6 thoughts on “Somerset Maugham on Friendship

  1. Although I think this means to choose friends who exhibit good qualities and morals, I also kind of see it as the importance of having friends who are characters. Anyway, here in the US, I run into the same type of person so often who is trying to have the friendly, upbeat, politically correct, family-oriented personality, and it is boring. Often I would much rather have a conversation with a character- someone I don’t fully understand and might not agree with, maybe he is a curmudgeon, but whose views are refreshing and whose comments make me laugh.

    1. Madam,

      The Old Money Book Readers Association prides itself for the modesty, discretion and, indeed, political correctness of its members.

      Etymology informs one that “political correctness” originated from the Greek politikos/polis (citizen/city), and the Latin verb corrigere, to set straight. Ergo: the citizen who gets or sets things right. Mind you, what is Right is the essence of two thousand years of Western thinking.

      If you insist on trashing that, which is the editorial stance of Phox News, we can refer you to such Messrs as Nigel Fharage, Aleks Jones or Pawl Ryan. They would, we trust, gladly entertain you with anything that goes against intelligence, erudition, inclusion and tolerance.

      Hoping to have been of service, we remain,

      Yours sincerely,

      1. As I wrote, “someone you might not agree with…”. And in fact, it is in conversation with those who have opposing viewpoints or perspectives that we learn so much. Across generations and backgrounds, there is value in keeping an open mind, and starting to see another side to an issue. If an encounter leaves me wondering why someone else feels or expresses themselves in a certain way, that is worthwhile. A group of self-satisfied people who say one thing to sound impressive or fit in, but behave in a hypocritical manner is far more troubling to me. I believe you agree with me there. So where a debate does not exist, when people are unwilling to listen to one another, no progress is made. To be able to see why someone else believes differently than you do is the beginning of change. A little humor and clever wit are often the way a door opens to enlightening ideas, and can be a way to bridge the gap.
        Case in point: this exchange in the comments section!

  2. JL,

    In your pompous response to Elle you have listed certain elements that the so-called ‘Old Money Book Readers Association’ prides itself on. What you have very clearly omitted to include is the core value of manners. I refer to page 32 of the OMB, section titled Etiquette and Manners.

    In fact, by delivering such a high-handed diatribe you undermine some very good work done by others in the promulgation of the Old Money ethos and its core values.

    I trust that this time, it is me, who has been of some service.


    1. Thank you for your response. Your suggestion that the comment may have undermined anyone’s work is rather puzzling, as it lacks the intention and literary prowess for such achievement. Perhaps other readers will understand the spirit in which the comment was written.

      Indeed, good manners are de rigueur. Paradoxically, good manners are also a poor indicator of moral behaviour. The assumption that a well mannered person is a Good person is flawed. A fascinating stereotype exploited in entertainment, behavioural sciences and politics ad infinitum.

      Regardless, to your credit, you have taken the energy and time to share your thoughts.

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