The Summing Up, XXXI

Maugham talks about actors this chapter, rather glowingly. Even though there’s less admiration for them in the twentieth century; in earlier eras, he more admires them externally. In the modern era, he admires them more as they compare to himself (as a writer). “The writer and the actor represent emotions they do not, at the moment at all events, feel,” he writes. It’s more interesting—on a whole—as a history, which Maugham skips through lightly. The Summing-Up has so many potential avenues and Maugham barely leans towards any of them. He’s got a great observation about the public—it’s simultaneously the writer and the actor’s “material and their judge… [and] also their dupe.” Again, some honesty from Maugham in how he works.

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