Cover image for An appointment with Somerset Maugham [electronic resource] : and other literary encounters / Richard Hauer Costa.
An appointment with Somerset Maugham [electronic resource] : and other literary encounters / Richard Hauer Costa.
1st ed.
Publication Date:
Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 207-219) and index.
The troubling case of Somerset Maugham: Prologue: Abiding gods -- Somerset Maugham and the Driffield position -- Maugham's "partial self": the "unexpected view" on the way to Tolstoy's "Death of Ivan Ilych" -- The wages of notoriety -an update -- The dismantling of favor: Prologue: In deepest regions -- H.G. Wells and the Palimpsest of time -- The anxiety of confluence -- Conrad Aiken and the "Tom" catastrophe -- Ground rule for "marginal" memoir: being heard but not seen -- The sentence(ing) of Edmund Wilson -- The "burrowing" of literary moles: Turgenev and Flaubert -- The triumph of Richard Ellmann -- Friendship, Francini, and the Triestine Joyce -- The serious business of comedy, innocence, and homage to the Hemingways: Prologue: Lucky Jim and Johnny come lately -- Laughing with the early Kingsley Amis -- Dorothy Parker: nothing sacred -- The custodianship of Mary Hemingway -- Edith Wharton's age of innocence -and mine -- The consul and other notations from underground: How I "discovered" Under the volcano -- Pietà, Pelado, and "the ratification of death": the ten-year evolvement of Malcolm Lowry's Volcano -- The ordeal of Margerie Lowry -- Writing as failed therapy: Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin -- Cheerless books that cheer -- Notes form a dark heller: Bob Slocum and the underground man -- "Our last man of letters" and other legacies.
""Now, just ask yourself," Maugham said without the least suggestion of a stutter, "wouldn't it be a dreadful world if pleasure ruled?" But pleasure has ruled Richard Costa's world - the pleasure of books and their writers. In this charming and insightful reminiscence, he introduces readers to a host of literary lives that have touched him: Somerset Maugham, H.G. Wells, Malcolm Lowry, Conrad Aiken, Edmund Wilson, Kingsley Amis, Dorothy Parker, Edith Wharton, and others." "The journey of the mind and heart Costa traces has some illustrious guides. Reading and re-reading the works of memorable writers of our time, interviewing them, and writing about them, he has woven literature into his life in a way that provides illumination and just plain interest for those who read the story here. In his intellectual and literary chronicle, readers will find much humor, much memory, and much food for thought."--Jacket.
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online resource