by W. Somerset Maugham (1915). His all-time classic, partly autobiographical novel of self-discovery, liberty, determinism versus freedom, the meaning of life, and the various shades of love. At its heart is the obsessional relationship between the protagonist, Philip, and the vulgar cockney waitress Mildred that almost proves his doom. He is deeply enslaved to her, against his will, and he knows this and, yet, is powerless to do anything about it. This brings to mind Spinoza’s Ethics, “Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions,” where Spinoza writes “The impotence of man to govern or restrain the [emotions] I call bondage, for a man who is under their control is not his own master, but is mastered by fortune, in whose power he is, so that he is often forced to follow the worse, although he sees the better before him.” Truer words never spoken.