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Sinclair Lewis quotes (showing 1-30 of 261)

“We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.”
Sinclair Lewis
“I think perhaps we want a more conscious life.”
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
“Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“He loved the people just as much as he feared and detested persons.”
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
“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
“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 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.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“You're so earnest about morality that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
“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
“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 theories?" 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
“Whatever the misery, he could not regain contentment with a world which, once doubted, became absurd.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
“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
“Why are you so afraid of the word ‘Fascism,’ Doremus? Just a word—just a word! And might not be so bad, with all the lazy bums we got panhandling relief nowadays, and living on my income tax and yours—not so worse to have a real Strong Man, like Hitler or Mussolini—like Napoleon or Bismarck in the good old days—and have ‘em really run the country and make it efficient and prosperous again. ‘Nother words, have a doctor who won’t take any back-chat, but really boss the patient and make him get well whether he likes it or not!”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“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
“So much in a revolution is nothing but waiting.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“NOW is a fact that cannot be dodged.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“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
“She was snatched back from a dream of far countries, and found herself on Main Street.”
Sinclair Lewis, Main Street
“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, Babbitt
“Thus it came to him merely to run away was folly, because he could never run away from himself.”
Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
“realized that this country has gone so flabby that any gang daring enough and unscrupulous enough, and smart enough not to seem illegal, can grab hold of the entire government and have all the power and applause and salutes, all the money and palaces and willin’ women they want.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here
“Sleep with me sleep with my dogs-”
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
“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
“Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.”
Sinclair Lewis
“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.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

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