is a shock to discover of what small importance they are to
In: "The Human Element"
|"Don't you like my alabaster lamps?" she said. "They
give such a soft light."
"Personally I have a weakness for a light that you can see by," I smiled.
"It's so difficult to combine that with a light that you can't be too much seen by," laughed Mrs Tower.