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Human Bondage - The Original Classic Edition W. Somerset Maugham

Human Bondage - The Original Classic Edition

W. Somerset Maugham

Published
ISBN : 9781486147052
Paperback
346 pages
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 About the Book 

What Buddhist burst of contemplation led to this great novel written by that technician, W Somerset Maugham? Of all the great books of the 20th century, which one could compare with its raw nerve and sinew? Here are no word games, no playing with theMoreWhat Buddhist burst of contemplation led to this great novel written by that technician, W Somerset Maugham? Of all the great books of the 20th century, which one could compare with its raw nerve and sinew? Here are no word games, no playing with the chronology, no obfuscation. With the limpid prose that had become his trademark, Maugham took us by the most direct route into his own private inferno. What in his hero Philip Carey was a clubfoot was for Maugham a painful stammer. What was Careys public school at Tercanbury was Maughams Canterbury. And, what is most interesting, what were Careys tortured amours with the opposite sex were Maughams tortured amours with the same sex. Yet with all the translation going on, the intensity of the feelings was transferred intact. The pain of Philips on-again off-again relationship with Mildred has few equals in the literature of self-torture and self-delusion, ranking with Swanns pursuit of Odette de Crecy.OF HUMAN BONDAGE is a big book. There are hundreds of characters- and many of the lesser characters are memorable. The ineffectual dilettante Hayward, the skeptical poet Cronshaw, the icily bland Mildred, the despairing artist Fanny Price, the treacherous Griffiths -- even the walk-on role of grumpy old Dr. South comes alive in the last few pages of the novel.The settings are equally diffuse: London, the English countryside, Heidelberg, Paris, a Channel fishing village, and -- an amusing canard -- Toledo in Spain. (Carey is always dreaming of going there, but he never does.)When one is young, life looks like a triumphant progress through love, fame, and wealth. There appears, however, to be an inherent weakness in the organism- and it tends to go astray more than it does forward. We give ourselves to uncaring people- we constantly meet with reverses- we see our childhood dreams trampled by money-grubbing and the quiet desperation of which Thoreau wrote.And yet there is a spring that runs through us all. Even when it is dammed up, as Philip Careys so often is, it can break out and rush forward, carrying everything in its path. When it happens deus-ex-machina style in BONDAGE, we are exhilarated (if not convinced). Maugham lets us down easily. He is too great and generous a writer to leave us in despair.Maughams own story turned out well: he died rich, at an advanced age, and full of honors. His books are still in print and read by millions. What is more, Maugham, particularly in OF HUMAN BONDAGE, showed us what lay beneath the unperturbable veneer: We saw the skull beneath the skin.