[Marxism] John Steinbeck: "I don't like communists either"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 18 08:42:07 MST 2017


(HT to Andrew Stewart)

 From the collected letters of Steinbeck...

[Pacific Grove] (February 1936)

Dear Louis Paul:

I don't like communists either, I mean I dislike them as people. I 
rather imagine the apostles had the same waspish qualities and the New 
Testament is proof that they had equally bad manners. But this dislike 
is personal. I never knew D. H. Lawrence either. The whole idea of the 
man turns my stomach. But he was a good writer, and some of these 
communist field workers are strong, pure, inhumanly virtuous men. Maybe 
that's another reason I personally dislike them and that does not 
redound to my credit. However, that's not important.

I haven't an idea what the press will do, nor do I much care. I have 
enough money now to live and write for three years if we are careful and 
I can get a hell of a lot of words down in three years.

You ask why you never see my stuff in Esquire. I guess they were never 
interested. I have a good many stories in New York but no one wants 
them. 1 wrote g short stories at one sitting recently. I thought some of 
them were pretty good, too, but that's as far as it got. The North 
American Review used to print some at 30 dollars a crack.

I have to start [writing] and am scared to death as usual—miserable sick 
feeling of inadequacy. I'll love it once I get down to work. Hope you'll 
be out before too long.

Sincerely, John Steinbeck



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