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LEWIS, Sinclair

( American novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1930)

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Biography LEWIS, Sinclair
February 7, 1885, Mr.. - 10 January 1951
American novelist, Harry Sinclair Lewis was born in Souk-Center, just-built town with a population of less than 3 thousand. people in the heart of Minnesota. In the novel 'Main Street' ( 'Main Street', 1920) A. described this town in acrimonious tones called Gopher Prairie. His father, Edwin D. Lewis was the local doctor, the prototype of Dr. Kennicott of 'Main Street', and his mother, Emma (Kermott) Lewis - daughter of a Canadian doctor, who had fought on the side of northerners during the Civil War. Emma Lewis had tuberculosis, and in winter she went to the south-west of the country. When Sinclair was 5 years old, she died a year later her father married Isabella Warner. To quote one of his biographers L., Mark Skorer, L. brought up in a remarkably callous, typically bourgeois atmosphere.
. Sinclair, the youngest of three sons, Edwin Lewis, was awkward, pimply, red-haired boy, whose unusual attitudes and behavior aroused ridicule and sometimes his peers and adults
. He did not like to play sports, preferring to read poems and solitary walks more active pastime. In 1902, at age 17, the young man entered the Oberlin akedemi; L., however, wanted to study at Yale University in New Haven, which was adopted a year. At Yale L. begins to write poems in psevdosrednevekovom style then popular Victorian poet Swinburne and Tennyson, one of his gothic ballads printed in the university literary magazine - an honor for a freshman. Subsequently, L. he worked on the editorial board of this journal, and has proved promising young writer. Many professors respectfully refers to the ability and witty young man, however, the L. later said that at Yale he lived no better than in Souk-Center. Arriving at the student's vacation in Souk-Center, L. having nothing to do conceived novel of provincial life, who decided to call 'Rural virus' ( 'The Village Virus') and that 15 years later became the 'main street'.
In 1904 and 1906. during the summer holidays A. traveled on a barge for transportation of livestock in England, where he was collecting material for future books. In 1906, Mr.. he, as always, comes back after the holidays to Yale, but will soon be leaving New Haven and became a janitor at Upton Sinclair's socialist commune Helikon-Hall, near the Englewood (New Jersey). However, the socialist commune tired of the future writer as fast as the university, and L. go to New York where he begins to write. His poems and short stories published in various magazines, and L. became deputy chief editor of 'Transatlantic teylz' ( 'Transatlantic Tales').
At the end of next year L. floats in Panama, trying in vain to find work, laboring for some time on the construction of the Panama Canal, and in December, comes to New York. In January 1908. He returned to Yale in June and receive a diploma. Meanwhile, a few poems L. printed in a magazine San Francisco, and have been commended William Rose Bene, which sends a young writer a letter of encouragement. A period of wandering. Lewis briefly returned home, and then worked as a journalist in Waterloo (Iowa), San Francisco, in Washington, but did not take root anywhere - from one newspaper to be fired and the other he takes himself.
Short time L. lives in a colony of artists in the Caramel (Calif.), where he met such writers as George Sterling and Jack London. As their story begins to publish the writer can not, he is forced to sell the idea of Jack London, some of the stories which were written on subjects from A. In 1910,. L. returned to New York and the next 5 years working in various publishing houses and magazines. First published composition L. become a children's book 'Walking on the airplane' ( 'Hike and the Aeroplane', 1912), which was published under the pseudonym Tom Graham. Just over a year later comes the first serious novel, A. 'Our Mr. Rennes' (' Our Mr. Wrenn ', 1914), which tells of a young dreamer, which is not difficult to learn of the L. The hero of the adventure gets to London, where he was waiting for love and disappointment, and returned to America, sobering, and certainly more practical. For 'Our Mr. Rennom' followed by 'Flight of the falcon' ( 'The Trail of the Hawk', 1915) - a novel, according to the modern American literary critic, Martin Light, 'in the spirit of' Don Quixote ', lively, optimistic'. Although both novels have been relatively well received, resulting fee was low.
In 1914, Mr.. L. married Grace Livingstone Hegger. They had a son, whom they named in honor of Welles English writer HG Wells. In 1928, Mr.. They divorced, and just a few weeks L. married to Dorothy Thompson, the well-known journalist, from a marriage with whom he also had a son - Michael. With Dorothy Thompson L. divorced in 1942
Professional career started in LA-writer, in fact, in 1915, when the newspaper 'Saturday Evening Post' ( 'Saturday Evening Post') paid him a thousand dollars for the story 'Nature' ( 'Nature, Inc.'). At the same time there are other attractive offers, resulting in L. leaving the publishing house of George Dorena, where he worked, and begins to write. In the next 4 years L. written many short stories for popular periodicals, as well as 4 different levels of the novel. If the 'Work' ( 'Job', 1917), for example, is considered one of the best early books LA, the 'Innocents' ( 'The Innocents', 1917) is often called the worst. In 1919, Mr.. came another novel, A. - 'In the open air' ( 'Free Air'), a story about the car trip across America. With the advent of 'Main Street' (1920) for L. the reputation of a major writer and social critic. Prior to that most American writers have described the life of backwater with humor and compassion, contrasting the quiet provincial life disintegrating, corrupt cities. L. with the same brilliance shown in the 'Main Street' complacency and limitations of provincial mores of the American heartland. The heroine of the novel, Carol Kennicott marries a phlegmatic provincial doctor and moves to Gopher Prairie, hoping to entertain the townspeople with their enthusiasm and cultural ideals. But she is infected 'village virus' stagnant, sanctimonious provincial life.
As a social document 'Main Street' or praised, or subjected to severe criticism, but as a work of art praised unanimously. Example, . American critic, Stanton Coblentz after a few months after he wrote the novel in the light, . that 'no Jane Austen, . nor George Eliot did not portray the provincial England of the last century with more expressive, . than Mr. Lewis portrayed the life of modern American small town with its mediocrity, . with his humor and enthusiasm, . pettiness and potential greatness, . its countless wretched comedies and tragedies hidden dirty ',
. American scholar Perry Miller thought that L. an artist borrowed heavily from Charles Dickens. 'He knew Dickens by heart - Miller wrote - and in books such as' Main Street', tried to apply the Dickensian method of artistic exaggeration to modern America. "
. For 'Main Street' was followed by an even more controversial works, each of which raises various problems of American society
. Thus, in 'Babb' ( 'Babbitt', 1922) displayed limited and hypocritical middle-class businessmen. In the novel 'Erousmit' ( 'Arrowsmith', 1925) the protagonist - a doctor who 'Babbitt' do not realize its noble ideals. In 'Elmer Gentry' ( 'Elmer Gantry', 1927) is shown with the underside activities churchmen. In 'Dodsworth' ( 'Dodsworth', 1929) examines the conflict between European and American culture as an example of vanity, not devoid of artistry businessman. In 'Ann Vickers' ( 'Ann Vickers', 1933) shows corruption of public services. In all these novels with caustic wit and unusual gift mimikricheskim L. exposes the flaws of the middle class - self-righteousness, hypocrisy, ignorance. L. collecting material for his best books with truly anthropological scrutiny, . often consulted with experts in the relevant field, . such as the popular writer Paul de Krayfom, . when he wrote 'Erousmita'; with an evangelist from the Kansas City A,
. Birkhedom while working on 'Elmer Gentry'.
Popularity L. as a social critic and writer constantly varied. For example, in the early 20-ies. Many critics agree with Mr.. Menkenov that such a novel as 'Babb' is a 'social document of the highest order'. In those years, from L. was very high reputation, he was one of the best American writers. When in 1926. he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, he refused to accept the award, arguing that literary prizes do not believe, and besides, there are other writers, more worthy of awards. After that, the popularity of A. increased even more, become even more contradictory. By the end of the 20-ies. to A. comes to international recognition, he is considered one of the most courageous and critical writers of the United States.
In 1930. L. was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 'for the powerful and expressive art of narration and a rare skill with satire and humor to create new types and characters'. In the opening speech a member of the Swedish Academy Eric Karlfeldt said: 'Yes, Sinclair L. - American. He writes in a new language - the U.S., the language of 120 million. human soul '. E. Karlfeldt also added: 'The new American literature began with self. This is a sign of health. In Sinclair A. nature of the first settlers. He - a true American pioneer '. In his Nobel lecture, called 'The fear of American literature before' ( 'The American Fear of Literature'), L. made against those who are still 'afraid of any literature, than that which extols all the American, equally shortcomings and dignity'. Debunked Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell, Holmes, Alcott as a 'sentimental imitators of Europeans', A. welcomed such writers as Hamlin Garland, who, from his point of view, wrote the truth about the American reality. 'After reading the book, Mr. Garland' main carriageways of the road ', I realized that there is a person who believes that the farmers of the Midwest can sometimes be trapped in a deadlock, hungry, vile - but also self-sacrificing. I sighed with relief: it means, and I can write about life as a real life '- "L.
After the Nobel Prize L. began to write worse, has changed for the worse and the attitude of critics. Of the 10 novels he wrote only a few deserved high critical evaluations. In the novel, 'We is not' ( 'It Can't Happen Here'), written in 1935, during the Great Depression, the action takes place in the United States, where the Nazis came to power. In the novel 'Cass Timberleyn' ( 'Cass Timberlane', 1945) falls in love with an elderly judge frivolous 24-year-old Ginny Marshlend. In the novel 'Kingsblad, a descendant of kings' ( 'Kingsblood Royal', 1947) A. appeals to the oppressed blacks in America.
Throughout his life, L. I drank a lot, and this has undermined the health of. In recent years the writer has lived in Europe, mainly in Italy. His last novel, 'The world is so wide' ( 'World so Wide') was published shortly after his death. L. died of a heart attack in Rome on January 10, 1951
In its relation to creativity L. critics divided. In 1940. American literary critic A. Kazin called L. fundamentally uncritical writer, who loves his satirical characters, identifying himself with them. In 1951, Mr.. American writer Joseph Wood Kratie praised mimikricheskom gift L. and at the same time said that he 'misused mimicry as artistic technique'.
James Lundquist, a critic of the more modern, valued in L. one purely American quality, which unites him with such famous American writers as John Dos Passos, Gore Vidal and Terry Southern. 'L. entered the literature at the very moment when the American blatant bad taste in the XX. becomes apparent even to the Americans - wrote Lundquist. - When L. describes what is happening in towns and cities with a housewife, businessman, scientist, pastor, an industrialist, he thereby frees us from the fear that haunts us everywhere '. 'The great novels of the 20's. - Wrote Perry Miller - written with such inspiration that the harsh criticism, contained in them, turn around glorification'. 'I wrote to Babbitt, proceeding not from hatred to him, but out of love', - said Miller, LA

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