Ad astra per alia porci

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”.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.