The Summing Up, XVI

This chapter Maugham unveils the biblical Maugham; not in a bad way, just in the “lest ye be judged” way. It’s three paragraphs of moderate length all about the dark thoughts in everyone’s heads. Maugham uses “men,” of course, which does add another layer to it and—for the most part—I do assume he is talking about men. Discredited politicians would have been men, et cetera, et cetera. I’m fairly sure someone in undergrad told me never to use “etc.” It might have been MFA school, but I think it was undergrad. I never would have used it. I’m not even comfortable using it now, not really. “We should be overcome with shame,” Maugham writes. Just before that statement he refers to himself as a “monster of depravity” (if all his actions and thoughts were known to the world). It’s not a bad chapter and Maugham writes the heck out of it, but it’s a mildly pointless one. His point is strong to start and he can’t intensify it through the chapter.

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