The Moon and Sixpence is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham first published in April 15th, It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of . Start by marking “The Moon and Sixpence” as Want to Read: Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius. See all 3 questions about The Moon and Sixpence. First published in , W. Somerset Maugham's “The Moon and Sixpence” is an episodic first person narrative based on the life of Paul Gaugin. At the center of.
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Inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, The Moon and Sixpence is at once a satiric caricature of Edwardian conventions and a vivid portrayal of the mentality of a. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham. No cover available. Download. One of the novels that galvanized W. Somerset Maugham's reputation as a literary master The Moon and Sixpence follows the life of one Charles.
One would admire his excellent qualities, but avoid his company.
He was null. Strickland, however, is about to surprise even our world-weary narrator when in his forties he chucks up everything, and just clears off to Paris — not for a woman, but to become a painter.
I felt she must be suffering, and I did not want to see a pain which I could not help; but in my heart was a desire, that I felt a little ashamed of, to see how she was taking it. Strickland, whose talent as an artist is assumed from the first page, but never satisfactorily demonstrated to the narrator or the reader, has no qualms about abandoning his family. Maugham the character, however, struggles to come to terms with what we would probably now call a psychopathic personality.
It was impossible to make him understand that one might be outraged by his callous selfishness. I longed to pierce his armour of complete indifference. I knew also that in the end there was truth in what he said.
Unconsciously, perhaps, we treasure the power we have over people by their regard for our opinion of them, and we hate those upon whom we have no such influence. Strickland later discards the wife; all he really sought from Blanche was a model to paint, not serious companionship, and it is hinted in the novel's dialogue that he indicated this to her and she took the risk anyway.
Blanche then commits suicide — yet another human casualty in Strickland's single-minded pursuit of art and beauty; the first casualties being his own established life and those of his wife and children. After the Paris episode, the story continues in Tahiti.
Strickland has already died, and the narrator attempts to piece together his life there from recollections of others.
He finds that Strickland had taken up a native woman, had two children by her, one of whom dies, and started painting profusely. We learn that Strickland had settled for a short while in the French port of Marseilles before traveling to Tahiti, where he lived for a few years before dying of leprosy.
Strickland left behind numerous paintings, but his magnum opus , which he painted on the walls of his hut before losing his sight to leprosy, was burnt after his death by his wife per his dying orders.
Inspiration[ edit ] The Moon and Sixpence is not, of course, a life of Paul Gauguin in the form of fiction. It is founded on what I had heard about him, but I used only the main facts of his story and for the rest trusted to such gifts of invention as I was fortunate enough to possess.
The real Gauguin was a participant in the artistic developments in France in the s, exhibiting his work regularly with the Impressionists, and having friendships and collaborations with many artists. Gauguin did work as a stockbroker, did leave his wife and family to devote his life to art, and did leave Europe for Tahiti to pursue his career; however none of this happened in the brutal way of the novel's character.
Maugham took inspiration from the published writings about Gauguin available at the time, as well as personal experience living among the artistic community in Paris in , and a visit to Tahiti in . Strickland is created as an extreme version of the "modern artist as 'genius'", indifferent and frequently hostile to the people around him. Writing in , Maugham describes the idea for the book arising during a year that he spent living in Paris in " I met men who had known him and worked with him at Pont-Aven.
I heard much about him.
It occurred to me that there was in what I was told the subject of a novel". The idea remained in his mind for ten years, until a visit to Tahiti in , where Maugham was able to meet people who had known Gauguin, inspired him to start writing.