The Summing Up, XXXII

This chapter covers roughly four years of Maugham’s life as he was trying to succeed as a playwright. He has a very pragmatic reason for going with drama as opposed to prose—“it seemed less difficult.” Of course, he ended up having to publish two novels and a collection of short stories before he could get his first play produced and then he spent three or four years (he has no details, I’m doing math from a quick web search) working on others he couldn’t get produced. However, once he did, success came quickly. Maugham wasn’t trying to do avant garde—not after the first play—he wanted to appeal to the general populace. Both for philosophical reasons and because he wanted to earn a living at it. It’s a fine enough chapter in the context of The Summing Up, but more information, more autobiographical details, would be nice. It’s an interesting period—and his process sounds interesting; less is just less here.

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