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W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM QUOTES

The complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of the morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquillity of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Summing Up

In Hollywood, the women are all peaches. It makes one long for an apple occasionally.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, Gene Shalit's Great Hollywood Wit

Common-sense appears to be only another name for the thoughtlessness of the unthinking. It is made of the prejudices of childhood, the idiosyncrasies of individual character and the opinion of the newspapers.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, A Writer's Notebook

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, Strictly Personal

Man's desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy (conscience) within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Moon and Sixpence

The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Summing Up

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, Of Human Bondage

Her breath was hurried. Her eyes were fixed on the sinewy wrist with its little golden hairs and on that long, delicate, but powerful hand, and I have never seen on a human countenance such a hungry concupiscence as I saw then on hers. It was a mask of lust. I would never have believed that her beautiful features could assume an expression of such unbridled sensuality. It was animal rather than human. The beauty was stripped from her face; the look upon it made her hideous and frightening. It horribly suggested the bitch in heat and I felt rather sick.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Razor's Edge

She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, "The Creative Impulse", Collected Short Stories

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Partial View

She had a very agreeable smile; it did not light up her face suddenly, but seemed rather to suffuse it by degrees with charm. It hesitated for a moment about her lips and then slowly travelled to those great shining eyes of hers and there softly lingered.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, "The Promise", Collected Short Stories

I held my breath, for to me there is nothing more awe-inspiring than when a man discovers to you the nakedness of his soul.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, "The Pool", Collected Short Stories

There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, attributed, Literary Agents: How to Get & Work with the Right One for You

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, Cakes and Ale

I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Painted Veil

But though he did everything to alienate the sympathy of other boys he longed with all his heart for the popularity which to some was so easily accorded. These from his distance he admired extravagantly; and though he was inclined to be more sarcastic with them than with others, though he made little jokes at their expense, he would have given anything to change places with them.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, Of Human Bondage

Her lips were like living fire. He could not take his own away. He forgot everything.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Magician


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