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He can also be inconsistent, but that makes him interesting to me. Clover Send a noteboard - 27/04/2011 06:47:25 AM
He puts a "spin" on things that I'm not sure is always present. There is a darker side to human nature and there is a place for his criticisms, but he was far too Marxist for me to enjoy at any age, other than his Travels with Charley, which is a grand piece of Americana.


There's also this passage from East of Eden which I think is a brilliant little capitalist manifesto:

In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God. This in my time is the danger. There is great tension in the world, tension toward a breaking point, and men are unhappy and confused.

At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions. What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?

Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

And now the forces marshaled around the concept of the group have declared a war of extermination on that preciousness, the mind of man. By disparagement, by starvation, by repressions, forced direction, and the stunning hammerblows of conditioning, the free, roving mind is being pursued, roped, blunted, drugged. It is a sad suicidal course our species seems to have taken.

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world...


I think he became much less Marxist as he got older, after the fear of poverty and loss of dignity from the Great Depression was replaced by other threats.

Regardless of my opinion, though, go back and re-read him if you think there might be a reason to!

I want to reread all the "classics" that I thought were shit at that age. I expect that I'll be able to appreciate many of them more now, but there are others where my opinion will likely never change. Like - never mind, let's not start any fires here. :P
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Remarque, Im Westen Nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) - 26/04/2011 06:16:11 PM 8019 Views
I read it when I was probably too young, too. - 26/04/2011 06:36:07 PM 1593 Views
The last chapters really seem rushed to me, even now. - 26/04/2011 06:43:23 PM 1496 Views
I want to read it now, so I think this was a good review. - 26/04/2011 08:03:30 PM 1635 Views
I find Steinbeck hard to digest. - 27/04/2011 05:05:45 AM 1500 Views
Travels with Charley is indeed great. - 27/04/2011 06:06:18 AM 1632 Views
He can also be inconsistent, but that makes him interesting to me. - 27/04/2011 06:47:25 AM 1740 Views
Whyever not? - 27/04/2011 07:13:56 PM 1602 Views
I was going to say that too - 27/04/2011 08:23:36 PM 1399 Views
Be sure to read the two books that immediately follow it - 26/04/2011 11:41:53 PM 1664 Views
The latter of the two is already on my "to read" list. - 27/04/2011 05:03:49 AM 1441 Views
Love that book - 27/04/2011 04:49:51 PM 1475 Views
Wait... - 27/04/2011 04:58:58 PM 1482 Views
Wow - 27/04/2011 10:17:55 PM 1621 Views
*NM* - 28/04/2011 09:18:26 PM 726 Views

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