Over the past few years I have been pondering over writing. I moved to Japan a few years ago, and didn’t really stay honest with myself by writing. Putting thoughts onto paper is important for me personally as a sort of therapy. Lately I have been reading a lot of travel literature.
Steinbeck has been a rediscovery for myself. I started with his travelogue “Travels with Charley”, and it really felt good to read it. Steinbeck travels cross country in a truck-camper with his french poodle Charley, in an attempt to find the pulse of America. America which his writing career is mostly based. His memoir is clay-soft, and his words are molded and soft to my heart. His approach to people is as gentle as are his words. One thing I wish more people would do is have conversation, instead of debate (Something that I am trying to teach myself pre-parenthood). Steinbeck recounts his travel in roughly 400 pages that read quickly and clearly. When I finished reading this book I felt I learned a new way to approach people that is really respected. After this book I followed it up with a first time read of “Grapes” (The Grapes of Wrath).
I knew the theme of the book before reading it, but never new the real power and timelessness of this book. Upon reading the book, I felt a connection with the world then and now. Both are really travelogues, one a work of fiction one a memoir. Travelogues are productive reading; lots of topics, personalities, and places, which makes it easy to keep interest.
Visit: National Steinbeck Center