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W. Somerset Maugham

1874-1965. British novelist and playwright.

Books by W. Somerset Maugham

Love is what happens to a man and woman who don't know each other.

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The trouble with young writers is that they are all in their sixties.

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Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.

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If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom: and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.

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What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.

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There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.

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The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous, on the contrary, it makes them for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people bitter and cruel.

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It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.

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Tolerance is only another name for indifference.

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The writer is more concerned to know than to judge.

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