Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, a leading Post-Impressionist painter,

The Moon and Sixpence is W. Somerset Maugham's ode to the powerful forces behind creative genius.

Charles Strickland is a staid banker, a man of wealth and privilege. He is also a man possessed of an unquenchable desire to create art. As Strickland pursues his artistic vision, he leaves London for Paris and Tahiti, and in his quest makes sacrifices that leave the lives of those closest to him in tatters. Through Maugham's sympathetic eye Strickland's tortured and cruel soul becomes a symbol of the blessing and the curse of transcendent artistic genius, and the cost in human lives it sometimes demands.

Maugham's this novel is nothing less than a piece of art itself, written so simply but with so much depth in it. The way he has etched his characters to present his take on life, ideal love, beauty, happiness, spirituality, human nature, ego, society and relationships is simply brilliant. He has shown what ideal love should be. I got really confused in the part when Charles's wife can forgive him for infidelity but cannot forgive him for the fact that he left her because he wanted to paint. I couldn't understand the logic at first but realized that she could forgive him for his deceit because then that would increase her pride and self-importance.

Love should not be a bondage but a bond between two people with enough space and freedom to fulfill one's aspirations and help each other in being what one wants to be.

A delight to read, this novel was just unputdownable.

1 comment:

Haiku Poems said...

nice book i must say.i read it several times.

Sav's Book Club