Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Friend, John Steinbeck

Now that I've finished the Dragon Tattoo series, I'm now onto a different era, genre, and style. I've just started John Steinbeck's Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters. I'd safely say I'm a Steinbeck fan and reading his daily musings while writing what I consider to be my favorite novel is pretty interesting. Translated to today, perhaps it's like the well-done extras found on your favorite DVD. The format includes letters that Steinbeck wrote to his friend and publisher, written in the same book as the original text for East of Eden. Thus far, the subject includes mundane weekend activities with his deepest hopes for the book in the next breath. It's pretty great. Here are a couple quotes.
"Even if I knew nothing would emerge from this book I would still write it. It seems to me that different organisms  must have their separate ways of symbolizing, with sound or gesture, the creative joy - the flowering. And if this is so, men also must have their separate ways - some to laugh and some to build, some to destroy and yes, some even creatively to destroy themselves. There's no explaining this. The joy thing in me has two outlets: one a fine charge of love toward the incredibly desirable body and sweetness of woman, and second - mostly both - the paper and pencil or pen (Steinbeck, 1969, p. 11)."
"Work finished for today and the Hamiltons are in. I do hope they are well in. I've worked long today but happily. And now Elaine [his wife] and I are going to Macy's to look at some grass rugs (Steinbeck, p. 17)."

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