Friday, March 27, 2009

On the Novel: W. Somerset Maugham

One major writer well in our period, but not associated with Great War fiction -- and certainly, deliberately, not with Modernism -- is W. Somerset Maugham. (At the outbreak of the War he served with a British Red Cross unit in France before taking up a far more interesting assignment as secret agent in Geneva and then Petrograd.)
I was idly looking at an abridged edition of his masterpiece Of Human Bondage today and found Maugham's 'Introduction' to it absolutely fascinating, and an important statement on the nature of the novel. It is worth posting here in full: I hope you have the chance to read it and find it, as I do, memorable.

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