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

Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead. [on receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature]

She took walks, and was sensible about shoes and diet. And never did she feel that she was living.

The driver of the wagon swaying through forest and swamp of the Ohio wilderness was a ragged girl of fourteen.

There had to be one man in town independent enough to sass the banker!

We have the power to bore people long after we are dead.

I wonder if you can understand the 'fun' of making a beautiful thing, the pride and satisfaction of it, and the holiness! The company glanced doubtfully at one another. In Gopher Prairie it is not good form to be holy except at church, between ten-thirty and twelve on Sunday.

It is not a snobbish rich-man's college, devoted to leisurely nonsense. It is the property of the people of the state, and what they want — or what they are told they want — is a mill to turn out men and women who will lead moral lives, play bridge, drive good cars, be enterprising in business, and occasionally mention books, though they are not expected to have time to read them. It is a Ford Motor Factory, and if its products rattle a little, they are beautifully standardized, with perfectly interchangeable parts.

Most troubles are unnecessary. We have Nature beaten; we can make her grow wheat; we can keep warm when she sends blizzards. So we raise the devil just for pleasure--wars, politics, race-hatreds, labor-disputes.

People will buy anything that is one to a customer.

She was close in her husband's arms; she clung to him; whatever of strangeness and slowness and insularity she might find in him, none of that mattered so long as she could slip her hands beneath his coat, run her fingers over the warm smoothness of the satin back of his waistcoat, seem almost to creep into his body, find in him strength, find in the courage and kindness of her man a shelter from the perplexing world.

The game (baseball) was a custom of his clan, and it gave outlet for the homicidal and sides-taking instincts which Babbitt called patriotism and love of sport.

There was much conversation, most of which sounded like the rest of it.

We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.

If that woman is on the side of the angels, then I have no choice; I must be on the side of the devil.

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.

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.

Perhaps I am a crank, Martin. There are many who hate me. There are plots against me — oh, you t'ink I imagine it, but you shall see! I make many mistakes. But one thing I keep always pure: the religion of a scientist. To be a scientist — it is not just a different job, so that a man should choose between being a scientist and being an explorer or a bond-salesman or a physician or a king or a farmer. It is a tangle of ver-y obscure emotions, like mysticism, or wanting to write poetry; it makes its victim all different from the good normal man.The normal man, he does not care much what he does except that he should eat and sleep and make love. But the scientist is intensely religious — he is so religious that he will not accept quarter-truths, because they are an insult to his faith. He wants that everything should be subject to inexorable laws. He is equal opposed to the capitalists who t'ink their silly money-grabbing is a system, and to liberals who t'ink man is not a fighting animal; he takes both the American booster and the European aristocrat, and he ignores all their blithering. Ignores it! All of it! He hates the preachers who talk their fables, but he iss not too kindly to the anthropologists and historians who can only make guesses, yet they have the nerf to call themselves scientists! Oh, yes, he is a man that all nice good-natured people should naturally hate!

She was not a Respectable Married Woman but fully a human being.

The grateful savants had accepted, and they were spending the rest of their lives reading fifteenth-hand opinions, taking pleasant naps, and drooling out to yawning students the anemic and wordy bookishness which they called learning.

There’s no stronger bulwark of sound conservatism than the evangelical church, and no better place to make friends who’ll help you to gain your rightful place in the community than in your own church-home!

Well, if that’s what you call being at peace, for heaven’s sake just warn me before you go to war, will you?

Are they? I wonder! Don't cheerful agnostics, who know they are going to die dead, worry much less than good Baptists, who worry lest their sons and cousins and sweethearts fail to get into the Baptist heaven — or what is even worse, who wonder if they may not have guessed wrong — if God may not be a Catholic, maybe, or a Mormon or Seventh-day Adventist instead of a Baptist, and then they'll go to hell themselves. Consolation? No!

Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize.

He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.

His reasoning had been introverted, turned from an examination of men as mammals and devoted to a sorrow that sinful and aching souls should not more readily seek the security of a mystic process known as Conviction, Repentance, and Salvation, which he was assured by the noblest and most literate men he had ever known, was guaranteed to cure all woe. His own experience did not absolutely confirm this.

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