Monday, September 05, 2005

Of Human Bondage

Finished a large novel today, W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage. It's a Bildungsroman of a character called Philip Carey, something of a drip, but there's much humo(u)r and interest in its 679 pages. It's unavoidable not to drift off into thoughts of Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, which was published the next year (1916).

Joyce wins out, of course, but I will never quite rid myself of the horror of Mildred in Maugham's novel, the unresponsive, devious, money-grubbing slice of vileness, who ends her days as a streetwalker.

On reflection, Maugham's novel is staggeringly stupid, but there we are, I've read it now and nothing can be done. There are a few good character studies contained in its pages, in its defence.

Okay, next up, Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

1 Comments:

Blogger L said...

I think Les Miserables is better than Of Human Bondage. Still haven't read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man though (!). I am WAY overdue on that one

10:03 PM  

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