The outline of the period — страница 6

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Prize for Literature. Lewis's other major novels include Babbitt (1922). George Babbitt is an ordinary businessman living and working in Zenith, an ordinary American town. Babbitt is moral and enterprising, and a believer in business as the new scientific approach to modern life. Becoming restless, he seeks fulfillment but is disillusioned by an affair with a bohemian woman, returns to his wife, and accepts his lot. The novel added a new word to the American language -- "babbittry," meaning narrow-minded, complacent, bourgeois ways. Elmer Gantry (1927) exposes revivalist religion in the United States, while Cass Timberlane (1945) studies the stresses that develop within the marriage of an older judge and his young wife. John Dos Passos (1896-1970) Like Sinclair Lewis,

John Dos Passos began as a left-wing radical but moved to the right as he aged. Dos Passos wrote realistically, in line with the doctrine of socialist realism. His best work achieves a scientific objectivism and almost documentary effect. Dos Passos developed an experimental collage technique for his masterwork U.S.A., consisting of The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919 (1932), and The Big Money (1936). This sprawling collection covers the social history of the United States from 1900 to 1930 and exposes the moral corruption of materialistic American society through the lives of its characters. Dos Passos's new techniques included "newsreel" sections taken from contemporary headlines, popular songs, and advertisements, as well as "biographies" briefly setting forth

the lives of important Americans of the period, such as inventor Thomas Edison, labor organizer Eugene Debs, film star Rudolph Valentino, financier J.P. Morgan, and sociologist Thorstein Veblen. Both the newsreels and biographies lend Dos Passos's novels a documentary value; a third technique, the "camera eye," consists of stream of consciousness prose poems that offer a subjective response to the events described in the books. John Dos Passos expressed America's postwar disillusionment in the novel Three Soldiers (1921), when he noted that civilization was a "vast edifice of sham, and the war, instead of its crumbling, was its fullest and most ultimate expression." Shocked and permanently changed, Americans returned to their homeland but could never regain

their innocence. It is one of the key American war novels of the First World War, and remains a classic of the realist war novel genre. H.L. Mencken, then practising primarily as an American literary critic, praised the book in the pages of the Smart Set. "Until Three Soldiers is forgotten and fancy achieves its inevitable victory over fact, no war story can be written in the United States without challenging comparison with it--and no story that is less meticulously true land of fat will stand up to it. At one blast it disposed of oceans of romance and blather. It changed the whole tone of American opinion about the war; it even changed the recollections of actual veterans of the war. They saw, no doubt, substantially what Dos Passos saw, but it took his bold realism to

disentangle their recollections from the prevailing buncombe and sentimentality." Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941) Sherwood Anderson was born in Camden, Ohio on September 13, 1876. Growing up, Anderson and his family moved around frequently before finally settling in Clyde, Ohio. An American writer, mainly of short stories, probably his most famous collection of works, which he began in 1915, was Winesburg, Ohio. Published in 1919, it is a collection of related short stories, which could be loosely defined as a novel. The stories are centered on the central character George Willard and the fictional inhabitants of the town of Winesburg, Ohio. As a child Anderson grew up in Clyde, Ohio, and Clyde would serve as the model for his fictional town of Winesburg. The work explores the

theme of loneliness and frustration in small-town America. Anderson’s writing often seems disjointed and tentative, a style that lends itself to the half-conscious thoughts and raw emotions of Winesburg’s residents and their inability to express their deepest hopes and fears. The townspeople are grotesques, stunted morally, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and they are inarticulate. They seem to gravitate toward George, telling him their strange, often sad, stories in the hope that, in writing the stories of their lives, he will be able to impart dignity and meaning to their personal struggles and experiences. The prose of Winesburg is often characterized by a colloquial naturalness which Anderson might have learned from such oral story tellers as his father or Mark Twain,