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

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! - Elmer Gantry's famous speech

In the study of the profession to which he had looked forward all his life he found irritation and vacuity as well as serene wisdom; he saw no one clear path to Truth but a thousand paths to a thousand truths far-off and doubtful.

It was of no use. That particular sort of coward and evader he was not, and he lay abed facing all his sins, all his slacknesses, and the merited punishment by a just and angry God.

Never was a Family more insistent on learning one another’s movements than were the Bunch. All of them volubly knew, or indignantly desired to know, where all the others had been every minute of the week.

Reverend Lucius Fairlow... a mild-spoken young-old man with mild chestnut hair and a mild chestnut mustache and a conservative theology which stuck mildly to the pleasant certainties of God's anger and eternal hellfire.

So much in a revolution is nothing but waiting.

The more the Dakota have to do with the white, the worse. The whites give him whiskey to get his furs and bimeby he don't want to trap so many furst but he want plenty more whiskey. The white traders take his girl, and all he get in swap is a disease. They take his land, and all he get is a leetle annuity so he don't do any work and starve slow. The Indian gets white man's gun an he is drunk and kill his own brother and they call him sinful. That's what he get from the white man— fine kettle, fine gun, fine blanket, the big pox, the small pox and religion.

They've worked out elaborate charts classifying all intellectual occupations and interests, with the methods and materials and tools, and especially the goals — the aims, the ideals, the moral purposes — that are suited to each of them. Really tremendous! Why, a musician or an engineer, for example, could look at his chart and tell accurately whether he was progressing fast enough, at his age, and if not, just what his trouble was, and the remedy.

What is love? It is the morning and the evening star.

Indians, of course, have no 'theology,' and indeed no word for the system of credulity in which the white priests arrange for God, who must be entirely bewildered by it, a series of excuses for his failures.

It's one of our favorite American myths that broad plains necessarily make broad minds, and high mountains make high purpose.

No matter even if you are cold, I like you better than anybody in the world. One time I said that you were my soul. And that still goes. You're all the things that I see in a sunset when I'm driving in from the country, the things that I like but can't make poetry of.

She bought a budget-plan account book and made her budgets as exact as budgets are likely to be when they lack budgets.

That drawing room had the soul of a banker with side-whiskers.

The outhouse was so overmodestly masked with vines and lattice that it was not concealed at all. 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.

Think how much better it is to criticize conventional customs if you yourself live up to them, scrupulously. Then people can't say you're attacking them to excuse your own infractions. Yes, I've heard that plea... To word it differently, 'You must live up to the popular code if you believe in it; but if you don't believe in it, then you must live up to it!'

I have faith in Faith, I have reverence for all true Reverence.

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every country.

I've sat at the preachers' feet and listened to them, faithfully, and tried to make myself become what they said I ought to be. I'm through! I do my own thinking now and my own bossing.

No one could possibly have looked more like a person closing a door without actually closing one.

She continued it to Hugh, 'Darling, do you know what mother and you are going to find beyond the blue horizon rim?' 'What?' flatly. 'We're going to find elephants with golden howdahs from which peep young maharanees with necklaces of rubies, and a dawn sea colored like the breast of a dove, and a white an green house filled with books and silver tea-sets.' 'And cookies?' 'Cookies? Oh, most decidedly cookies. We've had enough of bread and porridge. We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.

That nation is proudest and noblest and most exalted which has the greatest number of really great men.

The poor we have always with us, and the purpose of the Lord in providing the poor is to enable us of the better classes to amuse ourselves by investigating them and uplifting them and at dinners telling how charitable we are. The poor don't like it much. They have no gratitude. They would rather be uplifters themselves. But if they are taken firmly in hand they can be kept reasonably dependent and interesting for years.

This age, which should adjudge happiness to be as valuable as soap or munitions, would never come so long as the workers accepted the testimony of paid spokesmen... to the effect that they were contented and happy, rather than the evidence of their own wincing nerves to the effect that they live in a polite version of hell.

I live in this house and am Episcopalian – no so much High Church as highly infrequent church.

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