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John Steinbeck quotes

1902 - 1968, American author, winner of the Pulitzer Price

Anything that just costs money is cheap.
John Steinbeck

People need responsibility. They resist assuming it, but they cannot get along without it.
John Steinbeck

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have
a dozen.
John Steinbeck

I believe that love cannot be bought except with love.
John Steinbeck

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.
John Steinbeck

This I believe: That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing
in the world. And this I would fight for: The freedom of the mind to take any direction it
wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: Any idea, religion, or government which
limits or destroys the individual.
John Steinbeck

If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees,
miserable, greedy and sick.
John Steinbeck

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.
John Steinbeck

No one wants advice, only collaboration.
John Steinbeck

New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten
children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it -
once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.
John Steinbeck

A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.
John Steinbeck

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

I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have
love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.
John Steinbeck

It is one of the triumphs of the human that he can know a thing and still not believe it.
John Steinbeck

When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you've got two new people.
John Steinbeck

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited
proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
John Steinbeck

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. Perhaps the fear of a loss of power.
John Steinbeck

The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty.
John Steinbeck

Can you honestly love a dishonest thing?
John Steinbeck

And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during
the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.
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

We have usurped many of the powers we once ascribed to God. Fearful and unprepared, we
have assumed lordship over the life or death of the whole world - of all living things. The
danger and the glory and the choice rest finally in man. The test of his perfectibility is at
hand. Having taken Godlike power, we must seek in ourselves for the responsibility and the
wisdom we once prayed some deity might have. Man himself has become our greatest hazard
and our only hope. So that today, St. John the apostle may well be paraphrased: In the end
is the Word, and the Word is Man - and the Word is with Men.
John Steinbeck

All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.
John Steinbeck

I am happy to report that in the war between reality and romance, reality is not the stronger.
John Steinbeck

Man is the only kind of varmint who sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it.
John Steinbeck

Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.
John Steinbeck

Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.
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. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium
is the human mind and spirit.
John Steinbeck

It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.
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

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. It is customary for the recipient of this award to offer personal or
scholarly comment on the nature and the direction of literature. At this particular time,
however, I think it would be well to consider the high duties and the responsibilities of the
makers of literature.
John Steinbeck

We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.
John Steinbeck

Lord, how the day passes! It's like a life - so quickly when we don't watch it and so slowly if
we do.
John Steinbeck