Steinbeck Quotes

Quotes tagged as "steinbeck" Showing 1-30 of 36
John Steinbeck
“There is more beauty in truth, even if it is a dreadful beauty. The storytellers at the city gate twist life so that it looks sweet to the lazy and the stupid and the weak, and this only strengthens their infirmities and teaches nothing, cures nothing, nor does it let the heart soar.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“It is the hour of pearl—the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself.”
John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

John Steinbeck
“Guys like us got nothing to look ahead to.”
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck
“We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It's a breed - selected out by accident. And so we're overbrave and overfearful - we're kind and cruel as children. We're overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We're oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic - and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture?”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.”
John Steinbeck, Once There Was a War

John Steinbeck
“The proofs that God does not exist are very strong, but in lots of people they are not as strong as the feeling that He does.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“One who was born by the ocean or has associated with it cannot ever be quite content away from it for very long”
John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

John Steinbeck
“Not long ago, after my last trip to Russia, I had a conversation with an American very eminent in the field of politics. I asked what he read, and he replied that he studied history, sociology, politics and law.

"How about fiction - novels, plays poetry?" I asked.

"No," he said, "I have never had time for them. There's so much else I have to read."

I said, "Sir, I have recently visited Russia for the third time and don't know how well I understand Russians; but I do know that if I only read Russian history I could not have had the access to Russian thinking I have had from reading Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Pushkin, Turgenev, Sholokhov, and Ehrenburg. History only recounts, with some inaccuracy, what they did. The fiction tells, or tries to tell, why they did it and what they felt and were like when they did it."

My friend nodded gravely. "I hadn't though of that," he said. "Yes, that might be so; I had always thought of fiction as opposed to fact."

But in considering the American past, how poor we would be in information without Huckleberry Fin, An American Tragedy, Winesburg, Ohio, Main Street, The Great Gatsby, and As I Lay Dying.”
John Steinbeck, America and Americans

John Steinbeck
“Thou art a peanut.”
John Steinbeck, Flight

Phillip Adams
“I became aware of Jews in my early teens, as I started to pick up the signals from the Christian church. Not that I was Christian – I’d been an atheist since I was five. But my father, a Congregational minister, had some sympathy with the idea that the Jews had killed Christ. But any indoctrination was offset by my discovery of the concentration camps, of the Final Solution. Whilst the term 'Holocaust' had yet to enter the vocabulary I was overwhelmed by my realisation of what Germany had perpetrated on Jews. It became a major factor in my movement towards the political left. I’d already read 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, the Penguin paperback that would change my life. The story of the gas chambers completed the process of radicalisation and would, just three years later, lead me to join the Communist Party.”
Phillip Adams

John Steinbeck
“Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person – a real person you know, or an imagined person – and write to that one.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“Adam fluttered like a bewildered bee confused by too many flowers.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“You know, Suzy, they ain't no way in the world to get in trouble by keeping your mouth shut. You look back at every mess you ever got in and you'll find your tongue started it.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“There's more beauty in the truth even if it is a dreadful beauty.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“The calm and the sorrow were so great that they bore down on his chest, and the loneliness was complete, a circle impenetrable.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“I wonder if he had a Cathy and who see was.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“I wonder if he had a Cathy and who she was.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“In utter loneliness, a writer tries to explain the unexplicable.”
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
“...[A] loving woman is almost indestructible.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“He's eating God the way a bear eats meat against the winter.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“These were words to clothe a naked thing, and the thing is ridiculous in clothes.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“Privately there were some things in Heaven of which she did not quite approve. There was too much singing, and she didn’t see how even the Elect could survive for very long the celestial laziness which was promised. She would find something to do in Heaven.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“...“I’m not being funny. He doesn’t think about me. He’s made someone up, and it’s like he put my skin on her. I’m not like that—not like the made-up one.”

“What’s she like?”

“Pure!” said Abra. “Just absolutely pure. Nothing but pure—never a bad thing. I’m not like that.”

“Nobody is,” said Lee.

“He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t even want to know me. He wants that—white—ghost.”

Lee rubbled a piece of cracker. “Don’t you like him? You’re pretty young, but I don’t think that makes any difference.”

“ ’Course I like him. I’m going to be his wife. But I want him to like me too. And how can he, if he doesn’t know anything about me? I used to think he knew me. Now I’m not sure he ever did”.”
John Steinbeck, East of Eden

John Steinbeck
“How serious we were, how deadly serious. I was going to be killed and she was prepared to devote her life to my heroic memory. It was one of a million identical dreams of a million olive uniforms and cotton prints. And it might well have ended with the traditional Dear John letter except that she devoted her life to her warrior.
Her letters, sweet with steadfastness, followed me everywhere, round, clear handwriting, dark blue ink on light blue paper, so that my whole company recognized her letters and every man was curiously glad for me. Even if I hadn’t wanted to marry Mary, her constancy would have forced me to for the perpetuation of the world dream of fair and faithful women.”
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

John Steinbeck
“He felt a desire to open his body for her inspection, so that she could see all the hidden things in him, even the things he did not know were there.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“Those thoughts she had kept weak and pale and hidden in the recesses of her brain, just out of thinking vision, came out into the open, and she saw that they were not foul and loathesome like slugs, as she had always believed, but somehow light and gay and holy.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“In every man this thing is hidden. It tries to get out, but a man's fears distort it. He chokes it back. What does get out is changed-blood on the hands of a statue, emotion over the story of an ancient torture-the giving or drawing of blood in copulation.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“I have made up reasons, but they aren't true. I have said to myself, 'The sun is life. I give life to life'-'I make a symbol of the sun's death.' When I made these reasons I knew they weren't true.....I gave up reasons. I do this because it makes me glad. I do it because I like to.”
John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck
“The last clear definite function of man - muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need - this is man. To build a wall, to build a house, a dam, and in the wall and house and dam to put something of Manself, and to Manself take back something of the wall, the house the dam; to take hard muscles from the lifring, to take the clear lines and form from conceiving. For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

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