An Appointment with Somerset Maugham: And Other Literary Encounters

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9780890966198: An Appointment with Somerset Maugham: And Other Literary Encounters
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Pleasure has not ruled all aspects of Richard Costa's world, but books and their writers have brought innumerable hours of it to his thought-filled years. In this insightful journey through a life suffused with literature, he introduces readers to the literary figures whose paths crossed his: Somerset Maugham, H. G. Wells, Conrad Aiken, Edmund Wilson, Kingsley Amis, Dorothy Parker, Edith Wharton, and others.

In these pages lie answers to questions, and questions for many answers. What did Wells fear more than the bombs during the London Blitz? What is Edmund Wilson's favorite of all his books? What writer, after declaring his walking-stick unbreakable, watched as Ernest Hemingway broke the stick over his own head? Why is it impossible to "discover" a new book today?

Readers who accompany Costa on his journey of the mind and heart will have the opportunity to experience the vicarious pleasures of a tea, a chat, and a good read in the light of literary stars.

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From the Back Cover:

"Now, just ask yourself", Maugham said without the least suggestion of a stutter, "wouldn't it be a dreadful world if pleasure ruled?" But pleasure has ruled Richard Costa's world - the pleasure of books and their writers. In this charming and insightful reminiscence, he introduces readers to a host of literary lives that have touched him: Somerset Maugham, H. G. Wells, Malcolm Lowry, Conrad Aiken, Edmund Wilson, Kingsley Amis, Dorothy Parker, Edith Wharton, and others. The journey of the mind and heart Costa traces has some illustrious guides. Reading and re-reading the works of memorable writers of our time, interviewing them, and writing about them, he has woven literature into his life in a way that provides illumination and just plain interest for those who read the story here. In his intellectual and literary chronicle, readers will find much humor, much memory, and much food for thought.

About the Author:

RICHARD HAUER COSTA was a journalist before turning to an academic career. He is the author of Edmund Wilson: Our Neighbor from Talcottville and other books and articles on contemporary writers. He is now professor emeritus of English at Texas A&M University.

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9780890966181: An Appointment with Somerset Maugham: And Other Literary Encounters (Society; 51)

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ISBN 10:  0890966184 ISBN 13:  9780890966181
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press, 1994
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