Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Great quotes, Writing |

John_Steinbeck_great_quotes

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Nobel Prize for Literature and he authored 27 books.  Even if you haven't read them, you've heard of them–Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, The Winter of Our Discontent.
 

Ever the controversial figure with ties to Communism and books frequently banned, John Steinbeck's birthday is today, and were he still alive, he'd be a centenarian plus 11.  

His saddest words to me were among his last, reportedly penned to his doctor that he believed his biological life's end was final and complete; no afterlife of any sort.

Steinbeck had a lot of good things to say; in honor of his birthday I've compiled 20 of his most famous, memorable, provocative and/or writerly quotes.

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I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.

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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 almost always leads to love.

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I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.

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The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty.

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Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.

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Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

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

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It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

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A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.

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To be alive at all is to have scars.

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It has always seemed strange to me…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, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.

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There's more beauty in truth, even if it is dreadful beauty.

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A man so painfully in love is capable of self-torture beyond belief.

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A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.

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People like you to be something, preferably what they are.

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A man without words is a man without thought.

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You know how advice is – you only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyways.

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You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.

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The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.

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I guess there are never enough books.


Your turn:  Got a favorite from my list?  One you think I should have included?  Do share in comments!

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