Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Dos Passos and E.E. Cummings

Once again, a sweet recollection from Virginia Spencer Carr’s biography of Dos Passos, paperback, page 547: 1962, Dos Passos reacts to E.E. Cummings’ death. “I can hardly believe it yet. Though I didn’t see him very often, it leaves a great hole in my life. I had grown fonder of him through the years. As… Read more »

Dos and Hem

Quite sure this the last time my grandfather wrote Hemingway. It’s noted in Virginia Spencer Carr’s biography of Dos Passos, which is really worth a close read. “In the spring of 1961 when Dos Passos read that Hemingway had almost walked into the spinning blades of an airplane propeller, he dropped him a note, saying… Read more »

Dos Passos and Steinbeck in Tokyo

“September 1, 1957, Dos Passos boarded a plane with John Steinbeck and John Hersey to fly to Tokyo as America’s official representatives at the twenty-ninth International PEN Congress. The trio–billed as ‘the three Johns: Dos Passos, Steinbeck, and Hersey’–was given a thunderous ovation when introduced, but Dos Passos was the obvious star of the American… Read more »

The Book That Never Was

More intriguing history from the Dos Passos biography written by Virginia Spencer Carr. “Dodd, Mead had proposed another book they wanted Dos Passos to write, but he said that it would take an advance of at least twenty-five thousand dollars for him to research and write it. The book was to be a broad study… Read more »

Dos Passos, Sandburg, Lincoln, Jefferson

Per Virginia Spencer Carr’s biography of John Dos Passos, “Dos Passos sent Carl Sandburg an advance copy of The Head and Heart of Thomas Jefferson, saying: ‘Ever since you rescued Lincoln from the embalmers I’ve had a notion of doing something similar with Jefferson. I haven’t the faintest notion whether I have succeeded or failed,… Read more »

Possible Influence on Bruce Springsteen

From the staff at Ultimate Classic Rock: “I think in the three years between Born to Run and Darkness, he’d [Bruce Springsteen] simply learned a lot. He spent a great deal of time in court, for one thing; he began listening to Hank Williams and old-time, class-conscious country music. He’d seen the films of John… Read more »

Dos Passos and Tolstoy

Another discovery in re-reading the 2 biographies of John Dos Passos–his fondness of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. He gave a copy of it to his goddaughter Susan Lowndes for her 13th birthday (Maybe a bit too soon). He advised, “If you’ve already read it, read it again–I always get something new out of it.” Summer… Read more »

Dos Passos Reports at Nuremberg

Research for my speech has sharpened my appreciation for my grandfather’s prestigious reporting career. For example, Dos Passos’ observations of the Nuremberg trials in fall 1945. “Except for Hess, who slumps as if in a coma, the accused have an easy expectant look as if they had come to see the play rather than to… Read more »

Dos Passos and Democracy

“War is a time of Caesars,” wrote John Dos Passos in The Grand Design (1949). As I study biographical material for my Lisbon speech, I’m noticing material I can use for an essay I’ve long wanted to write about John Dos Passos and democracy. There is very little scholarship about him as a historian or… Read more »

H.G. Wells

Interesting discovery for me. In fall 1941, John Dos Passos met fellow writer H.G. Wells in London at the PEN Club congress. Dos Passos then visited with Wells as his home at the edge of Regents Park. He very much enjoyed Wells’ company, describing him as a “spruce figure…his sharp-clipped white mustache and the liquid… Read more »

Deadline for Lisbon Extended

The due date for abstract proposals for the next John Dos Passos Society Conference (Jun 20-22, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal) has been extended to Friday, Feb 9. Send an English-language abstract of 250-300 words and brief CV to both Aaron Shaheen and Mário Avelar at aaron-shaheen@utc.edu and mario.carlos.avelar@gmail.com respectively by due date. Make note of… Read more »

All Aboard for Lisbon

2 Weeks to go to submit for the 2018 Conference of the John Dos Passos Society in Lisbon, Portugal! Conference will be June 20-22 at the Geographical Society of Lisbon. Send an English-language abstract of 250-300 words and brief CV to both Aaron Shaheen and Mário Avelar at aaron-shaheen@utc.edu and mario.carlos.avelar@gmail.com respectively by January 31st,… Read more »

Official Poster for John Dos Passos Society Conference in 2018

It’s here! The official poster for the 2018 Conference of the John Dos Passos Society in Lisbon, Portugal. Join us as a contributing scholar or member of the public. Conference will be June 20-22 at the Geographical Society of Lisbon. Send an English-language abstract of 250-300 words and brief CV to both Aaron Shaheen and… Read more »

Farewell, Roslyn Targ

Rest in peace Roslyn Targ, influential New York literary agent. She died a couple days ago at age 92. She faithfully represented the foreign rights of John Dos Passos, my grandfather, for many years. Now those rights are very capably represented by the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Dos Passos, Painterly Prose

On this day, 1970, writer John Dos Passos died in Baltimore, MD. He and my grandmother had an apartment there. Critics who know Dos Passos least dismiss him as a Marxist, naturalist, or political pamphleteer. Those who know him best know he was a writer of many parts. 1919 is a brutal satire but it… Read more »

Dos Passos and Denia, Spain

At the English cemetery of Denia, Spain, there is an inscribed stone marker with a poem by John Dos Passos, “How Fine to Die in Denia.” It’s rhetorical; my grandfather died in Baltimore. Dos Passos saw Denia during a 2-week trip along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, buy dostinex in usa from Christmas 1916 to… Read more »

Dos Passos and Hemingway in EMS World

A truly fascinating perspective. I never would have expected a review of The Ambulance Drivers at the EMS World website. It’s lengthy and very interesting. Hemingway and Dos Passos were deeply affected by their experience as ambulance drivers in World War I. An excerpt: Much as Hemingway and Dos Passos may have been unaware of… Read more »

Innovation and the American Character

I was reading an extended article in Vanity Fair on the U.S. Dept. of Energy and I came across a quote that reminds me of Dos Passos’ U.S.A. trilogy: “At any given time in America there are lots of seriously smart people with bold ideas that might change life as we know it—it may be… Read more »

The 42nd Parallel: Reader Response 2

People have complained before that Dos Passos’ U.S.A. trilogy is hard to read, beyond just the length. I get it. Yes, the language is very plainspoken. You’re not gonna consult the dictionary except in cases of outdated slang. But one of the principal difficulties in tracking characters is that you have to follow both words… Read more »

The 42nd Parallel: Reader Response 1

I’ve been re-reading The 42nd Parallel. It might be the 3rd or 4th reading. I’m nearly finished. With this reconsideration of the work, I was hoping to come into wisdom, and I think I did. I think it’s a novel about selling out. These strivers begin with idealism and potential and the sell out to… Read more »