W. Somerset Maugham World Literature Analysis - Essay

W. Somerset Maugham World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Somerset Maugham never claimed to be a deep intellectual, a writer in whose work future generations of critics would reveal deep, arcane meaning. Rather, he considered himself a storyteller whose stated objective was to entertain. Perhaps in billing himself thus, Maugham sold himself short. Although a few academic critics—most notably Richard A. Cordell, who wrote seriously about Maugham’s work produced from the 1930’s until after Maugham’s death—paid him more than condescending attention, most have scored his work. Some, like Brigid Brophy, Michael Levey, and Charles Osborne, wrote viciously about him, saying in Fifty Works of English and American Literature We Could Do Without (1968) that Maugham worked always...

(The entire section is 3808 words.)