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Sinclair Lewis (1885 – 1951)


American writer, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1930.
Sinclair Lewis
He heard them whispering — whispering... The independence seeped out of him and he walked the streets alone, afraid of men's cynical eyes and the incessant hiss of whispering. ~ Ch. 32
Lewis quotes
Carol was discovering that the one thing that can be more disconcerting than intelligent hatred is demanding love. "She supposed that she was being gracefully dull and standardized in the Smails' presence, but they scented the heretic, and with forward-stooping delight they sat and tried to drag out her ludicrous concepts for their amusement. They were like the Sunday-afternoon mob starting at monkeys in the Zoo, poking fingers and making faces and giggling at the resentment of the more dignified race... They were staggered to learn that a real tangible person, living in Minnesota, and married to their own flesh-and-blood relation, could apparently believe that divorce may not always be immoral; that illegitimate children do not bear any special and guaranteed form of curse; that there are ethical authorities outside of the Hebrew Bible; that men have drunk wine yet not died in the gutter; that the capitalistic system of distribution and the Baptist wedding-ceremony were not known in the Garden of Eden;... that there are Ministers of the Gospel who accept evolution; that some persons of intelligence and business ability do not always vote the Republican ticket straight;... that a violin is not inherently more immoral than a chapel organ... 'Where does she get all them the'ries?' marveled Uncle Whittier Smail.
Lewis
His text was from Proverbs: "Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins."
He seized the sides of the pulpit with his powerful hands, glared at the congregation, decided to look benevolent after all, and exploded: "In the hustle and bustle of daily life I wonder how many of us stop to think that in all that is highest and best we are ruled not by even our most up-and-coming efforts but by Love? What is Love — the divine Love of which the—the great singer teaches us in Proverbs? It is the rainbow that comes after the dark cloud. It is the morning star and it is also the evening star, those being, as you all so well know, the brightest stars we know. It shines upon the cradle of the little one and when life has, alas, departed, to come no more, you find it still around the quiet tomb. What is it inspires all great men—be they preachers or patriots or great business men? What is it, my brethren, but Love? Ah, it fills the world with melody, with such sacred melodies as we have just indulged in together, for what is music? What, my friends, is music? Ah, what indeed is music but the voice of Love!"




Lewis Sinclair quotes
He was still not at all certain that he was doing any good, aside from providing the drug of religious hope to timorous folk frightened of hell-fire and afraid to walk alone.
Lewis Sinclair
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
Sinclair Lewis quotes
Mostly the adult Indians did not wish their children to learn these arts from the emissaries of what they astonishingly considered an alien, false and hostile God. ~ Ch. 21
Sinclair Lewis
There was much conversation, most of which sounded like the rest of it. ~ Ch. 14
Lewis Sinclair quotes
He is the only real revolutionary, the authentic scientist, because he alone knows how liddle he knows.
He must be heartless. He lives in a cold, clear light. Yet dis is a funny t'ing: really, in private, he is not cold nor heartless — so much less cold than the Professional Optimists. ~ Gottlieb, Ch. 26
Lewis
They were newly rich contractors who, having bought houses, motors, hand-painted pictures, and gentlemanliness, were now buying a refined ready-made philosophy. It had been a tossup with them whether to buy New Thought, Christian Science, or a good standard high-church model of Episcopalianism. ~ Ch. 30
Lewis Sinclair
Hours then of blasphemy and fury and debate, all in the theological terms that seem shocking to the literate citizens today, who believe in God but just don't care to mention him or any of the other lowly friends they knew before they went to Yale. ~ Ch. 6
Sinclair Lewis
It is not known whether Martin ever completely accepted as a gentleman-scholar the Clay Tredgold who was devoted to everything about astronomy except studying it. ~ Ch. 22




Sinclair Lewis quotes
Aaron was uncomfortable and a little afraid. This, he thought, is how God might pray to his God. ~ Ch. 1
Sinclair Lewis
He had enormous and poetic admiration, though very little understanding, of all mechanical devices. They were his symbols of truth and beauty. Regarding each new intricate mechanism — metal lathe, two-jet carburetor, machine gun, oxyacetylene welder — he learned one good realistic-sounding phrase, and used it over and over, with a delightful feeling of being technical and initiated. ~ Ch. 6
Lewis quotes
Though Frank Shallard might have come to admire pictures, great music, civilized furniture, he had been trained to regard them as worldly, and to content himself with art which 'presented a message,' to regard 'Les Miserables' as superior because the bishop was a kind man, and 'The Scarlet Letter' as a poor book because the heroine was sinful and the author didn't mind.
Lewis Sinclair
His central characters are the pioneer, the doctor, the scientist, the businessman, and the feminist. The appeal of his best fiction lies in the opposition between his idealistic protagonists and an array of fools, charlatans, and scoundrels - evangelists, editorialists, pseudo-artists, cultists, and boosters.
Lewis Sinclair quotes
They all had the same ideas and expressed them always with the same ponderous and brassy assurance. If it was not Babbitt who was delivering any given verdict, at least he was beaming on the chancellor who did deliver it. ~ Ch. 10
Sinclair Lewis
I was brought up to believe that the Christian God wasn't a scared and compromising public servant, but the creator of the whole merciless truth, and I reckon that training spoiled me — I actually took my teachers seriously!
Sinclair Lewis quotes
There had to be one man in town independent enough to sass the banker!
Sinclair Lewis
All of them perceived that American Democracy did not imply any equality of wealth, but did demand a wholesome sameness of thought, dress, painting, morals, and vocabulary. ~ Ch. 34
Lewis Sinclair
Like all ardent agnostics, Martin was a religious man. ~ Ch. 16


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