Sunday, November 8, 2009

steez biting

Jack London has always been one of my favorite authors. I still remember the first time I read Call of the Wild. Not only did it mesmerize me, I wanted to be Buck. I think I was around 11 or 12. I became obsessed with sled dogs and the Iditarod. I remember telling my family that one day, 'when I was old enough' I'd enter the race. While that hasn't happened, I'm still enthralled by Mr. London's writing.

Of course, White Fang made me want to adopt a wolf. That didn't happen either, but I kept up with the reading. Although I loved the novels, I think London was really a master of the short form. His short stories are amazing. To Build a Fire is a true classic, and to this day my heart quickens alongside the man's as he struggles with the cold. London is able to turn nature into not just a force to be reckoned with, but also another character. A cunning, cruel character that forgives no mistake. The cold is never more palpable than in this struggle.


While I am given to verbosity, London's best work hovers around 7,500 words or less. He described savagery and nature economically. Yet few could write as evocatively.
 

With winter on its way, light a fire and grab a few of London's tales. Don't have a decent used bookstore near you? Go here. 

7 comments:

AsianCajuns (Cath) said...

I am completely inspired now to read To Build A Fire curled up by the fireplace with a cup of tea - regardless of the fact that it's going to be above sixty degrees in Atlanta this weekend.

AsianCajuns (Lauren) said...

"To Build a Fire" was one of those stories that I read at the impressionable young age of 10, and I remember thinking "Light! You stupid matches!!!" and "I am never, ever going camping." I've been camping, but I'm still scared of cold climates.
Those photos of Jack are awesome, GJs! I think I've only seen him as a ruggedly handsome older gentleman. He looks kind of matinee idol-ish in these.
p.s. I think Gaga is this generations Madonna- if she has the staying power. Hahaha! I wonder if the world of pop stars and the works of great American authors have ever collided in a blog comment before.

junctioned said...

Thanks for the literary inspiration. Just cracked opened some ol'skool Conrad (Youth) this week actually. Always interested in what the bloggers literary tastes are. New to your blog but love it. Thanks.

asianCajuns (Cath) said...

My boyfriend got me hooked on FTW and I can't stop using it because it's perfect for those situations like when one is discussing McQueen's Alien shoes. One can't just write, "Just like Lady Gaga!" Writing "Lady Gaga style FTW" clinches it. Am I right? or am I right?

Maeko said...

For an English BA (WSU), I am rather sad to admit, I've never read a Jack London book in my life.

Whenever I hear about it, it always makes me want to read Into the Wild... dunno why.

I'm going to have to read him at some point!

Maeko @ thereafterish. said...

PS. it's about time thereafterish. and Getting Beat need to exchange links.

Avianti Jewelry said...

Love these vintage photos, very nice.

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