I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.
"John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr."
The winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, he has been called "a giant of American letters". His works are widely read abroad and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature. His leftist political tendencies and the relatively provincial setting of his works has made him a very polarizing writer, both in the United States and in international literary circles. Until recently, the mandated teaching of his works in the British educational system has been controversial.
Most of Steinbeck's work is set in southern and central California, particularly in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region. His works frequently explored the themes of fate and injustice, especially as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.If you enjoy these quotes, be sure to check out other famous writers! More John Steinbeck on Wikipedia.
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.
Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.
The [animal rights groups] have had it all their own way. They have intimidated people, but the time has come to speak up and risk it. Who knows what the risk is?
Most people live ninety percent in the past, seven percent in the present, and that only leaves three percent for the future.
Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.
This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence, and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and dying a cold horror. 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.
For the world was changing, and sweetness was gone, and virtue too. Worry had crept on a corroding world, and what was lost--good manners, ease and beauty? Ladies were not ladies anymore, and you couldn't trust a gentleman's word... Oh, strawberries don't taste as they used to and the thighs of women have lost their clutch!
No one wants advice, only collaboration.
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. 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 nearly always leads to love.
In the hearts and minds of the people, the grapes of wrath were growing heavy for the vintage.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
Money does not change the sickness, only the symptoms.
The fields were fruitful and starving men moved on the roads. The granaries were full and the children of the poor grew up rachitic.
It seems to me that man has engaged in a blind and fearful struggle out of a past he can't remember, into a future he can't forsee nor understand. And man has met and defeated every obstacle, every enemy except one. He cannot win over himself.
Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars.
We find that after years of struggle we do not take a journey, but rather a journey takes us.
I know this--a man got to do what he got to do.
It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, aquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and selfinterest are the traits of sucess. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.
It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.
No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
Man is the only kind of varmint who sets his own trap, baits it, then steps on it.
All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.
I know three things will never be believed-the true, the probable, and the logical.
I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security - out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction.
It doesn't matter that Cathy was what I have called a monster. Perhaps we can't understand Cathy, but on the other hand we are capable of many things in all directions, of great virtues and great sins. And who in his mind has not probed the black water?
It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thoughts or action we should remember our dying and try so to live, that our death brings no pleasure on the world.
What a joy, that literacy is no longer prima facie evidence of treason.