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John Steinbeck Quotes
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John Steinbeck Quote: “Life could not change the sun or water the desert, so it changed itself.”

Life could not change the sun or water the desert, so it changed itself.

— John Steinbeck



John Steinbeck Quote: “Literature was not promulgated by a pale and emasculated critical priesthood singing their litanies in empty churches, nor is it a game for the cloistered elect, the tinhorn mendicants of low calorie despair.”

Literature was not promulgated by a pale and emasculated critical priesthood singing their litanies in empty churches, nor is it a game for the cloistered elect, the tinhorn mendicants of low calorie despair.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Teachers don’t just teach; they can be vital personalities who help young people to mature, to understand the world, and to understand themselves. A good education consists of much more than useful facts and marketable skills.”

Teachers don’t just teach; they can be vital personalities who help young people to mature, to understand the world, and to understand themselves. A good education consists of much more than useful facts and marketable skills.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “When you know a friend is there you do not go to see him. Then he’s gone and you blast your conscience to shreds that you did not see him.”

When you know a friend is there you do not go to see him. Then he’s gone and you blast your conscience to shreds that you did not see him.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Trouble with mice is you always kill ’em.”

Trouble with mice is you always kill ’em.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.”

Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Only God sees the sparrow fall, but even God doesn’t do anything about it.”

Only God sees the sparrow fall, but even God doesn’t do anything about it.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “In literary criticism the critic has no choice but to make over the victim of his attention into something the size and shape of himself.”

In literary criticism the critic has no choice but to make over the victim of his attention into something the size and shape of himself.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “There is no lostness like that which comes to a man when a perfect and certain pattern has dissolved about him.”

There is no lostness like that which comes to a man when a perfect and certain pattern has dissolved about him.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “For the world was changing, and sweetness was gone, and virtue too. Worry had crept on a corroding world, and what was lost- good manners, ease and beauty? Ladies were not ladies anymore, and you couldn’t trust a gentleman’s word.”

For the world was changing, and sweetness was gone, and virtue too. Worry had crept on a corroding world, and what was lost- good manners, ease and beauty? Ladies were not ladies anymore, and you couldn’t trust a gentleman’s word.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The clouds appeared and went away, and in a while they did not try anymore.”

The clouds appeared and went away, and in a while they did not try anymore.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I’ve lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.”

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

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A fallow field is a sin.”

A fallow field is a sin.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I’m back with my own kind of people here now, the bums and drinkers and no goods and it is a fine thing.”

I’m back with my own kind of people here now, the bums and drinkers and no goods and it is a fine thing.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child.”

A kind of second childhood falls on so many men. They trade their violence for the promise of a small increase of life span. In effect, the head of the house becomes the youngest child.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “All Americans believe that they are born fishermen. For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love or hating moonlight.”

All Americans believe that they are born fishermen. For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love or hating moonlight.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.”

Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Orange and speckled and fluted nudibranchs slide gracefully over the rocks, their skirts waving like the dresses of Spanish dancers.”

Orange and speckled and fluted nudibranchs slide gracefully over the rocks, their skirts waving like the dresses of Spanish dancers.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Socialism is just another form of religion, and thus delusional.”

Socialism is just another form of religion, and thus delusional.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The bank – the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size.”

The bank – the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “You’ve seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it’s an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?”

You’ve seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it’s an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “And her joy was nearly like sorrow.”

And her joy was nearly like sorrow.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Doc tips his hat to dogs as he drives by and the dogs look up and smile at him.”

Doc tips his hat to dogs as he drives by and the dogs look up and smile at him.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A book is somehow sacred. A dictator can kill and maim people, can sink to any kind of tyranny and only be hated, but when books are burned the ultimate in tyranny has happened. This we cannot forgive.”

A book is somehow sacred. A dictator can kill and maim people, can sink to any kind of tyranny and only be hated, but when books are burned the ultimate in tyranny has happened. This we cannot forgive.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “No story has power, nor will it last, unless we feel in ourselves that it is true and true of us.”

No story has power, nor will it last, unless we feel in ourselves that it is true and true of us.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Time is the only critic without ambition.”

Time is the only critic without ambition.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Evening of a hot day started the little wind to moving among the leaves. The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones.”

Evening of a hot day started the little wind to moving among the leaves. The shade climbed up the hills toward the top. On the sand banks the rabbits sat as quietly as little gray, sculptured stones.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.”

Once you have lived in New York and made it your home, no place else is good enough.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Are cats strange animals or do they so resemble us that we find them curious as we do monkeys?”

Are cats strange animals or do they so resemble us that we find them curious as we do monkeys?

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “He never forgot anything but he never bothered to arrange his memories. -Hazel, Cannery Row.”

He never forgot anything but he never bothered to arrange his memories. -Hazel, Cannery Row.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Misfortune is a fact of nature acceptable to women, especially when it falls on other women.”

Misfortune is a fact of nature acceptable to women, especially when it falls on other women.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself.”

To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “If you want to keep a friend, never test him.”

If you want to keep a friend, never test him.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I have noticed that there is no dissatisfaction like that of the rich. Feed a man, clothe him, put him in a good house, and he will die of despair.”

I have noticed that there is no dissatisfaction like that of the rich. Feed a man, clothe him, put him in a good house, and he will die of despair.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The great concepts of oneness and of majestic order seem always to be born in the desert.”

The great concepts of oneness and of majestic order seem always to be born in the desert.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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


John Steinbeck Quote: “Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.”

Prayer never brought in no side-meat. Takes a shoat to bring in pork.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?”

A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean question: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well – or ill?

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.”

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Socialism never took root in America.”

Socialism never took root in America.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Don’t make everyone know about your sadness.”

Don’t make everyone know about your sadness.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “My own journey started long before I left, and was over before I returned.”

My own journey started long before I left, and was over before I returned.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers.”

A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Men really do need sea-monsters in their personal oceans.”

Men really do need sea-monsters in their personal oceans.

— John Steinbeck

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