Monday, February 1, 2010

On Human Bondage by W.Somerset Maugham (1915)



Can you imagine someone naming their child that today? It makes "apple" and "vin" sound normal!

Just finished reading "Of Human Bondage"... all 607 pages. I didn't think I'd enjoy this one, but I read the author's note at the beginning and he says...

"I no longer sought a jeweled prose and a rich texture... I sought on the contrary plainess and simplicity. With so much that I wanted to say within reasonable limits I felt that I could not afford to waste words and I set out now with the notion of using only such as were necessary to make my meaning clear. I had no space for ornament."

... that intrigued me. I thought that he must have a lot he wanted to say if 607 densly typed pages was the condensed version. And I found that this was true... about finding your calling in life, about the role of faith in m0rality, about loving where you shouldn't and not returning love where it is deserved, about mourning the passing generations, and about the ever-changing bonds of friendship.

And about how sometimes "jeweled prose" is shiny wrapping paper around a worthless gift because the best gifts often come wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. :-)

Any one read this? Or a book like it... devoid of "jeweled prose"?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you think!