The Summing Up, LVII

It’s a long chapter. Maugham is responding to criticism, which is kind of awesome because he gets worked up, but kind of not because he goes on and on without much interesting detail. He’s writing about basing his characters on real people and how he’s gotten flack for it over the years. Worse than flack, apparently a bunch of ladies said they were the inspiration for Mildred Rogers in Of Human Bondage and no one really wants to be Mildred Rogers. Other than that one detail and a couple excellent Maugham observations—good novelists don’t have to be intelligent and fidelity to character outweighs fidelity to plotting—it’s mostly a lot of rambling. Like I said, he’s worked up. The chapter might prove useful to someone in an English class looking for quotes about character creation, but otherwise, not particularly interesting.

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