An uncompromising and self-destructive deserts his wife, family, business, and civilization for his art. Shedding harsh light on an artist's ego, Maugham reveals the lengths to which one man will go to focus on his art. Written in 1919, this unforgettable story is timeless in its appeal.
"Why should you think that beauty, which is the most precious thing in the world, lies like a stone on the beach for the careless passer-by to pick up idly? Beauty is something wonderful and strange that the artist fashions out of the chaos of the world in the torment of his soul. And when he has made it, it is not given to all to know it. To recognize it you must repeat the adventure of the artist. It is a melody that he sings to you, and to hear it again in your own heart you want knowledge and sensitiveness and imagination."