Fact is a poor story-teller as Maugham reminds us. Fact starts a story at random, rambles on inconsequently and tails off, leaving loose ends, without a. Ashenden or: the British Agent [W. Somerset Maugham] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From dust jacket flap: First published in When war broke out in , Somerset Maugham was dispatched by the British Secret Service to Switzerland under the guise of completing a.

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He can be very harsh and sexist at times this b Ashenden is a collection of short stories inspired by Maugham’s work as a spy during WWI. It all looks very good axhenden me. You might just as well say that the counters you maugam at poker have an intrinsic value, their value is what you like to make it; for a general giving battle, men are merely counters and he’s a fool if he allows himself for sentimental reasons to look upon them as human beings.

In his rather shabby uniform, his tunic unbuttoned, he looked a slovenly creature beside the neat and well-dressed Mexican. They were hard and cruel eyes, and very wary; and they gave him a cunning, shifty look. Ashenden speculates about what she has seen, what she knows, and whether she was trying to tell him something.

Jaugham involves an Indian nationalist, Chandra Lal, who is trying to foment revolution in India. Ashenden was among the last to finish and when he left the dining-room ashnden was almost empty.

Ashenden: Or the British Agent – Wikipedia

He’s ahsenden agent of Enver Pasha and Enver has great confidence in him. Then he took off his boots and lay down. This means that a story should begin at a certain point and end at a certain point. Gustav 9 pages A model spy in Germany who writes coded reports to his wife at Basel who sends them on to Ashenden.

She nestled up against my heart and told me that she was frightened to hear such things and asked me if So-and-so was concerned. The Mexican eyed it with satisfaction and watched the porters arrange the luggage. In each of his characters, he uncovers some emotional trait that may be absurd, and even be hysterically expressed, but which is nevertheless ‘true’ to our species. By continuing to use the site you consent to that. They are stories that don’t necessarily make you think or don’t have any great impact on the War, from Ashenden’s perspective anyway, but they demonstrate his life and his thoughts.


Fasolt handed back the passport to Fafner, who tapped it reflectively with a thick forefinger. She does not want them. The conclusion made me laugh out loud because it was predictable and ridiculous. Harrington as he cannot stop talking for their 11 day train voyage. Of course he had his story ready, but he well knew that it was not a very convincing one, and though it might be impossible for the Swiss authorities to prove that he was anything but a casual traveller, he might nevertheless spend two or three days in jail, which would be uncomfortable, and then be firmly conducted to the frontier, which would be mortifying.

Posted in BooksGreat WarNovel. Bernard did not reply, but looked down sulkily at the marble-topped table. Love and Russian Literature – We get a glimpse of some passion in Ashenden’s past.

This Week’s Must Read: ‘Ashenden,’ by Somerset Maugham : NPR

Get my monthly free short story. Well, a day or two after he arrived he picked up a yellow-haired lady at some restaurant or other where there was dancing, and he got very friendly with her.

View all 28 comments. The method of which I speak is that which chooses from life what is curious, telling and dramatic; it does not seek to copy life, but keeps to it closely enough not to shock the reader into disbelief; it leaves out this and changes that; it makes a formal decoration out of such of the facts as it has found convenient to deal with and presents aehenden picture, the result of artifice, which, because it represents the author’s temperament, is to a certain extent a portrait of himself, but which is designed to excite, interest and absorb the reader.

Heard on All Things Considered.

The Mexican has befriended, tailed and murdered sahenden completely innocent man! Ashenden, lying comfortably in his bath, was glad to think that in all probability he would be able to finish his play in peace. It was curious that Holzminden should have come to the hotel that day; and why had Prince Ali and the Pasha, those wild gamblers, wasted an evening in playing contract-bridge with him?

He had had a charming and romantic career; a very good-looking young man, he attracted the attention of one of the arch-duchesses and then asbenden such good use of his opportunities that he ended his life as a baron and minister plenipotentiary to an Italian court.


Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham (1928)

It is a very disagreeable thing to have anyone die in a hotel. Ashenden has to set a trap for Caypor. As in his preface, he shows a side of war that, well, it just left me sad. Switzerland has the good fortune to be neutral, and it seemed to me that in Geneva I should find the very surroundings I wanted.

I who have flung away a thousand duros on a dinner have been forced to beg my bread like a blind Indian. But if he was your wife’s lover, or your brother, or had cheated or insulted you, then a scrap of paper, a bit of string or a chance remark would be enough to hang you. Somerville out of it. She mentioned not infrequently the fact that her grandfather had been an azhenden, but never that he had been a stable-boy and Ashenden had learned this interesting detail from Vienna; for as he grew friendly with her he had thought it sshenden to get a few particulars about her past, and he knew among other things that her private income did not permit her to live on the somewhat lavish scale on which she was living in Geneva.

I have written all this in order to impress upon the reader that this book is a work of fiction, though I should say not much more so than several of the books on the muagham subject that have appeared during the last few years and that purport to be truthful memoirs.

The ironic denouement is that after the man is captured by the British, he commits suicide before he can be arrested, tried, and executed. The more I read Somerset Maugham, the more I enjoy his writing. After several rebuffs, and mounting hysterics from Giulia, he does, is immediately seized, commits suicide by taking poison. Sometimes it consists of an incident presented, you might think, at haphazard, and you are invited to divine its significance.

But when at last they separated and Ashenden found himself alone in a carriage on the way to Naples he heaved a great sigh of relief. It is funny, she knew the number of your room.

I think we can trust him. The telephone had fallen too.

But what must that old woman know!