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Travels with Charley in Search of America…
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Travels with Charley in Search of America Publisher: Penguin (urspr publ 1962; utgåvan 2002)

av John Steinbeck

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner / Omnämnanden
7,171179938 (4)1 / 444
The chronicle of Steinbeck's journey across America with his dog Charley.
Medlem:nanciewel
Titel:Travels with Charley in Search of America Publisher: Penguin
Författare:John Steinbeck
Info:
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek, Ska läsas
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Resa med Charley för att upptäcka Amerika av John Steinbeck (Author) (1962)

Senast inlagd avDaleCarney, privat bibliotek, booksforbrunch, brentgalloway, ejmw, mlavallee, KerryD1971, BillGour
Efterlämnade bibliotekJeffBuckley, Carl Sandburg
  1. 40
    The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America av Bill Bryson (John_Vaughan)
  2. 20
    Loggbok från Cortez hav av John Steinbeck (John_Vaughan)
  3. 10
    No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters av Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Non fiction from these novelists where their pets play a large role. Also, UKL has an essay in her book about knowing Steinbeck in real life
  4. 11
    Tagebuch, später (edition suhrkamp) av Andrzej Stasiuk (Philosofiction)
  5. 11
    Blue Highways: A Journey into America av William Least Heat-Moon (usnmm2)
  6. 11
    Coast to Coast av Jan Morris (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Two authors with different backgrounds but both books filled with love of travel and America.
  7. 00
    Of Men and Their Making av John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
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engelska (177)  spanska (1)  franska (1)  Alla språk (179)
Visa 1-5 av 179 (nästa | visa alla)
Not the most interesting travel book I've ever read. I prefer his novels. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
I might go back to it. I just didn't like the narrator.
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
"… the Monterey Peninsula… The canneries which once put up a sickening stench are gone, their places filled with restaurants, antique shops, and the like. They fish for tourists now…" (pg. 156)

Americans are movers, John Steinbeck writes early on in Travels with Charley. Regardless of where he is in his wanderings across the United States, he talks to people about the road trip he is undertaking and sees in their eyes "a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here" (pg. 9).

For a novelist who wrote literature of such a high quality, and concerned so intensely with the American experiment and its great westering, it's something of a surprise to read his short, amiable late-period travelogue Travels with Charley and find something which fulfils that life-long task in its own way. It might not address those questions with greater precision than novels like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, but this book possesses a looser but all-encompassing grasp of what this singular writer was seeking.

The American wanderlust and restlessness is reflected in Steinbeck himself; in his late fifties and with health problems, he decides that he has lost the feel for the country and its people. He sets out in a camper truck for a good old-fashioned road trip, accompanied by his faithful poodle Charley. Starting in New York, he heads up to Maine and then across into Chicago and the Mid-West (including a memorable encounter with the Wisconsin Dells). He travels into Montana and reflects on the American pioneering spirit, then diverts into Yellowstone National Park before heading to the Pacific Northwest. He then returns home to California, to the Monterey and the Salinas Valley of his youth, remarking with great pathos on the changes that have taken place over the previous few decades. He then returns east to wrestle with that unfathomable, independent chimera known as Texas, before the journey is soured by experiences in the Deep South, which is in the midst of its unedifying battles of the Civil Rights era (Steinbeck's trip takes place in 1960). He then comes full-circle back to New York.

The book is short and, as you would imagine, filled with motion, so it is sometimes hard to take in the immensity of America and Steinbeck's journey. But Steinbeck is a judicious guide. It's a bit obvious to say that his writing is excellent, but it is. Steinbeck knows what to include and what not to, and so we really get a sense of his quixotic quest to understand America. He brings all the qualities of a novelist to this book: he develops a structure and brings to life the characters he meets, including some entertaining (and probably fictionalized) dialogue. He makes perceptive literary comments on the people, the land and the emerging trends he encounters. Some passages, such as the one regarding the enduring giant redwoods of northern California, have a magic to them.

The book is a dream to read. Steinbeck seems to leave any ego back in New York; he is disarmingly relaxed and yet spirited. I mentioned above that Travels with Charley has a looser but perhaps more all-encompassing grasp of Steinbeck's purpose than is found in his more imperial literature, and I think this is because he not only captures the changing America he was exploring in those books, but because he is at one with his other multitudes here. Steinbeck's literary influences include Cervantes, and his quixotic quest across America here overtly recalls Don Quixote (Steinbeck's truck is called Rocinante, for example). The book's title comes from a similar book by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Steinbeck's search also recalls King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail. He recognises all of this, and has fun with it. Steinbeck never wrote an autobiography as such, and so passages of Travels with Charley are the closest we get to the man behind such great works of literature, including a self-effacing self-portrait early on in the book. The titular Charley helps a lot here; the dog is adorable and quickly emerges as his own character, bouncing well off his master. There's a lot of warm humour in the book, and Steinbeck can deliver an anecdote or an aside. He is enjoying himself, and the reader does too.

For all the joy and spirit in Travels with Charley, the book is also qualified by Steinbeck's self-reflective honesty. While lamenting the changes he is witnessing across America – "I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction" (pg. 138) – he is also aware that "it was a rare home that baked good bread in the old days. Mother's cooking was with rare exceptions poor" (pg. 83). He is aware that his nostalgia, while real, was also something made more potent by memory; one of the lessons he learns in his travel is that "external reality has a way of being not so external after all" (pg. 159). There is no one 'true' America to 'find'; everyone brings their own impressions, and all you can do is try to look at your own life experiences, your losses and your pleasant memories, with gratitude and honesty.

Steinbeck brings us along this journey with seemingly effortless will. Those who enjoy Steinbeck will relish this peek at a writer without the armour of fiction to protect him, and those who are intimidated by his writing – which often looks bleak from the outside – will be attracted to and won over by this picaresque adventure in the company of a dog. Lamenting the loss of the old New World and the dying of the breed, one character Steinbeck meets asks for ten Americans "who aren't afraid to have a conviction, an idea, or an opinion in an unpopular field" (pg. 129). What a shame there don't seem to be writers of this calibre, honesty and composure today – if there are, they must be buried in obscure depths or left withering on the vine. Steinbeck takes care of Charley Dog and the reader both – not by throwing us treats, but by letting us sit contentedly in "the seat beside me, peering ahead at the unrolling road" (pg. 189). ( )
1 rösta MikeFutcher | Mar 2, 2021 |
So ... I hold firm in my belief that John Steinbeck is more a journalist than an author. His fiction is so telling about real life. This book, though, was nonfiction and, of course, telling. (And the subject of my recent column in The Times: https://www.shawlocal.com/mywebtimes/2021/01/30/paperwork-history-reveals-the-pa...)

Imagine what fun it would be to hop into the cab of a truck next to one of your favorite authors and hit the road. And hey, there's an interesting dog coming along.

Steinbeck hit the road in 1960 with a customized camper on a trusty truck. He crossed the country to get a sense of our country. And he did that. Some of it kind of ugly. (Read my column.) Some of it beautiful. And along the way he shared his thoughts about what he saw and the people he met.

Funny how what he saw in the '60s can still strum a chord today.

Lots of quotes (sorry for length):

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.”

“I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”

“I am happy to report that in the war between reality and romance, reality is not the stronger.”

“I wonder why progress looks so much like destruction.”

“We value virtue but do not discuss it. The honest bookkeeper, the faithful wife, the earnest scholar get little of our attention compared to the embezzler, the tramp, the cheat.”

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”

“I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation — a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every states I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.”

“When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

“For it is my opinion that we enclose and celebrate the freaks of our nation and our civilization. Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.”

“Again it might have been the American tendency in travel. One goes, not so much to see but to tell afterward.”

“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” ( )
  LJCain | Feb 4, 2021 |
I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation- a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here. They spoke quietly of how they wanted to go someday, to move about, free and unanchored, not toward something but away from something. I saw this look and heard this yearning everywhere in every state I visited. Nearly every American hungers to move.



Around the year in 52 books challenge notes:
#40. A book with a place name in the title ( )
  Linda_Louise | Jan 20, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 179 (nästa | visa alla)
Steinbeck’s book-length account of his journey, “Travels With Charley: In Search of America,” published in 1962, was generally well reviewed and became a best-seller. It remains in print, regarded by some as a classic of American travel writing. Almost from the beginning, though, a few readers pointed out that many of the conversations in the book had a stagey, wooden quality, not unlike the dialogue in Steinbeck’s fiction.

Early on in the book, for example, Steinbeck has a New England farmer talking in folksy terms about Nikita S. Khrushchev’s shoe-pounding (or -brandishing, depending on whom you ask) speech at the United Nations weeks before Khrushchev actually visited the United Nations. A particularly unlikely encounter occurs at a campsite near Alice, N.D., where a Shakespearean actor, mistaking Steinbeck for a fellow thespian, greets him with a sweeping bow, saying, “I see you are of the profession,” and then proceeds to talk about John Gielgud.

Even Steinbeck’s son John said he was convinced that his father never talked to many of the people he wrote about, and added, “He just sat in his camper and wrote all that [expletive].”
 

» Lägg till fler författare (36 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Steinbeck, JohnFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Álvarez Flórez, José ManuelÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Bianciardi, LucianoÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Duvivier, M.M.medförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Farber, PaulFotografmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Foerster, IrisÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Foerster, Rolf HellmutÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Fritz-Crone, PelleÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Herman, Rein F.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Parini, JayInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Sampietro, LuigiRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Sinise, GaryBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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This book is dedicated to
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affection that just growed.
-JOHN STEINBECK
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When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.
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No newspaper had printed the words these women shouted. It was indicated that they were indelicate, some even said obscene...But now I heard the words, bestial and filthy and degenerate. In a long and unprotected life I have seen and heard the vomitings of demoniac humans before. Why then did these screams fill me with a shocked and sickened sorrow?
For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked.
Who has not known a journey to be over and dead before the traveler returns? The reverse is also true: many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.
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The chronicle of Steinbeck's journey across America with his dog Charley.

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