W. Somerset Maugham Quotes (150 Quotes)



    Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.

    It is unfair to expect a politician to live in private up to the statements he makes in public.

    You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you're cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism.

    It seems that the creative faculty and the critical faculty cannot exist together in their highest perfection.


    Death doesn't affect the living because it has not happened yet. Death doesn't concern the dead because they have ceased to exist.

    It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.

    We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.



    If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom, and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.



    Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.

    Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs.

    Money is the string with which a sardonic destiny directs the motions of its puppets.

    Any nation that thinks more of its ease and comfort than its freedom will soon lose its freedom; and the ironical thing about it is that it will lose its ease and comfort too.

    No one can write a best seller by trying to. He must write with complete sincerity the clichTs that make you laugh, the hackneyed characters, the well-worn situations, the commonplace story that excites your derision, seem neither hackneyed, well worn nor commonplace to him. The conclusion is obvious you cannot write anything that will convince unless you are yourself convinced. The best seller sells because he writes with his heart's blood.

    In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.

    There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

    If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.

    Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.


    Love is only a dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.

    Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less.

    Lady Hodmarsh and the duchess immediately assumed the clinging affability that persons of rank assume with their inferiors in order to show them that they are not in the least conscious of any difference in station between them.

    What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.

    The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind.

    The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality; it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought, and its first reaction is one of anger.

    An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.


    Related Authors


    Tristan Bernard - Richard Foreman - Plautus - Neil Simon - John Webster - John Osborne - Graham Greene - George Ade - Francoise Sagan - Euripedes


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