Quotes Categories

John Steinbeck Quotes

(1902-1968), American Author

No one wants advice, only corroboration.

Category: Advice

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.

Category: Aid And Assistance

This monster of a land, this mightiest of nations, this spawn of the future, turns out to be the macrocosm of microcosm me.

Category: America

A book is like a man -- clever and dull, brave and cowardly, beautiful and ugly. For every flowering thought there will be a page like a wet and mangy mongrel, and for every looping flight a tap on the wing and a reminder that wax cannot hold the feathers firm too near the sun.

Category: Books And Reading

The techniques of opening conversation are universal. I knew long ago and rediscovered that the best way to attract attention, help, and conversation is to be lost. A man who seeing his mother starving to death on a path kicks her in the stomach to clear the way, will cheerfully devote several hours of his time giving wrong directions to a total stranger who claims to be lost.

Category: Conversation

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

Category: Critics And Criticism

Give a critic an inch, he'll write a play.

Category: Critics And Criticism

No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.

Category: Humankind

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

Category: Life And Living

Texas is not a state -- it's a state of mind.

Category: Mind

Even while I protest the assembly-line production of our food, our songs, our language, and eventually our souls, I know that it was a rare home that baked good bread in the old days. Mother's cooking was with rare exceptions poor, that good unpasteurized milk touched only by flies and bits of manure crawled with bacteria, the healthy old-time life was riddled with aches, sudden death from unknown causes, and that sweet local speech I mourn was the child of illiteracy and ignorance. It is the nature of a man as he grows older, a small bridge in time, to protest against change, particularly change for the better.

Category: Nostalgia

There used to be a thing or a commodity we put great store by. It was called the People. Find out where the People have gone. I don't mean the square-eyed toothpaste-and-hair-dye people or the new-car-or-bust people, or the success-and-coronary people. Maybe they never existed, but if there ever were the People, that's the commodity the Declaration was talking about, and Mr. Lincoln.

Category: People

The new American finds his challenge and his love in the traffic-choked streets, skies nested in smog, choking with the acids of industry, the screech of rubber and houses leashed in against one another while the town lets wither a time and die.

Category: Pollution

We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say -- and to feel -- ''Yes, that's the way it is, or at least that's the way I feel it. You're not as alone as you thought.''

Category: Story And Story-Telling

Time is the only critic without ambition.

Category: Time And Time Management