Best 128 of Sinclair Lewis quotes - MyQuotes

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Sinclair Lewis
By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Well, gentlemen, I have listened to all your Solutions, and I now inform you that I, and I alone, except perhaps for Walt Trowbridge and the ghost of Pareto, have the perfect, the inevitable, the only Solution, and that is: There is no Solution! There will never be a state of society anything like perfect! "There never will be a time when there won't be a large proportion of people who feel poor no matter how much they have, and envy their neighbors who know how to wear cheap clothes showily, and envy their neighbors who can dance or make love or digest better.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Paris is one of the largest, and certainly it is the pleasantest, of modern American cities.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Babbit was an average father. He was affectionate, bullying, opinionated, ignorant, and rather wistful. Like most parents he enjoyed the game of waiting till the victim was clearly wrong, then virtuously pouncing.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

He was in stature but a small man, yet remember that so were Napoleon, Lord Beaverbrook, Stephen A. Douglas, Frederick the Great, and the Dr. Goebbels who is privily known throughout Germany as "Wotan's Mickey Mouse.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Democracy—here and in Britain and France, it hasn't been so universal a sniveling slavery as Naziism in Germany, such an imagination-hating, pharisaic materialism as Russia—even if it has produced industrialists like you, Frank, and bankers like you, R. C., and given you altogether too much power and money. On the whole, with scandalous exceptions, Democracy's given the ordinary worker more dignity than he ever had.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

It has not yet been recorded that any human being has gained a very large or permanent contentment from meditation upon the fact that he is better off than others.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The one thing that can be more disconcerting than intelligent hatred is demanding love.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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!

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The fact that none of these civic worriers had ever heard of such a case was unimportant, because they all had heard of somebody who had heard of it!

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

I am convinced that everything that is worth while in the world has been accomplished by the free, inquiring, critical spirit, and that the preservation of this spirit is more important than any social system whatsoever. But the men of ritual and the men of barbarism are capable of shutting up the men of science and silencing them forever.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

It might be the doing of Satan, in whom Aaron anxiously believed with all of his being except, perhaps, his mind.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Fascism will come to America wrapped in a flag.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The author says one character's definition of a classic is any book he'd heard of before he was thirty.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

And why, she began to ask, did she rage against individuals? Not individuals but institutions are the enemies, and they most afflict the disciples who the most generously serve them. They insinuate their tyranny under a hundred guises and pompous names, such as Polite Society, the Family, the Church, Sound Business, the Party, the Country, the Superior White Race; and the only defense against them, Carol beheld, was unembittered laughter.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Most of the mortgaged farmers. Most of the white-collar workers who had been unemployed these three years and four and five. Most of the people on relief rolls who wanted more relief. Most of the suburbanites who could not meet the installment payments on the electric washing machine. Such large sections of the American Legion as believed that only Senator Windrip would secure for them, and perhaps increase, the bonus. Such popular Myrtle Boulevard or Elm Avenue preachers as, spurred by the examples of Bishop Prang and Father Coughlin, believed they could get useful publicity out of supporting a slightly queer program that promised prosperity without anyone's having to work for it. The remnants of the Kuklux Klan, and such leaders of the American Federation of Labor as felt they had been inadequately courted and bepromised by the old-line politicians, and the non-unionized common laborers who felt they had been inadequately courted by the same A.F. of L. Back-street and over-the-garage lawyers who had never yet wangled governmental jobs. The Lost Legion of the Anti-Saloon League—since it was known that, though he drank a lot, Senator Windrip also praised teetotalism a lot, while his rival, Walt Trowbridge, though he drank but little, said nothing at all in support of the Messiahs of Prohibition. These messiahs had not found professional morality profitable of late, with the Rockefellers and Wanamakers no longer praying with them nor paying. Besides these necessitous petitioners, a goodish number of burghers who, while they were millionaires, yet maintained that their prosperity had been sorely checked by the fiendishness of the bankers in limiting their credit. These were the supporters who looked to Berzelius Windrip to play the divine raven and feed them handsomely when he should become President, and from such came most of the fervid elocutionists who campaigned for him through September and October.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

He was afraid that the world struggle today was not of Communism against Fascism, but of tolerance against the bigotry that was preached equally by Communism and Fascism. But he saw too that in America the struggle was befogged by the fact that the worst Fascists were they who disowned the word “Fascism” and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty. For they were thieves not only of wages but of honor. To their purpose they could quote not only Scripture but Jefferson.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Winter is not a season in the North Middlewest; it is an industry.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Life is hard and astonishingly complicated.... No one great reform will make it easy. Most of us who work -- or want to work -- will always have trouble or discontent. So we must learn to be calm, and train all our faculties, and make others happy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Fortune has dealt with me rather too well. I have known little struggle, not much poverty, many generosities. Now and then I have, for my books or myself, been somewhat warmly denounced -- there was one good pastor in California who upon reading my Elmer Gantry desired to lead a mob and lynch me, while another holy man in the state of Maine wondered if there was no respectable and righteous way of putting me in jail.

By Anonym 14 Sep

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!

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Since dictating the Bible, and hiring a perfect race of ministers to explain it, God has never done much but creep around and try to catch us disobeying it.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Doremus Jessup, so inconspicuous an observer, watching Senator Windrip from so humble a Boeotia, could not explain his power of bewitching large audiences. The Senator was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his "ideas" almost idiotic, while his celebrated piety was that of a traveling salesman for church furniture, and his yet more celebrated humor the sly cynicism of a country store. Certainly there was nothing exhilarating in the actual words of his speeches, nor anything convincing in his philosophy. His political platforms were only wings of a windmill. Seven years before his present credo—derived from Lee Sarason, Hitler, Gottfried Feder, Rocco, and probably the revue Of Thee I Sing—little Buzz, back home, had advocated nothing more revolutionary than better beef stew in the county poor-farms, and plenty of graft for loyal machine politicians, with jobs for their brothers-in-law, nephews, law partners, and creditors. Doremus had never heard Windrip during one of his orgasms of oratory, but he had been told by political reporters that under the spell you thought Windrip was Plato, but that on the way home you could not remember anything he had said. There were two things, they told Doremus, that distinguished this prairie Demosthenes. He was an actor of genius. There was no more overwhelming actor on the stage, in the motion pictures, nor even in the pulpit. He would whirl arms, bang tables, glare from mad eyes, vomit Biblical wrath from a gaping mouth; but he would also coo like a nursing mother, beseech like an aching lover, and in between tricks would coldly and almost contemptuously jab his crowds with figures and facts—figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect. But below this surface stagecraft was his uncommon natural ability to be authentically excited by and with his audience, and they by and with him. He could dramatize his assertion that he was neither a Nazi nor a Fascist but a Democrat—a homespun Jeffersonian-Lincolnian-Clevelandian-Wilsonian Democrat—and (sans scenery and costume) make you see him veritably defending the Capitol against barbarian hordes, the while he innocently presented as his own warm-hearted Democratic inventions, every anti-libertarian, anti-Semitic madness of Europe. Aside from his dramatic glory, Buzz Windrip was a Professional Common Man. Oh, he was common enough. He had every prejudice and aspiration of every American Common Man. He believed in the desirability and therefore the sanctity of thick buckwheat cakes with adulterated maple syrup, in rubber trays for the ice cubes in his electric refrigerator, in the especial nobility of dogs, all dogs, in the oracles of S. Parkes Cadman, in being chummy with all waitresses at all junction lunch rooms, and in Henry Ford (when he became President, he exulted, maybe he could get Mr. Ford to come to supper at the White House), and the superiority of anyone who possessed a million dollars. He regarded spats, walking sticks, caviar, titles, tea-drinking, poetry not daily syndicated in newspapers and all foreigners, possibly excepting the British, as degenerate. But he was the Common Man twenty-times-magnified by his oratory, so that while the other Commoners could understand his every purpose, which was exactly the same as their own, they saw him towering among them, and they raised hands to him in worship.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

But he saw now that he must remain alone, a "Liberal," scorned by all the noisier prophets for refusing to be a willing cat for the busy monkeys of either side. But at worst, the Liberals, the Tolerant, might in the long run preserve some of the arts of civilization, no matter which brand of tyranny should finally dominate the world.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

If a queen comes to America, crowds fill the station squares, and attendant British journalists rejoice, 'You see: the American Cousins are as respectful to Royalty as we are.' But the Americans have read of queens since babyhood. they want to see one queen, once, and if another came to town next week, with twice as handsome a crown, she would not draw more than two small boys and an Anglophile. Americans want to see one movie star, one giraffe, one jet plance, one murder, but only one. They run up a skyscraper or the fame of generals and evangelists and playwrights in one week and tear them all down in an hour, and the mark of excellence everywhere is 'under new management'.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

If there is anything worse than the aching tedium of staring out of car windows, it is the irritation of getting tickets, packing, finding trains, lying in bouncing berths, washing without water, digging out passports, and fighting through customs. To live in Carlsbad is seemly and to loaf at San Remo healing to the soul, but to get from Carlsbad to San Remo is of the devil.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

People will buy anything that is one to a customer.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

I must say I'm not very fond of oratory that's so full of energy it hasn't any room for facts.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

His name was George F. Babbitt, and . . . he was nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

In everything was the spirit of children's play - not the rule-ridden, time-killing play of adults that is a preparation for death, but the busy and credulous play of children that is a preparation for life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

What are these unheard of sins you condemn so much - and like so well?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

She did her work with the thoroughness of a mind which reveres details and never quite understands them.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Under a tyranny, most friends are a liability. One quarter of them turn "reasonable" and become your enemies, one quarter are afraid to speak, and one quarter are killed and you die with them. But the blessed final quarter keep you alive.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Oh, quit it! You're the possessor of a beautiful wife, a beautiful gas-stove, and you were going to forget all this race-hysteria.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The most important part of living is not the living but the pondering upon it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

To a true-blue professor of literature in an American university, literature is not something that a plain human being, living today, painfully sits down to produce. No; it is something dead.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Being a man given to oratory and high principles, he enjoyed the sound of his own vocabulary and the warmth of his own virtue.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The cocktail filled him with a whirling exhilaration behind which he was aware of devastating desires—to rush places in fast motors, to kiss girls, to sing, to be witty. ... He perceived that he had gifts of profligacy which had been neglected. —chapter 8

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Do you think it's so snobbish, to want to see something besides one's fellow citizens abroad?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Except for half a dozen in each town the citizens are proud of that achievement of ignorance which is so easy to come by. To be 'intellectual' or 'artistic' or, in their own word, to be 'highbrow,' is to be priggish and of dubious virtue.