Jack London on Adventure
[SYNOPSIS] “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time,” writes Jack London, accurately proclaiming the very ingredients of his full, passionate lifestyle.
Bearing a name that is now synonymous with adventure, London seemed to fear nothing, constantly stretching his comfortable limits–composing his classic short stories at one thousand words every morning, sailing across the Pacific Ocean on voyages both for pleasure and profit, horseback riding, continual entertaining at home in Glen Ellen, California, barroom socializing and debating, marrying twice, frequent lecturing, and operating a ranch–all with about four or five hours of sleep a night to make it possible.
Rising from the low-income factory-worker community of West Oakland, California, London’s romantic writings on adventure found at sea, or in Alaska, or in the fields and factories of California appealed to the everyman–millions of readers around the world. Here, in Jack London on Adventure, are excerpts from his well-loved works, which were the result of his restless quest for experience, combined with “his observations of unalterable facts,” as editor Terry Mort writes in his introduction. Lose yourself in the sheer unending quietude of the North in “White Fang” and “The White Silence”; enter into the listless, worried mind of an elder in “The League of the Old Men”; prepare to sail around the world for seven years’ time alongside the author-turned-captain, himself, in “The Cruise of the Snark,” where the famed boat is built with each dollar earned from London’s writings; and peek into the observations of seasoned sailors and the foolish passengers they carry in “The Sea Wolf.” Mort ends with the statement, “A complex man and artist is hard to capture in a single image,” but in terms of the unlikely and unknown, London’s works here capture the thrill that burned in him so brightly.
Publisher: Globe Pequot