Steinbeck’s Monterey and Writing.

This weekend, we made a quick get-away to Monterey. I was reminded of how relaxing the coastal drive is, and it was made even more beautiful by absolutely *perfect* weather.

Cannery Row and the various signs and images of Steinbeck all have a certain romance for me. I was excited because I picked up a copy of East of Eden, which I’ve only read parts of before. But, even better…I bought something called The East of Eden Papers…essentially it’s Steinbeck’s personal letters to his editor at Viking Press, along with his musings and notes about the craft of writing.

I started the Papers last night, and was blown away. Steinbeck was, of course, a truly talented writer, but this glimpse into his preparation and practice of writing is fascinating! It’s almost like a writers-workshop…but infinitely better because he never intended that it be made public.

I’ll post more about Steinbeck, I’m sure. Reading his work and his thoughts on his work is inspiring.

6 thoughts on “Steinbeck’s Monterey and Writing.

  1. About 4 years ago I stopped in Salinas and went into the Steinbeck Museum there en route to San Francisco. I seem to recall leaving the museum with the impression that it did not do justice to the man. I’d be interested in what you think of “East of Eden” — to me it was more of a failure (too ambitious in attempting to be a modern-day biblical epic, too bloated) and could not touch Steinbeck’s gritty masterpiece “Grapes of Wrath.” I used to read Steinbeck quite a lot but haven’t in years.


  2. James–thanks for your comment. I haven’t read East of Eden in full yet, so I don’t know how I feel about it. I of course loved Grapes of Wrath and do think it was his masterpiece (though some may argue Of Mice and Men was).
    The Letters he wrote during the time he was working on East of Eden are fascinating…I’m reading them now, and learning a lot in the process. It’s such a treat to get into a writer’s head and to see how he thought. He was amazing.


  3. I’m currently the same age Steinbeck had achieved when he undertook his travels and on Valentines Day I left home on a 12-month tour of the U.S. and Canada.

    I’m maintaining a web site with a blog, column, forum, map room, photo gallery and both audio and video podcasts.

    Input is welcome. Ride along with me at


  4. Hey, if you are into contests there is a great contest on YouTube for Valentines Day. The contest is to create a video for the holiday. Actually its two contests, one is to make a video talking about your great love and the second is to actually do an online video proposal called “Will You Marry Me?” Here’s the URL Right now there are very few entries so you might have a good shot at winning.


Comments are closed.