The Summing Up, LXVI

And now I’ve reached the point in The Summing Up where I can’t even feign interest. For almost twenty years, Maugham read philosophy books until to decide—around age forty—he himself needed to write a philosophy book himself in order to have a philosophy book to read. Or something. I’d argue Ulysses is easier to follow than this aimless chapter. He did decide not to write that philosophy book because he was would have been too old to appreciate it when he finished. I can’t decide if this chapter is confident or delusional, just in terms of holding a reader’s interest. Who did Maugham think he was writing for? If it’s just himself, then he’s got that philosophy book he said was pointless. If not, well, he’s not doing a good job engaging interest here. I’m terrified the rest of the book is going to be the same.

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