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Elmer Gantry (Anglais) Poche – 4 décembre 2007


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Présentation de l'éditeur

Harry Sinclair Lewis (1885 – 1951) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. Elmer Gantry is a satirical novel written by Lewis in 1926 and published by Harcourt in March 1927. The novel tells the story of a young, narcissistic, womanizing college athlete who abandons his early ambition to become a lawyer. The legal profession does not suit the unethical Gantry, who then becomes a notorious and cynical alcoholic. Gantry is mistakenly ordained as a Baptist minister, briefly acts as a "New Thought" evangelist, and eventually becomes a Methodist minister. He acts as manager for Sharon Falconer, an itinerant evangelist. Gantry becomes her lover but loses both her and his position when she is killed in a fire at her new tabernacle. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Biographie de l'auteur

Sinclair Lewis was born in 1885 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, and graduated from Yale University in 1908. His college career was interrupted by various part-time occupations, including a period working at the Helicon Home Colony, Upton Sinclair’s socialist experiment in New Jersey. He worked for some years as a free lance editor and journalist, during which time he published several minor novels. But with the publication of Main Street (1920), which sold half a million copies, he achieved wide recognition. This was followed by the two novels considered by many to be his finest, Babbitt (1922) and Arrowsmith (1925), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1926, but declined by Lewis. In 1930, following Elmer Gantry (1927) and Dodsworth (1929), Sinclair Lewis became the first American author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for distinction in world literature. This was the apogee of his literary career, and in the period from Ann Vickers (1933) to the posthumously published World So Wide (1951) Lewis wrote ten novels that reveal the progressive decline of his creative powers. From Main Street to Stockholm, a collection of his letters, was published in 1952, and The Man from Main Street, a collection of essays, in 1953. During his last years Sinclair Lewis wandered extensively in Europe, and after his death in Rome in 1951 his ashes were returned to his birthplace.



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42 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Talented scoundrel takes to the pulpit 24 septembre 2001
Par Stefan Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Elmer Gantry begins this novel as a boozing, womanizing, college football player. Despite having a great speaking voice and dominating personality he has no interest in persuing a career as a minister. Peer pressure leads him to try, and he soon finds himself attending divinity school and headed to life as a man of the cloth.
Elmer's character can be summed up by once incident. After getting a doubt-ridden professor fired, someone leaves 30 dimes wrapped in a religious tract in Elmer's dorm room. He delightedly mines the tract for sermon ideas, and uses the 30 dimes to buy naughty postcards.
Besides following the rise, fall, and rise of hard working, talented, and utterly unprincipled Elmer, Sinclair Lewis's novel shows us the state of evangelical religion in the first decades of the 20th Century. We see back-country Baptist churches, traveling revival shows, "New Age" cults, and middle-of-the road Methodist congregations at work.
It's funny, and hair-raising, stuff. There's also a nice twist ending that puts it in the category of an Awful Warning novel.
50 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Most Hated Novel in US History 31 janvier 2008
Par Reviewer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
When Elmer Gantry was published, author Sinclair Lewis received death threats, an ivitation to be lynched in Virginia, a warning to stay clear of New Hampshire or wind up in a prison cell. I wonder if he would still have the courage to write a similar book today, in the climate of religious fanaticism that prevails. Elmer Gantry is a portrayal of hypocrisy and opportunism among the Evangelical clergy of the early 20th Century. The title character is as hateful and fraudulent as the Bakkers, Swaggerts, and Blackguards of our era, with the same vices, most prominently sexual misbehavior and exploitation. In fact, Gantry is so thoroughly unappealing that the reader's only interest in him is waiting and hoping for his downfall. But the numerous other clergymen, deacons, and congregational leaders portrayed in the novel are none of them very appealing; they are all greedy hypocrites, timorous holders of sinecures, and/or weaklings unable to confront their own doubts about the sanctity of the clerical profession. I have to say that Sinclair Lewis seriously weakens his case by overstating the universality of corruption in the Christian leadership, and damages the literary interest of his book by making his principal character irredeemable. Yet as I survey the current fundamentalist eruption into politics, I also have to say that Lewis was remarkably prophetic. The anti-evolution, anti-science-in-general, anti-diversity rants that fill the pages of Elmer Gantry could be copied-and-pasted right here on our favorite web pages.

The chief woman character of the book, tent evangelist Sharon Falconer, is also portrayed as a power-hungry opportunist, half hypocrite and half delusional madwoman. That portrayal won Lewis no friends, particularly since most readers were certain that Falconer was a thinly disguised representation of Aimee Semple McPherson, one of the founders of modern millenialism, whose personal improprieties are well documented. Likewise, numerous critics supposed that the character of Gantry himself was at least partly a portrait of evangelist Billy Sunday.

We Minnesotans are proud of our Nobel Prize author, though we show our pride mostly by not reading him. Honestly, this is not an easy book to enjoy. The language is stiff and corny at times, the characters are too cartoon-like, and the first half of the book would be better if it were edited in half. Even so, it has intellectual integrity and profound historical relevance, and its unrelenting portrayal of moral shallowness builds enough momentum to make it a worthwhile classic.
27 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Ageless portrayal of the rise of a hypocrite 21 novembre 1999
Par Bob Newman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
A lot of Sinclair Lewis can be read as social history in our days at the turn of the 21st century. Social mores and the whole tenor of society have changed dramatically since the days of his major works. But ELMER GANTRY still reads like a story of our times. Though it covers a period roughly stretching from 1902 to 1926, and America has been transformed since then, the basic idea of the novel---how a man, selfish, ignorant, bullying, and posing as a 'regular guy', can fool most of the people most of the time---is still very much relevant to us. Business was the heart of America in Lewis' day, and it still is. But a career model drawn from that sphere could be used in many other walks of life. ELMER GANTRY is about a man who uses religion and a Protestant church to rise socially, to get and abuse power for his own ends. From Elmer's evangelical college days with his drinking, womanizing, total lack of ability or interest in studies, and his lying and maneuvering to get what he wants, to the stunning but realistic conclusion to the book, Lewis paints a vibrant portrait of an unprincipled climber ; a man who will change any opinion, betray anybody, and do anything to get ahead. If we consider the sagas of TV evangelists in our days, the difference between their revealed hypocrisies and those written by Lewis is startlingly small. The sole difference was that in the 1920s, there was no television for Elmer Gantry to exploit.
Certain sections of the book read better than others--it is not of uniform quality---and sometimes you wonder why Lewis inserted a chapter here or there. I think particularly of the two chapters on the fate of Frank Shallard, Gantry's alter-ego. They seemed to be an afterthought, and the point was brutally taken, but for what purpose other than shock ? On the other hand, Lewis' use of the colloquial language of the times and inclusion of thousands of minor details of life in that era reveal a whole world which might, in the absence of ELMER GANTRY, have disappeared from our consciousness. On the whole, this is a powerful novel about an unscrupulous, offensive scoundrel which still resonates well in our day. The Gantrys of this world are endless. Unfortunately.
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A penetrating look at a hypocritical preacher 25 mai 2000
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
In Babbit, Sinclair Lewis turns business into a religion. Whereas, in Elmer Gantry, Lewis turns religion into a business. Elmer Gantry is a very real portrayal of a man who is ecstatic about his religion, but it is all an outward show for profit. We might be tempted to think that the corruption evident in modern televangelists is a new occurence. Lewis proves us wrong. Lewis shows the entire spectrum of christian belief in this novel from hypocrisy, to agnosticism, to an abiding spiritual life. Despite the fact that Lewis is one of my favorite authors and this is a superior novel, there was one disappointment. Near the end of the book, Gantry is confronted by the book's one genuine believer. There was a lot of emotional tension in the scene, and I felt Lewis just let it slip away. It was an unsatisfying resolution after the build up. Beyond that one moment, It's one of the best works of fiction I have ever read.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A challenge to examine one's self 5 mai 2000
Par Regan N. Clem - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
For Christians -- Read this book. It will force you to examine who you are and the faith you adhere to. Being a Christian myself, it has encouraged me to focus more being what we should be. Despite the fact that this book is terribly shocking, it is real. I've heard of many ministers, locally and nationally, who are creeps and sleep around on their spouses. Elmer isn't as far off as we want him to be.
For cynical non-Christians -- Sinclair Lewis tells a tale that will, unfortunately, make you even more cynical to the church. It is a great book that helps you see inside the evils that can and do happen. But don't let the book stop there. By seeing the dirt inside Elmer Gantry's ministry, examine yourselve compared to who you say you are. Elmer Gantry is a challenge to everyone to really be who they say they are.
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