STEINBECK, JOHN. 1902-1968.
Typed Letter, 1 p, 4to, Salinas, April 20, 1921, to Bob, regarding recent work he's done on a ranch, with strike throughs likely in Steinbeck's hand to last line of text, leaf marked "Copy" but mailed, creased and toned, dealer notations on verso in pencil indicate letter was first sold in 1944 in Chicago.
A fascinating early letter by Steinbeck, probably written to a Stanford colleague reporting on his recent writing activities: "Just now I am collecting rejection slips from various magazines. I suppose that is part of the trail which one who wishes to write must travel. I am conceited enough to think that I can write, or will be able to some day and I'm going to stick to it."
Like most college students, Steinbeck has trouble reconciling the theoretical principles of the prevailing social or economic theory (in this case, socialism) with real world conditions. He writes: "I have been working on a ranch down the country and incidentally arguing socialism with the laborers. Do you know Bob, nothing can kill socialism in the minds of thinking people than the arguments of the grubbers. It is so plainly a matter of getting something for nothing with a little revenge thrown in that the idea is sickening ... there can never be successful socialism as long as such narrowness and greed, as I have seen, exist."
Steinbeck goes on to report that he has scandalized the religious community in Salinas by spouting a theory called "Partial Immortality of the Mind," which is his answer to spiritualism and religion.
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