Sunday, August 31, 2014


A Literary Snob

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), "The Social Sense," Complete Short Stories, IV: The Human Element & Other Stories (New York: Washington Square Press, Inc., 1967), pp. 1432-1439 (at 1437):
I resented somewhat his contemptuous attitude towards English writers unless they were safely dead and buried; but this was only to his credit with the intelligentsia, who are ever ready to believe that there can be no good in what is produced in their own country, and with them his influence was great. On one occasion I told him that one had only to put a commonplace in French for him to mistake it for an epigram and he had thought well enough of the joke to use it as his own in one of his essays. He reserved such praise as he was willing to accord his contemporaries to those who wrote in a foreign tongue.

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