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by W. Somerset Maugham

eBook On a Chinese screen (The works of W. Somerset Maugham) download ISBN: 0405078374
Author: W. Somerset Maugham
Publisher: Arno Press (1977)
Language: English
ePub: 1829 kb
Fb2: 1109 kb
Rating: 4.3
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Category: Literature
Subcategory: Literary

Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. Born in the British Embassy in Paris, where his father worked, Maugham was an orphan by the age of ten. He was raised by an uncle, who tried to persuade the.

Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965) was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer.

Set in Malaya, this collection of short stories brilliantly captures the essence of colonial life. Maugham paints a keen picture of the expatriate planter, missionary, and colonial officer-and their womenfolk-as they pass their days in this remote corner of the empire. Footprints in the Jungle The Door of Opportunity The Vessel of Wrath The Book-Bag The Back of Beyond Neil Macadam. Maugham worked as a secret agent in Russia, published novels in London, staged plays in New York, and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, India, and the United States, chronicling his travels, wherever he went, with exceptional insight.

Sixty-Five Short Stories. Author: Somerset Maugham. The Fall of Edward Barnard3.

By w. somerset maugham. road to knowledge and you will only waste your time if you seek it in a work of fiction. There is no short road to knowledge and you will only waste your time if you seek it in a work of fiction. If you are interested in psychology, you had much better read a book on the subject. If you are interested in sociology you had much better go to a sociologist.

Project Gutenberg's On a Chinese Screen, by William Somerset Maugham. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever

Project Gutenberg's On a Chinese Screen, by William Somerset Maugham. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at ww. utenberg. If you are not located in the United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook. Title: On a Chinese Screen. Author: William Somerset Maugham

On A Chinese Screen book. Somerset Maugham, who travelled over a thousand miles up the Yangtse river, used his acerbic and insightful notes to write this fascinating book.

On A Chinese Screen book.

In places it is fascinating, in others verbose, and in one choice passage it is excremental. In fact, by reading this book you will come to know precisely where Maugham is strong, and where he is so weak that no amount of subordinate clauses can save him.

William Somerset Maugham was born in 1874 and lived in Paris until he was te. In 1927 Somerset Maugham settled in the South of France and lived there until his death in 1965.

William Somerset Maugham was born in 1874 and lived in Paris until he was ten. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, and at Heidelberg University. He spent some time at St. Thomas' Hospital with the idea of practising medicine, but the success of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, published in 1897, won him over to literature. His other works include travel books, essays, criticism and the autobiographical The Summing Up and A Writer's Notebook.

Somerset Maugham, English novelist, playwright, and short-story writer whose work is characterized by a clear unadorned style, cosmopolitan settings, and a shrewd understanding of human nature.

I. The rising of the curtain. YOU come to the row of hovels that leads to the gate of the city. You pass through the gateway into a narrow street lined with shops: many of them with their elegant lattice work, red and gold, and their elaborate carving, have a peculiar ruined magnificence, and you imagine that in their dark recesses are sold all manner of strange wares of the fabulous East. A great multitude surges along the uneven narrow footwalk or in the deepset street; and coolies, bearing heavy loads, shout for way in short sharp cries.

Comments: (7)
Konetav
W. Somerset Maugham is my favorite author, and I have read almost all of his books and every one of his short stories. But On a Chinese Screen is not only his best work [in my opinion], but also one of the ten best books I have ever read. I have to wonder why this book is not required reading in any 1st year college writing class.

The book is not a story, nor is it a short story. It is best described as a series of very short [1-5 pages] vignettes that describe some character, scene, setting, place, or event as Maugham travels through China c/1919. The writing is magnificent, and the insights are compelling. Any aspiring writer should read this book to catch a glimpse of a master story teller's ability to state succinctly the essence of a character, event, place or setting.
Mall
If you like tales of travels made long ago through exotic lands and written by a master writer, you'll love this book.
Phobism
My comment is on the format, not the content. I was disappointed with the quality of the printing (Classic Reprint Series). This book is a scanned reprint of an old copy of the book, and that's exactly what it looks like. This is not obvious from the "preview" pictures of the book here on Amazon. To get an idea, go to the publisher's homepage [..] to see some samples (the vertical blacks lines do not appear in the book though). It's a bit like a bad photocopy - little pieces of each letter are missing, and in some places, some (scanned) pencil underlining of the original also show up. It's readable, but despite the large font size it's tiring for the eyes, because the mangled letters give you the impression of looking at an out-of-focus picture. If I had known the print quality would be this bad, I would have paid more and gotten another edition or the hardcover.
Fato
If you're interested in the history of China or the ability of a great writer to create vivid impressions of his travel experiences, this book's for you.
Dobpota
It is a delightful set of images of a trip.. in some ways it is light but, a very good and at times humorous read.
Opilar
The book is great, this printing is very poor.
Grarana
I have enjoyed the short stories of Somerset Maugham, and have reviewed the four volumes of his Collected Short Stories on Amazon. I had expected this book, originally published in 1922, to contain more of these, or that it was perhaps one of his novels. I was a little disappointed to find that it consists, not of short stories (except for Nos.49 and 56), but of a series of 58 vignettes of people and scenes he had encountered in China during his travels in the country two years earlier. They are unconnected with each other, descriptive, very short, and have little or no plot. It makes them rather tiring to read one after another. The book might almost be summed up in this extract from the fourth of these:

“He had seen all manner of things, quaint, impressive, terrible, amusing, and unexpected. He wrote twenty-four articles. I will not say they were unreadable, for they showed a careful and a sympathetic observation; but he had seen everything at haphazard, as it were, and they were but the material of art”.

Each of these vignettes is a well-crafted piece of writing, but I think they would be more satisfying if they did not break off in an inconsequential manner but were part of a story. Sometimes they are simply descriptions of scenery. Many are about Europeans in China (missionaries, officials, traders and ship’s captains) most of whom had lived in China for very many years and had no wish to go back to an England with which they had lost touch); yet some of these convey how little interest in or understanding of China the resident foreigners often had. Maugham himself is very interested in the Chinese and shows some empathy, especially for the unremitting hard work of the ubiquitous coolies or of the straining rowers on junks that ply the Yangtse River.
In "On a Chinese Screen" Maugham has written 58 beautiful yet astute caricatures of people he met and places he visited during his journey up the Yangtze River in 1919/20. Each small tale is a perceptive observation about a time of day, a person's character, a place or an event. Maugham's writing is eloquent and beautiful. He doesn't waste words. "For", according to Maugham, "in writing the important thing is less richness of material than richness of personality." The richness and perceptiveness of Maugham shines in each story. Each sketch holds you to the end.

Maugham's most astute observations in "On a Chinese Screen" are reserved for the people he meets. For example, when talking about consular employees and their indifference to their surroundings he observes "it made little difference to them in what capital they found themselves, for they did precisely the same thing in Constantinople, Berne, Stockholm, and Peking." And after speaking to a Chinese official who was lamenting the loss of China and traditional values in the youth, and the disrepair of the temples, Maugham notes that he (Maugham) "knew all the time that he [the official] was a rascal." And of an Italian missionary who had been in China for 50 years he writes "the passion of his eyes bespoke the battles long fought out in the uttermost depths of his heart, and his soul cried out in them, vanquished and bleeding, yet triumphant, and he exulted in the unclosed wound which he offered in willing sacrifice to Almighty God." Brilliant!

Maugham writes compassionately about the plight of the locals. He describes the bearers' burdens and notes that admiration for their strength and perseverance is not allowed. He writes compassionately about the foreigners who find themselves out of place and struggling to adapt. He writes with tragic sadness about the tower from which mothers throw their unwanted babies. Yes, with sadness, deep sadness. Without doubt Maugham is an astute observer of the world, of the people around him, of circumstance, of his time.

I am glad this book is available again. I first saw it in a bookstore in Taipei in 1999. At that time I didn't have money on me to buy and thought I could buy it the next day. Alas when I went back it had already been sold. I looked for it on Amazon but no copies were available and from that day forward, every time I went into a bookstore I asked them if they had a copy. In 2002 I remember asking a store in Hong Kong if they had it in stock. The assistant laughed at me saying they last had it in stock more than five years ago. I eventually found it at another store in 2004 on a brief visit to Hong Kong. It was worth the wait and I have not been disappointed. Needless to say, it never gets lent out.

If you are a lover of literature and a lover of travel then this is a must read. Very seldom are such deep perceptions captured by travel writers and very seldom do travel writers write with such depth, clarity and beauty. It's a small book, can be read in a day and can be re-read countless times. One never gets bored of the prose, of the ideas, of the thoughts, of the descriptions. One of the stories, "The Old Timer," describes the colorful life and travails of a 76 year old English Captain who had been in China for most of his life. At the end of the story Maugham writes: "The dying of the day made him think, he (the Captain) knew not why, of his long past and of his great age. He regretted nothing. `By George,' he muttered, `I've had a fine life.'" I'm sure Maugham could have said the same.