Thursday, October 20, 2005

Con ustedes... William Somerset Maugham

Hace unos días estaba leyendo unos artículos críticos de Rudyard Kipling y de George Orwell, ambos textos tenían poco que ver temáticamente, sin embargo, loque llamó mi atención es que los dos autores nombraban entre sus influencias a una misma figura: W. Somerset Maugham.
Consideré el hecho, curioso, y como las respectivas prosas de Kipling y Orwell me parecen absolutamente atractivas y amenas, pues pensé que encontrarme con Maugahm sería una feliz coincidencia y emprendí la lectura de este controvertido escritor inglés.
Cuenta su leyenda que Maugham vendió su alma al diablo pactando su trascendencia como uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX, para mí era totalmente desconocido, pero ahora que empecé a leer dos de sus novelas, empiezo a creerme lo del pacto demoniaco.
La prosa de Maugham es sumamente seductora, ya que conjunta estupendas técnicas de narración con temas igualmente atractivos, su retrato de la condición del hombre, y la intrincada red de emociones, pensamientos y pasiones de los personajes, en efecto, dan la idea, de que alguien reveló al autor, los secretos de la naturaleza humana, ¿habrá sido el mismo diablo quien también lo enseñó a escribir?

William Somerset Maugham nació 1874 en París, pues su padre fue diplomático en este país, huérfano a los 10 años, regresó a Inglaterra con sus familiares y entre otros problemas, tenía la gran traba de no hablar inglés. Estudió en reconocidas instituciones inglesas -King's College, Canterbury, Heildelberg- y sus inclinaciones lo hubiesen llevado a ser médico, sino hubiese tenido un gran éxito editorial con su primera novela Liza de Lambeth (1897), se convirtió después en un reconocido dramaturgo en Londres, aunque su fama se debe principalmente a su novela autobiográfica, La Servidumbre Humana (1915) y El Filo de la Navaja (1944), tiene algunos volúmenes de cuentos, El Temblar de una Hoja.
Les estaré posteando más sobre este autor en cuanto termine sus textos.

Mientras tanto, les dejo algunas citas:

-Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.
- Life isn't long enough for love and art.
-When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.
-It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.
.-Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
-At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.

-It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
-People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.
-She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.
-Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one's mind.
-Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
-D'you call life a bad job? Never! We've had our ups and downs, we've had our struggles, we've always been poor, but it's been worth it, ay, worth it a hundred times I say when I look round at my children.
-Follow your inclinations with due regard to the policeman round the corner.
-He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it.
-I daresay one profits more by the mistakes one makes off one's own bat than by doing the right thing on somebody's else advice.
-I do not confer praise or blame: I accept. I am the measure of all things. I am the centre of the world.
-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.
-It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late.
-It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
-It's asking a great deal that things should appeal to your reason as well as your sense of the aesthetic.
-Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.
-Men seek but one thing in life - their pleasure.
-Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.
-The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.
-There was an immeasurable distance between the quick and the dead: they did not seem to belong to the same species; and it was strange to think that but a little while before they had spoken and moved and eaten and laughed.
-Sometimes people carry to such perfection the mask they have assumed that in due course they actually become the person they seem.

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