The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

Just when I thought I was through with monsters for a while– after finishing The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark–I encountered this terrific story by W. Somerset Maugham.
There is, he is saying, something of the monster in the character of the genius, the artist. After all, there is nothing so important for the artist as the passion for his/her art. Belongings, relationships, mores, health, money–all drop into the ranks of mediocre concerns, and those of us who come close to the furnace of raw creative energy that is the genius can come away burned, consumed.
We are offended by the character of Strickland, the artist, the boor, the selfish, brutal lover. At the same time, we are share the narrator’s fascination with his uncompromising path, his indifference to propriety, his scorn of respectability and slowly go to the heart of his art.
Maugham wrote with elegance. There is a grace and lilt to the dance of his wirds, but the steps are not hard to follow, and there is a glorious story told here.


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