Best 128 of Sinclair Lewis quotes - MyQuotes

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Sinclair Lewis
By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

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 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 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going about saying, "The trouble with this country is....

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Thus Carol hit upon the tragedy of old age, which is not that it is less vigorous than youth, but that it is not needed by youth.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Is it just possible,' he sighed, 'that the most vigorous and obldest idealists have been the worst enemies of human progress instead of its greatest creators?

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 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Sleep with me sleep with my dogs-

By Anonym 19 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The tyranny of this dictatorship isn't primarily the fault of Big Business, nor of the demagogues who do their dirty work. It's the fault of Doremus Jessup! Of all the conscientious, respectable, lazy-minded Doremus Jessups who have let the demagogues wriggle in, without fierce enough protest. "A few months ago I thought the slaughter of the Civil War, and the agitation of the violent Abolitionists who helped bring it on, were evil. But possibly they had to be violent, because easy-going citizens like me couldn't be stirred up otherwise. If our grandfathers had had the alertness and courage to see the evils of slavery and of a government conducted by gentlemen for gentlemen only, there wouldn't have been any need of agitators and war and blood. "It's my sort, the Responsible Citizens who've felt ourselves superior because we've been well-to-do and what we thought was 'educated,' who brought on the Civil War, the French Revolution, and now the Fascist Dictatorship. It's I who murdered Rabbi de Verez. It's I who persecuted the Jews and the Negroes. I can blame no Aras Dilley, no Shad Ledue, no Buzz Windrip, but only my own timid soul and drowsy mind. Forgive, O Lord! "Is it too late?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

I came trusting them. They beat me with rods of dullness. They don't know, they don't understand how agonizing their complacent dullness is. Like ants and August sun on a wound." - Carol Kennicott

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

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

The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

I can never forgive evil and lying and cruel means, and still less can I forgive fanatics that use that for an excuse! If I may imitate Romain Rolland, a country that tolerates evil means — evil manners, standards of ethics — for a generation, will be so poisoned that it never will have any good end.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

It is, I think, an error to believe that there is any need of religion to make life seem worth living.

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 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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Writers have a rare power not given to anyone else: we can bore people long after we are dead.

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 17 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

NOW is a fact that cannot be dodged.

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 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

And though he had almost flunked in Greek, his thesis on 'Sixteen Ways of Paying a Church Debt' had won the ten-dollar prize in Practical Theology.

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

Fascism will come to America wrapped in a flag.

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 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

A village in a country which is taking pains to become altogether standardized and pure, which aspires to succeed Victorian England as the chief mediocrity of the world, is no longer merely provincial, no longer downy and restful in its leaf-shadowed ignorance. It is a force seeking to conquer the earth. Sure of itself, it bullies other civilizations, as a traveling salesman in a brown derby conquers the wisdom of China and tacks advertisements of cigarettes over arches for centuries dedicated to the sayings of Confucius.

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

People will buy anything that is one to a customer.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

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 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

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

The Maker of the universe with stars a hundred thousand light-years apart was interested, furious, and very personal about it if a small boy played baseball on Sunday afternoon.

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 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

There is no greater compliment to the Jews than the fact that the degree of their unpopularity is always the scientific measure of the cruelty and silliness of the regime under which they live.

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 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 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Curiously, neither God nor the devil may wear modern dress, but must retain Grecian vestments.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

When facism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Think how much better it is to criticize conventional customs if you yourself live up to them, scrupulously.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Writers kid themselves-about themselves and other people. Take the talk about writing methods. Writing is just work-there's no secret. If you dictate or use a pen or type with your toes-it is just work.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Women, she pointed out, had done nothing with the vote. If the United States had only listened to her back in 1919 she could have saved them all this trouble. No. Certainly not. No votes.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

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

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 18 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

The conspicuous fault of the Jeffersonian Party, like the personal fault of Senator Trowbridge, was that it represented integrity and reason, in a year when the electorate hungered for frisky emotions, for the peppery sensations associated, usually, not with monetary systems and taxation rates but with baptism by immersion in the creek, young love under the elms, straight whisky, angelic orchestras heard soaring down from the full moon, fear of death when an automobile teeters above a canyon, thirst in a desert and quenching it with spring water—all the primitive sensations which they thought they found in the screaming of Buzz Windrip.

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 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Fine, large, meaningless, general terms like romance and business can always be related. They take the place of thinking, and are highly useful to optimists and lecturers.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Damn the great executives, the men of measured merriment, damn the men with careful smiles, damn the men that run the shops, oh, damn their measured merriment.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Sinclair Lewis

Good Lord, I don't know what 'rights' a man has! And I don't know the solution of boredom. If I did, I'd be the one philosopher that had the cure for living. But I do know that about ten times as many people find their lives dull, and unnecessarily dull, as ever admit it; and I do believe that if we busted out and admitted it sometimes, instead of being nice and patient and loyal for sixty years, and then nice and patient and dead for the rest of eternity, why, maybe, possibly, we might make life more fun.