After the Grapes of Wrath, Essays on John Steinbeck

By: Steinbeck, John

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In honor of Tetsumaro Hayashi, edited by Donald v. Coers, Paul D. Ruffin and Robert J. DeMott. Still in original unopened shrink wrap.


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Traditionally, the critical reputation of Nobel Prize-winning American novelist John Steinbeck (1902-1968) has rested on his achievements of the 1930s, especially "In Dubious Battle" (1936), "Of Mice and Men" (1937), "The Long Valley" (1938), and, of course, "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939), one of the most powerful and arguable on of the greatest American novels of this century.
Book reviewers and academic critics often turned antagonistic toward Steinbeck when he no longer produced work with the sweeping reach and social consciousness of "The Grapes of Wrath." He was accused of selling out, or co-opting his talent, when in fact the inordinate public success of "Grapes" and especially its attendant notoriety had caused a backlash for Steinbeck. As a result he became self-conscious about his own ability, and suspicious of that clumsy vehicle, the novel. The very act of researching and writing "Grapes," which occupied him fully for several years and which he had already conceived as his final book on proletarian themes, changed him drastically.
No longer willing to be the chronicler of Depression-era subjects, Steinbeck went afield to find new roots, new sources, new forms. For example, in the six years following the publication of "Grapes," Steinbeck completed a suit of love poems; a full-length novel (bastardized by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1943 film, "Lifeboat"); a nonfiction scientific book, "Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research" (with Edward F. Ricketts); a documentary film, "The Forgotten Village"; a documentary book to help the war effort, "Bombs Away: The Story of a Bomber Team"; a series of articles he wrote as a war correspondent for the "New York Herald Tribune" (later collected as "Once There Was a War"); and two novels, "The Moon Is Down" and "Cannery Row."
Steinbeck came to define himself less as a novelist and more as a man of letters, a restless experimenter with form and subject matter, and a prophetic postmodernist whose key subject for the rest of his career was the dilemma of individual choice and ethical consciousness. Thus, Steinbeck s later fiction, from "The Moon Is Down" (1942) through "The Winter of Our Discontent" (1962), and his later nonfiction, from "Sea of Cortez" (1941) through "Travels with Charley" (1962) and "America and Americans" (1966), often shows a different set of stylistic, thematic, and philosophical bearings from his earlier work and underscores his dramatic shift toward individual thinking. A full appreciation of Steinbeck s mid-career metamorphosis and, consequently, of his later achievement requires a corresponding shift in critical approach a departure from the traditional New Critical norms. Instead of marginalizing these works, all the contributors to this volume agree that Steinbeck s later publications merit indeed, demand closer scrutiny.
Written especially for this collection in honor of Professor Tetsumaro Hayashi, the distinguished founder and editor-in-chief of the "Steinbeck Quarterly," on his retirement from Ball State University and his move to Kwassui Women s College in Nagasaki, Japan, these essays explore new ways of addressing Steinbeck s later work and career, and include forays into subjects as diverse as ethnicity and music. They range from treatment of his post-structuralist use of language in "Sea of Cortez" and his involvement as a speech writer for Franklin Delano Roosevelt s reelection bid in 1944 to the influence of Charles Darwin s theories of sexual selection in "The Wayward Bus," his revision of the myth of Cain in "The Winter of Our Discontent," and his employment of Arthurian quest values in his last book, America and Americans.
For this group of critics which includes respected veteran Steinbeck scholars Robert DeMott, John Ditsky, Mimi Gladstein, Cliff Lewis, Robert Morsberger, Susan Shillinglaw, and Roy Simmonds, as well as talented new voices Debra Barker, Kevin Hearle, Michael Meyer, Brian Railsback, Eiko Shiraga, and Geralyn Strecker "The Moon is Down" and "The Wayward Bus" loom as significant works in the post 1930s re-evaluation (two essays each appear on these works). The book also includes Donald Coers s interview with the writer s widow, Elaine Steinbeck, the first of its kind ever published. "After The Grapes of Wrath" opens with eminent Americanist Warren French s appreciation of Professor Hayashi s distinguished career and his influence in Steinbeck studies; a bibliography of Hayashi s major publication concludes this honorary gathering."

Title: After the Grapes of Wrath, Essays on John Steinbeck

Author Name: Steinbeck, John

Categories: Steinbeck,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Athens, Ohio University Press: 1995

ISBN Number: 0821411020

ISBN Number 13: 9780821411025

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: As New

Jacket Condition: As New

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 002395