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Posts tagged "Somerset Maugham"


When I Was an Adult I Read Books, to Remain a Child

The following piece was recently shared with Mockingbird. The “librarian,” whose name is not Paul Zahl (seriously!), has given us permission to post it here. Note from the librarian: This reading diary, penned by LeVar Burton, was recently discovered in the archives of a theological library. The manuscript, handwritten on napkins and folded away inside […]

PZ’s Desert Island Discs (But This Time It’s Books!)

I’m just now beginning to emerge from two years of living in the desert, the howling waste of inwardness that is caused by the box canyon of life. I’m coming out of it. In addition to the New Testament, ten books, in particular, have proven sustaining to me in the wilderness. If you read Mockingbird, […]

PZ’s Podcast: The Razor’s Edge

EPISODE 44 It’s many people’s favorite book. Bill Murray likes it so much he produced and starred in a remake of it in 1984. Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney had already starred in the Twentieth Century Fox version (1946). PZ and his friends made a monster-movie version of it in 1965. It’s The Razor’s Edge! […]

A Note from Somerset Maugham on Preaching

Somerset Maugham wrote a comment in 1948 concerning Emily Bronte’s ‘persona’ as the author of Wuthering Heights, which could apply just as well to the ‘art’ of preaching a sermon. This is what Maugham wrote: “Is it strange that [Emily Bronte] should have put herself into the two chief characters of her book? Not at […]

From W. Somerset Maugham’s "The Happy Man"

The opening lines of the great author’s (very) short story: “It is a dangerous thing to order the lives of others and I have often wondered at the self-confidence of politicians, reformers and suchlike who are prepared to force upon their fellows measures that must alter their manners, habits, and points of view.  I have […]

PZ’s Podcast: Conventional Thinking, and Unconventional (Alan Watts and Somerset Maugham)

EPISODES 35&36 Just because Alan Watts said it, doesn’t make it wrong. Or, putting it another way, just because Alan Watts said it, doesn’t make it right. He is not the point. But he did say some interesting things in the course of an interesting, morphing life. Here is something Watts said in an essay prompted […]

Somerset Maugham on Love, Duty and Free Will

Two inspired passages from W. Somerset Maugham. The first comes from chapter 68 of his 1925 novel The Painted Veil. The words are spoken by the Mother Superior of the French convent in the Chinese village where a young married woman begins to come to herself after being caught by her husband in an adulterous […]