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Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
kitten
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 3:19:59 AM

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Daemon wrote:
Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)




OF HUMAN BONDAGE
BY
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM


LXVI

Philip worked well and easily; he had a good deal to do, since he was taking in July the three parts of the First Conjoint examination, two of which he had failed in before; but he found life pleasant. He made a new friend. Lawson, on the lookout for models, had discovered a girl who was understudying at one of the theatres, and in order to induce her to sit to him arranged a little luncheon-party one Sunday. She brought a chaperon with her; and to her Philip, asked to make a fourth, was instructed to confine his attentions. He found this easy, since she turned out to be an agreeable chatterbox with an amusing tongue. She asked Philip to go and see her; she had rooms in Vincent Square, and was always in to tea at five o'clock; he went, was delighted with his welcome, and went again. Mrs. Nesbit was not more than twenty-five, very small, with a pleasant, ugly face; she had very bright eyes, high cheekbones, and a large mouth: the excessive contrasts of her colouring reminded one of a portrait by one of the modern French painters; her skin was very white, her cheeks were very red, her thick eyebrows, her hair, were very black. The effect was odd, a little unnatural, but far from unpleasing. She was separated from her husband and earned her living and her child's by writing penny novelettes. There were one or two publishers who made a specialty of that sort of thing, and she had as much work as she could do. It was ill-paid, she received fifteen pounds for a story of thirty thousand words; but she was satisfied.

"After all, it only costs the reader twopence," she said, "and they like the same thing over and over again. I just change the names and that's all. When I'm bored I think of the washing and the rent and clothes for baby, and I go on again."

Besides, she walked on at various theatres where they wanted supers and earned by this when in work from sixteen shillings to a guinea a week. At the end of her day she was so tired that she slept like a top. She made the best of her difficult lot. Her keen sense of humour enabled her to get amusement out of every vexatious circumstance. Sometimes things went wrong, and she found herself with no money at all; then her trifling possessions found their way to a pawnshop in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, and she ate bread and butter till things grew brighter. She never lost her cheerfulness.

Philip was interested in her shiftless life, and she made him laugh with the fantastic narration of her struggles. He asked her why she did not try her hand at literary work of a better sort, but she knew that she had no talent, and the abominable stuff she turned out by the thousand words was not only tolerably paid, but was the best she could do. She had nothing to look forward to but a continuation of the life she led. She seemed to have no relations, and her friends were as poor as herself.

"I don't think of the future," she said. "As long as I have enough money for three weeks' rent and a pound or two over for food I never bother. 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."


Of Human Bondage--1915 <<<< Please thank >>>>>> http://www.gutenberg.org for the quote in text as well as the full story.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
thar
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:54:52 AM

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In my experience it is worrying over the past that really kicks people, and that is the one thing that can never be changed!!
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 7:03:41 AM
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So I'm guessing he never had a mortgage or made a will or set up an education fund...
MTC
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 9:23:01 AM
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Just keep in mind that this quotation is spoken by a fictional character (Norah Nesbit) in Maugham's "Of Human Bondage." Maugham himself doesn't necessarily endorse her sentiments.
He portrays her as a person who lives in the present, but she is just one of many characters in the novel.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:04:12 AM
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I think having some concern with the future helps to reduce some of the chaos of the present.
kitten
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:04:18 AM

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Joseph Glantz wrote:
So I'm guessing he never had a mortgage or made a will or set up an education fund...


Philip at this part in the story was besotted with a woman named, Mildred, she spurns his affections and makes fun of his disability. She left his attentions to go with a man she thought she would have a better chance with. He is licking his wounds and he finds comfort in a woman who treats him kindly........she likes him but he doesn't like her in that special way.

I have just started to read the book and Philip seems at odds with his sexuality and chooses the wrong women........older, or the whore/madonna complex.

Living the way he did he had no time to think of a mortage, a will or education except on his terms or the terms of the late 1800's. The period of free thought and expression.

He seems a user of people, one who is searching but a user...........so far.


peace out, >^,,^<



The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
MarySM
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 3:24:08 PM

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It is one thing for someone to be quoted from their own autobiography or from an interview, but quite another to have a quote attributed to you from a fictional character that you created. Am I the only one who finds that questionable? When a writer creates a completely despicable character, should it not be mentioned that a particular quote was from the fictional story and not from the author per se?

"He who never made a mistake never made a discovery." Samuel Smiles
kitten
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:05:16 PM

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MarySM wrote:
It is one thing for someone to be quoted from their own autobiography or from an interview, but quite another to have a quote attributed to you from a fictional character that you created. Am I the only one who finds that questionable? When a writer creates a completely despicable character, should it not be mentioned that a particular quote was from the fictional story and not from the author per se?


I think he is Philip Carey.


Popular success, 1914–39
By 1914 Maugham was famous, with 10 plays produced and 10 novels published. Too old to enlist when World War I broke out, Maugham served in France as a member of the British Red Cross's so-called "Literary Ambulance Drivers", a group of some 23 well-known writers including John Dos Passos and E. E. Cummings. During this time he met Frederick Gerald Haxton, a young San Franciscan who became his companion and lover until Haxton's death in 1944.[14] Throughout this period Maugham continued to write. He proof-read Of Human Bondage at a location near Dunkirk during a lull in his ambulance duties.[15] Maugham also worked for British Intelligence in mainland Europe during the war, having been recruited by John Wallinger, and was one of the network of British agents who operated in Switzerland against the Berlin Committee, notably Virendranath Chattopadhyay. Maugham was later recruited by William Wiseman to work in Russia.[16][17]

Of Human Bondage (1915) initially received adverse criticism both in England and America, with the New York World describing the romantic obsession of the main protagonist Philip Carey as "the sentimental servitude of a poor fool". Influential critic and novelist Theodore Dreiser, however, rescued the novel, referring to it as a work of genius and comparing it to a Beethoven symphony. His review gave the book the lift it needed and it has never been out of print since.[18]

The book appeared to be closely autobiographical: Maugham's stammer is transformed into Philip Carey's club foot, the vicar of Whitstable becomes the vicar of Blackstable, and Philip Carey is a doctor. Maugham insisted it was more invention than fact. Nevertheless, the close relationship between fictional and non-fictional became Maugham's trademark, despite the legal requirement to state that "the characters in [this or that publication] are entirely imaginary". In 1938 he wrote: "Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other."

Although Maugham's first and many other sexual relationships were with men, he also had sexual relationships with a number of women. His affair with Syrie Wellcome, daughter of orphanage founder Thomas John Barnardo and wife of American-born English pharmaceutical magnate Henry Wellcome, produced a daughter named Liza (born Mary Elizabeth Wellcome, 1915–1998).[19] Henry Wellcome then sued his wife for divorce, naming Maugham as co-respondent. In May 1917, following the decree absolute, Syrie and Maugham were married. Syrie became a noted interior decorator who popularized the all-white room in the 1920s.

Maugham returned to England from his ambulance unit duties to promote Of Human Bondage but once that was finalised, he became eager to assist the war effort once more. As he was unable to return to his ambulance unit, Syrie arranged for him to be introduced to a high ranking intelligence officer known only as "R", and in September 1915 he began work in Switzerland, secretly gathering and passing on intelligence while posing as himself — that is, as a writer.
<<<<< TFD



peace out, >^,,^<

The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
Jai Majala
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:05:43 PM

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I would just like to point out that the people of the Russian Revolution weren't worried about the future either. Just sayin'.
jcbarros
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 4:17:33 PM

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Not worriyng about the future can be very dangerous ( besides, that´s the Insurance Companies business, isn´t it?)
silver
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:21:17 PM
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Daemon wrote:
<script>add2all('quote')</script><img align=left width="100" height="112" src="http://img.tfd.com/IOD/maugham.jpg">Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.<br><br><a href="http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Maugham%2c+William+Somerset">W. Somerset Maugham</a> (1874-1965)


Without having read the book, my question is whether the character differentiated between worrying about the future and planning for the future -- two very different concepts. The quotation reminds me of Ruby Payne's book, Understanding the Framework of Poverty. In her book, Ms. Payne stated that individuals in generational poverty (IIGP)lives for the moment with little or no planning. This fact means that most people in generational poverty will not see the value of saving; and if they are short a little on paying a bill, they will often give the money to someone else in need or spend it on booze or whatever instead of paying a partial payment or saving up to pay the whole bill. The IIGP contrasts the individual who saves and plans for the future and looks forward to their retirement without worry.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, April 30, 2011 10:35:19 PM
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A person who lives only for the present strikes me as a person who is fundamentally immoral under his/her's many layers of outward appearances. A person who is indifferent or lacks concern for the consequences of their actions/ decisions etc., lacks in feelings of personal responsibility for what one has done-- or caused to happen-- or not to happen that should have happened...There is a name for this type of person that escapes me at the moment, but the person is incapable of feeling guilt or remorse. This type of person typically blames others for what they have done, and even feel justified, most generally declaring it was someone else who caused him/her to do such and such. This is usually a person who creates a mess and leaves it for someone else to clean up. Whether it be in their lives or in someone else's lives. It is someone who only thinks about themselves and what they want-- at the moment-- regardless of others who might be involved.
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2011 3:18:29 AM
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MarySM wrote:
It is one thing for someone to be quoted from their own autobiography or from an interview, but quite another to have a quote attributed to you from a fictional character that you created. Am I the only one who finds that questionable? When a writer creates a completely despicable character, should it not be mentioned that a particular quote was from the fictional story and not from the author per se?


This is a recurring problem which the Editors have been made aware of before. They seem content with the status quo. Maybe they'll wake up "some day." It helps that Kitten usually puts the quotation in context.
intelfam
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 5:46:23 AM

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Marissa La Faye Isolde wrote:

...There is a name for this type of person that escapes me at the moment, but the person is incapable of feeling guilt or remorse. This type of person typically blames others for what they have done, and even feel justified, most generally declaring it was someone else who caused him/her to do such and such. This is usually a person who creates a mess and leaves it for someone else to clean up. Whether it be in their lives or in someone else's lives. It is someone who only thinks about themselves and what they want-- at the moment-- regardless of others who might be involved.


Psychopath or sociopath? Although I would insist that my writing this suggestion is in no way autobiographical. In fact, it was somebody else who made me do it .......

"The voice of the majority is no proof of justice." - Schiller
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 10:19:40 AM
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Yes, I thought of these words as well, but they seemed too... intense? to be applied in all situations, although I certainly know that sociopaths and psychopaths exist everywhere one looks. But one would not necessarily deem a child as such...or a person who is simply lazy or negligent etc. However, thank you for your suggestion.
excaelis
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 4:38:59 PM

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Don't Worry, Be Happy

Sanity is not statistical
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 6:30:57 PM
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Thank-you Excaelis! You put a smile on my face.:)
thar
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 6:54:19 PM

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I know the character is not in the war, or set in wartime, but if this was written doing ambulance duty in France - I imagine there must have been a certain attraction in writing a character who declined to worry about the future!
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 10:20:55 AM
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To Thar:

Yes Thar, there are all kinds of situations when worrying about the future is over-whelming. Sometimes one just has to take one day at a time, and take care of what they can that day.

Namaste,

Marissa
kitten
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 3:05:11 AM

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I have a different take on this lass who worked hard.


She was separated from her husband and earned her living and her child's by writing penny novelettes. There were one or two publishers who made a specialty of that sort of thing, and she had as much work as she could do. It was ill-paid, she received fifteen pounds for a story of thirty thousand words; but she was satisfied.

"After all, it only costs the reader twopence," she said, "and they like the same thing over and over again. I just change the names and that's all. When I'm bored I think of the washing and the rent and clothes for baby, and I go on again."

Besides, she walked on at various theatres where they wanted supers and earned by this when in work from sixteen shillings to a guinea a week. At the end of her day she was so tired that she slept like a top. She made the best of her difficult lot. Her keen sense of humour enabled her to get amusement out of every vexatious circumstance. Sometimes things went wrong, and she found herself with no money at all; then her trifling possessions found their way to a pawnshop in the Vauxhall Bridge Road, and she ate bread and butter till things grew brighter. She never lost her cheerfulness.

Philip was interested in her shiftless life, and she made him laugh with the fantastic narration of her struggles. He asked her why she did not try her hand at literary work of a better sort, but she knew that she had no talent, and the abominable stuff she turned out by the thousand words was not only tolerably paid, but was the best she could do. She had nothing to look forward to but a continuation of the life she led. She seemed to have no relations, and her friends were as poor as herself.

"I don't think of the future," she said. "As long as I have enough money for three weeks' rent and a pound or two over for food I never bother. 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."



This woman has a child, is separated from her her husband, but still married. She writes for a company who asks of her, 30,000 words for a novel and pays her 15 pounds. She is paid less than what the work is worth. Is it because she is a woman and women made less then men, wage wise? The book company is then selling the books for twopence or two pennies each copy, so they are really making the money off her and the reader.

She works as needed in theatres and makes less than a pound or 12 shillings or if it was a guinea it was 21 shillings. But she worked and she worked hard because she slept well, or as he says "a top."

She kept her spirits up even when conditions became so bad she had to pawn her meager belongings or just eat bread and butter. "But she never lost her cheerfulness." Remember she also has a child she is being brave for.

She believed, and I believe it had to do with the mindset of the times, that she couldn't be a better writer of stories but she did the best she could. And she too, lived amongst people who accepted their lot in life, although he doesn't mention if they were as cheerful.

She works hard to keep money available for three weeks rent and food for herself and her child. Which is saying a lot for back then. I don't know how many of us have the extra on hand.

What makes her wonderful to me is she will write what she can, she will work for a few shillings, sell her belongings, meagerly eat to survive but what she will not do is sell her body to make ends meet or try to live off some man.

She is, to me, plucky and to be admired.......even if she isn't well to do. She at least works and tries to stay three weeks ahead for herself and her child, without selling her body or soul.


peace out, >^,,^<



The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
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