W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

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The Moon and Sixpence

(1919) is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham on the theme of artistic genius in collision with the norms of civilisation. It takes the form of a biographical investigation in which an anonymous narrator – who strongly resembles Maugham himself – reconstructs from his own knowledge and from other witnesses the story of Charles Strickland, an English stockbroker who has unexpectedly abandoned his wife and children in order to learn the art of painting in Paris and later to practise it in Tahiti, until his eventual death from leprosy. This story recognisably borrows its basic elements from the life of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), but makes its protagonist English, and a more isolated, obscure and uncompromising figure than Gauguin really was. It is a study of genius as a…

2107 words

Citation: Baldick, Chris. "The Moon and Sixpence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 August 2020 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11444, accessed 28 May 2024.]

11444 The Moon and Sixpence 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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