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Title: Buddhism and the Maugham Persona: Navigating Alterity in The Moon and Sixpence
Authors: Overaa, Roderick B.
Keywords: Somerset Maugham;Buddhism;narrator;Maugham narrator;modernism;novel;British literature
Date: 2013-03
Issue Date: 2016-08-23 17:49:54 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This paper argues that W. Somerset Maugham’s cross-cultural turn to Eastern religion and philosophy and the development of the “Maugham narrator” in The Moon and Sixpence are interrelated phenomena, arising out of the British novelist’s persistent preoccupation with the problem of desire. Whereas critics predominantly read the novel strictly in connection with the French painter Paul Gauguin, the author demonstrates that the character arc of Maugham’s fictional painter, Charles Strickland, is primarily modeled upon the quasi-biographical accounts of the Buddha’s life found in the Lalitavistara, Buddhacarita, and Sir Edwin Arnold’s influential The Light of Asia. The paper connects Maugham’s budding interest in Indic thought to his concurrent development of the Maugham persona, illustrating the subversive potential of this narrative device with respect to twentieth-century constructions of British masculinity and pointing to the relevance of Maugham’s exotic fiction to our rapidly expanding understanding of modernism and its transnational dimensions.
Relation: 文化越界,1(9),75-109
Cross-cultural Studies
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[文化越界 ] 期刊論文

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