Literary Precedents for The Razor's Edge

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The Razor's Edge was written during the Second World War, when people were seeking values in a world shaken by cataclysm. Works with a popularized religious theme, like Lloyd C. Douglas's The Robe (1942), Franz Werfel's The Song of Bernadette (1941), and A. J. Cronin's The Keys of the Kingdom (1941) met with great popular success.

From further back, during the 1920s and 1930s, works like Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) and William H. Hudson's Green Mansions (1904) developed a kind of dreamy religious aura that made them popular.

Among the books in this tradition, The Razor's Edge stands apart, for Maugham makes the mystical experience of his hero Hindu, not Christian.

Larry comes to accept belief in transmigration and believes, although he is not certain, that in India he achieved a genuine mystical experience during meditation. But throughout the novel one encounters the cool presence of "Mr. Maugham...

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This section contains 164 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Razor's Edge Study Guide
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