They are as much alike as they are different.

One was the son of a physician and died from alcoholism. The other was born to a liquor salesman and died a teetotaler. They are often confused for one another even though they are unrelated. One once worked for the other one as a janitor.

They were both two of the finest writers in American history and helped shape our laws, our customs and our national identity. Both are loved and hated.

They were American critics and this country gave them plenty of fuel for their fiery prose.

They won the greatest prizes given authors, had numerous best sellers and their books were made into movies.

Together they are Sinclair Squared.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

He called him Hal.

In Sinclair Lewis Remembered, Upton Sinclair is quoted as referring to Sinclair Lewis as Hal at Helicon Hall, the utopian community in New Jersey that was destroyed by fire.

Sweet Socialist Home Alabama

Rarely is Alabama thought of as a home for a socialist colony, where redistribution of the wealth was encouraged.  But a beautiful bay will attract all schools of political thought and Alabama's Mobile Bay at Fairhope, Alabama, is no exception.  The single tax colony in Fairhope got the attention of Upton Sinclair and other intellectuals.  Sinclair moved there.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Upton Mentors Sinclair

"You seem to me one of the most curiously uneven writers I have ever known. You will write pages and pages of interesting stuff, and then you will write a lot of conversation which is just absolute waste, without any point or worth-whileness at all; and you don’t seem to know the difference. Everything of yours that I have read is about half and half…wherever you are writing about the underworld, you are at your best, and when you come up to your own social level or higher, you are no good."

An interesting quote but nowhere near as interesting as Gore Vidal's take on Sinclair.  Vidal's article in the New York Review of Books is a great read.

Upton Sinclair's The Wet Parade is finally on dvd labelled as a "pre-code" classic in the Forbidden Hollywood Collection from Warner Brothers. (Volume 6)

Myrna Loy is one of the stars of this film.  She was in a Sinclair Lewis film too, Arrowsmith.  So she was Sinclair Squared too!

The Wet Parade has a nice review in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

As Relevant And As Topical As Ever

Yet another new and fresh Upton Sinclair biography from the University of Nebraska Press.  More information on the new book here.