Quotations From W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM


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  • Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature; and the error is ineradicable.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), British author. A Writer's Notebook, 1896 entry (1949).

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  • When you are young you take the kindness people show you as your right.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. Cakes and Ale, ch. 12 (1930).

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  • Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. The Summing Up, ch. 48 (1938).
  • Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. The Summing Up, ch. 48 (1938).

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  • There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. The Summing Up, ch. 73 (1938).

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  • At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), British author. A Writer's Notebook, entry, 1896 (1949).
  • I made up my mind long ago that life was too short to do anything for myself that I could pay others to do for me.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), British author. A Writer's Notebook, notebook entry, 1941 (1949).

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  • Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), British author. A Writer's Notebook, entry for 1896 (1949).

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  • Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life's ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author. The Summing Up, ch. 76 (1938).

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  • It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1966), British author. The Moon and Sixpence, ch. 17 (1919). Nearly twenty years later, Maugham used almost identical words to describe the suffering he witnessed as a medical student, in The Summing Up, ch. 19 (1938).

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