Sunday, August 26, 2012

Classics Challenge: Of Human Bondage

I tried reading Of Human Bondage by W.S. Maugham once before and I hated it. I'm making slow progress this time around and I probably won't get it done by the end of the month, but I like it better now.

It's about a young man in search of himself, who tries a number of lifestyles and professions, who more tries to fall in love than actual does it and when he does, it's unhappily - so far at least. I still have about 200 pages.

The Classics Challenge this month asks for quotes and I have two that stood out for me. One is about art and painting:
I learned to look at hands, which I'd never looked at before. And instead of just looking at houses and trees I learned to ook at houses and trees against the sky. And I learned also that shadows are not black but coloured.

I only recently started sketching and drawing and if it taught me one thing, it's how to really see things. Not just look at them and see what I think should be there, but really pay attention.

The other one is this:
I have an idea that I'm more interested in people than in anything else in the world.

This is Maugham in a nutshell and it's the reason why he is such a great writer. He's deeply interested in what people say and do and why and that curiosity shines through in every word he writes. Of Human Bondage is fiction, but even after only reading the WIkipedia article on Maugham the autobiographical elements will be obvious for anyoned who reads it.

I also noticed that the painter Strickland from The Moon and Sixpence gets mentioned twice. Not by name, but it's clearly him or will be, since Moon and Sixpence would be written years later.

7th book for the Classics Challenge

Reviews 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment