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DOWNLOAD í Main Street ⚢ With Commentary By E M Forster, Dorothy Parker, H L Mencken, Lewis Mumford, Rebecca West, Sherwood Anderson, Malcolm Cowley, Alfred Kazin, Constance Rourke, And Mark Schorer Main Street, The Story Of An Idealistic Young Woman S Attempts To Reform Her Small Town, Brought Lewis Immediate Acclaim When It Was Published In It Remains One Of The Essential Texts Of The American Scene Lewis Mumford Observed In Main Street An American Had At Last Written Of Our Life With Something Of The Intellectual Rigor And Critical Detachment That Had Seemed So Cruel And Unjustified In Charles Dickens And Matthew Arnold Young People Had Grown Up In This Environment, Suffocated, Stultified, Helpless, But Unable To Find Any Reason For Their Spiritual Discomfort Mr Lewis Released Them Sinclair Lewis , Was Born In Sauk Centre, Minnesota And Graduated From Yale In In He Became The First American Recipient Of The Nobel Prize In Literature Main Street Was His First Critical And Commercial Success Lewis S Other Noted Books Include Babbitt , Arrowsmith , Elmer Gantry , Dodsworth , And It Can T Happen Here I read this many, many years ago and remember that I didn t like it at all Boring. On page 25 I thought this guy is brilliant.On page 50 I thought this guy is exhaustively brilliant.On page 100 I thought I m exhausted.On page 150 I thought I ll never get out of this novel alive.On page 200 I thought so who knew there could be so much DETAIL about every last possible aspect of one teensy Minnesotan town lodged inside the Tardis like head of Sinclair Lewis On page 213 my eye fell upon this It s the worst defeat of all I m beaten By Main Street I must go on But I can t Surprisingly Godotesque, and I imagine many readers of this large opus nodding their heads and smiling grimly.On page 350 I thought you know, I think the plot is picking up a little bit If I m reading this right, two things have actually happened in the last 70 pages THE DIRENESS OF SMALL TOWNSWell, that s what this novel is ALL aboutTell you, Carrie there s just three classes of people folks that haven t got any ideas at all the cranks that kick about everything and Regular Guys, the fellows with sticktuitiveness that boost and get the world s work done It what s so bad about a small town is a sluggishness of speech and manners, a rigid ruling of the spirit by the desire to appear respectable It is contentment the contentment of the quiet dead, who are scornful of the living of the restless walking It is the prohibition of happiness It is negation canonised as the one positive virtue It is slavery self taught and self defended It is dullness made God There s a point on page 249 where Sinclair is ONCE again recounting how much his heroine hates Gopher Prairie, and kind of breaks down into a general jeremiad without even trying to put his thoughts into her mind He just starts foaming and ranting The universal similarity that is the physical expression of the philosophy of dull safety Nine tenths of American small towns are so alike that it is the completest boredom to wander from one to the other Always there is the same lumber yard, the same railroad station, the same Ford garage, the same creamery, the same. etc etc for a long paragraph THE VICIOUS GOSSIP OF SMALL TOWNSHave you heard the scandal about this Miss Mullins and Cy Bogart I m sure it is a lie Oh, it probably is Maud s manner indicated that the falsity of the story was an insignificant flaw in its general delightfulness DIALECT NOT A GOOD IDEAVell, so you come to town, Ya Ay get a yob Vell you got a fella now Ya, Yim Yacobsen Vell I m glat to see you How much you vant a veek Sex dollar There ain t nobody pay dat Vait Dr Kennicott I t ink he marry a girl from de Cities Maybe she pay dat Vell, You go take a valk Authors, don t do this. You are giving the impression that anyone who speaks with an accent is tuppence short of a shilling.AMY ADAMS FOR CAROL, I D SAYThis is a novel about a perky and by all accounts fairly drop dead young woman named Carol who marries a guy who is a country doctor and is so eyejabbingly tedious that I was surprised she was still alive at the end of one year of marriage when there was in the small town of Gopher Prairie a full supply of sharp agricultural implements, guns with live ammo, and even a couple of four storey buildings which would surely bust your neck should you spring from their tops.She sashays into the her hubby s home town with grand but vague ideas of improving it Well, you know that expression don t let the bastards grind you down Turns out the bastards live in Gopher Springs Whole town is full of them This is a novel where the idea is like James Joyce said with Ulysses, that if Dublin burned to the ground they could rebuild it by consulting his book In this case it s all small towns in the north of the USA and all the interiors of every building every square inch of Minnesota is gone over with utter thoroughness.I LIKE A GOOD LISTSinclair Lewis is very big on lists Fur coats, fur caps, fur mittens, overshoes buckling almost to the laces, grey knitted scarves ten feet long, thick woollen socks, canvas jackets lineed with yellow wool like the plumage of ducklings, moccasins, red flannel wristlets for the blazing chapped wrists of boys The Commercial Club banquet and the Minniemashie House, an occasion for menus printed in gold but injudiciously proof read for free cigars, soft damp slabs of Lake Superior whitefish served as fillet of sole, drenched cigar ashes gradually filling the saucers of coffe cups, and oratorical references to Pep, Punch, Go, Vigour, Enterprise, Red Blood, He Men, Fair Women, God s Country, James J Hill, the Blue Sky, the Green Fields, the Bountiful Harvest, Increasing Population, Fair Return on Investments, Alien Agitators who Threaten the Security of our Institutions, the Hearthstone the Foundation of the State, Senator Knute Nelson, One Hundered Per Cent Americanism, and Pointing with Pride.When you follow a character into a room in Main Streetyou are lucky to escape without a complete inventory of furnishings and fixturesThe trouble is that often grinding down poor Carol becomes indistinguishable from grinding down the poor reader Sinclair Lewis falls into the trap that John Lennon did in his primal scream phase, say, on Cold Turkey and Mother In his case it was yelling and moaning about what psychic pain he was in In this case it s boring us half to death in protest about the psychological suffocation anyone with half a brain will suffer in these innumerable burgs Cries of All right already and You ve already said that twenty five times Mr Lewis may be heard escaping involuntarily from the reader s pursing lips TWO MORE MOANERS1 Surely a direct descendant of Main Street is Garrison Keillor s Lake Wobegon, also located in Minnesota Yes, GK paints his town with a wry avuncular affection, but in his first novel GK has his stand in denounce Lake Wobegon remarkably bitterly in terms Sinclair Lewis would have thought he s written except that GK is funnier These come in a passage called 95 Theses 95 Here s three examples You have subjected me to endless boring talk about the weather, regularity, back problems, and whether something happened in 1938 or 1939, insisting that I sit quietly and listen to every word How s it going with you you said Oh, about the same, you replied Cold enough for you It was always cold, always about the same.You have taught me to value a good night s sleep over all else including adventures of love and friendship, and even when the night is charged with magic, to be sure to get to bed If God had not meant everyone to be in bed by ten thirty, He would never have provided the ten o clock newscast.You have provided me with poor male role models, including the Sons of Knute, the Boosters Club and others whose petulance, inertia, and ineptitude are legendary I was taught to respect them men who clung to tiny grudges for decades and were devoted to vanity, horsefeathers, small potatoes not travel but the rites of trunk loading and map reading and gas mileage not faith but the Building Committee not love but supper.2 Bizarrely, I could not but think of Thomas Bernhardt, whose legendary hatred of his own country Austria is poured forth in novel after novel Main Street is in the same ball park Except there s no love in Austria IMMERSIVE NOVELSAre not read for the plot but for the forensic detail of lives lived Because of that they run the risk of boring us rigid they re the slow heavy beasts, the dray horses of literature The Old Wives Tale and A House for Mr Biswas and now, Main Street The whole thing is in the immense accretion of detail They have to win you over Main Street won me over In the end I loved it Whew Ain t going to read another Sinclair Lewis novel any time soon, but yeah. Sinclair Lewis explores his love and hate of small midwestern American towns as women s fiction. The action of this than 400 page pavement takes place before and shortly after the First World War, in a small town in Minnesota called Gopher Prairie and where one might think that Sinclair Lewis has put a lot of his native background.For his people and for Dr William Kennicott when he describes it to Carol Milford, whom he met in St Paul, Illinois, and whom he dreams of marrying, Gopher Prairie is the most beautiful city in the world Deep America A wide, deep city, cheerfully colored, carefully maintained, and populated by a small, lively, cultivated and warm world.And when Carol, now Mrs Kennicott, actually arrives in Gopher Prairie after their honeymoon in Colorado, she strives to see the city as her husband has presented it to her and as he surely sees it.But Carol is an anti conformist born, a utopian too, who imagines that good intentions, new ideas, a little youth and an immense good will will overcome the a priori, the idioms and laziness of this small town where the sidewalks that go up the high street are still in wood, as in the time of the pioneers Ready to love Gopher Prairie in spite of its ugliness, ready to sympathize sincerely with its inhabitants, it will soon realize that all this is difficult than expected, that the good intentions of some are not enough when they clash with conformism and well thought.In a tongue in cheek way that allows the reader to take the necessary distance sometimes too much, perhaps Sinclair Lewis draws here the portrait of a rigorous and stuck American society He was born there, lived there, then, necessarily, somewhere, he is attached to it But is there not a proverb that says, Who likes to chastise well Here are the pillars of the astonishing relationship to money and social success already held by the Americans of the time, veneration for a single Bible and a single church, fear and contempt for the old continent, where the pioneers came from, the terrible empire of the what do we say not specific, that one, it is true, small US cities and a macho and patriarchal vision of the world to which, finally, though reluctantly, Carol will submit.It should be noted that, from the beginning, Lewis posits as a principle that Carol s sex is an additional burden in the fight she intends to lead.