One of the world’s most influential writers, John Steinbeck, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature 59 years ago.
The Nobel organization said Steinbeck won “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do with sympathetic humor and lively social perception.”
Steinbeck wrote 33 books before his death in 1968, including classic novels Of Mice and Men (1937), Grapes of Wrath (1939), Tortilla Dish (1935), Row of cannery (1945), and East of Eden (1952), as well as a multitude of influential short stories.
His writings dealt with the themes of fate and injustice and often gave voice to the working class.
At the Nobel banquet in 1962, Steinbeck said he did not deserve the award, but graciously accepted it on behalf of the great writers before him.
“In my heart there may be a doubt that I deserve the Nobel Prize over other men of letters whom I hold with respect and reverence – but there is no question of my pleasure and my pride in it. ‘have for me,’ he said in his acceptance. speech.
“Such is the prestige of the Nobel Prize and of this place where I stand that I am driven, not to squeal like a grateful and sorry mouse, but to roar like a lion out of pride in my profession and the great and good men who have practiced it through the ages.
“Literature is as old as words. She was born out of a human need for herself, and she hasn’t changed except to become more needed. “
American poet and literary critic Dorothy Parker said Grapes of Wrath was “the greatest American novel I have ever read”.
Dramatic reviewer and commentator for The New Yorker Alexander Woollcott magazine said at the time that it was “such a great book that it has yet come out of America”.
Since Steinbeck’s death, Of mice and Men has sold over 14 million copies and his life’s work inspired political movements.
Seventeen of Steinbeck’s works have been made into television or studio films, with Steinbeck earning three Oscar nominations for writing.
Among the many popular films adapted from Steinbeck’s books are Grapes of Wrath (1940), Of mice and Men (1992), The Pearl (2001) and In a dubious battle (2017).