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

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

Accepting Nobel Prize, 1962

Give a critic an inch, he’ll write a play.

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

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)

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