Quotes from “The Moon and Sixpence”

by William Somerset Maugham.

  • Only the poet or the saint can water an asphalt pavement in the confident anticipation that lilies will reward his labour.
  • Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer-by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination.
  • I don’t think of the past. The only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
  • Love is absorbing; it takes the lover out of himself; the most clear-sighted, though he may know, cannot realise that his love will cease; it gives body to what he knows is illusion, and, knowing it is nothing else, he loves it better than reality.
  • There is no cruelty greater than a woman’s to a man who loves her and whom she does not love […]
  • What a cruel practical joke old Nature played when she flung so many contradictory elements together, and left the man face to face with the perplexing callousness of the universe.
  • The world is hard and cruel. We are here none knows why, and we go none knows whither. We must be very humble. We must see the beauty of quietness. We must go through life so inconspicuously that Fate does not notice us. And let us seek the love of simple, ignorant people. Their ignorance is better than all our knowledge. Let us be silent, content in our little corner, meek and gentle like them. That is the wisdom of life.
  • A woman can forgive a man for the harm he does her, […] but she can never forgive him for the sacrifices he makes on her account.
  • Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them.
  • […] the chains she forged only aroused his instinct of destruction, as the plate-glass window makes your fingers itch for half a brick […]
  • As lovers, the difference between men and women is that women can love all day long, but men only at times.
  • Strickland was an odious man, but I still think he was a great one.

Notă: am citit cartea în Română şi am fost surprins să găsesc câteva cuvinte ale căror sens îl ştiam din Engleză (ar trebui să fie invers): deconcertat, sordid, vendetă, sardonic, a disua. O altă curiozitate este faptul că numele personajului Tough Bill a fost tradus ca Bill Ghioagă :roll:

2 Responses to Quotes from “The Moon and Sixpence”

  1. […] Helenei cu Ludvik). Citind mi-a venit în minte fraza The truth is in the eye of the beholder şi concluzia lui Maugham că prin această lume păşim alături dar nu împreună. Această modalitate de expunere mi-a […]

  2. Constantin says:

    from chapter L; don’t know why I didn’t add this initially:

    I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not. They are strangers in their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood or the populous streets in which they have played, remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Perhaps some deep-rooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history. Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. Here at last he finds rest.

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