Quotations From JOHN DOS PASSOS

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  • 1.
    Our presidents have been getting to be synthetic monsters, the work of a hundred ghost- writers and press agents so that it is getting harder and harder to discover the line between the man and the institution.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Letter, July 6, 1951, to his friend, literary critic Edmund Wilson. The Fourteenth Chronicle: Letters and Diaries of John Dos Passos, ed. Townsend Ludington (1973). In reference to presidents of the United States.

    Read more quotations about / on: work
  • 2.
    We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Produced by the New Playwrights Theatre in New York in the spring of 1929. Strikers in Airways, Inc. Act 2, Three Plays, Harcourt, Brace and Company (1934).

    Read more quotations about / on: strength, work
  • 3.
    Sex is a slotmachine.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Steve Shuyler in 1919, of the trilogy U.S.A., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc. (1937). Remark follows an incident during the First World War in which a waitress in Marseilles, France collects a tip in coins by "hoisting up her skirts and picking up the coins between her legs."
  • 4.
    In certain savage tribes in New Guinea, they put the old people up in the trees and shake them once a year in the spring; if they don't fall out they let them live another year.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Produced by the New Playwrights Theatre in New York in the spring of 1929. Professor in Airways, Inc. Act 1, Three Plays, Harcourt, Brace and Company (1934).

    Read more quotations about / on: spring, people
  • 5.
    Vat is the use being a big man if you are wrong?
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. old Vogel in The Forty-Second Parallel, of the trilogy U.S.A., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc. (1937). Spoken of Robert La Follete.
  • 6.
    That is what we must make people feel... the catch in the throat, the wrench to steady the nerves, the determination to carry on.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Major J.W. Moorehouse in 1919, of the trilogy U.S.A., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc. (1937). On the subject of instilling greater feeling of support for the war effort during the First World War.

    Read more quotations about / on: people
  • 7.
    Accidents will happen in the best regulated families.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Mr. Wilkinson in Manhattan Transfer, Houghton Mifflin Company (1925 and 1953).
  • 8.
    That's the great danger of sectarian opinions, they always accept the formulas of past events as useful for the measurement of future events and they never are, if you have high standards of accuracy.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Letter, January 25, 1935, to his friend Robert Cantwell, novelist. The Fourteenth Chronicle: Letters and Diaries of John Dos Passos, ed. Townsend Ludington (1973).

    Read more quotations about / on: future
  • 9.
    The jeweled stripes on the window ran straight down when the train stopped and got more and more oblique as it speeded up. The wheels rumbled in her head, saying Man-hattan Tran-sfer Man-hattan Tran-sfer.
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Thoughts of Ellen Thatcher in Manhattan Transfer, Houghton Mifflin Company (1925 and 1953). This scene gives the novel its name.
  • 10.
    Would not some lightning flash of vision sear people's consciousness into life again? What was the good of stopping the war if armies continued?
    John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Originally published in 1922. Thoughts of John Andrews in Three Soldiers, Houghton Mifflin Company (1964).

    Read more quotations about / on: war, people, life
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