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Jack London (1876-1916)
Jack London - his life and books “ I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. 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" Jack London (1876 - 1916)
Jack London had become the best-selling, highest paid and most popular American author of his time. He was prolific: fifty-one of his books and hundreds of his articles had been published. He had written thousands of letters. His writings have been translated in several dozen languages and to this day continue to be widely read throughout the world.
This American literary genius brilliantly and compassionately portrayed his life and times, as well as the neverending struggles of man and nature. Millions of avid readers have been thrilled by his stories of adventure. Authors and social advocates have been inspired by his heartfelt prose. Nevertheless, many of his life experiences were more exciting than his fiction.
Jack London. Early years. Journalist and author John Griffith Chaney, better known as Jack London, was born on January 12, 1876, in San Francisco, California. Jack, as he came to call himself as a boy, was the son of Flora Wellman, an unwed mother, and William Chaney, an attorney, journalist and pioneering leader in the new field of American astrology. His father was never part of his life, and his mother ended up marrying John London, a Civil War veteran, who moved his new family around the Bay Area before settling in Oakland. Jack London grew up working-class. He carved out his own hardscrabble life as a teen. He rode trains, pirated oysters, shoveled coal, worked on a sealing ship on the Pacific and found employment in a cannery. In his free time he hunkered down at libraries, soaking up novels and travel books.
The Young Writer His life as a writer essentially began in 1893. That year he had weathered a harrowing sealing voyage, one in which a typhoon had nearly taken out London and his crew. The 17-year-old adventurer had made it home and regaled his mother with his tales of what had happened to him. When she saw an announcement in one of the local papers for a writing contest, she pushed her son to write down and submit his story. Armed with just an eighth-grade education, London captured the $25 first prize, beating out college students from Berkeley and Stanford. For London, the contest was an eye-opening experience, and he decided to dedicate his life to writing short stories. But he had trouble finding willing publishers. After trying to make a go of it on the East Coast, he returned to California and briefly enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, before heading north to Canada to seek at least a small fortune in the gold rush happening in the Yukon. By the age of 22, however, London still hadn't put together much of a living. He had once again returned to California and was still determined to carve out a living as a writer. His experience in the Yukon had convinced him he had stories he could tell. In addition, his own poverty and that of the struggling men and women he encountered pushed him to embrace socialism, which he stayed committed to all his life. In 1899 he began publishing stories in the Overland Monthly. The experience of writing and getting published greatly disciplined London as a writer. From that time forward, London made it a practice to write at least a thousand words a day.
Commercial Success Final Years Commercial Success London found fame and some fortune at the age of 27 with his novel The Call of the Wild (1903), which told the story of a dog that finds its place in the world as a sled dog in the Yukon. The success did little to soften London's hard-driving lifestyle. A prolific writer, he published more than 50 books over the last 16 years of his life. The titles included The People of the Abyss (1903), which offered a scathing critique of capitalism; White Fang (1906), a popular tale about a wild wolf dog becoming domesticated; and John Barleycorn (1913), a memoir of sorts that detailed his lifelong battle with alcohol. Final Years In 1900 London married Bess Maddern. The couple had two daughters together, Joan and Bess. By some accounts Bess and London's relationship was constructed less around love and more around the idea that they could have strong, healthy children together. It's not surprising, then, that their marriage lasted just a few years. In 1905, following his divorce from Bess, London married Charmian Kittredge, whom he would be with for the rest of his life. For much of the last decade of his life, London faced a number of health issues. This included kidney disease, which ended up taking his life. He died at his California ranch, which he shared with Kittredge, on November 22, 19
“The Sea-Wolf ” Though London was a reader of Marx and Nietzsche and an avowed socialist, he doubted that socialism could ever be put into practice and was convinced of the necessity for a brutal individualism. He thought of The Sea-Wolf (1904), the story of Wolf Larsen and his crew of outcasts on the lawless Alaskan seas, as “an attack upon the superman philosophy,” but the Captain is far more memorable than any of the book’s civilized characters. London is an immensely exciting writer partly because the conflicts in his thinking tend to enhance rather than hinder the romantic and thrilling turns of his plots.
“ White Fang” The novel “ White Fang” is about the North. It is the story of a wolf who was tamed by the Indians and was then used as a sled dog with a pack of other dogs for pulling sledges. The life of man and beast is a never- ending struggle for survival. White Fang (1906), in which a wolf-dog becomes domesticated out of love for a man, is apparently the reverse side of the process found in The Call of the Wild, yet for many readers its moments of greatest authenticity are those which suggest that, in actual practice, civilization is pretty much a dog’s life for everyone, of “hunting and being hunted, eating and being eaten, all in blindness and confusion, with violence and disorder, a chaos of gluttony.”
The Call of the Wild The Call of the Wild (1903), perhaps the best novel ever written about animals, traces a dog’s sudden entry into the wild and the education necessary for his survival in the ways of the wolf pack. Like many of London’s stories, this one is inspired by the early deprivations of his own pathetically short life: the primitive conditions of life as an oyster pirate in San Francisco; the restless existence of a hobo; the isolation of a prison inmate; the exertion of a laborer in the Oakland slums; and the frustration of a failed prospector for gold in the Alaskan Klondike.
“Martin Eden” “Martin Eden” was London’s sociological novel and deals with a most important problem of literature: the tragic destiny of art and talent. The semiautobiographical Martin Eden is the most vital and original character Jack London ever created. Set in San Francisco, this is the story of Martin Eden, an impoverished seaman who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame.
Использованные источники www.JackLondonsnet londonsonoma.edu/jackbiohtm/ Jack-london-books.htm/ www.loa.org/books http://www.biography.com/people/jack-london-9385499
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