Sinclair Lewis, fully Harry Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair
Lewis, fully Harry Sinclair Lewis
1885
1951

American Novelist, Social Critic and Playwright, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

Author Quotes

With... small-town life... there are hundreds of thousands... who are not content. The more intelligent young people... flee to the cities... and... stay there, seldom returning even for holidays. The reason, Carol insisted... is an unimaginatively standardized background, a sluggishness of speech and manners, a rigid ruling of the spirit by the desire to appear respectable. It is contentment... the contentment of the quiet dead, who are scornful of the living for their restless walking. It is the prohibition of happiness. It is the slavery self-sought and self-defended. It is dullness made God. A savorless people, gulping tasteless food and sitting afterward, coatless and thoughtless, in rocking-chairs prickly with inane decorations, listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles, and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.

You can’t be an idealist and make money. You make the money and then you can have all the ideals you want to, and give away some hospitals and libraries.

You have curiosity and you are stubborn. You do not accept rules. Therefore I t'ink you will either make a very good scientist or a very bad one, and if you are bad enough, you will be popular with the rich ladies who rule this city, New York, and you can gif lectures for a living or even become, if you get to be plausible enough, a college president. So anyvay, it will be interesting.

You, Said Dr. Yavitch, are a middle-road liberal, and you haven't the slightest idea what you want. I, being a revolutionist, know exactly what I want -- and what I want now is a drink.

You’re exactly as tall as I am. Mouse dear, you ought to be taller.

Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.

Your lips are for songs about rivers in the morning and lakes at twilight.

Whatever the misery, he could not regain contentment with a world which, once doubted, became absurd.

You're so earnest about morality that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath.

When America becomes a military autocracy, she will be Lady Carter or the Countess of Grimsby.

You've been telling us about how to secure peace, but come on, now, General—just among us Rotarians and Rotary Anns—'fess up! With your great experience, don't you honest, cross-your-heart, think that perhaps—just maybe—when a country has gone money-mad, like all our labor unions and workmen, with their propaganda to hoist income taxes, so that the thrifty and industrious have to pay for the shiftless ne'er-do-weels, then maybe, to save their lazy souls and get some iron into them, a war might be a good thing? Come on, now, tell your real middle name, Mong General!

When audiences come to see us authors lecture, it is largely in the hope that we'll be funnier to look at than to read.

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

When he gets uppity about his supposed learning, I just take it on myself to remind him that God and his angels know almost as much as college professors.

When you think that most of us are doomed by divine grace to roast in hell, to say nothing of mortgages and hail and bad crops and extravagant womenfolks, 'tain't any laughing matter!

Where does she get all them the'ries marveled Uncle Whittier Smail; while Aunt Bessie inquired, Do you suppose there's many folks got notions like hers? My! If there are, and her tone settled the fact that there were not, I just don't know what the world's coming to!

Which of them said which has never been determined, and does not matter, since they all had the same ideas and expressed them always with the same ponderance 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.

Why, I wouldn’t take this fool country for a gift (England) No, sir! Me for God’s country – Sleepy Eye, Brown County, Minnesota. You bet!

Winter is not a season, it's an occupation

If travel were so inspiring and informing a business ... then the wisest men in the world would be deck hands on tramp steamers, Pullman porters, and Mormon missionaries.

It is one of the major tragedies that nothing is more discomforting than the hearty affection of the Old Friends who never were friends.

Mr. Blingham, and may he fry in his own cooking-oil, was assistant treasurer of the Flaver-Saver Company.

Pickerbaugh apparently believed that this research would take six weeks; Martin had hoped to do it in two years; and with the present interruptions it would require two hundred.

She was snatched back from a dream of far countries, and found herself on Main Street.

The greatest mystery about a human being is not his reaction to sex or praise, but the manner in which he contrives to put in twenty-four hours a day. It is this which puzzles the longshoreman about the clerk, the Londoner about the bushman.

Author Picture
First Name
Sinclair
Last Name
Lewis, fully Harry Sinclair Lewis
Birth Date
1885
Death Date
1951
Bio

American Novelist, Social Critic and Playwright, Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature