The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962
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More from John Steinbeck

One man was so mad at me that he ended his letter: “Beware. You will never get out of this world alive.”

"The Mail I

Even while I protest the assembly-line production of our food, our songs, our language, and eventually our souls, I know that it was a rare home that baked good bread in the old days. Mother’s cooking was with rare exceptions poor, that good unpasteurized milk touched only by flies and bits of manure crawled with bacteria, the healthy old-time life was riddled with aches, sudden death from unknown causes, and that sweet local speech I mourn was the child of illiteracy and ignorance. It is the nature of a man as he grows older, a small bridge in time, to protest against change, particularly change for the better.

Travels With Charley: In Search of America (1962)

Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.

It is true that we are weak and sick and ugly and quarrelsome but if that is all we ever were, we would millenniums ago have disappeared from the face of the earth.

I am impelled, not to squeak like a grateful and apologetic mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962