The Summing Up, VI

This chapter is a little longer than the previous ones. It’s also the least quotable, the least about writing. Except, of course, Maugham starts the chapter talking about his own writing. Not his success at it, but his unexpected comfort and his surprise at that comfort. His family had been famously practicing the law for a hundred years. That detail gives way to a beautifully written anecdote about his grandfather. Until this point—and this chapter might have been when I decided I couldn’t read The Summing Up as an e-book (or any Maugham book for Summing-Up as an e-book)—I’ve found the short chapters acceptable. Maugham’s focused in them. And he’s focused here too, only he does such a wonderful job relating this story of his grandfather, it left me wanting more. Maybe I’m wrong and The Summing Up will be more than The Quotable Maugham; I’m hoping so.

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