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John Steinbeck

American Author
John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories. In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley region of California, a culturally diverse place of rich migratory and immigrant history. This upbringing imparted a regionalistic flavor to his writing, giving many of his works a distinct sense of place. Steinbeck moved briefly to New York City, but soon returned home to California to begin his career as a writer. Most of his earlier work dealt with subjects familiar to him from his formative years. An exception was his first novel Cup of Gold which concerns the pirate Henry Morgan, whose adventures had captured Steinbeck's imagination as a child.In his subsequent novels, Steinbeck found a more authentic voice by drawing upon direct memories of his life in California. Later he used real historical conditions and events in the first half of 20th century America, which he had experienced first-hand as a reporter. Steinbeck often populated his stories with struggling characters; his works examined the lives of the working class and migrant workers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. His later body of work reflected his wide range of interests, including marine biology, politics, religion, history, and mythology. One of his last published works was Travels with Charley, a travelogue of a road trip he took in 1960 to rediscover America. He died in 1968 in New York of a heart attack and his ashes are interred in Salinas.Seventeen of his works, including The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1952), went on to become Hollywood films, and Steinbeck also achieved success as a Hollywood writer, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Story in 1944 for Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat.
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Quotes by John Steinbeck
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can control it.

An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There's a punishment for it, and it's usually crucifixion.

by John Steinbeck
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Anything that just costs money is cheap.

by John Steinbeck
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And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.

by John Steinbeck
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When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.

by John Steinbeck
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It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

by John Steinbeck
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As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.

by John Steinbeck
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Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.

by John Steinbeck
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But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.

by John Steinbeck
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He's got a can up there,' Richard said.

by John Steinbeck
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Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.

by John Steinbeck
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We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.

by John Steinbeck
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If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.

by John Steinbeck
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One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.

by John Steinbeck
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I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?

by John Steinbeck
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In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

by John Steinbeck
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I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.

by John Steinbeck
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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

by John Steinbeck
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Sectional football games have the glory and the despair of war, and when a Texas team takes the field against a foreign state, it is an army with banners.

by John Steinbeck
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Syntax, my lad. It has been restored to the highest place in the republic.

by John Steinbeck
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I have owed you this letter for a very long time-but my fingers have avoided the pencil as though it were an old and poisoned tool.

by John Steinbeck
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The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

by John Steinbeck
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In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

by John Steinbeck
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I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

by John Steinbeck
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I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.

by John Steinbeck
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Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.

by John Steinbeck
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