Daily Question – 111

Give me the thread connecting them all.

Answer: The connection is legendary American novelist and artist John Dos Passos. Jean-Paul Sartre once observed, that Dos Passos was “the greatest writer of our time.”  On his USA trilogy Norman Mailer commented – “The single greatest novel any of us have written, yes, in this country in the last one hundred years.” Here are the connections:

1. Berlin Alexanderplatz, the book, is said to have been inspired by Joyce’s Ulysses and Dos Passos’ own novel on New York –  Manhattan Transfer.

2. The title of “Charlie Wilson’s War” is an allusion to Dos Passos’ book on the World War I – “Mr. Wilson’s War”.

3. The John Dos Passos prize is awarded annually to the best currently under-recognized writer in the middle of their career. The first winner of the prize was Graham Greene. It was later restricted to American writers. Tom Wolfe and E. Annie Proulx are among the writers who have been awarded this prize.

4. Before becoming a leading novelist of his day, John Dos Passos sketched and painted. Many of his books  used jackets and illustrations that Dos Passos created. He created over 400 pieces of art. Visual 4 contains some of his artworks.

5. Dos Passos wrote forty-two novels, as well as poems, essays, and plays. Remarkably, he was also the co inventor of the soap bubble gun on which he held a patent.

Went uncracked.