Segments in this Video

Somerset Maugham: Author and Playwright (01:05)


Maugham's accomplishments span a 52 year career.

Somerset Maugham's Book Bag (02:37)

Somerset Maugham refuses to write about his journey to the Far East despite pressure from the press. He takes along many books to enjoy on his vacation.

Somerset Maugham on Shaping the Story (02:01)

Maugham discusses his writing style. If ideas torment him, he writes them in a book. Not all stories need to be worked out; some come right through.

Somerset Maugham on Human Nature and Novels (01:25)

Somerset Maugham discusses his time at St. Thomas Hospital. He shares his views on the best American Books.

Somerset Maugham's Travels (02:56)

Somerset Maugham is free to roam how and where he wants but settles in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. He expresses his satisfaction in writing fiction. After 15 years of rejection, he sells his first play.

Somerset Maugham Stops Writing Plays (02:35)

Maugham feels to write a good play, one must live the life of the day. He shares his respect or Kipling and affection for contemporary writers.

Maugham's Professional Friends (01:51)

Somerset Maugham shares stories of his friendships with other British and American writers.

Somerset Maugham on Painters (02:32)

Maugham discusses his opinions on contemporary painters. He reflects on his own portrait painted many times and his fondness for one particular artist.

Somerset Maugham on the Arts (02:38)

Somerset Maugham shares his thoughts about French Impressionism and his favorite operas. He reflects on sports and his lack of talent.

Maugham's Advice for Writing (01:39)

Somerset Maugham suggests to young writers to throw "oneself into the hurly-burly of life." He does not believe in attending writing schools.

Somerset Maugham on Literary Masterpieces (02:21)

Somerset Maugham discusses Voltaire and the impact of classic novels on his writing. He discusses on Dostoevsky and Proust.

Somerset Maugham on Novels (02:38)

Somerset Maugham believes that authors who write novels like they speak make a mistake. Maugham writes to entertain himself, not to teach.

Somerset Maugham: Parting Reflections (01:29)

Somerset Maugham does not pattern life, he uses his mistakes for copy. He respects his age and values his life.

Credits: A Conversation with Somerset Maugham—From NBC’s Wisdom Series (01:03)

Credits: A Conversation with Somerset Maugham—From NBC’s Wisdom Series

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A Conversation with Somerset Maugham—From NBC's Wisdom Series

Part of the Series : The Wisdom Series: From the NBC Archives
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Filmed at Somerset Maugham’s villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the Mediterranean, this program from the NBC archives features the author and playwright in a far-ranging 1965 conversation with British critic and journalist Alan Pryce-Jones. Maugham speaks about a recent trip to the Far East; the writing of Of Human Bondage; his time as a medical student at St. Thomas Hospital; his view of Moby-DickThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Leaves of Grass as the best American books; his challenges in writing both plays and fiction and his reasons for ceasing to write for the stage; his admiration for Rudyard Kipling, whose imperialist notions Maugham acknowledges to be outmoded; and his views on Sinclair Lewis, Voltaire, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Proust, French Impressionism, opera, and creative writing schools. He also discuses The Razor’s Edge. (29 minutes)

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL43385

ISBN: 978-1-61733-971-4

Copyright date: ©1965

Closed Captioned

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