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W. Somerset Maugham Quotes

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W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

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

— W. Somerset Maugham



W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “How can I be reasonable? To me our love was everything and you were my whole life. It is not very pleasant to realize that to you it was only an episode.”

How can I be reasonable? To me our love was everything and you were my whole life. It is not very pleasant to realize that to you it was only an episode.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Now it is a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. If you utterly decline to make do with what you can get, then somehow or other, you are very likely to get what you want.”

Now it is a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. If you utterly decline to make do with what you can get, then somehow or other, you are very likely to get what you want.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “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.”

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.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish.”

If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.”

When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The most valuable thing I have learned from life is to regret nothing.”

The most valuable thing I have learned from life is to regret nothing.

— W. Somerset Maugham



W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Advice to first year medical students: In anatomy, it is better to have learned and lost than never to have learned at all.”

Advice to first year medical students: In anatomy, it is better to have learned and lost than never to have learned at all.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The tragedy of love is indifference.”

The tragedy of love is indifference.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “She loved three things – a joke, a glass of wine, and a handsome man.”

She loved three things – a joke, a glass of wine, and a handsome man.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never returned.”

The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never returned.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?”

If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It’s no good trying to keep up old friendships. It’s painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.”

It’s no good trying to keep up old friendships. It’s painful for both sides. The fact is, one grows out of people, and the only thing is to face it.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.”

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

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.”

The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

— W. Somerset Maugham



W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “There are two good things in life – freedom of thought and freedom of action.”

There are two good things in life – freedom of thought and freedom of action.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary.”

It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Simplicity and naturalness are the truest marks of distinction.”

Simplicity and naturalness are the truest marks of distinction.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Genius is talent provided with ideals.”

Genius is talent provided with ideals.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Art, if it is to be reckoned as one of the great values of life, must teach man humility, tolerance, wisdom and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action.”

Art, if it is to be reckoned as one of the great values of life, must teach man humility, tolerance, wisdom and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.”

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It wasn’t until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

It wasn’t until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, ‘I don’t know.’

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand.”

Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhither.”

Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhither.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “In civilized communities men’s idiosyncrasies are mitigated by the necessity of conforming to certain rules of behavior. Culture is a mask that hides their faces.”

In civilized communities men’s idiosyncrasies are mitigated by the necessity of conforming to certain rules of behavior. Culture is a mask that hides their faces.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Life isn’t long enough for love and art.”

Life isn’t long enough for love and art.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It’s no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.”

It’s no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It is a nuisance that knowledge can only be acquired by hard work.”

It is a nuisance that knowledge can only be acquired by hard work.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “One cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one’s soul.”

One cannot find peace in work or in pleasure, in the world or in a convent, but only in one’s soul.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.”

The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.”

My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.”

It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one.”

If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The mystic sees the ineffable, and the psychopathologist the unspeakable.”

The mystic sees the ineffable, and the psychopathologist the unspeakable.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The life force is vigorous. The delight that accompanies it counter-balances all the pains and hardships that confront men. It makes life worth living.”

The life force is vigorous. The delight that accompanies it counter-balances all the pains and hardships that confront men. It makes life worth living.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “The passing moment is all we can be sure of; it is only common sense to extract its utmost value from it.”

The passing moment is all we can be sure of; it is only common sense to extract its utmost value from it.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Life wouldn’t be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.”

Life wouldn’t be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.”

If it is necessary sometimes to lie to others, it is always despicable to lie to oneself.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “It must be a fault in me that I am not gravely shocked at the sins of others unless they personally affect me.”

It must be a fault in me that I am not gravely shocked at the sins of others unless they personally affect me.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “You’re beginning to dislike me, aren’t you? Well, dislike me. It doesn’t make any difference to me now.”

You’re beginning to dislike me, aren’t you? Well, dislike me. It doesn’t make any difference to me now.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.”

To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a commonplace mind.”

No affectation of peculiarity can conceal a commonplace mind.

— W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham Quote: “Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.”

Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

— W. Somerset Maugham

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