What Life Means To Me

What Life Means To Me

by: Upton Sinclair | publication date: October 31, 1906 | Publication: The Cosmopolitan | volume: 41 | pages: 591-595

But now there is a stirring of life within the masses themselves. The proletarian writer is beginning to find a voice, and also an audience and a means of support. And he does not find the life of his fellows a fascinating opportunity for feats of artistry; he finds it a nightmare inferno, a thing whose one conceivable excellence is that it drives men to rebellion and to mutual aid in escaping. The proletarian writer is a writer with a purpose; he thinks no more of "art for art's sake" than a man on a sinking ship thinks of painting a beautiful picture in the cabin; he thinks of getting ashore, and of getting his brothers and comrades ashore - and then there will be time enough for art.

Sinclair contributes to Cosmopolitan's long running "What Life Means to Me" column, in which he recounts his personal and intellectual history. He writes extensively about the genesis of his most successful book "The Jungle," as well as his passion for socialism and the Socialist movement.

Public domain.