The Skeptical Romancer: Selected Travel Writing

The Skeptical Romancer: Selected Travel Writing

W. Somerset Maugham Pico Iyer / May 28, 2020

The Skeptical Romancer Selected Travel Writing W Somerset Maugham was one of the seminal writers of the twentieth century and his travel writing has long been considered among his finest work Now acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer maps out a mast

  • Title: The Skeptical Romancer: Selected Travel Writing
  • Author: W. Somerset Maugham Pico Iyer
  • ISBN: 9780307272126
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Hardcover
  • W Somerset Maugham was one of the seminal writers of the twentieth century, and his travel writing has long been considered among his finest work Now, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer maps out a masterful tour of these vivid, evocative pieces that are collected here for the first time.Maugham worked as a secret agent in Russia, published novels in London, staged plays iW Somerset Maugham was one of the seminal writers of the twentieth century, and his travel writing has long been considered among his finest work Now, acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer maps out a masterful tour of these vivid, evocative pieces that are collected here for the first time.Maugham worked as a secret agent in Russia, published novels in London, staged plays in New York, and traveled throughout Europe, Asia, India, and the United States, chronicling his travels, wherever he went, with exceptional insight Beginning with In the Land of the Blessed Virgin and culminating in A Partial View, Iyer selects vignettes of Maugham s razor sharp prose that track his transformation from a boyish traveler in Spain to a worldly man of letters.This is Maugham at his most keenly observant, direct, and powerful.

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      Published :2020-02-20T13:04:14+00:00

    About "W. Somerset Maugham Pico Iyer"

      • W. Somerset Maugham Pico Iyer

        William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874 He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in Of Human Bondage, Maugham became a qualified physician But writing was his true vocation For ten years before his first success, he almost literally starved while pouring out novels and plays During World War I, Maugham worked for the British Secret Service He travelled all over the world, and made many visits to America After World War II, Maugham made his home in south of France and continued to move between England and Nice till his death in 1965.


    354 Comments

    1. I love travel writing, and The Skeptical Romancer belongs at the top of the list. Here are two short paragraphs, which I especially liked."I admire the strenuous tourist who sets out in the morning with his well-thumbed Baedeker to examine the curiosities of a foreign town, but I do not follow in his steps; his eagerness after knowledge, his devotion to duty, compel my respect, but excite me to no imitation. I prefer to wander in old streets without a guidebook, trusting that fortune will bring [...]


    2. A collection of writings of an author as he travels across the world at different stages of life, The Skeptical Romancer exposes a man in search of romance - not love, but something more akin to meaning and adventure. Only on occasion does the author describe in detail the places he journeys to, and focuses more on the peculiar characters he meets and his sentiments which are normally dripped in irony and link to the skeptical portion of the title. As the book is covers the majority of his life, [...]


    3. In addition to writing fiction with great emotional power, Maugham was also an enthusiastic traveler who spoke several languages, spied for the Brits, and zipped around the globe. Skeptical Romancer is a series of vignettes from Maugham’s travels to Spain, China, Russia, America, the South Sea Islands, and a few other places. The writing is lovely.


    4. After an insightful intro by Pico Iyer come beautifully written excerpts of Maugham's extensive travel writings, in which he describes the character and personality of places just as well as he is known to describe people. These excerpts allow us to see Maugham's introspective musings about himself in a way that his other writings do not. We see how he became such a master at character development, as he collected and archived the personalities of the locals, expats, and fellow travelers he met [...]



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