John was born Feb. 27, 1902, Salinas, California.
All blue collar and agricultural workers owe him a debt. Harvest Gypsies, In Dubious Battle, The Grapes of Wrath.
Call from New York and Eliane Steinbeck years ago. "Could you please pick up the telephone book, Mr. Hauk, and tell me how many times you see my late husband's name connected to a local (Monterey County, California) business?'' Many times, to a credit union, used car dealer and dry cleaner, among them.
An irony. Nancy and I walked out of Starbuck's on Cannery Row this morning and the door facing us had a sign reading "Steinbeck Jewelers.''
Met a Norwegian naval officer at a party. Had just read The Moon Is Down is still exceedingly well read in Norway. Seemed a coincidence.
Don't know if it's true, but was told Steinbeck exceeded Hemingway in sales last year. Steinbeck more relevant currently, one thinks, because of today's tough economic times.
Steinbeck had a talking myna bird named John L.
Steinbeck has a whole ``museum'' dedicated to him and his work – the innovative and creative National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.
He doesn't get the credit, but Steinbeck was continually experimenting. The novel and the play of Of Mice and Men are practically interchangable, exchanging description for stage directions. He wrote it as a novel thinking of it as a play. In any case, a success in both forms.
Steinbeck wrote the story East of Eden as if he was telling it to his sons. Many great children's authors take this approach.
The painting of Steinbeck on this page is by Judith Deim. I did a piece on her for the current Steinbeck Review, edited by Barbara A. Heavilin, Nick Taylor and Paul Douglass (author of Lady Caroline Lamb: A Biography). The Review is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.
If interested in reviews or journals on other great writers visit www.wileyonlinelibrary.com. From Fitzgerald to Mailer.
Steinbeck ended up on the East Coast because of death threats at one time and hostility often on the West Coast. The family cottage in Pacific Grove, California, was the place he felt most at home and most comfortable and at one point he planned to write East of Eden there, but it was not to be.
I recently came across an essay by the late, great playwright Arthur Miller in which Miller said he never thought Steinbeck felt at home in the East; instead, to Miller, he seemed somewhat ill at ease.
John S. gave the myna bird John L. to Fred Zinneman, the director of High Noon.
The portrait on this page was painted after Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts had just returned from their voyage to the Sea Of Cortez. There were several days of partying at Ricketts' Pacific Marine Biology Laborator on Cannery Row, then Steinbeck said to Deim and her husband Ellwood Graham, who were eight or nine years younger than him:
"Why don't you kids paint my portrait and I shall be forced to concentrate and get on with my book.''
He appears in the painting to be concentrating very hard.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...