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W. S. Maugham's Reading Suggestions for Spiritual Enrichment: British

Tipus: Llista predeterminada creada per WSMaugham

Descripció: Based on Books and You, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940, preface and chapter 1.

Membres: 3 membres participants (mostra-les totes)

Llista de tots els membresOrdena: Valoració | Títol | Autor | Data
1
42,083 membres, 590 ressenyes
3.9 estrelles (3.9 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (15): Wuthering Heights is unique. It is an awkward novel to read, because sometimes it so outrages probability that you are completely bewildered; but it is passionate and profoundly moving; it has the depth and power of a great poem. To read it is not like reading a work of fiction, in which, however absorbed, you can remind yourself, if need be, that it is only a story; it is to have a shattering experience in your own life.… (més)

2
19,025 membres, 318 ressenyes
3.83 estrelles (3.83 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (13): Jane Austen is perfect. [...] My only difficulty now is to decide which of her few novels especially to recommend. For my part, I like Mansfield Park best. I recognize that its heroine is a little prig and its hero a pompous ass, but I do not care; it is wise, witty and tender, a masterpiece of ironical humour and subtle observation.… (més)

3
17,523 membres, 223 ressenyes
4.09 estrelles (4.09 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (16): I would not claim that [Jane Austen] is England’s greatest novelist; with all his faults of exaggeration, vulgarity, wordiness and sentimentality, Dickens remains that. He was prodigious. He did not describe the world as we know it; he created a world. He had suspense, drama and humour, and thus was able to give the feel of the multifariousness and bustle of life as, so far as I know, only one other novelist, Tolstoy, has done. Out of his immense vitality he fashioned a whole series of characters, diverse, individual, and tremulous – no, “tremulous” isn’t the right word – turbulent with life. He managed his complicated and often highly improbable stories with a dashing skill that perhaps you must be a novelist thoroughly to appreciate. [...] Of David Copperfield there is nothing to be said but that it is Dickens' best novel. His defects are here least notable and his merits most remarkable.… (més)

4
6,601 membres, 90 ressenyes
3.5 estrelles (3.5 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham, Waldstein

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (1): Moll Flanders is not a moral book. It is bustling, coarse and brutal, but it has a robustness that I like to think is in the English character. Defoe had little imagination and not much humour, but he had a wide and varied experience of life and, being an excellent journalist, he had a keen eye for the curious incident and the telling detail. He had no sense of climax, he attempted no pattern; and so the reader is not swept away by a power that he does not seek to resist; he is carried along in the crowd, as it were, and it may be that when he comes to a side street he will slip down it and get away.… (més)

5
3,325 membres, 36 ressenyes
4.2 estrelles (4.2 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (10): I suppose it is universally acknowledged that Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson is the greatest biography in the language. It is a book that you can read with profit and pleasure at any age. You can pick it up at any time, opening it at random, and be sure of entertainment. But to praise such a work at this time of day is absurd.… (més)

6
693 membres, 7 ressenyes
3.46 estrelles (3.46 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham, Waldstein

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (3): The Egoist is Meredith’s best novel because his subject here was universal. Egoism is the mainspring of human nature. It is the one quality from which we can never escape (I do not like to call it a vice, though it is the ugliest of our vices, because it is also the marrow of our virtues), for it determines our existence. Without it we should not be what we are. Without it we should be nought. And yet our constant effort must be to check its claims and we can only live well if we do our best to suppress it. In Sir Willoughby Patterne, Meredith has drawn such a portrait of an egoist as has never been drawn before or since.… (més)

7
333 membres, 10 ressenyes
3.96 estrelles (3.96 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (11): But Gibbon’s Autobiography is very readable; it is short, written with the peculiar elegance of which he was master, and it has both dignity and humour. Of the latter I cannot resist giving an example. When he was at Lausanne he fell in love, but his father threatening to disinherit him, he prudently gave up the thought of marrying the object of his affections. He ends his recital of the episode with these words: “I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son; and my wound was insensibly healed by time, absence, and the habits of a new life.” I think if the book contained nothing else, it would be worth reading for that delicious sentence.… (més)

8
130 membres, 1 ressenya
4 estrelles (4 estrelles)

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (12): In the end it is the personality of the artist that counts, and for my part I find more to interest me in the tormented, striving, acrimonious soul of Hazlitt than in Charles Lamb’s patient but somewhat maudlin amiability. As a writer, Hazlitt was vigorous, bold and healthy. What he had to say, he said with decision. [...] Much of his best work can be found in his Table Talk, but there have been published a number of selections from his essays, and none of these can fail to contain My First Acquaintance with Poets, which, I suppose, is not only the most thrilling piece he ever wrote but the finest essay in the English language.… (més)

9
8 membres, 1 ressenya

Llistes: Waldstein, WSMaugham

Valoració: 2

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (21): Of course, everyone must read the great tragedies of Shakespeare. He is not only the greatest poet that ever lived but the glory of our race. But knowing, as I do, these plays pretty well, I wish that someone with taste, knowledge and discretion could be found who would make an anthology of Shakespeare's plays and poems, putting in not only the famous passages with which we should all be familiar but also fragments, single lines even; so that I might have in a convenient volume a book to which I could always turn when I wanted the cream of all poetry.*

*Since I wrote these lines George Rylands has produced an anthology under the title The Ages of Man which comes as near fulifilling the wish I have here expressed as, I suppose, anyone can expect. It is a welcome gift to a troubled world.
… (més)

10
12,644 membres, 172 ressenyes
3.88 estrelles (3.88 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (14): [Thackeray] was deeply conscious of the mediocrity of human beings and he was interested in the contradictions of their natures. And however much you may deplore his sentimentality and his sermonizing or regret the weakness that led him to defer unduly to the demands of the public, the fact remains that in Becky Sharp he created one of the most real, living and forcible characters in English fiction.… (més)

11
6,955 membres, 75 ressenyes
3.87 estrelles (3.87 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (5): Fielding’s Tom Jones is, perhaps, the healthiest novel in English literature. It is a dashing, brave and cheerful book, sturdy and generous; it is, of course, very frank, and Tom Jones, with good looks and vitality, a friendly fellow whom we should all like to have known, does certain things which the moralist will deplore. But do we care? Not unless we are solemn prigs, for he is disinterested and his heart is golden.… (més)

12
6,740 membres, 100 ressenyes
3.9 estrelles (3.9 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (6): It is a book that, according to your temperament, you will find either as readable as anything you have ever read, or tiresome and affected. It has no unity. It has no coherence. Digression follows upon digression. But it is wonderfully original, funny and pathetic; and it increases your spiritual possessions with half a dozen characters so full of idiosyncrasy and so lovable that once you have come to know them, you feel that not to have known them would have been an irreparable loss.… (més)

13
4,154 membres, 97 ressenyes
4.16 estrelles (4.16 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (20): But though I advise you in place of The Eustace Diamonds to read Barchester Towers, I am constrained to add that you would be unwise to expect too much from it. The merit of Trollope has of late years been somewhat exaggerated. For a generation he was almost forgotten, and when he was rediscovered, having in the interval acquired the charm of a period piece, greater praise was awarded him than he deserves. He was an honest and industrious craftsman with a considerable power of observation. He had some gift of pathos and he could tell a straightforward story in a straightforward, though terribly diffuse, way; but he had neither passion, wit nor subtlety. He had no talent for revealing a character or resuming the significance of an episode in a single pregnant phrase. His interest now lies in his unaffected, accurate and sincere portrayal of a state of society which has perished.… (més)

14
3,082 membres, 33 ressenyes
3.54 estrelles (3.54 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (17): Many long novels have been written since The Way of All Flesh, but I think it is the last English novel to have been written in the grand manner; it is the last, of any importance, that owes nothing to the great novelists of France and Russia. It is a worthy successor of Tom Jones, and its author had in him something of the old lexicographer whom we have agreed to regard as the typical Englishman.… (més)

15
1,510 membres, 22 ressenyes
3.21 estrelles (3.21 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (7): Nor would I have anyone fail to read Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey; I have nothing to say of it except that it is enchanting.

16
1,445 membres, 12 ressenyes
3.82 estrelles (3.82 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (18): I like anthologies. The critics, I understand, have a contempt for them; they say that in order to appreciate an author you must read him in full. But I do not read poetry as a critic; I read it as a human being in need of solace, refreshment and peace. I am thankful to the sensitive scholar who has taken the trouble to weed out from the great mass of English poetry what is not so good and has left for my perusal only what is to my purpose. The three best anthologies I know are Palgrave's Golden Treasury, The Oxford Book of English Verse, and the admirable English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, by Gerald Bullett.… (més)

17
893 membres, 2 ressenyes
4.08 estrelles (4.08 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (22): See Palgrave's Golden Treasury above.

18
443 membres, 7 ressenyes
3.83 estrelles (3.83 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (9): It enlarges your knowledge both of Johnson and of Boswell, and if it increases your love and admiration for the sturdy old doctor, it adds also to your respect for his poor biographer who has been so much abused. This is not a writer to be despised who had such a quick eye for an amusing incident, so much appreciation of a racy phrase, and such a rare gift for reproducing the atmosphere of a scene and the liveliness of a conversation.… (més)

19
328 membres, 5 ressenyes
4.19 estrelles (4.19 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (8): I know no better book to take on a holiday or to keep at one’s bedside than Johnson’s Lives of the Poets. It is written with limpidity. It has pungency and humour. It is full of horse sense. [...] He was as much interested in the men he wrote of as in their works, and though you may not have read a word of these, you can hardly fail to be diverted by the shrewd, lively and tolerant observation with which he portrays their authors.… (més)

20
12 membres, 0 ressenyes
5 estrelles (5 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Valoració: 1

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (19): See Palgrave's Golden Treasury above.

21
15,291 membres, 207 ressenyes
3.7 estrelles (3.7 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Polzes avall: cej1027

Valoració: 0

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (4): Gulliver's Travels has wit and irony, ingenious invention, broad humour, savage satire and vigour. Its style is admirable. No one has ever written this difficult language of ours more compactly, more lucidly and more unaffectedly than Swift.… (més)

22
14,880 membres, 289 ressenyes
4.2 estrelles (4.2 estrelles)

Llistes: WSMaugham

Polzes avall: Waldstein

Valoració: 0

Explicacions:

Waldstein (0): Tedious. Ponderous and pretentious style. Rigidly intellectual characters impossible to believe in.

WSMaugham (2): I should be inclined to sum up my judgment of Middlemarch by saying that George Eliot had every gift of the great novelist but fire. No English author has given an ampler and more reasonable interpretation of life; the only quality that escaped her sensible and sympathetic observation was romance.… (més)

23
3,700 membres, 62 ressenyes
3.85 estrelles (3.85 estrelles)

Polzes avall: WSMaugham

Valoració: < 0

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (0): But there are masterpieces which are acknowledged to be such by all the best critics and to which the historians of literature devote considerable space, yet which no ordinary person can now read with enjoyment. They are important to the student, but changing times and changing tastes have robbed them of their savour and it is hard to read them now without an effort of will. Let me give one instance: I have read George Eliot’s Adam Bede, but I cannot put my hand on my heart and say it was with pleasure. I read it from a sense of duty: I finished it with a sigh of relief.… (més)

24
1,691 membres, 35 ressenyes
3.92 estrelles (3.92 estrelles)

Polzes avall: WSMaugham

Valoració: < 0

Explicacions:

WSMaugham (0): The characters are soundly observed, but not very interesting, and most of them are the stock figures of Victorian fiction. You have the impression that Trollope was trying to write the sort of novel that was bringing Dickens so much success, and not making a very good job of it.… (més)

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Iniciat per: WSMaugham (juny 2015)

Tipus: Sense numerar

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