materialismo e spiritualità nella Jazz Age

William Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s edge (1944) is set (ha luogo)  soon after the  Great War – first world war –  and analyses its consequences and effects.  Maugham himself is a character in this novel of self-discovery (auto scoperta) and search for meaning, but the protagonist is a character named Larry. The novel follows his life. Larry is a man battered (abbattuto) physically, psychologically  and spiritually by the war; he leaves his beautiful and devoted girlfriend, Isabel and starts travelling. In Paris he studies philosophy and religion, in Spain he experiences poverty of Spanish life. His whole (intera) existence becomes a research (ricerca) for an identity and becomes a spiritual experiment. The novel  represents a  reaction against the luxurious (lussuosa) and corrupted life of the Roaring ’20, the Jazz Age,  depicted (descritta) by the American Francis Scott Fitzgerald in the Great Gatsby.  The main theme is the contrast between the  spirituality  of Larry and the growing (crescente) materialism and sophistication of people in those years. The book was made into a film first by Edmund Goulding in 1946 and by John Byrum in 1984.