Quotes by John Steinbeck

A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.
- John Steinbeck
No one wants advice - only corroboration.
- John Steinbeck
Time is the only critic without ambition.
- John Steinbeck
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Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play.
- John Steinbeck
One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.
- John Steinbeck
In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.
- John Steinbeck
Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.
- John Steinbeck
We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.
- John Steinbeck
I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.
- John Steinbeck
Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.
- John Steinbeck
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Syntax, my lad. It has been restored to the highest place in the republic.
- John Steinbeck
The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty.
- John Steinbeck
Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power.
- John Steinbeck
Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it.
- John Steinbeck
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
- John Steinbeck
The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.
- John Steinbeck
You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway.
- John Steinbeck
Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard.
- John Steinbeck
I've lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate.
- John Steinbeck
Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.
- John Steinbeck
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
- John Steinbeck
No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.
- John Steinbeck
In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
- John Steinbeck
I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.
- John Steinbeck
It has always been my private conviction that any man who puts his intelligence up against a fish and loses had it coming.
- John Steinbeck
I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?
- John Steinbeck
If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.
- John Steinbeck
I have owed you this letter for a very long time-but my fingers have avoided the pencil as though it were an old and poisoned tool.
- John Steinbeck
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.
- John Steinbeck
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
I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.
- John Steinbeck
Sectional football games have the glory and the despair of war, and when a Texas team takes the field against a foreign state, it is an army with banners.
- John Steinbeck
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.
- John Steinbeck
Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
- John Steinbeck
Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.
- John Steinbeck
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
It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure on the world.
- John Steinbeck
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.
- John Steinbeck
So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.
- John Steinbeck
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.
- John Steinbeck
Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time, the Bastard Time.
- John Steinbeck
These words dropped into my childish mind as if you should accidentally drop a ring into a deep well. I did not think of them much at the time, but there came a day in my life when the ring was fished up out of the well, good as new.
- John Steinbeck