Collected Short Stories: Volume 4 (Collected Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham #4)
AN OFFICIAL POSITION To improve his lot, a prisoner in a French penal colony accepts an odious job...and the consequences.
RED This is a poignant love story of youth, beauty and the fleeting moments of ecstasy that pass away only too soon.
THE ALIEN CORN A young Jewish man devotes himself to the pursuit of music over the violent objections of his...more
Vintage Classics, Paperback, 2002.
First published as The Complete Short Stories in 3 volumes in 1951.
First published as Collected Short Stories in 4 volumes in 1975.*
Table of contents:
Preface [written especially for the 1951 edition**:]
The Four Dutchmen
The Back of Beyond
P. & O.
A Woman of Fifty
The Lotus Eater
A Man with a Conscience
An Official Position
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 alm...more
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And like the dope-fiend who cannot move from place to place without taking with him a plentiful supply of his deadly balm I never venture far without a sufficiency of reading matter. Books are so necessary to me that when in a railway train I have become aware that fellow-travellers have come away without a single one I have been seized with a veritable dismay. But when I am starting on a long journey the problem is formidable.”
I respect, and even admire, such people, but they are not the sort of people I can write stories about. I write stories about people who have some singularity of character which suggests to me that they may be capable of behaving in such a way as to give me an idea that I can make use of, or about people who by some accident or another, accident of temperament, accident of environment, have been involved in unusual contingencies. But, I repeat, they are the exception.”