Sunday, July 09, 2006

W. Somerset Maugham on a Writer and his Characters

W. Somerset Maugham on a writer and his characters:

A character in a writer’s head, unwritten, remains a possession; his thoughts recur to it constantly, and while his imagination gradually enriches it he enjoys the singular pleasure of feeling that there, in his mind, someone is living a varied and tremulous life, obedient to his fancy and yet in a queer wilful way independent of him. But when once that character is set down on paper, it belongs to the writer no more.

From W. Somerset Maugham, “Preface,” Cakes and Ale (1930).

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