The Summing Up, LV

Maugham’s travels continue this chapter with trip to China. There he discovers he’s able to find the material he needs for characters in the various people he meets. He talks about filling notebooks with descriptions. Maugham’s secret to writing is just finding the inspiration for material in people, in his travels. Since it’s Maugham, he does talk about how he traveled in comfort whenever possible. There was nothing to be gained from “roughing it.” Eventually, he travelled enough and ran out of characters to divine from people. Turns out the human race isn’t actually as varied as one would think and, regardless of setting, eventually you can run across every type of person possible. At least in Maugham’s eyes. When he was all done traveling, he realized he was incapable of “new development.” He had set as a person. Not sure what year, because he hates autobiographical detail so much, but it’s an interesting chapter. He doesn’t go towards a holistic view of the world. He isn’t Larry Darrell; according to his sentiment, Maugham’s completely satisfied with being done. Of course, Summing Up was 1938, Razor’s Edge was 1944. Maybe sometime in between he got some personal ambition again. Or just regret.

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