Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I've been reading a lot of John Steinbeck. Almost done with EAST OF EDEN. I gather, from a tiny bit of reading on Steinbeck, that critics were unsure about his work during his lifetime. I can't quite see why, though I'll have to read up a bit more. He seems to me to be among the best novelists I can think of: poetic, lyrical, able to create believeable, engaging characters and to tackle the biggest of themes.

1 comment:

gus chaves said...

Hi, Craig. I learned about your blog reading your article on Paul Muldoon published in Poets&Writers magazine. I enjoyed it very much and intrigued me enough to come and check your blog...

I also like Steinbeck. Just over the summer (while traveling) I read "Tortilla Flat", which got me off-guard but delighted me: an Arthurian gang in California... To me, the story revealed a human understanding that is all the more stricking as most novels we read today are flashing and complex but often ethically aloof, whereas Steinbeck effort is to re-install myth in our societies and explore its condition through it. How have certain high values of the past become modern fairy-tales?, this novella seems to ask. Yet, beyond the social concerns of the author, he remains a superb story teller. A simple story like "Tortilla Flat" would be a failed revision of cliché in the hands of many other resourceful writers of today.