Hell Yes, John Steinbeck

I don’t mind getting smacked on the chin. I just don’t want to get nibbled to death. There’s a difference.

John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle (via fortunenglory)

It is the hour of the pearl—the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Doc is the owner and operator of the Western Biological Laboratory. Doc is rather small, deceptively small, for he is wiry and very strong and when passionate anger comes on him he can be very fierce. He wears a beard and his face is half Christ and half satyr and his face tells the truth. It is said that he has helped many a girl out of one trouble and into another. Doc has the hands of a brain surgeon, and a cool warm mind. Doc tips his hat to dogs as he drives by and the dogs look up and smile at him. He can kill anything for need but he could not even hurt a feeling for pleasure. He has one great fear—that of getting his head wet, so that summer or winter he ordinarily wears a rain hat. He will wade in a tide pool up to the chest without feeling damp, but a drop of rain water on his head makes him panicky…Doc would listen to any kind of nonsense and change it for you to a kind of wisdom. His mind had no horizon—and his sympathy had no warp. He could talk to children, telling them very profound things so that they understood. He lived in a world of wonders, of excitement. He was concupiscent as a rabbit and gentle as hell. Everyone who knew him was indebted to him. And everyone who thought of him thought next, ‘I really must do something nice for Doc.’

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014): Travels with Charley

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014): The Pearl

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014): Of Mice and Men

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014): Cannery Row

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014): The Grapes of Wrath

Google Doodle for John Steinbeck’s 112th Birthday (February 27, 2014)

I have no choice of living or dying, you see, sir, but I do have a choice of how I do it.

John Steinbeck The Moon Is Down (via sempiternale)

Then I remembered something I heard long ago that I hope is true. It was unwritten law in China, so my informant told me, that when one man saved another’s life he became responsible for that life to the end of its existence. For, having interfered with a course of events, the savior could not escape his responsibility. And that has always made good sense to me.

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (via darkoyster)

While he ate his sandwich and sipped his beer, a bit of conversation came back to him. Blaisedell, the poet, had said to him, ‘You love beer so much. I’ll bet some day you’ll go in and order a beer milk shake.’ It was a simple piece of foolery but it had bothered Doc ever since. He wondered what a beer milk shake would taste like. The idea gagged him but he couldn’t let it alone. It cropped up every time he had a glass of beer. Would it curdle the milk? Would you add sugar? It was like a shrimp ice cream. If a man ordered a beer milk shake, he thought, he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known. But then, a man with a beard, ordering a beer milk shake in a town where he wasn’t known - they might call the police. A man with a beard was always a little suspect anyway. You couldn’t say you wore a beard because you liked a beard. People didn’t like you for telling the truth. You had to say you had a scar so you couldn’t shave.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row (via fortunenglory)

We work in our own darkness a great deal with little real knowledge of what we are doing.

John Steinbeck, from “The Art of Fiction, No. 45,” The Paris Review (Fall 1969, No. 48)

(Source: theparisreview)

(Source: theuntitledpiece)


Thirty-six prominent American writers including Eugene O’Neill, Dorothy Parker, and John Steinbeck, sent this telegram to President Franklin Roosevelt in November 1938, less than a week after Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass,” during which synagogues, homes, and Jewish-owned businesses across Germany were plundered and destroyed by the Nazis. They expressed outrage and asked the president to sever trade relations and declare an embargo on all “Nazi German goods.” Their telegram was just one of hundreds of telegrams and letters sent to U.S. government officials at the time expressing similar feelings of anger and dismay.

Telegram from 36 American Writers to President Roosevelt, 11/16/1938

via DocsTeach

(Source: research.archives.gov)

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