Jack London, American. On Veteran’s Day


JACK LONDONOne of my favorite American authors who posthumously had a huge Liberty ship named after him, was loved by soldiers, by citizens here, and universally as the unassailable example of our country’s bold and rugged individualism.  Californian, Adventurer, Pirate, Hobo, Gold Miner, War Correspondent, Writer…..

This is from Call of the Wild.

Jack London is writing about LIFE.

       “There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.

        This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad in a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.”

It doesn’t matter as much how long we live or how well we live as what we do with the life we’ve got. Do it good.


4 thoughts on “Jack London, American. On Veteran’s Day

  1. Jack London became one of my romantic heroes when I started to read his novels in my early teens. I now have almost all of his novels, some in very old editions. When I arrived in California I went north of Sonoma, to the Valley of the Moon, and hiked up to his grave in the woods. I visited his studio-house where he lived while his new dream house was under construction.
    Even as it is after after a fire burned it down, that Wolf House is tremendous, with thick walls made of stone blocks and a channel of water running thru it. If you have not been there I suggest that you go. I do hope that it has not fallen into further ruin! Lack of money for these things sometimes means lack of heritage, lack of vision, and ignorance of intellectual necessities.
    His book ‘Wanderer of the Stars’ is in many ways a presage of the human potential movement of the 1970s.
    The Steinbeck memorandas near Monterey are offering his heritage for sale, so money plays a part in keeping the things in order. No such programs existed for Jack London in the 80s, which made a visit there even more poignant. He remained as noble, romantic, and pure as he tried to live his life. Your quote shows how well he understood life in its best manifestations. Thank you Barbara.

    • What a touching reflection on both your lives, what drew you in, and yes a man to so admire. I’ve read much but not all of his work. The old grange building across Robinson Canyon Road from me is the oldest building in Carmel Valley and rumor is he slept there. I know he was much around the Monterey peninsula, and Carmel when it was interesting, long ago. I keep being on the verge of painting his portrait which I will do. He was so aggressively lively and let little stand in his way. An incredible explorer.
      Thanks for all you said here, Vera.

Your opinions are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s