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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Main Street

I didn't know nuttin' about Sinclair Lewis' Main Street when I picked it up in DC somewhere. It quickly became obvious (for me in any case, and I might be wrong) that the author was influenced by the early 20th century reform movement in the United States. His protagonist is a promising, young librarian who turns into a tragic heroine as she battles to change the small mid-western town into which she marries. In a way, with the emphasis lying elsewhere, she is comparable to Madame Bovary. I will not tell how she compares to this French figure at the end, let it suffice to say that Lewis' solution is a truly American one. I postponed writing this blog entry for way too long and don't really have much to say anymore, but I found a nice (and still valid I believe) citation from the author, part of his speech accepting the Nobel Price in Literature:

"in America most of us — not readers alone, but even writers — are still afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything American, a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues"

1 comment:

Richard Horner said...

What was the date of that comment I wonder. It could only be true today of the Fox America, which unfortunately is still maybe 30%.