Wide World of Quotes > Sinclair Lewis Quotes


Sinclair Lewis
American novelist
(1885-1951)



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A sensational event was changing from the brown suit to the gray the contents of his pockets. He was earnest about these objects. They were of eternal importance, like baseball or the Republican party.
-- Babbit (1922)

He never put on his BVDs without thanking the God of Progress that he didn't wear tight, long, old-fashioned undergarments.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 1, section 4. BVD was the name of a modern brand of American underwear.

His name was George F. Babbitt. He was forty-six years old now, in April, 1920, and he made nothing in particular, neither butter nor shoes nor poetry, but he was nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 1

In fact there was but one thing wrong with the Babbitt house; it was not a home.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 2

To George F. Babbitt, as to most prosperous citizens of Zenith, his motor car was poetry and tragedy, love and heroism. The office was his pirate ship but the car his perilous excursion ashore.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 3

In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot 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 business man.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 14

She did her work with the thoroughness of a mind which reveres details and never quite understands them.
-- Babbit (1922), ch. 18

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.
-- Arrowsmith (1925), ch. 25

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country.
-- Interview, Berlin, 29 December 1930

It Can't Happen Here
-- Novel title (1935)

Our American professors like their literature clear and pure and cold and very dead.
-- 'The American Fear of Literature', Nobel Prize address, 12 December 1930

A man takes a drink, a drink takes another, and drink takes the man.
-- Quoted in Vincent Sheean, Dorothy and Red (1963)


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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