“The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
Orphaned at 10, Maugham spent his childhood at British boarding schools and under the guardianship of an uncle who showed little warmth. He studied medicine, which he said gave him an appreciation of suffering, but left university as soon as he reached his majority to devote himself to writing. His first literary successes were plays, but his masterwork, Of Human Bondage, was written during the First World War, in which he served as an ambulance driver. Although he continued to write, notably his Moon and Sixpence, based on the life of Paul Gauguin, he was recruited by the British Secret Service and spent time in Russia during the revolution. Although controversy over his bisexuality followed him to the United States, he was very successful in Hollywood and spent many of his later years at his grand villa at Cap Ferrat on the Riviera.
With this entry the Quote of the Week has now been on Good Morning Gloucester for an entire year. Counting vacation, that’s 50 weeks of different authors from Auden to Zappa, without a repeat. Now I’ll give myself the luxury of going back to some of my favorites, like Chesterton and Maslow, but I’ll still be adding new ones as I run into them.
Just so you know, I write the bios based on my research to give the quote context, and one can click on the name or the picture that Joey adds to be connected to a Wikipedia entry for that particular author. Sometimes the adages are only attributed when I can’t find evidence of the direct quote; famous quipsters like Abraham Lincoln and Yogi Berra are often credited with things others actually said first.
I am always encouraged by your comments, and your suggestions are welcome too, but because I try to choose quotes that have some relationship to what is happening in my world each week, don’t be hurt if I don’t use them right away.
I find it astonishing how much wisdom there is in the world, and how the thoughts of famous men and women can apply to my own life. I hope you do too.