Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there’s time, the Bastard Time.

Sweet Thursday (1954)

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More from John Steinbeck

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962

A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.

In diary

How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.

In diary