John Steinbeck on James Joyce. Writing to Viking editor Marshall A. Best in 1939, the year both Finnegans Wake and The Grapes of Wrath were published, Steinbeck says, "I still don't understand Finnegans Wake but more than that I do not understand a man who would spend seventeen years writing it. I am not terribly interested in the first but the second seems a little bit important to me."
In responce to Best's questions concerning the inscription in a copy of The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck writes, "Regardsing your questions concerning the inscription, Viva la huelga! I do not remember ever having used it before. The word huelga means originally a restlessness, an uprising. It means now a strike, and in Mexico it means not only a strike but that permanent pressure of working people toward a better life, the revolución perpetuál." With a carbon copy of Best's letter of 4 May 1939.
A fine letter written in an important year in Steinbeck's career and in the history of modern literature in English.
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