月と六ペンス

私は私が初めて本を読み終えた後にタイトルが何を意味するのかわからなかったことを告白. 私の無知であっても第二熟読した後に持続, タイトルは高貴な意図と平凡な現実のようなものを示唆していたものの、. サード読む前に, 特にこのブログの今回は, 私はそれを探すことにした. すべての良いネチズンのように, 私はウィキペディアに相談, タイトルが参照したと言ってくれました 人間の絆 (ここで、自分の足でペンスを無視して、フィリップ·キャリーが月のために達する。)

中に 月と六ペンス, モームは、ポール·ゴーギャンの生涯と冒険クロニクル — 彼の魂の未知と厄介なビジョンのひたむきな追求に倫理と道徳の境界の外側に階段状の芸術の天才 (“ムーン”) 彼の友人や家族の残酷な犠牲に (インクルード “6ペンス,” おそらく。)

完璧なフランス人の作成方法がわからない (彼は後に告白のように 剃刀の刃), モームは、することにしました “翻訳する” ゴーギャンとイギリス人チャールズ·ストリックランドとして彼を描写, 半成功, 鈍いロンドンの株式仲買人も. 万一歳の時 42 かそこら, ストリックランドは、絵を取るために彼の家族を放棄することを決定. ペイントすることが必要とストリックランドのために魂の憧れです, そしてそれは彼がそれでよくないことは問題ではありません — まだ — 彼は説明しているように, “私は私がペイントするんだことを伝える. 私は自分自身を助けることができない. 男は水の中に落ちるとき、それは彼が泳ぐ方法は重要ではありません, ウェルまたはひどく: 彼が外に出て持っているか、さもなければ、彼は溺れます。” この隠喩溺死から身を保存中, ストリックランドは無関心である (残酷を超えた) 世界の他の地域へ. その後、再び, 彼は同様に自分自身に同じように妥協し、残酷で.

In portraying such a difficult anti-hero, Maugham showcases all the mastery and skill he possesses. To my untrained eyes, it looks as though Maugham builds this character so carefully and painstakingly that each one of the monstrosities Strickland commits is counter-balanced in some fashion. It is indeed a fine chisel that Maugham employs in crafting this masterpiece; none of those broad, confident strokes we would see in his later works.

We find Maugham at cynical and misogynistic best (or worst, depending on the perspective) in the early part of the book, especially in his descriptions of Mrs. Strickland and her children. We should condone this appearance of misogyny as a pardonable foible of a genius, I think. More than that, I see it as an effort, a successful one, to balance the callousness of Strickland’s disappearance that soon follows.

Such balancing devices can be found throughout the book. Perhaps to soften the shock of Strickland’s seemingly inexplicable renunciation of his family, his son’s hypocritical account of his later life is cynically ridiculed right in the beginning of the book. The unfortunate Dirk Stroeve, so cruelly used by Strickland, is also a buffoon who elicits derisive laughter rather than sympathy. Stroeve’s groveling adulation of Blanche perhaps serves to iron out the overtones of sexism or misogyny permeating the story. Blanche Stroeve’s betrayal is counter balanced with her own abominable indifference to Stroeve, which, in turn, gets evened out in what she receives from Strickland — “What an abyss of cruelty she must have looked into that in horror she refused to live.” Strickland, curiously, walks unaffected through all this death and mayhem, larger than life, tortured by his own private agonies of the soul well beyond our comprehension and his own. Even in his callousness, what Strickland invokes in Maugham and even Stroeve is, not merely a natural indignation, but an overwhelming compassion — astonishingly. The misplaced compassion is perhaps a device to prepare the reader for Strickland’s sordid and horrible death.

Maugham employs a variety of techniques to make the narration sound natural. If I was a fiction writer, I would study these techniques very carefully and try to employ them myself. To begin with, Strickland is a fictional portrayal of Gauguin, but Maugham takes great pains to pretend that the narration is not fictional. Even the narrator (Maugham himself) is portrayed as fallible, and contritely so, to lend credibility to the narration. For instance, Maugham gets exasperated at Stroeve’s weakness and is later ashamed of himself for getting angry.

The book has its elitist moments. When asked if it was better not to have known, Stroeve replies: “The world is hard and cruel. We are here none knows why, and we go none knows whither. We must be very humble. We must see the beauty of quietness. We must go through life so inconspicuously that Fate does not notice us. And let us seek the love of simple, ignorant people. Their ignorance is better than all our knowledge. Let us be silent, content in our little corner, meek and gentle like them. That is the wisdom of life.” It is as though the gift of inquiry and knowledge is given to a precious few — a special club to which Stroeve and Maugham are privy. This elitist attitude permeates not only Maugham’s works, but all great works of literature; it is only by masking his sense of superiority that an author or a thinker projects himself as non-elitist.

Perhaps it is some knowledge, or a vision of the world that Strickland’s soul yearned to share with the rest of us. Such communication is beyond language — a medium unequal to the task even when masterfully employed. Visual arts come closer. In Strickland’s tragic and cruel plight, along with that of almost all characters in the story, we see one eternal question. What is it that we are really after? Is it happiness? If so, Charles Strickland certainly didn’t find it. Very few do. Is it glory? Strickland did find that, albeit after his death.

Death is the great equalizer. It brings us back to the nothingness we spring from, however high we may fly or however low we may sink during the brief instant in between. The wisdom of the wise, the ignorance of the masses, the grandeur of the accomplished, the glory, the baseness — all matter very little when faced with such complete finality. In Strickland, Maugham has depicted the heights of glory as well as the nadir of baseness. The Moon and Sixpence — perhaps I have understood its meaning after all.

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