I approach this somewhat fanciful and admittedly elliptical and digressive topic on “Of Fish and Men” by focusing not on Steinbeck’s obvious mainstream works, but on some less prominent side channels in his art and life: a relatively neglected scene from East of Eden, a biographical anecdote recorded by Graham Watson, and a couple of tongue-in-cheek non-fiction essays by Steinbeck called “On Fishing” (1954) and “Then My Arm Glassed Up” (1965) in which angling pursuits play a strong role. I utilize some of the common and more or less non-technical elements and lingo of fly fishing to provide explanatory context for a few of Steinbeck’s short unheralded fishing texts. This paper, then, may be considered a kind of fishing expedition, perhaps best thought of as a “meandering” one at that, to steal a crucial metaphor from Ted Leeson’s Jerusalem Creek, one of the finest fly fishing memoirs ever written.


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pp. 113-137
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