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THEODORE DREISER
American novelist, naturalist and editor
(1871 - 1945)
  CHECK READING LIST (4)  

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
      - [Art]

Assure a man that he has a soul and then frighten him with old wives' tales as to what is to become of him afterward, and you have hooked a fish, a mental slave.
      - [Religion]

In order to have wisdom we must have ignorance.
      - [Wisdom]

Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.
      - [Civilization]

The mystery of life--its inexplicability, beauty, cruelty, tenderness, folly . . . has occupied the greater part of my waking thoughts; and in reverence or rage or irony, as the moment or situation might dictate, I have pondered and even demanded of cosmic energy to know Why.
      - [Life]

Dusk--of a summer night.
      - An American Tragedy [Books (First Lines)]

One morning, in the fall of 1880, a middle-aged woman, accompanied by a young girl of eighteen, presented herself at the clerk's desk of the principal hotel in Columbus, Ohio, and made inquiry as to whether there was anything about the place that she could do.
      - Jennie Gerhardt [Books (First Lines)]

When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small truck, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money.
      - Sister Carrie [Books (First Lines)]

In any group of men I have ever known, speaking from the point of view of character and not that of physical appearance, Peter would stand out as deliciously and irrefutably different. In the great waste of American intellectual dreariness he was an oasis, a veritable spring in the desert. He understood life. He knew men. He was free--spiritually, morally, in a thousand ways, it seemed to me.
      - Twelve Men (ch. 1) [Books (First Lines)]


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