John Steinbeck


American Author of Novels, Non-Fiction and Short Stories, Awarded Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath and Nobel Prize for Literature

Author Quotes

When angered she had a terrible eye which could blanch the skin off a bad child as easily as if he were a boiled almond.

When we get these thruways across the whole country, as we will and must, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.

Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time, the Bastard Time.

What do I want in a doctor? Perhaps more than anything else?a friend with special knowledge.

When he read his father?s books, he was the first. He lived in a world shining and fresh and as uninspected as Eden on the sixth day.

When we look at contemporary American critics, we must take into account the fact that very few critics have set just criticism career. In many cases it is the only means of survival, while those who practice it fails to become a novelist, playwright and poet, and if over the years not succeed, must, despite its extreme reluctance to develop anger against those who have succeeded.

Where the rich lead, the poor will follow, or try to.

What freedom men and women could have, were they not constantly tricked and trapped and enslaved and tortured by their sexuality! The only drawback in that freedom is that without it one would not be a human. One would be a monster.

When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.

When you are writing, you must treat it as the most important thing in the world, even when you know it is not. This helps you take the job seriously and do your best on everything you write.

Wherever they?s a fight so hungry people can eat, I?ll be there. Wherever they?s a cop beatin? up a guy, I?ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I?ll be in the way guys yell when they?re mad an??I?ll be in the way kids laugh when they?re hungry n? they know supper?s ready. An? when our folks eat the stuff they raise an? live in the houses they build?why, I?ll be there.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?

When I was a kid my ol' man give me a haltered heifer an' says take her down an git her serviced. An' the fella says, I done it, an' ever' time since then when I hear a business man talkin' about service, I wonder who's gettin' screwed.

When you been in stir a little while, you can smell a question comin' from hell to breakfast.

While the churches, bringing the sweet smell of piety for the soul, came in prancing and farting like brewery horses in bock-beer time, the sister evangelism, with release and joy for the body, crept in silently and grayly, with its head bowed and its face covered.

There is nothing else like beer the first bite.

There's nothing sadder to me than associations held together by nothing but the glue of postage stamps. If you can't see or hear or touch a man, it's best to let him go.

They said I looked like a foreign devil; they said I spoke like a foreign devil. I made mistakes in manners, and I didn't know delicacies that had grown up since my father left. They wouldn't have me. You can believe it or not - I'm less foreign here than I was in China.

This is not theology. I have no bent towards gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed - because 'Thou mayest.

through my own efforts I am lost most of the time without any help from anyone.

To the stars, on the wings of a pig.

War is treachery and hatred, the muddling of incompetent generals, the torture and killing and sickness and tiredness, until at last it is over and nothing has changed except for new weariness and new hatreds.

We know what we got, and we don't care whether you know it or not.

Well, every little boy thinks he invented sin. Virtue we think we learn, because we are told about it. But sin is our own designing.

There must be a saturation point and the progress may be a progression toward strangulation.

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American Author of Novels, Non-Fiction and Short Stories, Awarded Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath and Nobel Prize for Literature