The Spyglass, Views and Reviews, 1924-1930: Selected and Edited by John Tyree Fain

By Donald Davidson | Go to book overview

baugh variety. Undoubtedly also, though one may take a great deal of delight in the resounding thwacks which Sinclair Lewis administers to the doctors, I am inclined to wonder whether that excellent profession quite deserves all the knocks this novelist gives it. Surely all clinics, for instance, do not resemble the suave Rouncefield clinic, where the debonair Angus Duer, to Arrowsmith's disgust, cultivated wealthy clients.

But Sinclair Lewis is what he is. He is not, for instance, a Henry James. He is all for broad effects. He capitalizes vulgarity and makes of it his chief strength. Arrowsmith is racy with the speech of everyday America. And if you object to the crassness and cheapness of the vocabulary used by Pickerbaugh and Bert Tozer, the only remedy, no doubt, is to imitate the methods of Pickerbaugh and engineer some sort of "Better Adjectives Week." And after all, there is something delightful in the manner with which Mr. Lewis catches and faithfully renders the flavor of American life today.

Theodore Dreiser


Spyglass January 31, 1926

Theodore Dreiser's new novel is in two volumes, with fine print, some eight hundred pages in all. But to those who have the wisdom and the courage to undertake it, the reading will bring an unforgettable experience. It is a complete presentation, methodical, unsparing, and yet somehow tender and pitying, of a being who could perhaps exist at this time in no land but America, yet who is so

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