Saturday, 3 September 2011

My John Steinbeck experience...

Well, I just thought I'd come back and up date my blog.  I have been told that blogging is something of a long term project and followers are rather hard to come by especially when only two people know of  my blog's exsistence so I am hoping that very soon there will be another person who may find my ramblings interesting or entertaining enough (or maybe someone of a rather sympathetic nature will take pity)  to follow my little contribution to the web......

After having purchased and waited several days on the postman to arrive; I have finally started one of (in my opinion) the most epic and ground breaking novels of recent times. John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath."

I remember being introduced to Steinbeck in school with his short story-Of Mice and Men.  As a literature class we had this read within about three sittings and we were all totally enthralled with the manner in which Steinbeck described  the personalities of Lennie Small and the hunt that ensued to catch him after the killing of   Curley's wife.  Very soon into the story the scene is set deep within the reader's mind that something dark and menacing is going to unfold within the pages that lie beyond. I was captured by Steinbeck's ability to vividly describe in such textured detail all things which may lend by any sort of means to the description of the environment in which the events within the novel are set.

Needless to say by the time Steinbeck reached his time to put on paper the works of  "The Grapes of Wrath" he had in grasp the sheer talent to bring the reader in and not let them go until he was finished.  Although I have not yet finished this story I have already given it thought without even holding the book in my hand.  I have found myself turning to the internet to find out more about the plight and fight for survival that "Okies" faced on the migration of the 1,700 mile journey that lay in wait.

A snapshot in time- Florence Thompson, a migrant mother with her young children making her way to the "promised land."

At the moment I cannot give a detailed review of this novel as I have not finished it yet but you get a sense that many events will tie together to bring this journey together. I imagine that on some level the reader will be left saddened but although still within the openings of the story I get a real sense that the characters have a strong spirit to see them through the traumas and tragedies of life of the time......

Some points you may like to know about John Steinbeck if you are considering looking at his work-

  1. Although many people believe him to be a lifelong Californian, Steinbeck spent much of his life in New York and eventually shed most of his ties to the Salinas Valley.
  2. Steinbeck had a lifelong fascination with the King Arthur tales.
  3. Hollywood loved Steinbeck. Film adaptations of his work include The Grapes of Wrath,Cannery RowEast of EdenOf Mice and MenThe Red Pony, and Tortilla Flat.
  4. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962 “for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.” Privately, however, he feared that the prize usually spelled the end of a writer’s career.
  5. The two things Steinbeck found most necessary to life were “work and women.”
 John Steinbeck interview on "The Grapes of Wrath"

See you soon.....

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