Thursday, 29 August 2013

WRITERS ON WRITING #36: John Steinbeck

A novel may be said to be the man who writes it.  Now it is nearly always true that a novelist, perhaps unconsciously, identifies himself with one chief or central character in his novel.  Into this character he puts not only what he thinks he is but what he hopes to beWe can call this spokesman the self-characterYou will find one in every one of my books and in the novels of everyone I can remember.  It is most simple and near the surface in Hemingway’s novelsThe soldier, romantic, always maimed in some sense, hand/testiclesThese are the symbols of his limitationsI suppose my own symbol character has my dream wish of wisdom and acceptance…Oh, don’t forget that the novelist may arrange or rearrange events so that they are more nearly what he hoped they might have been.

Letter to [his agent] Elizabeth Otis (1953)


Click HERE to read a short 1963 essay by JOHN STEINBECK titled Advice for Beginning Writers.

You might also enjoy:
WRITERS ON WRITING #4: Kurt Vonnegut 
WRITERS ON WRITING #35: Mahmoud Saeed 

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