The Summing Up, XLV

It’s a very short chapter, which is appropriate because Maugham gets tiresome quickly. The problem with The Summing Up not being chronological is he covers the same material with less wit as he’s covered before. This chapter has him talking, quite interestingly, about how he took longer to mature as a writer than he notices from the young, contemporary writers of 1938. He muses briefly on why they might be getting better quicker, then goes into how he made a good living and bought a fine house but he’s such an artist if he lost it all, he’d be fine. Oftentimes in The Summing Up, Maugham directly contradicts himself between chapters and sometimes in the same chapter. He does the latter here. There’s never any real transition—never in regards to himself—and, even when it’s amusingly written, it gets an eye roll. This chapter it’s not even amusingly written.

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