{Prime} John Steinbeck, WriterAuthor Jackson J. Benson – Schematicwiringdiagram.co

I like to read biographies of authors I admire Usually I read the author s novels first and then the biography but in this case I read the biography of John Steinbeck as I read the novels It worked out well because Jackson Benson wrote about Steinbeck s writing of each book and what was going on in his life as he wrote I found it reassuring to learn about the agonies he went through as he wrote, the self doubt, the difficulty in settling down to write I have similar problems, the difference I like to read biographies of authors I admire Usually I read the author s novels first and then the biography but in this case I read the biography of John Steinbeck as I read the novels It worked out well because Jackson Benson wrote about Steinbeck s writing of each book and what was going on in his life as he wrote I found it reassuring to learn about the agonies he went through as he wrote, the self doubt, the difficulty in settling down to write I have similar problems, the difference being that he finished and published many novels.Because of My Big Fat Reading Project, I started reading Steinbeck in 2003 with The Grapes of Wrath which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 I ve been reading this life of Steinbeck for 10 years Of course since the man lived for 66 years, I read it in one sixth of the time it took him to live his life The original title of the 1984 hardcover Viking edition was The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer It makes him sound like a cartoon superhero In fact, though he was not looking for fame or fortune, the man always pursued adventure and travel He had a strong interest in heroic deeds.Since Benson already wrote over 1000 pages, I don t need to writeparagraphs except to say it was wonderful to get such a full picture of an author whose novels I have loved He was a complex, tempestuous person who married three times and had an unhappy relationship with his kids but kept the same literary agent and publisher for his entire career Despite his interpersonal issues, he cared passionately for people, justice, and his country.I always manage to forget the subject of a biography will die at the end When Steinbeck died, I cried Thanks to Jackson J Benson s hard work and sympathetic understanding, I almost felt I had known John Steinbeck I purchased this book many years ago and started reading it after a trip to the John Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, CA I ve been plucking away at it little by little since then, unable to finish reading it until today I can happily say that it was worth the effort Mr Benson has given us a definitive look at John Steinbeck In a sense, this is really three books in one, two biographies and one literary criticism, and great in each way Mr Benson has written a great biography of the man as we g I purchased this book many years ago and started reading it after a trip to the John Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, CA I ve been plucking away at it little by little since then, unable to finish reading it until today I can happily say that it was worth the effort Mr Benson has given us a definitive look at John Steinbeck In a sense, this is really three books in one, two biographies and one literary criticism, and great in each way Mr Benson has written a great biography of the man as we get a nearly side by side walk through the life of Mr Steinbeck He has also written a great biography of of the writer as we struggle with Steinbeck to write something original throughout the many phases of his life And he has written a general appraisal of all of Steinbeck s works from Cup of Gold to Travels with Charley In Search of America and America and Americans Mr Benson is tough, but fair minded critic of Steinbeck s works without pretense or snobbery, something I think Mr Steinbeck would ve appreciated The only downside of this work is its heft At 1,000 pages of narrative, this may be a daunting read for anyone It nearly was for me Still, if you are a fan of John Steinbeck and his works, I would highly recommend this book to you as a companion to all of Steinbeck s written works Perhaps not the best biography but certainly my favourite The title is ironic Steinbeck left all the adventuring to Hemingway Unlike Hemingway, however, Steinbeck always comes across as a decent man who genuinely disliked fame, liked friendship and women, and seldom drank too much The tactics of his right wing critics to slur him continue to disgust. This book is a beast With over a thousand pages detailing the life of a very private man, this biography truly tells one everything they could possibly know about John Steinbeck Perhaps aaccurate title would ve been John Steinbeck, Writer, Reader, Lover, Joker, Explorer, Worrier, Drinker, Traveler, Inventor, Researcher, Father, Sailor, Eater.As a writer with a great love for Steinbeck s work, I was interested in the man behind the pages As I haven t quite finished Steinbeck s entire This book is a beast With over a thousand pages detailing the life of a very private man, this biography truly tells one everything they could possibly know about John Steinbeck Perhaps aaccurate title would ve been John Steinbeck, Writer, Reader, Lover, Joker, Explorer, Worrier, Drinker, Traveler, Inventor, Researcher, Father, Sailor, Eater.As a writer with a great love for Steinbeck s work, I was interested in the man behind the pages As I haven t quite finished Steinbeck s entire bibliography I m at 66% , I felt some hesitation about reading this tome Would knowing the inner life of Steinbeck alter my perspective of his creative work I don t think it did, positively or negatively My feelings about the works I ve read remained unchanged, but my desire to read those I haven t yet read was greatly increased In the coming months, expect a considerable amount of Steinbeck in my feed The sheer amount of work Benson must have put into this biography is impressive It is with little doubt that I say this is the most extensive biography that will ever be written about Steinbeck The research and the interviews are comprehensive Having read John Steinbeck, Writer, I have few remaining questions about its subject, but many about its biographer What kind of person sets out to write such a thorough work about an author How long did he obsess over the subject Does he have any regrets about how he spent his years Does he dream about the Salinas Valley Does he confuse events in the life of Steinbeck with his own Was he sick of all things Steinbeck by the time of publication Some readers will perhaps be irritated with the length of John Steinbeck, Writer Personally, though the work was longer than it needed to be, I was happy that Benson included as much as he did, allowing the reader to decide what facts are and are not important What I appreciated less about this volume was the intrusion of Benson, the author ironically, Steinbeck was sometimes criticized for intrusions, especially in later works John Steinbeck, Writer is marred by the opinions of its author Benson criticizes the critics, agents, editors, and publishers who continually begged Steinbeck to rehash The Grapes of Wrath they were annoyed that the writer always wanted to try his hand at something new Despite his criticism of these literary elites, Benson falls into the same trap, declaring The Grapes as Steinbeck s masterpiece and declaring all subsequent works as inferior mistakes the only possible exception being Travels with Charley This is Benson s opinion and certainly unwanted Besides, these days we all know that East of Eden was Steinbeck s true masterpiece and y all were just too close minded to recognize it in the first forty years after its publication Less directly, it seems that maybe Benson has glossed over some known facts to paint Steinbeck in the most positive light possible The picture painted here is of a genius who, because of fame and pressure, became slightly out of touch with his fellow man I would argue that Steinbeck, especially after winning that cursed Nobel prize, was so incredibly far from the imaginative writer he set out to be forty years earlier that he probably wouldn t have recognized himself At the hands of Steinbeck himself, Steinbeck probably would ve beenhonest about his mistakes than Benson was And while Steinbeck toyed with the idea of writing an autobiography of sorts, a fact I learned from this work, he never got around to it Thus, aside from what we can garner from Steinbeck s own writing, the most complete picture we have of the author comes from John Steinbeck, Writer, because Steinbeck didn t use Facebook and you ve always wanted to know what was on his dinner plate and Benson went to great trouble to find out for you This biography was probably the most detailed biography I have ever read I can t even imagine how much time the author must have spent writing this I m not really sure at this point if knowing every possible detail of Steinbeck s life will make me enjoy his writingor less In hindsight I almost wish I had not read a biography about an author and in the future will probably not read another one I like to form my ideas about a piece of literature on what I experience while reading it rath This biography was probably the most detailed biography I have ever read I can t even imagine how much time the author must have spent writing this I m not really sure at this point if knowing every possible detail of Steinbeck s life will make me enjoy his writingor less In hindsight I almost wish I had not read a biography about an author and in the future will probably not read another one I like to form my ideas about a piece of literature on what I experience while reading it rather than my thoughts and feelings being clouded by knowing of an author s personality or life story The exhaustive and comprehensive biography that Steinbeck deserves, culled from the larger work written by Benson Yet, at 1,032 pages in its own right, you will feel that it covers all the bases All of the details are covered,often than not within an engaging style, but obviously it takes a bit of time to read If you are interested in a few of the major works, this might be a bit daunting There are shorter works coveringintensely works such as Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, or Of The exhaustive and comprehensive biography that Steinbeck deserves, culled from the larger work written by Benson Yet, at 1,032 pages in its own right, you will feel that it covers all the bases All of the details are covered,often than not within an engaging style, but obviously it takes a bit of time to read If you are interested in a few of the major works, this might be a bit daunting There are shorter works coveringintensely works such as Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, or Of Mice and Men, particularly Steinbeck s own journals or the works of Susan Shillinglaw But if you are obsessed with the entirety of Steinbeck s career and life, this volume will ever be topped I ve been a Steinbeck fan for many years, but learned something new on pretty much every one of these 1000 pages.This is a big book, heavy and dense, but well worth reading for anybody who enjoys Steinbeck or who likes biographies of authors Writers will learn from Steinbeck s struggles to write and find acceptance.I admit I was intimidated by the size and detail of this book, and remained so up until the last pages I m glad I read it, though, and would readily and heartily recommend it. Excellent biography of one of if not the best writer of all time So muchto him than just a writer Well worth reading. Winner of thePulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrathand recipient of the Nobel Prize in , John Steinbeck was one of America s most important and influential writers Jackson J Benson s definitive biography explores every aspect of the author s life his campaigns for the rights of the little people his stand on the Vietnam War his Hollywood film scripts and his ongoing difficulties with fame, the press, and lack of privacy to reveal the private man behind the public persona Winner of the PEN USA West award for non fictionAuthor Bio Jackson J Benson has published nine books on modern American literature, including Wallace Stegner His Life and Work, which won the David Woolley and Beatrice Cannon Evans Biography award presented by Utah State University Not a literary critique but a most thorough telling of the events that shaped Steinbeck throughout his life Benson notes Steinbeck was blessed with good friends but lacked critical respect I was a little taken aback by Steinbeck s embrace of a pseudo Hollywood kind of lifestyle he hated Hollywood itself Anyway, I need to go back and reread some of his books This is a well written, if overly long, biography.