Best 909 of John Steinbeck quotes - MyQuotes

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John Steinbeck
By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

A book is like a man - clever and dull, brave and cowardly, beautiful and ugly. For every flowering thought there will be a page like a wet and mangy mongrel, and for every looping flight a tap on the wing and a reminder that wax cannot hold the feathers firm too near the sun.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

Maybe we all have in us a secret pond where evil and ugly things germinate and grow strong. But this culture is fences, and the swimming brood climbs up only to fall back. Might it not be that in the dark pools of some men the evil grows strong enough to wriggle over the fence and swim free? Would not such a man be our monster, and are we not related to him in our own hidden water? It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

I guess this is why I hate governments, all governments. It is always the rule, the fine print, carried out by fine-print men. There's nothing to fight, no wall to hammer with frustrated fists.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

Niagara Falls is very nice. I'm very glad I saw it, because from now on if I am asked whether I have seen Niagara Falls I can say yes, and be telling the truth for once.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents.... The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

Critics are the eunuchs of literature. They stand by in envious awe while the whole man and his partner demonstrate the art of living.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

Riches seem to come to the poor in spirit, the poor in interest and joy. To put it straight - the very rich are a poor bunch of bastards

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

Sometimes, a lie is told in kindness. I don't believe it ever works kindly. The quick pain of truth can pass away, but the slow, eating agony of a lie is never lost.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

Having too many THINGS," he says, "[Americans] spend their hours and money on the couch searching for a soul. A strange species we are. We can stand anything God and Nature throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

And now they were weary and frightened because they had gone against a system they did not understand and it had beaten them. They knew that the team and the wagon were worth much more. They knew the buyer man would get much more, but they didn't know how to do it. Merchandising was a secret to them.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

American cities are like badger holes, ringed with trash--all of them--surrounded by piles of wrecked and rusting automobiles, and almost smothered in rubbish. Everything we use comes in boxes, cartons, bins, the so-called packaging we love so much. The mountain of things we throw away are much greater than the things we use.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do...Try to be better than yourself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

How can I teach my boys the value and beauty of language and thus communication when the President himself reads westerns exclusively and cannot put together a simple English sentence? (John Steinbeck, in a private letter written during the Eisenhower administration)

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

The craft of writing is the art of penetrating other minds with the figures that are in your own mind.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Steinbeck

Tom's cowardice was as huge as his courage, as it must be in great men.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

Got a lot of sinful idears--but they seem kinda sensible.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

In the streets of New York between seven and nine in the morning you will see the slow procession of dog and downer proceeding from street to tree to hydrant to trash basket. They are apartment dogs. They are taken out twice a day, and, while it is a cliché, it is truly amazing how owner and dog resemble each other. They grow to walk alike and have the same set of head.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Steinbeck

Oh, strawberries don’t taste as they used to and the thighs of women have lost their clutch! And some men eased themselves like setting hens into the nest of death.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

You're going to pass something down no matter what you do or if you do nothing. Even if you let yourself go fallow, the weeds will grow and the brambles. Something will grow.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

Humans are caught - in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too - in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

I've lived in a good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

The last clear definite function of men—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

There's something desirable about anything you're used to as opposed to something you're not.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security - out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

A number of years ago I had some experience with being alone. For two succeeding years I was alone each winter for eight months at a stretch in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Lake Tahoe. I was the caretaker on a summer estate during the winter months when it was snowed in. And I made some observations then. As time went on I found that my reactions thickened. Ordinarily I am a whistler. I stopped whistling. I stopped conversing with my dogs, and I believe that the subtleties of feeling began to disappear until finally I was on a pleasure-pain basis. Then it occurred to me that the delicate shades of feeling, of reaction, are the result of communication, and without such communication they tend to disappear. A man with nothing to say has no words. Can its reverse be true- a man who has no one to say anything to has no words as he has no need for words? ... Only through imitation do we develop toward originality.

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Steinbeck

The city had beat the pants off me. Whatever is required to get ahead, I didn't have it. I didn't leave the city in disgust- I left it with the respect plain, unadulterated fear gives. New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it- once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough. All of everything is concentrated here, population, theater, art, writing, publishing, importing, business, murder, mugging, luxury, poverty. It is all of everything. It goes all right. It is tireless and its air is charged with energy.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

I wish to God I knew as much about writing as I did when I was 19. I was absolutely certain about most things then. Also, I suspect, more accurate.

By Anonym 19 Sep

John Steinbeck

The women watched the men, watched to see whether the break had come at last. The women stood silently and watched. And where a number of men gathered together, the fear went from their faces, and anger took its place. And the women sighed with relief, for they knew it was all right - the break had not come; and the break would never come as long as fear could turn to wrath.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

Thoughts are slow and deep and golden in the morning.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

And now you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

The nicest thing in the world you can do for anybody is let them help you.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world

By Anonym 16 Sep

John Steinbeck

Do you know, I am putting off ending this letter as though the end would be the end of something I want to hold on to. That's not true of course - just a feeling like the quick one of hexing your trip so you couldn't go. The mind is capable of any selfishness and it thinks unworthy things whether you want it or not. Best to admit it is a bad child rather than to pretend it is always a good one. Because a bad child can improve but a good one is a liar and nothing can improve a liar.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

For the first time I am working on a book that is not limited and that will take every bit of experience and thought and feeling that I have.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Steinbeck

The story [Henny-Penny] has the best opening in all literature-"The sky is falling," cried Henny-Penny, "and a piece of it fell on my tail.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

[Cannery Row's] inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

The American girl makes a servant of her husband and then finds him contemptible for being a servant

By Anonym 18 Sep

John Steinbeck

Sure, cried the tenant men, but it's our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it's no good, it's still ours. That's what makes it ours-being born on it, working it, dying on it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

It is customary for the recipient of this award to offer personal or scholarly comment on the nature and the direction of literature. At this particular time, however, I think it would be well to consider the high duties and the responsibilities of the makers of literature.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

A funeral isn't for the dead. You'll simply be a stage set for a kind of festival maybe. And besides, you won't even be there.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

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.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Steinbeck

Men don't get knocked out, or I mean they can fight back against big things. What kills them is erosion; they get nudged into failure.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John Steinbeck

Ma raised her eyes to the girl's face. Ma's eyes were patient, but the lines of strain were on her forehead. Ma fanned and fanned the air, and her piece of cardboard warned off the flies. "When you're young, Rosasharn, ever'thing that happens is a thing all by itself. It's a lonely thing. I know, i 'member, Rosasharn." Her mouth loved the name of her daughter. "You're gonna have a baby, Rosasharn, and that's somepin to you lonely and away. That's gonna hurt you, an' the hurt'll be lonely hurt, an' this here tent is alone in the worl', Rosasharn." She whipped the air for a moment to drive a buzzing blow fly on, and the big shining fly circled the tent twice and zoomed out into the blinding sunlight. And Ma went on, "They's a time of change, an' when that comes, dyin' is a piece of dyin', and bearin' is a piece of bearin', an' bearin' an' dyin' is two pieces of the same thing. An' then things ain't so lonely any more. An' then a hurt don't hurt so bad, 'cause it ain't a lonely hurt no more, Rosasharn. I wisht I could tell you so you'd know, but I can't." And her voice was so soft, so full of love, that tears crowded into Rose of Sharon's eyes, and flowed over her eyes and blinded her.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

Books are the best friends you can have; they inform you, and entertain you, and they don't talk back.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Steinbeck

I've lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Steinbeck

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