Read More Far Eastern Tales (Vintage Classics) by W. Somerset Maugham Free Online
Book Title: More Far Eastern Tales (Vintage Classics)|
Date of issue: May 14th 2010
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: W. Somerset Maugham
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 35.45 MB
Edition: Vintage Digital
Read full description of the books More Far Eastern Tales (Vintage Classics):In a Strange Land by Somerset Maugham
Ode to Strong Women
In a Strange Land, we learn about a powerful woman.
Maugham starts his story with an interesting statement, which he repeats in his “autobiography” The Summing Up. In other words, it is not just the narrator of the tale that feels that it is not worth the trouble to meet presidents, people in high office, but also Somerset Maugham himself was not keen on the stars, the mighty and the famous.
He would rather go to a Strange Land, to meet an interesting person, but not cross the street to meet the president, king or whatever.
He writes about women who are very strong, resilient and determined.
In the analysis of Martin Seligman, wisdom is made of six Signature Strengths: curiosity, love of learning, critical thinking, street smarts, emotional intelligence and perspective- somewhat in the order of importance, or degree of difficulty in acquiring those traits. Bravery, courage has three components, in same author’s view: valor, resilience and integrity.
Both the main character and the author of In A Strange Land seem to have all of these qualities.
Maugham writes about women living in isolation from their world in remote places in Java, on an island in the South Pacific and in China.
There is no European anywhere near them and yet they are strong enough and Resilient to not only endure it, but flourish.
Even more, if they happen to cross on the street one “of their own, they will continue on their path, without stopping or addressing the only European who might enter the village in a few years."
Signora Niccolini is the proprietor of the hotel where the narrator is staying. She sends him a bottle of hot water, with an amusing effect:
The story teller reminisces on another tale, involving a hot water bottle and a castle in Flanders, but he does not delve into that story, just mentions it in passing.
We get to meet the stout woman, who had been a servant, married to a cook- Signor Niccolini. Here I was astounded by the devotion with which the woman regarded her late husband, although we learn about his philandering.
This is where a strange coincidence makes me compare two different cultures and attitudes.
Signora Niccolini had learned a principle, which she had been taught by her former employer:
- “we must use the raw material we have got”
Used in the sense of showing Tolerance and understanding that other cultures are very different and the local people will not act the way “we are used with”.
Yesterday I finished Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, where this same philandering was related very differently. The Helen Alving, the heroine of Ibsen’s play is very traumatized by the infidelity of her husband, whose memory she loathes.
In the case of Signora Niccolini, not only she treats this matter with the most compassionate attitude, but she goes even further and gets involved in making that extramarital activity pay dividends.
I will not say more, to let you discover for yourself the surprises included in this short saga.
It is inspiring to see all the Positivity traits, as listed by Barbara Fredrikson- in the characters and stories of Somerset Maugham:
- Amusement, interest, awe, hope, pride, serenity, inspiration, gratitude, joy and especially love.
Read information about the authorWilliam 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.
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