Somerset Maugham and The Razor’s Edge

This article was first published in The Mountain Path, 1988, pp. 239-45.

In January 1938 Somerset Maugham, the British novelist, visited Sri Ramanashram for a few hours. The brief contact he had with Bhagavan inspired Maugham so much, he decided to use him as the model for a fictional Guru in The Razor’s Edge, a novel of his that was published a few years later in 1944. Maugham also wrote a non-fiction account of his visit in an essay entitled The Saint, which was published twenty years after the event in 1958. The following account, which is taken from this essay, records Maugham’s impressions of this meeting with Bhagavan.

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