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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Monterey in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fiction

Historic Cannery Row

 
 
Fiction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
1. Fiction Marker
[Illustration caption, left] Portrait by James Fitzgerald, [Caption, right] Steinbeck’s annotated typescript from Cannery Row describes Mack and the boys’ zany Carmel Valley frog hunt. Courtesy of the Steinbeck Family Foundation and Stanford University Special Collections
Inscription.  Author John Steinbeck won both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes for literature. Many of his novels were set in the Monterey Bay area and the Salinas Valley. Ed Ricketts was both a friend and mentor, who influenced the writer’s ecological view of human society.

Steinbeck asked for Ricketts’s approval for casting his friend as Doc, the protagonist of Cannery Row. In October 1944, Ricketts wrote his son Ed Ricketts, Jr.:

It’s very funny, exceedingly funny, sort of Tortilla Flat-ish, but has a better architecture and has an undertone of sadness and loneliness. It’s mostly about me, and the “Western Biological” and Wing Chong’s and Flora Woods and the bums. Because I occurred in it so obviously and so frequently, John wanted me to OK it, and tho it makes me out to be a very romantic figure and I’ll practically have to leave town after publication until things quiet down, still it’s a fine job and I approve of it thoroughly.
 
Location. 36° 37.041′ N, 121° 54.055′ W. Marker is in Monterey, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from Cannery

Fiction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
2. Fiction Marker
Row. This marker is located on a small alleyway to the right of Ed Ricketts’s Pacific Biological Laboratories at 800 Cannery Row. The alleyway leads to an ocean view promenade. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 Cannery Row, Monterey CA 93940, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Science (a few steps from this marker); Ed Ricketts’s Backyard (a few steps from this marker); The Real “Docs” (within shouting distance of this marker); One Man, Two Worlds (within shouting distance of this marker); A Day in the Canneries (within shouting distance of this marker); The Spanish Community (within shouting distance of this marker); The Del Mar Canning Company, 1927-1947 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Japanese Community (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monterey.
 
Also see . . .  Looking Back - John Steinbeck. Cannery Row (1945), one of Steinbeck's best and most widely read fictional works, immortalized Cannery Row as a one-of-a-kind neighborhood of fish packing plants, bordellos, and flophouses, and made it the most famous street in America. Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row, was published in 1954. (Submitted on May 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
 
John Steinbeck image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, November 29, 2015
3. John Steinbeck
This 1935 portrait of John Steinbeck (1902-1968) by James Fitzgerald hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

"Although he was a great contributor to American literature, John Steinbeck retreated from fame. This portrait of the author by James Fitzgerald was executed in 1935, the same year that Steinbeck's first commercially successful novel, Tortilla Flat, was published. Steinbeck claimed to be 'scared to death of popularity,' saying 'it has ruined everyone I know.' In the 1930s and 1940s, both Steinbeck and Fitzgerald belonged to a loosely organized group of artists, writers, and intellectuals in Monterey, California. Although they often argued violently, both men respected each other's talent and shied away from public recognition. Steinbeck's famed novels Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) earned him even more acclaim, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. Fitzgerald expresses Steinbeck's reclusive personality by casting half of the author's face in dark shadow." -- National Portrait Gallery
Cannery Row Waterfront image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, April 23, 2012
4. Cannery Row Waterfront
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 401 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   3. submitted on August 20, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   4. submitted on May 8, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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