A quote from The Moon and Sixpence

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

A quote from The Moon and Sixpence by William Somerset Maugham.

But there is in my nature a strain of asceticism, and I have subjected my flesh each week to a more severe mortification. I have never failed to read the Literary Supplement of The Times. It is a salutary discipline to consider the vast number of books that are written, the fair hopes with which their authors see them published, and the fate which awaits them. What chance is there that any book will make its way among that multitude? And the successful books are but the successes of a season. Heaven knows what pains the author has been at, what bitter experiences he has endured and what heartache suffered, to give some chance reader a few hours’ relaxation or to while away the tedium of a journey. And if I may judge from the reviews, many of these books are well and carefully written; much thought has gone to their composition; to some even has been given the anxious labour of a lifetime. The moral I draw is that the writer should seek his reward in the pleasure of his work and in release from the burden of his thought; and, indifferent to aught else, care nothing for praise or censure, failure or success.

This was written in 1919. I wonder how puzzled the narrator would be if he had to face the French Rentrée Littéraire…

  1. February 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Beautiful quote, Emma! I loved ‘The Moon and Sixpence’ when i read it many years back. After reading the above quote, I want to read it again. Hope you are enjoying it. Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. You should tell me more about ‘French Rentrée Littéraire’ 🙂


    • February 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      It is a beautiful quote. It didn’t fit in my billet about the book but I wanted to share this with other readers.

      For info about the Rentrée Littéraire, click HERE


      • February 27, 2013 at 8:22 am

        Thanks for sharing the quote, Emma. I loved your review of the book too. Thanks for the link on ‘Rentrée Littéraire’. I am off to read it now.


  2. TBM
    February 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    What a beautiful, insightful, and sad quote. I haven’t read anything by him yet, but this quote suggests I would like him.


    • February 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I love this writer. I’ll publish a billet about The Moon and Sixpence very soon. I have already “reviewed” The Trembling of a Leaf and Cakes and Ale, it’s on the blog if you’re interested. He’s wonderful.


  3. corinne-journet
    February 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Hello J’ai fini le livre la nuit dernière. Je ne m’attendais pas du tout à ça mais je l’ai trouvé magnifique ! Bises de la montagne !


    Envoyé depuis m


    • February 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Ton premier commentaire!!! J’y crois pas!!
      Le livre est magnifique, je te conseille de lire The Trembling of a Leaf, ce sont des nouvelles et c’est excellent.


  4. March 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    It is a painfully true quote isn’t it. Perhaps all the more so now Maugham’s own star has faded a bit (though a Maugham revival in a few years wouldn’t surprise me at all).


    • March 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      I thought it was beautiful too, Rilke says something similar about writing for yourself more than to seek others’ praise or fame.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

I love to hear your thoughts, thanks for commenting. Comments in French are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Literary Potpourri

A blog on books and other things literary

Adventures in reading, running and working from home

Liz Dexter muses on freelancing, reading, and running ...

Book Jotter

Reviews, news, features and all things books for passionate readers

A Simpler Way

A Simpler Way to Finance

Buried In Print

Cover myself with words

Bookish Beck

Read to live and live to read

Grab the Lapels

Widening the Margins Since 2013

Gallimaufry Book Studio

“To leave the reader free to decide what your work means, that’s the real art; it makes the work inexhaustible.” -- Ursula K. Le Guin

Aux magiciens ès Lettres

Pour tout savoir des petits et grands secrets de la littérature


Adventures in reading

The Pine-Scented Chronicles

Learn. Live. Love.

Contains Multitudes

A reading journal

Thoughts on Papyrus

Exploration of Literature, Cultures & Knowledge

His Futile Preoccupations .....

On a Swiftly Tilting Planet

Sylvie's World is a Library

Reading all you can is a way of life

JacquiWine's Journal

Mostly books, with a little wine writing on the side

An IC Engineer

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Pechorin's Journal

A literary blog

Somali Bookaholic

Discovering myself and the world through reading and writing

Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

Supporting and promoting books by Australian women

Lizzy's Literary Life (Volume One)

Celebrating the pleasures of a 21st century bookworm

The Australian Legend

Australian Literature. The Independent Woman. The Lone Hand

Messenger's Booker (and more)

Australian poetry interviews, fiction I'm reading right now, with a dash of experimental writing thrown in

A Bag Full Of Stories

A Blog about Books and All Their Friends

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

madame bibi lophile recommends

Reading: it's personal

The Untranslated

A blog about literature not yet available in English

Intermittencies of the Mind

Tales of Toxic Masculinity

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction


words, images and musings on life, literature and creative self expression


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Dolce Bellezza

~for the love of literature

Cleopatra Loves Books

One reader's view

light up my mind

Diffuser * Partager * Remettre en cause * Progresser * Grandir

South of Paris books

Reviews of books read in French,English or even German

1streading's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Tredynas Days

A Literary Blog by Simon Lavery

Ripple Effects

Serenity is golden... But sometimes a few ripples are needed as proof of life.

Ms. Wordopolis Reads

Eclectic reader fond of crime novels

Time's Flow Stemmed

Wild reading . . .

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings


Lectures épicuriennes

Tony's Reading List

Too lazy to be a writer - Too egotistical to be quiet

Whispering Gums

Books, reading and more ... with an Australian focus ... written on Ngunnawal Country


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...

%d bloggers like this: