Victoria Mixon's Reviews > Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters

Journal of a Novel by John Steinbeck
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Jul 27, 10

Read in June, 2010

Although Steinbeck has never been one of my favorite novelists--he should NOT have inflicted the end of The Grapes of Wrath on us--I do love Tortilla Flats. What a wonderful, Don Quixote piece of work.

So I was willing to give this one a try.

And, wow, was I ever glad I did. Too many beautiful, fascinating insights on the craft of fiction to even pick one to quote. I dog-eared the pages of my favorites. Now my copy's twice as thick as it's supposed to be.

I will trot out only this one, my favorite of all favorites (and for obvious reasons to anyone who knows anything about me at all):

"I know it is rough [to read:] and will need a lot of rewriting but I am never shy about it when a professional is doing the reading. But God save me from amateurs. They don’t know what they are reading but it is much more serious than that. They immediately start rewriting. I never knew this to fail. It is invariable. They have the authority of ignorance and that is something you simply cannot combat."
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