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April 18, 2011

Of Steinbeck's Facts and Fiction

  One of my favorite books of all time is definitely Steinbeck's novel Travels with Charley. It wasn’t merely the colorful array of stories that gripped me, it was also the idea of someone fulfilling that restlessness that most of us live with our entire lives. I envied Steinbeck with his awesome truck and built in camper, I envied his wise poodle Charley, I envied his wanderlust. And I nearly cried when I read this article about a critic out to prove the novel’s tale a lie. It’s not that I believe every word written in the book to be factual and true, but I honestly believed that it was never really about the facts; it was an interesting glimpse into important events way before my time (the American Civil Rights Movement for example) and peeks at different characters and interesting people that exist across the expanse of America. Somehow it strikes a chord that someone seems so determined to prove Steinbeck wrong, because in the end it isn’t the right or the wrong, the facts or the fiction, it’s simply a new way to look at a country that is right under our noses.