Ad astra per alia porci

Keith October 4th, 2007

How’s your Latin?  I have just read that this was a favourite saying of John Steinbeck.  Apparently all of his books carry this insignia.  Although I have read a Steinbeck or two, I don’t remember noticing this.

A  clue – apparently a professor once told Steinbeck that he would “be an author when pigs flew”.

3 Responses to “Ad astra per alia porci”

  1. Keithon 04 Oct 2007 at 11:23 am

    In case you were wondering, the translation is: “To the stars on the wings of a pig”.

    I checked my two Steinbeck books, and I can’t find it there… But then, they are cheap paperbacks.

  2. helenaon 11 Oct 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Serendipitous but true; this morning i wandered past a shop
    and noticed a flying pig standing in the window. Hermann, as he
    is now named, is on his way home to take up position in my
    garden. A cast-iron beauty, the size of a cat, i was reminded
    not of Steinbeck, but of the 3 pink ceramic flying pigs that used
    to grace my office wall. “Earthbound, but aspiring”, this is the
    story of my literary life. http://www.steinbeck.sjsu.edu/biography/pigasus.jsp

  3. Keithon 11 Oct 2007 at 5:19 pm

    Helena –

    Thanks for the comment – and the link! I just love “Pigasus”! Mind you, I also think that Hermann is a cute name, too…
    Interesting that Elaine Steinbeck’s hand-written note seems to refer to a different story of the origins of the motto.

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