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John Steinbeck Quotes
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John Steinbeck Quote: “It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing; to be loved without satiety.”

It would be good to live in a perpetual state of leave-taking, never to go nor to stay, but to remain suspended in that golden emotion of love and longing; to be loved without satiety.

— John Steinbeck



John Steinbeck Quote: “He can kill anything for need but he could not even hurt a feeling for pleasure.”

He can kill anything for need but he could not even hurt a feeling for pleasure.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “And the people listened, and their faces were quiet with listening. The story tellers, gathering attention into their tales, spoke in great rhythms, spoke in great words because the tales were great, and the listeners became great through them.”

And the people listened, and their faces were quiet with listening. The story tellers, gathering attention into their tales, spoke in great rhythms, spoke in great words because the tales were great, and the listeners became great through them.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other.”

How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.”

It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “So much there is to see, but our morning eyes describe a different world than do our afternoon eyes, and surely our wearied evening eyes can report only a weary evening world.”

So much there is to see, but our morning eyes describe a different world than do our afternoon eyes, and surely our wearied evening eyes can report only a weary evening world.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influences and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror.”

When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influences and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I’ve always taken my hangovers as consequence, not as a punishment.”

I’ve always taken my hangovers as consequence, not as a punishment.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through, and others who, having traced a route, are held to it as though held by flanged wheels to rails.”

I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through, and others who, having traced a route, are held to it as though held by flanged wheels to rails.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Fearful and unprepared, we have assumed lordship over the life or death of the whole world, of all living things.”

Fearful and unprepared, we have assumed lordship over the life or death of the whole world, of all living things.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Lord, how the day passes! It’s like a life – so quickly when we don’t watch it and so slowly when we do.”

Lord, how the day passes! It’s like a life – so quickly when we don’t watch it and so slowly when we do.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I have the instincts of a minstrel rather than those of a scrivener. There you have it. We are not of the same trade at all and so how can your rules fit me?”

I have the instincts of a minstrel rather than those of a scrivener. There you have it. We are not of the same trade at all and so how can your rules fit me?

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “There is no term comparable to green thumbs to apply to such a mechanic, but there should be. For there are men who can look, listen, tap, make an adjustment, and a machine works.”

There is no term comparable to green thumbs to apply to such a mechanic, but there should be. For there are men who can look, listen, tap, make an adjustment, and a machine works.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “To hell with that rotten century! Let’s get it over and the door closed shut on it! Let’s close it like a book and go on reading! New chapter, new life. A man will have clean hands once we get the lid slammed shut on that stinking century. It’s a fair thing ahead. There’s no rot on this clean new hundred years. It’s not stacked, and any bastard who deals seconds from this new deck of years – why, we’ll crucify him head down over a privy.”

To hell with that rotten century! Let’s get it over and the door closed shut on it! Let’s close it like a book and go on reading! New chapter, new life. A man will have clean hands once we get the lid slammed shut on that stinking century. It’s a fair thing ahead. There’s no rot on this clean new hundred years. It’s not stacked, and any bastard who deals seconds from this new deck of years – why, we’ll crucify him head down over a privy.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “If a man ordered a beer milkshake he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known.”

If a man ordered a beer milkshake he’d better do it in a town where he wasn’t known.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “But you can’t start over Only a boy can start over You and me Why, we’re all that’s been.”

But you can’t start over Only a boy can start over You and me Why, we’re all that’s been.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Any man of reasonable intelligence can make money if that’s what he wants. Mostly it’s women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they deflect him.”

Any man of reasonable intelligence can make money if that’s what he wants. Mostly it’s women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they deflect him.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We have usurped many of the powers we once ascribed to God.”

We have usurped many of the powers we once ascribed to God.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We think of strangers as stronger and better than we are.”

We think of strangers as stronger and better than we are.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “To the heavens on the wings of a pig.”

To the heavens on the wings of a pig.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.”

It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “And Tom brought him chicken soup until he wanted to kill him. The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for the funeral either.”

And Tom brought him chicken soup until he wanted to kill him. The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for the funeral either.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “There’s an awful lot of inactive kindness which is nothing but laziness, not wanting any trouble, confusion, or effort.”

There’s an awful lot of inactive kindness which is nothing but laziness, not wanting any trouble, confusion, or effort.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “He is so stupid you can’t trust him with an idea.”

He is so stupid you can’t trust him with an idea.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.”

A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.”

The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America.”

Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “We have to make a mark, even if it’s only a scribble.”

We have to make a mark, even if it’s only a scribble.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.”

The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “What hidden, hoarded longings there are in all of us.”

What hidden, hoarded longings there are in all of us.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt- and there is the story of mankind.”

I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt- and there is the story of mankind.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “These too are of a burning color – not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.”

These too are of a burning color – not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of the poppies.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.”

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

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I’m gettin’ tired way past where sleep rests me.”

I’m gettin’ tired way past where sleep rests me.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “A dog is a bond between strangers.”

A dog is a bond between strangers.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Thou mayest rule over sin.”

Thou mayest rule over sin.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “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.”

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.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen.”

And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer he will not listen.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby those fruits may be eaten.”

Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby those fruits may be eaten.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.”

I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “But Doc had one mental habit he could not get over. When anyone asked a question, Doc thought he wanted to know the answer.”

But Doc had one mental habit he could not get over. When anyone asked a question, Doc thought he wanted to know the answer.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I dislike helplessness in other people and in myself, and this is by far my greatest fear of illness.”

I dislike helplessness in other people and in myself, and this is by far my greatest fear of illness.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “In my heart there may be doubt that I deserve the Nobel award over other men of letters whom I hold in respect and reverence, but there is no question of my pleasure and pride in having it for myself.”

In my heart there may be doubt that I deserve the Nobel award over other men of letters whom I hold in respect and reverence, but there is no question of my pleasure and pride in having it for myself.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “On all levels American society is rigged. I am troubled by the cynical immorality of my country. It cannot survive on this basis.”

On all levels American society is rigged. I am troubled by the cynical immorality of my country. It cannot survive on this basis.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “I suffer as always from the fear of putting down the first line. It is amazing the terrors, the magics, the prayers, the straightening shyness that assails one.”

I suffer as always from the fear of putting down the first line. It is amazing the terrors, the magics, the prayers, the straightening shyness that assails one.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “There is one thing pleasantly unconfusing about medicine. The direction and the end are fixed and the patient never works backward.”

There is one thing pleasantly unconfusing about medicine. The direction and the end are fixed and the patient never works backward.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “The Mexican War was a training ground for generals, so that when the sad self-murders settled on us, the leaders knew the techniques for making it properly horrible.”

The Mexican War was a training ground for generals, so that when the sad self-murders settled on us, the leaders knew the techniques for making it properly horrible.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “You got to live before you can afford to die.”

You got to live before you can afford to die.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “It was too nerve-wracking, a shocking spectacle, like seeing an old, calm friend go insane.”

It was too nerve-wracking, a shocking spectacle, like seeing an old, calm friend go insane.

— John Steinbeck


John Steinbeck Quote: “Oh, but strawberries will never taste so good again and the thighs of women have lost their clutch!”

Oh, but strawberries will never taste so good again and the thighs of women have lost their clutch!

— John Steinbeck

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