April 26, 2004


I am now 3/4ths of the way through the third Sinclair Lewis book I've picked up, Arrowsmith (previous reads include Main Street & Babbitt). There is something so enriching about his character development, the way he gets under the skin of their true natures and depicts their interal thoughts as all over the board, i.e., realistically. They are not usually steady in their beliefs but solid in their personalities, while shifting in response to life events. I don't know why I am so drawn to the writers of the 30s/40s/50s (Huxley, O'Hara, Fitzgerald, Salinger) but I guess I find pleasure in characters who have the greatness that unavowed, each of us hopes we have, as well as the failures we wish were less obvious. I feel like I can sink my teeth into the characters in Sinclair Lewis' books - and have some empathy for the crazy Midwestern sensibilities. (Although, I secretly view my hometown as a normal small town with Sin City undercurrents, saving it from sanctimoniousness).

So I usually just imagine small towns in Ohio.

Posted by zippy at April 26, 2004 4:13 PM