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Of Human Bondage

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It is very difficult for a writer of my generation if he is honest to pretend indifference to the work of Somerset Maugham wrote Gore Vidal He was always so entirely there        Originally published in 1915 Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man's yearning for freedom This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey a sensitive boy born with. A lot of this book is uite harrowing – you know the drill young boy orphaned and alone in the world and being brought up by people without affection Public school nightmares a child with a deformity that causes him shame all his lifeI was not surprised to learn that Maugham was homosexual or bisexual or trisexual – or whatever it was that he was There are subtle hints to the fact throughout the book Young Philip the central character rather than protagonist I think – as there is something of the antagonist about him too fascinated me His loss of faith for example happens so simply that it had a real ring of truth about it – much of the book is autobiographical and this seemed particularly so here – well to me anyway This was not always the case There were things that happened in the book where I struggled with the suddenness of his ‘discoveries’ – where Philip finally determines the meaning of life from a Persian carpet for example – the meaning being pretty much Nietzschean pointlessness relieved by recognising life as a work of art – seemed a little sudden for me I tend not to have such revelational moments in my life but I guess I should not deny them to othersHis furious passion and ardent love for Mildred – a slut and callous bitch if there ever was one – is all a bit much But if the definition of a good novel is how often it gets one to call out “No Philip not that” then this is a great novel Again I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never loved someone completely in the way Philip does – not in a way that is insensible to how terribly they have treated me and how completely indifferent they are to me So perhaps in this too I am lesser than PhilipMaugham defined himself as ‘among the first of the second rate’ – Philip goes off to study painting in Paris and leaves when he realises he will never be than mediocre as a painter – and the life of penury that being a painter would necessitate could hardly be justified if he was only ever going to be second rate The uestion – what is art and how does one know one has the gift – is a constant theme of the early part of the bookThe conclusion is hard to say – there is much talk in the book that reminds me of Wordsworth the artist shows the world how to see and how to feel But there is also a terrible pointlessness to art In the end I think art isn’t what one does because what is produced is good or bad it is what one does because there is no other choice And for most of us there are always other choicesRepeatedly as someone is about to die Philip is struck by how pointless their lives have been In the end Philip is grateful for his acceptance of the meaninglessness of his existence – which reminds me of that uote from Stendhal “God’s only excuse is that he does not exist” There is a terribly interesting scene towards the end of the novel where this is brought home with full power It is a favourite ploy of the faithful to think that atheists on their death beds convert to join in hope of salvation While his uncle is dying and Philip has been sitting contemplating murdering the old man to relieve his own intolerable poverty he knows the old man is almost panic stricken at the idea of losing his life This resolves differently to how I expected – leaving room for the faithful to celebrate at the comfort their faith offers in the end – but it seems a somewhat hollow victory when their own saviour’s last words were – “Oh Father Father why hast thou forsaken me”The central idea of this book is that life has no meaning – no overarching meaning – that most of life is pain and bitterness and at times punctuated by tiny moments of joy and happiness – and these ought to be accepted and celebrated eually – both the pain and the joy – as part of the tapestry of life Love is almost impossible and is never eual – it is a sad and bitter visionIn the end the real lesson seems to be to live in the present I would have liked to have read this book years ago I’m terribly sorry I have only read it now for the first time – I would have liked to have read it when I was 18 when I would have had no means to understand it I would have liked to have had it with me during darker times than this It was uite a read and I enjoyed it if enjoyed is at all the right word very much

free download é eBook or Kindle ePUB é W. Somerset Maugham

On and freedom        Here is a novel of the utmost importance wrote Theodore Dreiser on publication It is a beacon of light by which the wanderer may be guided One feels as though one were sitting before a splendid Shiraz of priceless texture and intricate weave admiring feeling responding sensually to its colors and tonesWith an Introduction by Gore VidalCommentary by Theodore Dreiser and Graham Greene. This book grew on me; it sort of seeps into you Maugham is a good story teller and his characters are drawn well It is a story of obsession desire and yearning for something beyond the ordinary run of life The hero Philip Carey is not a conventional hero; he has a difficult childhood a club foot which deeply affects him he's awkward and often uncomfortable with people We follow Philip from childhood the death of his parents living with his very religious aunt and uncle boarding school his attempts at jobs Paris trying to be an artist studying medicine poverty and back to medicine Interspersed are friendships relationships with women and especially the intense and doomed relationship with Mildred which dominates the second half of the book The 1934 film had Bette Davis as Mildred; wonderful piece of casting There is a slightly awkward ending which I found satisfying and unsatisfying at the same timeSo why did the book strike a chord with me Mainly because I identified so much with Philip Carey I wasn't orphaned but there was the intensely religious upbringing Then importantly there was Philip's club foot which blighted his school days; children are cruel; I have a disability which affects the way I walk I stand out and made school grim hell Philip used reading to escape; as I did and many others do Our career paths were different apart from a period of unemployment; but there was a realisation that ultimately the negativity could either destroy one or it could be turned to positivity and empathy for the pain and suffering of others Philip survives and becomes stronger Of course Philip also falls in love with or becomes involved with totally inappropriate women; not of course that I've ever done that HaThere is a redemptive theme running through although Philip loses his religious beliefs This is a powerful novel and is well worth the effort

W. Somerset Maugham é 3 summary

A clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle Philip yearns for adventure and at eighteen leaves home eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris When he returns to London to study medicine he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life There is no powerful story of sexual infatuation of human longing for connecti. I love the main character in this book so much I was sad to say a final goodbye to him after spending 700 perfect pages with him Of Human Bondage is now among my favourite books of all times inspiring so many reflections that my copy of the book is full of scrap paper with uotes and referencesSomerset Maugham explains in his introduction that he felt compelled to write down this story as it was tormenting his memory in order to free himself from the ghosts of the past It is not strictly autobiographical but reflects on his experience As a successful playwright he must have been well acuainted with the theatre device of catharsis in the Aristotelian sense of the word and in a way the character of Philip Carey might have eased the author's pain and relieved him from his struggles with himself But Philip Carey is NOT just a imaginative portrait of a specific person he is the very essence of a uestioning searching human being experimenting with life and its meaningEven if Philip comes to the conclusion in the end that life has no meaning this is not to be taken as defeat In fact it gives him the uttermost freedom to create his own life pattern choosing form and colour freely and according to mood and circumstances After Philip broke off his art studies in Paris someone told him that those two years were a waste of time and Philip answered something to the effect of Not at all for I have learned to see the shadow of that tree branch on the grass and the blue sky I wouldn't have been able to see my environment without those experiences I find so much wisdom in that attitude Learning to see the world fully and with pleasure can never be a waste of time just because it does not lead to a professional development Reading Of Human Bondage does not help me professionally but it makes me feel aliveThe eternal drama of desire and disappointment in love reminded me of Sartre's conception of Hell where all characters are bound by unreciprocated desire Somerset Maugham's outlook is somewhat less depressing though as life goes on and new possibilities open up all the time In fact the reader leaves Philip at the moment when he finally decides to get married and anyone who has embarked on the adventure of marriage knows that the story does not end there Somerset Maugham could easily have filled another 700 pages on Philip's accumulated experience during the first ten years of marriage and possible fatherhood not to mention old age I would not have wanted a seuel to this story under any circumstances as it is perfectly complete such as it is but the message clearly is life goes on it has no objective meaning but you are in charge of creating the pattern you preferWhatever happened to him now would be motive to add to the complexity of the pattern and when the end approached he would rejoice in its completion It would be a work of art and it would be none the less beautiful because he alone knew of its existence and with his death it would at once cease to bePhilip was happyThis idea of life as a work of art meaningless but beautiful reminds me of Oscar Wilde a contemporary of this novel All Art Is uite Useless he said in full praise of the only thing that exists without any practical reason solely for the pleasure of wit and beautyMust read Love it Solaris Internals raised by a The Story of Before religious aunt and uncle Philip yearns for adventure and at eighteen leaves home eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris When he Tempting Treasures returns to London to study medicine he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life There is no powerful story of sexual infatuation of human longing for connecti. I love the main character in this book so much I was sad to say a final goodbye to him after spending 700 perfect pages with him Of Human Bondage is now among my favourite books of all times inspiring so many Mikrocontrollertechnik Mit Avr reflections that my copy of the book is full of scrap paper with uotes and Geschichte Der Hexenprozesse referencesSomerset Maugham explains in his introduction that he felt compelled to write down this story as it was tormenting his memory in order to free himself from the ghosts of the past It is not strictly autobiographical but People Centricity reflects on his experience As a successful playwright he must have been well acuainted with the theatre device of catharsis in the Aristotelian sense of the word and in a way the character of Philip Carey might have eased the author's pain and A Girls Guide to Vampires (Dark Ones relieved him from his struggles with himself But Philip Carey is NOT just a imaginative portrait of a specific person he is the very essence of a uestioning searching human being experimenting with life and its meaningEven if Philip comes to the conclusion in the end that life has no meaning this is not to be taken as defeat In fact it gives him the uttermost freedom to create his own life pattern choosing form and colour freely and according to mood and circumstances After Philip broke off his art studies in Paris someone told him that those two years were a waste of time and Philip answered something to the effect of Not at all for I have learned to see the shadow of that tree branch on the grass and the blue sky I wouldn't have been able to see my environment without those experiences I find so much wisdom in that attitude Learning to see the world fully and with pleasure can never be a waste of time just because it does not lead to a professional development Reading Of Human Bondage does not help me professionally but it makes me feel aliveThe eternal drama of desire and disappointment in love Murderers, Scoundrels and Ragamuffins (The First Ward, reminded me of Sartre's conception of Hell where all characters are bound by unreciprocated desire Somerset Maugham's outlook is somewhat less depressing though as life goes on and new possibilities open up all the time In fact the The Labors of Heracles reader leaves Philip at the moment when he finally decides to get married and anyone who has embarked on the adventure of marriage knows that the story does not end there Somerset Maugham could easily have filled another 700 pages on Philip's accumulated experience during the first ten years of marriage and possible fatherhood not to mention old age I would not have wanted a seuel to this story under any circumstances as it is perfectly complete such as it is but the message clearly is life goes on it has no objective meaning but you are in charge of creating the pattern you preferWhatever happened to him now would be motive to add to the complexity of the pattern and when the end approached he would 7 Myths About Women and Work rejoice in its completion It would be a work of art and it would be none the less beautiful because he alone knew of its existence and with his death it would at once cease to bePhilip was happyThis idea of life as a work of art meaningless but beautiful Tales Of Bygone New England reminds me of Oscar Wilde a contemporary of this novel All Art Is uite Useless he said in full praise of the only thing that exists without any practical Capacities, Capacity Constraints and Capacity Reserves of Airports, Today and in the Future reason solely for the pleasure of wit and beautyMust Simon and the Messy World read Love it

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