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The Best John Steinbeck Quotes

The Best John Steinbeck Quotes

We’re celebrating the brilliant writer John Steinbeck this week, born 27th February 1902. Steinbeck was the author of so many fantastic works, including East of Eden and Of Mice and Men. He was also the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature. 

Steinbeck was a complex individual who led a rich and interesting life. We’d encourage anyone with the time to read a little more about it. Martin Chiltern wrote an incredibly insightful piece on the author, discussing his undeniable genius and talent and how, on occasion, they were matched by his flaws and oddities. 

For us, we thought that sharing some of our favourite quotes from the author would be a fitting tribute to his wonderful writing. (You know how much we love a good quote!)


“I guess there are never enough books.”

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.” 

“It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times.”

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 

“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.” 

“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.” 

“It has always seemed strange to me… The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”


Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck! 

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