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Cakes and Ale (1930)

por W. Somerset Maugham

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1,751407,513 (3.78)170
Cakes and Ale is a delicious satire of London literary society between the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow over his career and respectable image. Wise, witty, deeply satisfying, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his best.… (mais)
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Inglês (37)  Holandês (1)  Espanhol (1)  Italiano (1)  Todas as línguas (40)
Mostrando 1-5 de 40 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
An entertaining tale of priggishness and hypocrisy in the world of letters, memorable for its waspish portrait of mountebank scribbler/social climber Alroy Flear. But the story has a warm heart in the character of Rosie Driffield, writers’ muse and genuine good time girl. Maugham has such a talent for balancing bitchiness and benevolence. ( )
  yarb | Oct 21, 2021 |
En inglés "Cakes and Ale", esta narración, subtitulada "The Skeleton in the Cupboard" ("El esqueleto en la alacena"), ha sido traducida al español con los títulos de "Rosie" y "La esposa imperfecta". Y ello sin ser obstáculo para que fuera considerada, según la crítica, la novela "más perfecta" del autor británico. Esta era, desde luego, la favorita del escritor; y causó alboroto en los ambientes literarios de 1930 por su cruel semblanza del escritor Hugh Walpoley por retratar a Thomas Hardy como un novelista decadente y sometido a su joven esposa. En un prólogo a su propia obra, que algunas ediciones omiten, el autor da cuenta de la génesis de la novela y de su postura con respecto a tal revuelo.

Al morir Edward Driffield, hombre legendario en el campo de las letras, su joven viuda Rosie autoriza al novelista Alroy Kear a escribir la biografía del famoso autor desaparecido. Pero Kear, que había conocido a Driffield y a su primera esposa en sus días oscuros, va mucho más lejos de lo que se había propuesto. Y hasta ahí puedo leer.

William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), novelista y dramaturgo inglés, en su juventud estudió Medicina. Sin embargo, el éxito alcanzado por sus dos primeras novelas le llevó a dedicarse exclusivamente a la literatura. Viajero infatigable, recorrió varias veces Europa, América y Extremo Oriente, recogiendo experiencias que volcó en su obra. Aunque tuvo mucho éxito con sus comedias teatrales y sus excelentes cuentos, su enorme celebridad se debió a sus novelas, entre ellas "Servidumbre humana", "El filo de la navaja" y "El velo pintado". Muchas de sus obras fueron llevadas al cine. ( )
  Eucalafio | Sep 7, 2021 |
This novel was quite a quick read. It wasn't very difficult, although I still haven't figured out the title.
The book started interestingly, with a remark that it's always more important to the caller that you call him back, than you actually think it important to call him.
That sentence set the tone for me, but apart from a few other sentences/remarks the book kind of flowed on, like a quiet river. Liked the roundabout ways of telling, but that manner made it less clear and more difficult to store the storyline and/or really remember anything specific apart from a general feeling of comfort. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | May 1, 2021 |
W. Somerset Maugham's novel "Cakes and Ale" is a fun little read.

It's the story of man who is asked to write a biography of a recently deceased author he was acquainted with in his youth. The author was married twice -- to the pretty, vivacious but unfaithful Rosalie, and later, to a much more business-like woman, Amy, who was careful to preserve her late husband's legacy.

It's a fairly simple story, but flows along smoothly and made for a quick, fun read. ( )
  amerynth | Apr 10, 2021 |
Given my poor track record, no one is more surprised than me that I have finished my book on time for the 1930s Club, hosted by Karen at Kaggsy's Bookish Rambings and Simon at Stuck in a Book. I didn't have anything published in 1930 that I hadn't already read on the shelves at home, and I was not expecting my library to come up trumps so quickly. But here I am, delighted by my luck at discovering Cakes and Ale, said to be the favourite book of W. Somerset Maugham...

Maugham (1894-1965) was safely settled in the south of France when the storm broke over this book. Cakes and Ale is a piercing satire of British literary circles, and features (apparently) very recognisable portraits of authors Thomas Hardy, and Maugham's erstwhile friend Horace Walpole. The Introduction by Nicholas Shakespeare gossips about these and other correspondences, but really, the pleasure in reading this novel for contemporary readers comes from Maugham's self-awareness of his own adolescent snobberies; from the satirical depiction of literary circles and their modus operandi; and from the wonderful portrait of Rosie Driffield which foreshadows the rise of independent women free from the stuffy constraints of prevailing social and sexual mores.

Narrated by the author William Ashenden, Cakes and Ale tells the story of fellow-author Alroy Kear's efforts to write a biography of the recently deceased Edward Driffield. Urged on by Driffield's legacy-building widow, the second Mrs Driffield, Alroy wants to plunder Ashenden's memories of the Driffields from his days in Blackstable. The first Mrs Driffield was a barmaid, so Alroy is interested in some salacious revelations, but not intending to include them. What he is hoping to find for his 'dignified' bio is the reason why Driffield wrote his best work while with her, and not so much with the second wife who managed his career (and him). The book is structured so that Ashenden can trawl his schoolboy memories of Rosie and his eventual undergraduate affair with her—without revealing how much of any of this is to be disclosed to Alroy.

There are many lough-out-loud moments in Cakes and Ale. Alroy is soon revealed to have had a literary career that could have served as a model for other aspiring writers: Ashenden can think of no other among his contemporaries who had achieved so considerable a position on so little talent. Which like the wise man's daily dose of Bemax [a wheatgerm dietary supplement, presumably for constipation] might have gone into a heaped-up tablespoon. Alroy has taken the advice of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) who said that genius was an infinite capacity for taking pains. Ashenden's scorn for Alroy is obvious:
If that was all, he must have told himself, he could be a genius like the rest; and when the excited reviewer of a lady's paper, writing a notice of one of his works, used the word (and of late the critics have been doing it with agreeable frequency) he must have sighed with the satisfaction of one who after long hours of toil has completed a cross-word puzzle. (p.9)

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2019/10/04/cakes-and-ale-by-w-somerset-maugham/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Oct 3, 2019 |
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Maugham, W. SomersetAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Eggink, ClaraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Peccinotti, HarriCover photographerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Cakes and Ale is a delicious satire of London literary society between the Wars. Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow over his career and respectable image. Wise, witty, deeply satisfying, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his best.

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