Hell Yes, John Steinbeck

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)


“I am losing a sense of self to a marked degree and that is a pleasant thing. A couple of years ago I realized that I was not the material of which great artists are made and that I was rather glad I wasn’t. And since then I have been happier simply to do the work and to take the reward at the end of every day that is given for a day of honest work. I grow less complicated all the time and that is a joy to me.”

A letter from John Steinbeck to his former classmate and roommate Carl Wilhelmson. At the time, Steinbeck was caring for his aging father and awaiting the publication of his second novel, To the Unknown God. (From The American Reader)

My senses aren’t above reproach, but they’re all I have. I want to see the whole picture—as nearly as I can. I don’t want to put on the blinders of ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ and limit my vision. If I used the term ‘good’ on a thing I’d lose my license to inspect it, because there might be bad in it. Don’t you see? I want to be able to look at the whole thing.

John Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle (via psyentists)

But it isn’t silly, this preoccupation with small time units. One thing late or early can disrupt everything around it, and the disturbance tuns outward in bands like the waves from a dropped stone in a quiet pool.

Narrator, East of Eden by John Steinbeck (via literaryquotations)

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