10.18.2011

CAKES AND ALE by W. Somerset Maugham

Links for East Side Readers discussion
NOTES ON THE TEXT (page numbers from the Penguin 1993 edition)

Blackstable = Whitstable
Tercanbury = Canterbury
p 11 Bemax = Trade name for a wheat germ preparation.
p 24 Ryvita (crackers)
p 25 dunch
p 34 Le vierge, le vivace et le bel aujourd'hui... = poem by Stephane Mallarmé
p 35 Maude Valérie White (1855 – 1937) was a French-born English composer who became one of the most successful songwriters (in the English serious genre) of the Victorian period. Sir Paolo Tosti (1846 – 1916) was an Italian, later British, composer and music teacher.
p 81 Mrs. Humphry Ward (British novelist)
p 82 Rhoda Broughton (From Wikipedia:  Somerset Maugham, in his short story "The Round Dozen" (1924, also known as "The Ardent Bigamist") observes: "I remember Miss Broughton telling me once that when she was young people said her books were fast and when she was old they said they were slow, and it was very hard since she had written exactly the same sort of book for forty years".)
p 82 Ouida (Wiki: Ouida (1839-1908) was the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé (although she preferred to be known as Marie Louise de la Ramée).)
p 84  Pink 'Un
p 96 First line of Keats' Endymion:  "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever"
p 104 il gran rifiuto (said of Henry James)... from Dante ("Colui Che fece per viltate il gran rifiuto!" The refusal to life that is worthy of eternal damnation), then Cavafy.
p 107 Lytton Strachy = Somerset Maugham said of his own work that it was "in the very top rank of the second rate." Not all critics agreed, though Lytton Strachey had already put him at "Class Two, Division One."  
Oh, and about using real people as the basis for fictional characters: "...Woolf's husband Leonard has said that in her experimental novel, The Waves, that "there is something of Lytton in Neville". Lytton is also said to be the inspiration behind the character of St. John Hirst in her novel The Voyage Out. Michael Holroyd also describes Strachey as the inspiration behind Cedric Furber in Wyndham Lewis' The Self-Condemned. In Wyndham Lewis' novel The Apes of God, he is seen in the character of Matthew Plunkett...In the Terminus Note in his Maurice, E.M. Forster remarks that the Cambridge undergraduate Risley in the novel is based on Strachey."
p 112 Jersey Lily=Lily Langtry
p 125 Mr. & Mrs. Barton Trafford = based on Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Colvin?
p 126 aurignacian
p 140 statue of Psyche at Naples
p 164 C'est Vénus...
Ce n'est plus une ardeur dans mes veines cachée:
C'est Vénus tout entière à sa proie attachée.
(It is no longer a passion hidden in my heart:
It is Venus herself fastened to her prey.)
      Jean Racine, Phèdre, act I, scene III

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