Saturday, March 6, 2010

Good Advice

When Somerset Maugham delivered a drama course at London University, he was asked by a student how to become a successful dramatist. He gave the following advice: "A sure formula for success is to write a tragedy in five acts. Put it away in a drawer for six months, then change it into a comedy in three acts. Forget it for another year. Then reduce it to a curtain raiser. That done, rush right out and marry a rich American."


  1. In other words, consider a big problem representing super partes everyone's pain rising from the problem. Then try your own feeling about these pains keeping a distant position until you perceive the funny aspects of this variant of the eternal human fiddling around. And a year later cut away everything which is too specific to be appreciated by a one hour audience before or after dinner. And while you are doing all this keep always in mind as an amusing muse not Germania, not Italia, not Russia, not Africa, not China, not India, not Judaea, but America.

    S.M. could have been the founder of the Reader's Digest selection, but does his formula explain the success of The Unbearable Lightness of Being? And why had this book more success than the movy had?

  2. Some are successful due to their woman, even to a rich American woman. Some others got their woman due to their success.

  3. @cs

    A third, nowadays perhaps small, category of men get to success due to a woman they are trying to forget.