Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men
(researched by Megan Chaudet)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Of Mice and Men. Copyright 1937 by John Steinbeck. New York. Covici Friede publishers. 1937
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
beige cloth
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
pp. [1]-[6]7-186[18
7]-[192]; 187*120 mm (pp1-6 and pp187-192 were blank)
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
no
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
no illustrations, but designed by Robert Josephy
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The book was in very good condition. The text was easily readable because it was well spaced.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper was yell
owing, but it was not very brittle and seems to have held up well over the years.
11 Description of binding(s)
beige cloth. Printed on front cover: [thick black rule]|[reverse printing in a 55*55 mm. terra cotta panel] OF MICE| AND MEN|John Steinbeck|[thick black rule] Spine prin
ted:[thick black rule]|[reverse printing in a 48*26 mm. terra cotta panel]OF|MICE|AND|MEN|Steinbeck|[thick black rule|[in terra cotta]Covici.Friede. Top edges stained blue, all edges trimmed. Pictorial dust jacket printed in black.
12 Transcription of title page
[3] title;[4] COPYRI
GHT, 1937, BY JOHN STEINBECK| [rights reserved notice]|PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA| BY J.J.LITTLE AND IVES COMPANY< NEW YORK|DESIGNED BY ROBERT JOSEPHY
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
p 9, lines 20 and 21 read "and only moved because the heavy h
ands were pendula". These words were removed in later printings and the entire page reset.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
A. First edition, second issue.February 26, 1937.(20 days after first issue). p4 PRINTED AND BOUND IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICABY THE HADDON CRAFTSME
N, INC.,CAMDEN,N.J.spine in reverse printin 48*25mm.terra cotta instead of 48*26. Page 9 reset with exclusion of nine words. B. [1937] New York: Covici-Friede for the Book-of-the-Month Club.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Three: a. First edition,first issue:(1937) Covici-friede, New York b. First edition,second issue:(1937) Covici-friede, New York c. First English edition:(1937) William Heinemann LTD. London&Toronto.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
a. [c1937]Toronto:Mcleod. b. [1937]New York: Sun Dial Press. c. [1938]New York: Viking (Bantam Books) d. [1938]New York: Blue Ribbon Books (Bantam Books) e. [1938]New York: Modern Library #29 f. [1938]Leipzig: Albatross Book #366 (Houghton) g. [1940]New York: Triangle books.(many reprints) h. [1940]London: Evergreen Books, with The Red Pony i. [c1942]New York: P.F. Collier j. [c1942]New York: P.F. Collier. With title Of Mice and Men and Sort Stories. Includes Saint Katy the Virgin and The Red Pony k. [1947]London: Reprint Society. With title Two in One. Includes Cannery Row. l. [1947] Cleveland: World Publishing Company. m. [1949] Rome: Albatross Book #366 n. [1949] Harmondsworth: Penguin Books #717. Many reprints. o. [1955] New York: Bantam Books #1329. Many reprints p. [1963] New York: Viking. Reprints noted q. [1963] New York: Viking Compass Book #c125. Reprints noted r. [1965] London: Heinemann Educational Books. Reprints noted s. [1966] London: Heinemann t. [1968] New York: Viking Large Type Edition u. [1968] London: Heinemann v. [1971] Heron Books. Illustrated by Robert C. Bates
6 Last date in print?
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
a.Of Mice and Men: A play in three acts. 1937 by John Steinbeck. Performances of Play: 1.May 21, 1937. The Green Street Theatre. San Francisco. 2. November 23, 1937. Music Box Theatre. New York City. 3. April 24, 1939. Geary Theatre. San Francisco. 4. 1962. Equity Library Theatre. New York City. 5. July 1,7,1972. The Music Shed, Yale University Summer School of Music and Art. Norfolk, Connecticut. b. Of Mice and Men (Opera) 1. January 22, 1970. Seattle Opera House. Seattle. 2. July 9,11,1971. Cincinnati Opera Association. Cincinnati. c. Of Mice and Men (Television) 1. January 31, 1968. ABC. d. Of Mice and Men (movie) 1. 1940. Hal Roach; United Artists. 2. 1993. Metro Goldwyn Mayer. 3. 1997. Image Entertainment.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
AFRIKAANS a. Man en Muis. Johannesburg: Afrikaanse Pers.,[c.1967].A translation by Chris Barnard of Of Mice and Men. ARABIC a. Rijal wa Firan. al-qahirah: al-Dar al-Qawmiyyah, [c1964]. A translation by 'abd-al-Mun'im al-Hifni of Of Mice and Men. BULGARIAN a. Za Miskite I Horata. (play)Sofija: Nauka i izkustvo, [c1966].A translation by Angel Ahrjanov of Of Mice and Men. b. Ulica Konservna.Za Miskite I Horata. Plovdiv: Br.G.Danov [c1966]. A translation by Krastan Djankov and Todor Valcev of Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men. CATALAN a. Homes I Ratolins. Perpignan: Proa, 1964. A translation by Manuel de Pedrole of Of Mice and Men. CHINESE a. Shu Yu Jen. Taipei: Hain Hsing [c1959]. A translation by Hsiu-feng of Of Mice and Men. b. Lao Shu Yu Jen. Taipei: Huang Ho, [c1968]. A translation by Huang Wei Fang of Of Mice and Men. CZECH a. O Mysich a Lidech. Praha:cs. Spisovatel,[c1962]. A translation by Vladimir Vendys Of Mice and Men. b. O Mysich a Lidech. Na Plecharne. Praha:SNKLU,[c1967]. A translation by Vladimir Vendys, Jaroslav Schejbal, and Zdenka Wattersonova of Of Mice and Men. c. O Mysich A Lidech. Praha:Dilia [c1967]. A translation by Ota Ornest of Of Mice and Men. DANISH a. Mus Og Maend. Kobenhavn: Gyldendal, 1939. A translation by Kai Friis Moller of Of Mice and Men.[TxU]New edition 1940. b. Mos Og Maend. Kobenhavn: Gyldendal, 1951. A translation by Aase H. Hansen and Kai Friis Moler of Of Mice and men. Five editions to 1969. c. Mus Og Maend. Perlen. Kobenhavn: Gyldendal,[c1964]. A translation by Aase Hansen, Kai Friis Moller and Morgens Knudesen of Of Mice and Men and The Pearl. DUTCH a. Muizen en Mensen. Amsterdam: De Wereldbibliotheck, 1949. A translation by Clara Eggink of Of Mice and Men. Four editions to 1969. b. Muizen en Mensen. Antwerp:Wereld-Bibliotheck.[c1957]. A translation by Clara Eggink of Of Mice and Men. c. Van Muizen en Mensen. Baarn: Bosch and Keuning, [c1966]. A translation by Clara Eggink of Of Mice an Men. FINNISH a. Hiiria Ja Ihmisia. Helsinki: Tammi[c1966]. A translation by Jouko Linturi Oof Of Mice and Men. FRENCH a. Des Souris et Des Hommes. [Paris]:Robert Lafont, 1946. A translation by Marcel Duhamel of the play Of Mice and Men. Two editions to 1949. b. Des Souris et Des Hommes. Paris: Arts er metiers graphiques, 1948. A translation by Maurice Coindreau of Of Mice and Men. Four editions to 1963. GERMAN a. Von Mausen Und Menschen. Zurich: Humanbitas Verlag, 1940. A translation by Elisabeth Rotten of Of Mice and Men. b. Von Mausen Und Menschen. Nauheim: Theaterabteilung der amerikanischen Hogen Kommission, 1947. A translation by Katrin Janecke and Gunther Blocker of Of Mice and Men. c. Von Mausen Und Menschen. Stuttgart: Diana Verlag, 1955. A translation by Georg Hofer of Of Mice and Men. New edition 1962. d. Von Mausen Und Menschen. Zurich: Diana Verlag [1959]. A translation by Otto Kyburg of Of Mice and Men. New edition 1970. GREEK a. Anthropi Kai Pontikia. Athenai:[1947].A translation by Cosmas Politis of Of Mice and Men. b. Anthropi Kai Pontikia. Athenai:[no date] A translation by Cosmas Politis of Of Mice and Men. HUNGARIAN a. Egerek es Emberek. Noviszad: Progres, 1955. A translation by Sandor Sas of Of Mice and Men. b. Egerek es Emberek. Budapest: Tancsics Konyvkiado, [1957]. A translation by Marcell Benedek of Of Mice and Men. ICELANDIC a. Mys og Menn. Reykjavik: Bokautgafa Menningarsjods,[c1964]. A translation by Olafur Joh. Sigurdsson of Of Mice and Men. ITALIAN a. Uomini e Topi.Milano: Bompiani, 1938. A translation by Cesare Pavese of Of Mice and men. Many reprints noted.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California. His father was a mill worker, and his mother a former schoolteacher. His mother encouraged him to read, but did not want him to become an author (Gray 8). Steinbeck attended Stanford as an English major, but he never graduated. He dropped out for the last time in 1925, when he moved to New York and worked for a newspaper there called the American (French 15). His first novel, Cup of Gold, was published when he was twenty-seven, one year before he married his first wife, Carol Henning. This marriage ended in 1942 and was followed by a 1943 marriage to Gwyndolen Conger which resulted in the births of two sons, Thomas (1944) and John (1946). Steinbeck divorced Conger in 1948 and married his last wife, Elaine Scott, in 1950.(McCarthy x). John Steinbeck published a number of novels, journals and reports during his lifetime, but one of the most remarkable was his Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962). This work documented Steinbeck's travels across the country with his dog Charley. This journal of self discovery and return to the routes of America was a revolutionary idea. In the same year that Travels with Charley was published, Steinbeck received the Nobel prize for literature (McCarthy xi). Steinbeck's other works include the novels To a God Unknown (1932), Tortilla Flat (1935), In Dubious Battle (1936), The Red Pony (1937), The Grapes of Wrath (1939), Of Mice and Men (1940), The Moon is Down (1942), Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1947), The Pearl (1947), East of Eden (1952), Sweet Thursday (1954), and The Winter of Our Discontent (1961). He wrote two collections of short stories: The Pastures of Heaven (1932), and The Long Valley (1938). He published three plays: Of Mice and Men (1940), The Moon is Down (1942), and Burning Bright (1950). In addition to Travels with Charley, Steinbeck's other works of non-fiction were The Forgotten Village (1941), Bombs Away (1942), A Russian Journal (1948), Sea of Cortez (1951) , The Log From the Sea of Cortez (1951), The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), America and Americans (1966), and Journal of a Novel, The East of Eden Letters (1969). All of his works were published by Covici-Friede until 1938 when his agent, Pascal Covici, moved to Viking. After that he stuck with Viking for the rest of his life. One exception was for To a God Unkown which was published by Heinemann in London (Gray 46). John Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968, in his New York City apartment after a series of strokes (McCarthy 22).
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
"Of Mice and Men" was published after John Steinbeck had already established himself as a man to be reckoned with in the literary world. Most contemporary reviews were extremely positive and considered the new n
ovel well up to par with his previous novels. According to The Book Review Digest, The New Republic said "This story has that common denominator of most good imaginative writing, a shadow of the action that means something beyond the action. But the und
erlying theme (of the danger of dreaming) never clogs the primary story. The book is well contrived and effectively compressed, driving ahead with straight and rapid movements, as magnififcently written as Steinbeck;s other four California novels". According to The Book Review Digest, The influential New York Times book review also had good things to say about "Of Mice and Men": "?Of Mice and Men' is a thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette lenght that you will not set down until it is fin
ished. it is more than that: but it is that...In sure raucous, vulgar Americanism, Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story". Only one review in The Book Review Digest could possibly have been construed as negative, although the end feelings of this review in Nation are unclear : "All but one of the persons in Mr. Steinbeck's extremely brief novel are subhuman if the range of
the word human is understood to coincide with the range thus far established by fiction. Two of them are evil, one of them is dangerous without meaning to be...No two of their thoughts are consecutive, nor for that matter do they think; it is rather tha
t each of them follows some instinct as a bull follows the chain which runs through a hole in his nose, or as a crab moves toward its prey. The scene is a ranch in California, and the bunk-house talk is terrific." In this review it is unclear whether th
e author considers the instinctuality of the characters to be negative. The popularity of the book was reinforced further when Steinbeck's play by the same name was reviewed the same year, receiving praise simply for following the book: The Book Review Digest quotes the Commonwealth as saying: "Out of his novel Mr. Steinbec
k has fashioned a play holding the essential spirit of the book, a drama of suspense and brooding tragedy". "Of Mice and Men" was also reviewed in the following: American Review, April 1937 Atlantic Bookshelf of the Atlantic Monthly, April 1937 Booklist, May 1937 New York Herald Tribune Books, February 28, 1937 The Chicago Daily Tribune, February 27, 1937 Manchester Guardian, September 14, 1937 Nation, March 6, 1937 New Republic, March 3, 1937 New Statesman & Nation, September 25, 1937 New York Times Book Review, February 28, 1937 North American Review, Summer 1937 Pratt Institute Quarterly, Summer 1937 Saturday Review of Literature, February 27, 1937 Time, March 1, 1937 The Times (London) Literary Supplement, October 2, 1937 Wisconsin Library Bulletin, May 1937 Yale Review, Summer 1937
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
"Of Mice and Men" was published after John Steinbeck had already established himself as a man to be reckoned with in the literary world. Most contemporary reviews were extremely positive and considered the new n
ovel well up to par with his previous novels. According to The Book Review Digest, The New Republic said "This story has that common denominator of most good imaginative writing, a shadow of the action that means something beyond the action. But the und
erlying theme (of the danger of dreaming) never clogs the primary story. The book is well contrived and effectively compressed, driving ahead with straight and rapid movements, as magnififcently written as Steinbeck;s other four California novels". According to The Book Review Digest, The influential New York Times book review also had good things to say about "Of Mice and Men": "?Of Mice and Men' is a thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette lenght that you will not set down until it is fin
ished. it is more than that: but it is that...In sure raucous, vulgar Americanism, Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story". Only one review in The Book Review Digest could possibly have been construed as negative, although the end feelings of this review in Nation are unclear : "All but one of the persons in Mr. Steinbeck's extremely brief novel are subhuman if the range of
the word human is understood to coincide with the range thus far established by fiction. Two of them are evil, one of them is dangerous without meaning to be...No two of their thoughts are consecutive, nor for that matter do they think; it is rather tha
t each of them follows some instinct as a bull follows the chain which runs through a hole in his nose, or as a crab moves toward its prey. The scene is a ranch in California, and the bunk-house talk is terrific." In this review it is unclear whether th
e author considers the instinctuality of the characters to be negative. The popularity of the book was reinforced further when Steinbeck's play by the same name was reviewed the same year, receiving praise simply for following the book: The Book Review Digest quotes the Commonwealth as saying: "Out of his novel Mr. Steinbec
k has fashioned a play holding the essential spirit of the book, a drama of suspense and brooding tragedy". "Of Mice and Men" was also reviewed in the following: American Review, April 1937 Atlantic Bookshelf of the Atlantic Monthly, April 1937 Booklist, May 1937 New York Herald Tribune Books, February 28, 1937 The Chicago Daily Tribune, February 27, 1937 Manchester Guardian, September 14, 1937 Nation, March 6, 1937 New Republic, March 3, 1937 New Statesman & Nation, September 25, 1937 New York Times Book Review, February 28, 1937 North American Review, Summer 1937 Pratt Institute Quarterly, Summer 1937 Saturday Review of Literature, February 27, 1937 Time, March 1, 1937 The Times (London) Literary Supplement, October 2, 1937 Wisconsin Library Bulletin, May 1937 Yale Review, Summer 1937
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
John Steinbeck said his book Of Mice and Men was "nothing but a trial Horse--a copybook exercise...I wrote it simply to develop a form...of a play"(Fensch 7). Indeed, his book does read much like a play, with constant poignant dialogue and scene descrip
tions that form a clear picture in the reader's mind: "On one side of the river the golden foothill slopes curve up to the strong and rocky Gabilan Mountains, but on the valley side the water is lined with trees"(Steinbeck 1). This description clearly r
esembles a scene description in a play. The story was performed directly from the book by a San Francisco Labor-theatre group, which led Steinbeck to declare "The book Of Mice and Men was an experiment and, in what it set out to do, it was a failure"(Lis
ca 132). In order to gain merit for Of Mice and Men as a dramatic production, he had to rewrite it in the form of a play "holding the essential spirit of the book"(James, Brown 931). The production of Of Mice and Men in two different forms was perhaps t
he most beneficial route to take: The novel was distributed by the book-of-the-month club, marking the author's first financial success, and the play won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award (Fensch xviii). While the original play seems to have faded in popularity, there have been two movies made called Of Mice and Men based on Steinbeck's story. Two of these have been very recent: 1993 by Metro Goldwyn Mayer and 1997 by image entertainment. These show t
hat Steinbeck's concept of his story in a performance medium has endured. The story in its book form continues to be popular as well. The copy that I read was in its 85th printing of its 13th edition., most of which had multiple printings themselves. Interestingly, the title page of this edition says "this edition contains t
he complete text of the original hardcover edition: not one word has been omitted"(Steinbeck, title page). The writers of this oath seem to have forgotten that the original hardcover edition contained the words "and only moved because the heavy hands wer
e pendula" on page nine (Goldstone, Payne). These words did not appear in subsequent printings, including the edition that I have in my possession, so the editors of my edition are incorrect in saying "not one word has been omitted". Clearly nine words h
ave been overlooked. The book has remained popular over the years due to its many qualities which have been praised by reviewers since its debut. In 1937, the Saturday Review of Literature said "The story is simple but superb in its understatements, its realisms which are u
sed not to illustrate behavior, but for character and situation."(James, Brown 931). The very simplicity of this story, which was originally titled "Something that Happened"(Lisca 140), is what has made it so popular with readers as well as critics. It i
s easy to read, uses very simple language, yet still manages to be very moving. The readers who enjoyed it in 1937 had suffered through the depression, and probably found Lenny and George, two guys who are struggling economically as well as mentally and socially very easy to relate to. The dependence that Lenny and George have on e
ach other was probably similar to the way some readers had to lean on their closest friends and family members during the depression. The story that George tells Lenny about the farm they will have with rabbits and how they will "live off the fatta the l
an'"(Steinbeck 15) is reminiscent of the stories of a more hopeful future that kept families going during the Depression. It is the books moving simplicity and easy relatability that made it so popular then and makes it continue to appear on many favori
te book lists today. Johns Steinbeck had a reputation as a man very protective of his privacy. The New York World Telegram called him "the shy Californian"(Fensch 7). Steinbeck told Lewis Gannett of the New York Herald Tribune in 1938 "I am no neurotic about personal publi
city, I just think it is foolish"(Gannett 5). The very fact that Steinbeck felt the need to defend himself shows that many people did indeed perceive his desire for privacy to be "neurotic". As Gannett says, Steinbeck's philosophy was "The book's the th
ing; why bother about the author?"(Gannett 5). Of Mice and Men is compared to the book that Steinbeck wrote directly before it, In Dubious Battle. Of Mice and Men is "a more abstract treatment of the two forces of In Dubious Battle"(Lisca 139). In Of Mice and Men "Steinbeck is dramatizing the nonte
leological philosophy which had such a great part in shaping In Dubious Battle"(Lisca 139). This comparison seems to say that Of Mice and Men was, in many ways, a better, more developed and writerly version of In Dubious Battle. Of Mice and Men remains an incredible book. Its simplicity makes it easily accessible: I read it for the first time as a sixth-grader. Its depth makes it worthwhile and enduring: I read it again as a college senior and loved it even more. In Of Mice
and Men, John Steinbeck has created a book that is popular both with consumers and critics, young and old. Sources: 1) Benson, Jackson L. The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer. Viking Press. New York.1984. 2) Steinbeck, Elaine & Wallston, Robert. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters. Viking Press. New York. 1984. 3) Noble, Donald R. The Steinbeck Question: New Essays in Criticism. Whitston Publishing Company. Troy, New York. 1993. 4) French, Warren. John Steinbeck. Twayne Publishers. Boston, Massachusetts. 1975. 5) Prabhakar, Dr. S.S. John Steinbeck a study (Motifs of Dream and Disillusionment). Academic Publishers.Vidya Nagar, Hyderabad. 1976. 6)Lisca, Peter. The Wide World of John Steinbeck. Rutgers University Press. New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1958. 7)Gannett, Lewis. John Steinbeck: Personal and Bibliographical Notes. Viking Press. New York. 1939. 8)Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Bantam Books. New York. 1975. 9) Fensch, Thomas. Conversations with John Steinbeck. University Press of Mississippi. Jackson. 1988. 10) James, Mertice M. & Brown, Dorothy. Book Review Digest 1937. H.W. Wilson Company. New York. 1938. 11) Goldstone, Adrian H. and Payne, John R. John Steinbeck a bibliographical catalogue of the Adrian H. Goldstone collection. Humanities research center, The University of Texas at Austin. 1974.
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