Literary Birthday – 27 February – John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was born 27 February 1902, and died 20 December 1968.

Writing Quotes – John Steinbeck

  1. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.
  2. I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one… . 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… . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
  3. The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.
  4. To finish is a sadness to a writer – a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn’t really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.
  5. Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
  6. Write it as a letter aimed at one person. This removes the vague terror of addressing the large and faceless audience and it also, you will find, will give a sense of freedom and a lack of self-consciousness.
  7. We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. And one of our ancient methods is to tell a story, begging the listener to say, and to feel, ‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.’
  8. In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.
  9. The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.
  10. If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced that there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes but by no means always find the way to do it.
  11. I suffer as always from the fear of putting down the first line. It is amazing the terrors, the magics, the prayers, the straitening shyness that assail one. It is as though the words were not only indelible but that they spread out like dye in water and colour everything around them. A strange and mystic business, writing.
  12. Literature is as old as speech. It grew out of human need for it, and it has not changed except to become more needed.

Read: John Steinbeck’s 6 Writing Tips

John Steinbeck: Seven Quotes

  1. I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.
  2. It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.
  3. Time is the only critic without ambition.
  4. 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.
  5. I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.
  6. It has always been my private conviction that any man who puts his intelligence up against a fish and loses had it coming.
  7. No one wants advice — only corroboration.

Read: John Steinbeck’s Letter – ‘A Morally Bankrupt Turn Of Events’

John Steinbeck was an American author. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath, as well as East of Eden, and the novella Of Mice and Men. He wrote 27 books and five collections of short stories. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 27th February 2013