By Susan Shillinglaw
This half artwork publication, half biography, and half trip consultant bargains perception into how landscapes and townscapes encouraged John Steinbeck's artistic procedure and the way, in flip, his legacy has motivated smooth California. a number of kinds of readers will savour the data during this guide—literary pilgrims will research extra in regards to the country featured so prominently in Steinbeck's paintings, travelers can stopover at an analogous structures that he lived in and wrote approximately, and historians will take pleasure in the engrossing point of view on everyday life in early and mid 20th-century California. delivering a completely new viewpoint on Steinbeck and the folks and areas that he delivered to lifestyles in his writing, this version features a really good number of photos, sketches, and work, together with a few from deepest, infrequently obvious collections. With a brand new preface from the writer, up-to-date information on featured web pages, a brand new dialogue on Steinbeck's ecological pursuits and actions, and an extended...
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California poppies. Lupins in the San Antonio Valley. A California oak, depicted in Ann B. Fisher’s The Salinas, Upside-Down River. These landscapes, resonant with human energies, are quite different from those of another renowned Californian, John Muir. Whereas Muir’s is a triumphant wilderness, Steinbeck’s is a peopled land, space with a human imprint. Even at its darkest, Steinbeck’s nature is a place where people experience joy as well as pain. Nature offers a refuge. In Of Mice and Men (1937), George and Lennie find a protective clearing by the Salinas River; in The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad hides from pursuers in a cave; Jody in The Red Pony finds comfort in a grassy spot near the water tank.
The land created great wealth, “the richest community per capita, we were told, in the entire world,” writes Steinbeck. ” This had first been cattle country. But in the mid-1860s, herds were decimated by a year of flooding that drowned cattle, followed by two years of drought that starved them. Grains—mostly wheat—became increasingly lucrative, and with grains came settlers to the newly plotted town of Salinas City. When lots priced from $100 to $1,000 were first offered for sale in 1868, they sold at a good clip.
At age fourteen he decided that he would be a writer, a calling that would shape his adolescence and define his life. Independence of thought, restlessness of spirit, empathy for those who, like him, had felt socially marginalized, and a deep, abiding love of the land would define Steinbeck’s life and art. That was his Salinas heritage and, more broadly, the heritage of the American West. Steinbeck’s Salinas Incorporated on March 4, 1874, Salinas is a western boomtown that never went bust. The land created great wealth, “the richest community per capita, we were told, in the entire world,” writes Steinbeck.
A Journey into Steinbeck's California by Susan Shillinglaw