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Sinclair Lewis quotes (showing 1-30 of 85)

“We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.”
Sinclair Lewis
“It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.”
Sinclair Lewis
“Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.”
Sinclair Lewis
“There are two insults which no human being will endure: The assertion that he hasn't a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.”
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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
“Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“I think perhaps we want a more conscious life. We're tired of drudging and sleeping and dying. We're tired of seeing just a few people able to be individualists. We're tired of always deferring hope till the next generation. We're tired of hearing politicians and priests and cautious reformers... coax us, 'Be calm! Be patient! Wait! We have the plans for a Utopia already made; just wiser than you.' For ten thousand years they've said that. We want our Utopia now — and we're going to try our hands at it.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“It isn't what you earn but how spend it that fixes your class.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“They were staggered to learn that a real tangible person, living in Minnesota, and married to their own flesh-and-blood relation, could apparently believe that divorce may not always be immoral; that illegitimate children do not bear any special and guaranteed form of curse; that there are ethical authorities outside of the Hebrew Bible; that men have drunk wine yet not died in the gutter; that the capitalistic system of distribution and the Baptist wedding-ceremony were not known in the Garden of Eden; that mushrooms are as edible as corn-beef hash; that the word "dude" is no longer frequently used; that there are Ministers of the Gospel who accept evolution; that some persons of apparent intelligence and business ability do not always vote the Republican ticket straight; that it is not a universal custom to wear scratchy flannels next the skin in winter; that a violin is not inherently more immoral than a chapel organ; that some poets do not have long hair; and that Jews are not always peddlers or pants-makers.

"Where does she get all them the'ries?" marveled Uncle Whittier Smail; while Aunt Bessie inquired, "Do you suppose there's many folks got notions like hers? My! If there are," and her tone settled the fact that there were not, "I just don't know what the world's coming to!”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“It is one of the major tragedies that nothing is more discomforting than the hearty affection of the Old Friends who never were friends.”
Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith
“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“Whatever the misery, he could not regain contentment with a world which, once doubted, became absurd.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
“Sleep with me sleep with my dogs-”
Sinclair Lewis
“You're so earnest about morality that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
Sinclair Lewis
“She was snatched back from a dream of far countries, and found herself on Main Street.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“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”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
tags: humor
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“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...”
Sinclair Lewis
tags: age, youth
“She did her work with the thoroughness of a mind which reveres details and never quite understands them.”
Sinclair Lewis
tags: humor
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
“In Floral Heights and the other prosperous sections of Zenith, especially in the “young married set,” there were many women who had nothing to do. Though they had few servants, yet with gas stoves, electric ranges and dish-washers and vacuum cleaners, and tiled kitchen walls, their houses were so convenient that they had little housework, and much of their food came from bakeries and delicatessens. They had but two, one, or no children; and despite the myth that the Great War had made work respectable, their husbands objected to their “wasting time and getting a lot of crank ideas” in unpaid social work, and still more to their causing a rumor, by earning money, that they were not adequately supported. They worked perhaps two hours a day, and the rest of the time they ate chocolates, went to the motion-pictures, went window-shopping, went in gossiping twos and threes to card-parties, read magazines, thought timorously of the lovers who never appeared, and accumulated a splendid restlessness which they got rid of by nagging their husbands. The husbands nagged back.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“If travel were so inspiring and informing a business...then the wisest men in the world would be deck hands on tramp steamers, Pullman porters, and Mormon missionaries.”
Sinclair Lewis, Dodsworth
“If that woman is on the side of the angels, then I have no choice; I must be on the side of the devil.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“So much in a revolution is nothing but waiting.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“He said brokenly many things beautiful in their common-ness.”
Sinclair Lewis
“Well, if that’s what you call being at peace, for heaven’s sake just warn me before you go to war, will you?”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbit

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