Thursday, February 7, 2008

happy birthday, sinclair lewis


Do you recall your first "light bulb" book? By that I mean the first book you read where the ol' light bulb went on and you realized there was more to it than just the plot and/or characters. You discovered symbolism... or irony... or metaphorical language. In short, you discovered depth, and voila! there was a whole new world out there in literature-land.

Well that book for me was Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt which I read in high school. It is a satire on conformist, middle-class American life, and (even though published in 1922) still seems relevant today.

I've always been sort of grateful to my pal Sinclair, so when we visited Minnesota a few years back, we made it a point to stop in Sauk Centre, his childhood home. We did the whole tourist thing -- went through the interpretive center, toured his house, etc. I even picked up a first printing of his 1949 novel, The God-seeker. (He was sort of losing his touch by then, but oh well.)

Anywhooo... I heard on the radio today that it was Sinclair Lewis' birthday. So a tip of the hat and blow of the candles to Mr. Lewis!

11 comments:

Diane said...

well, happy birthday to that reluctant Minnesotan!

Jiff said...

Hooray for Sinclair Lewis and his many inspring words!
I loved Babbitt, too.

dust bunny said...

cake....I want cake.

Rev SS said...

I loved Sinclair Lewis too .. don't know that it was because I "discovered symbolism... or irony... or metaphorical language." but, I do remember a period of reading a lot of his books. (don't ask me which ones, or what they were about :)

Barbara B. said...

Oops-- didn't mean to sound all stuffy and pretentious! :)

Yep, he had some 'biggies' (Main Street, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, etc.)...

Presbyterian Gal said...

Happy Birthday Sinny!! Why is it that so many of the great ones eventually lose touch and live on the other side?

Though I truly have never read Sinclair Lewis, perhaps I should as I cannot remember having a "light bulb" book. Either it happened in my sleep one night or I am still waiting.

Love the photo. And I also want cake.

(PS my computer is at Urgent Care, and my son's PC is not a secure site. So I'm Nicknaming today)

Barbara B. said...

Urgent Care -- yikes! Get well wishes from my computer to yours. :)

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

you renaissance woman you! who else would think of this?

Counselor in Process said...

Yes, I do remember that he had an impact on me, too. I remember that I met a boy on a long train ride and he suggested a title-can't remember which one-and I liked it.

Yolanda said...

I too like Lewis and like you I love the Gorge.

mompriest said...

Geez...my life is way too busy...you've had this post up since Thur and I'm only NOW getting here...sigh...

I'm not sure what book it was where this happened to me...I think I might have been in my 40's....