The Summing Up, LXIV

Thank goodness; Maugham’s over his survey into philosophy and has gotten back to what’s important. Himself. To be fair, he did say in the opening the book is going to egotistical, but he doesn’t structure his arguments for that egotism well. Not as it relates to outside subjects, like philosophy. He spends half the chapter rambling about how someone—not named—said philosophy is like higher math and Maugham disagrees and sort of proves why. Except the math thing has nothing to do with Maugham’s reading of philosophy—or metaphysics, he likes call it metaphysics and he’s about to talk about religion—so it’s a waste of half a chapter. I get not knowing the thesis going into a short piece. I get rambling. I get blathering. I get ranting. I even get defensiveness. But I don’t get pointless misdirection.

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