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William Somerset Maugham
25.1. 1874 Paris, Saint – 16.12. 1965 Jean-Cap-Ferrat (Frankreich)maugham W.S.Maugham
Ambassador Sir Herbert Witherspoon:
“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.” (maugham 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 Up
He passed 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"
You waste a lot of time going down blind alleys if you have no one to lead you.
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 them."
"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 smiled.
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 maugham 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, 1897
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. 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 well.
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 be desired.
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 lamb. 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" 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"
"Art is 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 Impulse"
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 altruistic
In: "Lord Mountdrago"
I 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 others.
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.
In: "Jane"

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© by Herbert Huber, Am Fröschlanger 15, 83512 Wasserburg, Germany, 4.8.2011