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Travels with Charley: In Search of America Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
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Travels with Charley Quotes (showing 1-30 of 110)
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I am happy to report that in the war between reality and romance, reality is not the stronger.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you
control it.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every states I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I suppose our capacity for self-delusion is boundless.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“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.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“There are two kinds of people in the world, observers and non-observers...”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I find out of long experience that I admire all nations and hate all governments”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“And finally, in our time a beard is the one thing that a woman cannot do better than a man, or if she can her success is assured only in a circus.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“For it is my opinion that we enclose and celebrate the freaks of our nation and our civilization. Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“She wasn't happy, but then she wasn't unhappy. She wasn't anything. But I don't believe anyone is a nothing. There has to be something inside, if only to keep the skin from collapsing. This vacant eye, listless hand, this damask cheek dusted like a doughnut with plastic powder, had to have a memory or a dream.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“I think today if we forbade our illiterate children to touch the wonderful things of our literature, perhaps they might steal them and find secret joy.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“You don't even know where I'm going."
"I don't care. I'd like to go anywhere.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“A question is a trap and an answer is your foot in it.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“So much there is to see, but our morning eyes describe a different world than do our afternoon eyes, and surely our wearied evening eyes can report only a weary evening world.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“Strange how one person can saturate a room with vitality, with excitement. Then there are others, and this dame was one of them, who can drain off energy and joy, can suck pleasure dry and get no sustenance from it. Such people spread a grayness in the air about them.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“We, or at least I, can have no conception of human life and human thought in a hundred years or fifty years. Perhaps my greatest wisdom is the knowledge that I do not know. The sad ones are those who waste their energy in trying to hold it back, for thy can only feel bitterness in loss and no joy in gain.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“Once Charley fell in love with a dachshund, a romance racially unsuitable, physically ridiculous, and mechanically impossible. But all these problems Charley ignored. He loved deeply and tried dogfully.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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