Saturday, October 04, 2008

One Life to Live

I figure now's as good a time as ever to delve into books written during or about the Great Depression of the 1930s. I'm now into a book my father lent me (he was given this copy in California, where it's set), John Steinbeck's Cannery Row (1945). The characters are colorful, but more interesting is the relative subtlety of the book's conflicts -- mostly people struggling against the hardships and vagaries of life rather than against a clear "opposition." The microcosm of Cannery Row is implicitly epic and ubiquitous -- and very relevant to today's world, too.

Pictured above is an international front cover for Tortilla Flat (1935), written during the Depression but set just after the First World War.

Today's Rune: Harvest.


the walking man said...

Steinbeck always seems to be able to define hardship among the first affected. Them that have the longest hardest row to hoe. *sigh* It seems that Jesus Maria is on his way to getting beat by the soldiers again.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Not the best route for escapism, is it? Since the media reported an increase in soup stock, more folks will be going to the movie theaters.

Charles Gramlich said...

Cannery Row was a great book and this book really sort of defined for me what I thought a "literary" novel should be. I also liked the Nick Nolte movie of this.

Lana Gramlich said...

I thoroughly enjoyed "Cannery Row" when they made us read it in jr. high. I could almost see the row & its denizens in my mind. Very well written!