Ten Years After a Space in Time By Bill Kauffman - March 18, 2013 3 Reading Time: < 1 Facebook Twitter Email Print Memories…. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The Nightstand “Ordered Toward your Becoming”: On Natalie Carnes’s Motherhood: A Confession The Nightstand When Home is No Home: On Becoming Native to a Changing Place Region & Place Fitting into the Bigger Picture Short Hidden Wound, Living Bridges, and Local Food Processors The Stump Not Throwing Away My Shot: Alexander Hamilton and the Militarization of the American Police Education & Liberal Learning The College and the Community: A Strange Saga in Tallahassee 3 COMMENTS Bill–You shame me, I’m afraid. I’ve read and reviewed many of your books, but not the Dispatches. I’ve got a copy, of course. I’ll bring it to the head of my reading queue. Thanks for nudging my conscience. I was keenly gratified that you quoted Minnesota’s great champion (who ran into the same kind of chilly response to his realism about Minnesotans that you did about bringing Batavia to life), Sinclair Lewis. He had been so thoroughly slandered by litcrits and perfessers by the time–a scant 15 years after his death–I matriculated at the University of Minnesota that I was scared off from his work until a few years ago, when a dear friend gave me occasion (related to the brou-haha over Scott Walker’s union-busting bills) to read It Can’t Happen Here. More recently, my Netflix queue compelled me to read Arrowsmith and the completely forgotten, I’d say, Mantrap before I saw the movies made of them. The latter are no less satirical that ICHH and vastly more probable as well as, in the case of Mantrap, funnier. The films made of them are ghastly but good-lookin’ (Arrowsmith) and entertaining but lame (Mantrap), respectively. The next Lewis opus I’ll crack will probably be Dodsworth, because of its 1936 filming (I’m presently at 1934 in my chronologically arranged Netflix queue). Your fellow friend-at-home (at last!)–Ray Thanks, Ray. My favorite Sinclair Lewis novel remains Babbitt, a hilarious regionalist dystopia. He sure loved your state. Like his character Cass Timberlane, Lewis memorized Minnesota’s eighty-seven counties and county seats. He once said that he wrote Main Street from “a love of Main Street, a belief in Main Street’s inherent power.” He’s do for a revival, ain’t he? Dear Bill–He sure is! And Tom Fleming recommended Babbitt to me just two days ago. Not that I wasn’t well aware of its stature. I rather like having discovered Lewis through some of his lesser work, though I am very fond of Mantrap, which is a consummate satire of the Wilderness Experience as well as a reminder that decent enough people still can do one another wrong, cuz it’s just human nature, alas, to do so. Comments are closed.