John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck
标准 3025


John Steinbeck


John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel the grapes of wrath (1939) and the novella of mice and men (1937). He wrote a total of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories. In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for literature.




John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. He was of German and Irish descent. Johann Adolf GroßSteinbeck, Steinbeck's paternal grandfather, had shortened the family name to Steinbeck when he immigrated to the United States. The family farm in Heiligenhaus, Germany.


Literary career


Steinbeck's first novel, cup of gold, published in 1929, is based on the life and death of privateer Henry Morgan. it centers on Morgan’s assault and sacking of the city of panama, sometimes referred to as the 'cup of gold', and on the woman, fairer than the sun, who was said to be found there.


After cup of gold, between 1931 and 1933 Steinbeck produced three shorter works. The pastures of heaven, published in 1932, comprised twelve interconnected stories about a valley near Monterey that was discovered by a Spanish corporal while chasing runaway American Indian slaves. In 1933 Steinbeck published the red pony, a 100-page, four-chapter story weaving in memories of Steinbeck's childhood. To a god unknown follows the life of a homesteader and his family in California, depicting a character with a primal and pagan worship of the land he works.


Steinbeck achieved his first critical success with the novel tortilla flat (1935), which won the California commonwealth club's gold medal. The book portrays the adventures of a group of classless and usually homeless young men in Monterey after World War I, just before U.S. prohibition. The characters, which are portrayed in ironic comparison to mythic knights on a quest, reject nearly all the standard mores of American society in enjoyment of a dissolute life centered on wine, lust, camaraderie and petty theft. The book was made into the 1942 film tortilla flat, starring Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield, a friend of Steinbeck's.


Steinbeck began to write a series of "California novels" and dust bowl fiction, set among common people during the great depression. These included in dubious battle, of mice and men and the grapes of wrath. Of mice and men, about the dreams of a pair of migrant laborers working the California soil was critically acclaimed.


The stage adaptation of Of Mice and Men was a hit, starring Broderick Crawford as the mentally child-like but physically powerful itinerant farmhand "Lennie," and Wallace Ford as Lennie's companion, "George." however, Steinbeck refused to travel from his home in California to attend any performance of the play during its New York run, telling Kaufman that the play as it existed in his own mind was "perfect" and that anything presented on stage would only be a disappointment. Steinbeck would write two more stage plays (the moon is down and burning bright).


Of mice and men was rapidly adapted into a 1939 Hollywood film, in which Lon Chaney, Jr. (who had portrayed the role in the Los Angeles production of the play) was cast as Lennie and Burgess Meredith as "George." Steinbeck followed this wave of success with the grapes of wrath (1939), based on newspaper articles he had written in San Francisco. The novel would be considered by many to be his finest work. it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940, even as it was made into a notable film directed by John ford, starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, who was nominated for an academy award for the part.


The success of the grapes of wrath was not free of controversy, as Steinbeck's liberal political views, portrayal of the negative side of capitalism, and mythical reinterpretation of the historical events of the dust bowl migrations led to backlash against the author, especially close to home. In fact, claiming the book was both obscene and misrepresented conditions in the county, the kern county board of supervisors banned the book from the county's public schools and libraries in august 1939. This ban lasted until January 1941.


Of the controversy, Steinbeck wrote, "the vilification of me out here from the large landowners and bankers is pretty bad. The latest is a rumor started by them that the Okies hate me and have threatened to kill me for lying about them. I'm frightened at the rolling might of this damned thing. It is completely out of hand; I mean a kind of hysteria about the book is growing that is not healthy."


The film versions of the grapes of wrath and of mice and men (by two different movie studios) were in production simultaneously, allowing Steinbeck to spend a full day on the set of the grapes of wrath and the next day on the set of Of Mice and Men.

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  • 来源: 2016-08-12