John Steinbeck ….. 112th birthday!!


~~February 27, 2014~~ 

Today’s Google Doodle is one big, interactive birthday card to Pulitzer Prize winning author John Steinbeck, who would have turned 112 today.

Google Doodle John Steinbeck

After clicking on the Doodle, users get transported to a click through animation that highlights his greatest works, starting with The Grapes of Wrath.

Google Doodle John Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath

Clicking the image prompts illustrations based on the Pulitzer Prize and Nation Book Award winning novel to appear on the screen along with famous quotes.

Google Doodle John Steinbeck

~~Other books featured include Cannery Row~~
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~~Of Mice and Men~~

Google Doodle John Steinbeck of mice and men

~~The Pearl~~

Google Doodle John Steinbeck The Pearl

~~Travels with Charlie in Search of America~~

Google Doodle John Steinbeck travels with charlie Steinbeck died in 1968 at 66.

Full Credit/Source: http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/27/john-steinbeck-google-doodle/

Read more: John Steinbeck Google Doodle for The Grapes of Wrath Author’s Birthday | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/27/john-steinbeck-google-doodle/#ixzz2uXrzk9mU

John-steinbeck

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). As the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

John Steinbeck
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Steinbeck in Sweden during his trip to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962
Born John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr.
February 27, 1902
Salinas, California, United States
Died December 20, 1968 (aged 66)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, war correspondent
Notable work(s) Of Mice and Men (1937)
The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
East of Eden (1952)
Notable award(s) Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1940)
Nobel Prize in Literature (1962)

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~~Early life~~

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was born on February 27, 1902, in Salinas, California. He was of German, English, and Irish descent. Johann Adolf Großsteinbeck, Steinbeck’s paternal grandfather, had shortened the family name to Steinbeck when he emigrated to the United States. The family farm in HeiligenhausMettmannNorth Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is still today named “Großsteinbeck.”

His father, John Ernst Steinbeck, served as Monterey County treasurer. John’s mother, Olive Hamilton, a former school teacher, shared Steinbeck’s passion of reading and writing. The Steinbecks were members of the Episcopal Church, although Steinbeck would later become an agnostic. 

Steinbeck lived in a small rural town, no more than a frontier settlement, set in some of the world’s most fertile land. He spent his summers working on nearby ranches and later with migrant workers on Spreckels ranch. There he became aware of the harsher aspects of migrant life and the darker side of human nature, which supplied him with material expressed in such works as Of Mice and Men. He also explored his surroundings, walking across local forests, fields, and farms.

~~Nobel Prize~~

In 1962, Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for literature for his “realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” The selection was heavily criticized, and described as “one of the Academy’s biggest mistakes” in one Swedish newspaper. The reaction of American literary critics was also harsh. The New York Times asked why the Nobel committee gave the award to an author whose “limited talent is, in his best books, watered down by tenth-rate philosophising”, noting that “The international character of the award and the weight attached to it raise questions about the mechanics of selection and how close the Nobel committee is to the main currents of American writing.

We think it interesting that the laurel was not awarded to a writer … whose significance, influence and sheer body of work had already made a more profound impression on the literature of our age”.Steinbeck himself, when asked on the day of the announcement if he deserved the Nobel, replied: “Frankly, no.” 

Biographer Jackson Benson notes, “This honor was one of the few in the world that one could not buy nor gain by political maneuver. It was precisely because the committee made its judgment … on its own criteria, rather than plugging into ‘the main currents of American writing’ as defined by the critical establishment, that the award had value.”

In his acceptance speech later in the year in Stockholm, he said:

“The writer is delegated to declare and to celebrate man’s proven capacity for greatness of heart and spirit — for gallantry in defeat, for courage, compassion and love. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.”

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John Steinbeck (Doodle-Google)

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~~Death and legacy~~

The Steinbeck family graves in the Hamilton plot at the Salinas Cemetery

John Steinbeck died in New York City on December 20, 1968, of heart disease and congestive heart failure. He was 66, and had been a lifelong smoker. An autopsy showed nearly complete occlusion of the main coronary arteries.

In accordance with his wishes, his body was cremated, and interred (March 4, 1969) at the Hamilton family grave site in Salinas, with those of his parents and maternal grandparents. His third wife, Elaine, was buried in the plot in 2004. He had earlier written to his doctor that he felt deeply “in his flesh” that he would not survive his physical death, and that the biological end of his life was the final end to it.

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The day after Steinbeck’s death in New York City, reviewer Charles Poore wrote in the New York Times: “John Steinbeck’s first great book was his last great book. But Good Lord, what a book that was and is: The Grapes of Wrath.” Poore noted a “preachiness” in Steinbeck’s work, “as if half his literary inheritance came from the best of Mark Twain— and the other half from the worst of Cotton Mather.” But he asserted that “Steinbeck didn’t need the Nobel Prize – the Nobel judges needed him.”

Steinbeck’s incomplete novel based on the King Arthur legends of Malory and others, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, was published in 1976.

Many of Steinbeck’s works are on required reading lists in American high schools. In the United Kingdom, Of Mice and Men is one of the key texts used by the examining body AQA for its English Literature GCSE. A study by the Center for the Learning and Teaching of Literature in the United States found that Of Mice and Men was one of the ten most frequently read books in public high schools.

At the same time, The Grapes of Wrath has been banned by school boards: in August 1939, Kern County Board of Supervisors banned the book from the county’s publicly funded schools and libraries. It was burned in Salinas on two different occasions. In 2003, a school board in Mississippi banned it on the grounds of profanity. According to the American Library Association Steinbeck was one of the ten most frequently banned authors from 1990 to 2004, with Of Mice and Men ranking sixth out of 100 such books in the United States.

~~Bibliography~~

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An Introduction to John Steinbeck

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Uploaded on Dec 9, 2009

A short video introduction for John Steinbeck.

This can be useful for teachers to pique the interest of their students in reading his work.

We ALL are ONE!! 

2 thoughts on “John Steinbeck ….. 112th birthday!!

  1. Enjoyed the read, and you make me think, wonder, “Why do a lot of people (not you), but a lot of people feel they must pass judgment on someone else, or justify someone else’s existence, as if to say to them, You’re no good unless I say you’re good?” I guess this “action”, or “reaction” is in our DNA… Excluding the obvious, a lot of people have the darnedest time simply accepting another person for what they are.

    Like

    • Ah, my dear friend … you have no idea how much I understand your mention of judging others!! And I feel you are so right!

      We just are … and we all are ONE!!

      TY for your visit and your comments!!! Peace ….

      Like

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