A Journey into Steinbeck's California by Susan Shillinglaw

By Susan Shillinglaw

This half paintings booklet, half biography, and half shuttle consultant bargains perception into how landscapes and townscapes prompted John Steinbeck's inventive strategy and the way, in flip, his legacy has inspired smooth California. a number of sorts of readers will savor the data during this guide—literary pilgrims will study extra concerning the country featured so prominently in Steinbeck's paintings, travelers can stopover at a similar constructions that he lived in and wrote approximately, and historians will get pleasure from the engrossing point of view on everyday life in early and mid 20th-century California. providing a completely new point of view on Steinbeck and the folks and locations that he delivered to existence in his writing, this variation features a incredible number of photos, sketches, and work, together with a few from inner most, hardly ever obvious collections. With a brand new preface from the writer, up-to-date information on featured web pages, a brand new dialogue on Steinbeck's ecological pursuits and actions, and an extended...

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Chapter 2 Salinas A Remembered Symphony Mural in downtown Salinas. ” —Steinbeck, journal entry, 1948 John Steinbeck as a high school senior, June 1919. When John Steinbeck was born there in 1902, Salinas was a bustling town of 3,300, the county seat of Monterey County, “a true, enterprising, progressive, permanent American city,” declared an 1881 promotional brochure. The rich land supported ranchers and farmers, attracting “Portuguese and Swiss and Scandinavians,” said Steinbeck, and Germans and English and Irish.

At the corner of Central and Capitol, at 120 Capitol Street, is the Roosevelt School, the site of the former West End School, where Olive Steinbeck went to high school and John attended classes in grades three through eight. “Salinas had two grammar schools,” Steinbeck writes in East of Eden, “big yellow structures with tall windows, and the windows were baleful and the doors did not smile…. ” Young Steinbeck, usually edging in on trouble, bringing home mediocre grades, was a solidly boyside sort.

Fisher’s The Salinas, Upside-Down River. These landscapes, resonant with human energies, are quite different from those of another renowned Californian, John Muir. Whereas Muir’s is a triumphant wilderness, Steinbeck’s is a peopled land, space with a human imprint. Even at its darkest, Steinbeck’s nature is a place where people experience joy as well as pain. Nature offers a refuge. In Of Mice and Men (1937), George and Lennie find a protective clearing by the Salinas River; in The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad hides from pursuers in a cave; Jody in The Red Pony finds comfort in a grassy spot near the water tank.

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