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Islanders, gave ground for hope that he fictionist of his right to embellishment and would some day write more at length and assume that "Martin Eden” is a literal give a true picture of them. There are transcription. nineteen novels or as some critics insist, Those who believe that because there long short-stories, and these, like the col was no halt in the upward Aight after the lections of short stories, give a wide range first story was printed, success came easily of variety. "Burning Daylight," "The to Jack London, will have their illusions Valley of the Moon,” and “The Little dispelled by a perusal of Eden's encounLady of the Big House," picture farm life ters with publishers. The "Transcontimore as it might be under ideal conditions nental,” “Billow," "Universe," "White than it is ever likely to be, though the Mouse,” “Parthenon,” “Hornet," and London ranch at Glen Ellen was to some others are names that but thinly disguise extent a realization of the dreams. periodicals of that date, and the idiosyn"Martin Eden,” “John Barleycorn,” and crasies of their editors and publishers. “The Road" are frankly biographical, There are nine volumes of sociological though it would be unfair to deprive a studies, observations, and dissertations on
present day conditions, two dramas, and performed prodigious labors in striving to one juvenile which compares so favorably extract lessons from the works of Jack with the usual boy's book that, had Mr. London, but he seems too honest to have London chosen to enter this field, evi- hidden pills in his jam. If Martin Eden dently he would have had no difficulties was a Socialist, and the heroes of some of in gathering new laurels. He has drawn his later novels ideal farmers, they no largely on his experience for materials, more preach sermons to the world to go and where imagination has supplied plots and do likewise, than does the “Star and characters, knowledge has aided in Rover" call for a universal embracing of the settings and scenery.
the doctrine of transmigration. It is the Some critics have found fault with him first duty of a fictionist to tell a good because he has made so little account of
story, and if his story contains a lesson, the battles of the business world, giant
that will teach itself. intellects grappling for the spoils, but con Mr. London an indefatigable fined himself to the physical combats or worker. He did not believe in waiting for the elemental struggles with nature itself. inspiration,
inspiration, but performed a regular But a man writes best of the things he amount of work every day, independent knows, not those he learns at second-hand of conditions. All he asked was level and our author, besides not being what space on which to lay his writing pad we are in the habit of terming a “Business and he never failed to produce the reman,” seems to have had little respect for sults. This may not be conducive of the the rivalries of "captains of industry," highest form of literary production, but with their "law-honesty," technical hair it has the merit of keeping the worker in splitting, double-dealing and chicanery. touch with his tools, but to say that an The same methods, if carried out with author so uniformly industrious does noi physical weapons, would be summarily always write at his highest level is to addealt with. It is lamented, too, that he mit that he is but human. All prolific dealt hardly with womankind, the lovely writers put their best into a few of their products of supercivilization, but in most works, and even without considering the of the environments the petted and per comparatively short time during which fumed playthings were misplaced and Mr. London was writing and even at that, could not be made to fit into a story any carrying on other occupations of an abmore than they would have harmonized sorbing nature, it is surprising that his with the hard fare, rough shacks, and work maintains such a high average. The primitive conveniences of the outer circle. question which is his best work is a matter It is undeniable that the stories often deal of taste. “The Call of the Wild” and with unpleasant facts. cruel and brutal “Martin Eden" are probably the most situations, but life itself is often cruel and popular. brutal. Though Jack London is called
John Masefield, who is an authority, the apostle of red blood and raw meat, says that the opening chapters of “The he is never sordid nor filthy. There may Sea Wolf” are photographically true of be a certain amount of unlovely matter
Pacific port ships sailing to the Arctic. about, but it is not piled up in the center Circumstances change with the times, and of the picture simply because it is
sociologic studies are apt to suffer the fate putrescent, nor are we invited to stand of prophecies, but whether one agrees about and puddle in the mess. Ghastly
with the writer or not, Jack London had he may be on occasions, but never erotic.
the faculty of making his work interestIf we do not care for the burglars and
ing. He was so sincere, so vital, so interborder ruffians we can pass them by, but ested in life itself that it is a rarely cold they are to be found in their proper en and self-centered reader who does not vironment, not dressed up and introduced vibrate to his energy. It is too soon to into society drawing rooms to perform prophecy which works will last longest, stunts for the entertainment of spectators but there is nothing that will not repay a of the higher world.
second and third reading, and there are Literary critics and humanitarians have at least a dozen of the short stories that
ought to endure as long as the language of age at his death, there is every reason itself. A man of such tremendous vitality, to believe that his masterpiece was yet to industry and interest, barely forty years
Mankind Finds Pleasure in Their Proximity.
By Prof. W. T. Clarke
University of California.
"There I sat viewing the silver streams There certain racial feelings, glide silently toward their centre, the tem tendencies, characteristics, call them what pestuous sea; yet sometimes opposed by
you please, that offer interesting fields rugged roots and pebble stones, which broke their waves, and turned them into foam." for study and speculation no matter Izaak Walton.
whether we get definite conclusions or not
from the study. Striving for the truth EARNED MEN tell us in words of and the conclusions therefrom no doubt L
many syllables that the history of is good for the soul's welfare. Let us
the development of our race is re continue then to strive and so work good peated and illustrated in the development to ourselves and our partners in the task of the individual of that race.
we have undertaken. of science cannot see, or passes over as There is one controlling influence, call of small moment, the gratifying fact that it, if you will, atavistic characteristic, the most wonderful baby is so smart and that shows its influence in practically all has his papa's nose and chin and sees of the youth of the race. Indeed, this only the fact that his thumb grasp is over characteristic is not content to affect us as with the other fingers and not under in youth alone but its influence persists, as in later years. This man of science
and is a strong influence through life. does not, as he should, assure the doting Young and old feel and respond to its mamma that he has never seen before pull and, by the way, care little whether such a splendid baby and that his eyes it signifies a throw back to primitive conare the exact shade of blu
as hers. No,
I refer to the common he does nothing so primitive and unscien passion for moving water. tific as this, but he gracefully informs her Baby has grown some now. His thumb that the over grasp of the thumb indi no longer grasps over but opposes the cated "arboreal dwelling, limb grasping other fingers. He can toddle about and, ancestry in baby's racial forbears.” He by the way, it is truly wonderful how even gets specific and uses the term early he learned to walk. Both mamma "monkeys”. None of it pleases mamma and grandma can tell with infinite detail and even baby's papa has a thrill of in of the time he first moved upright withdignation when told of the conversation. out help-but this is disgressing. Well,
The man of science following unhesi- baby has disappeared and mamma notes tatingly what he believes to be the lead his absence. From past experience she is ings of truth has lost friends and has able to infer just where he is and so gained nothing either for truth or for hurries to the nearest water tap. Sure himself. Indeed, in these modern days enough, here is baby, the water running the results of research and investigation from the faucet at full tilt and the little either modify or upset the seeming truth fellow soaked to the skin but blissfully of yesterday with the apparent truth of happy. Never mind the trouble, it is today and he who deduces, too freely and running water and he has responded to emphatically, theories from these truths the pull of an “atavistic characteristic." of today, is, to say the least in the Grandma will tell you the baby is just matter, exceedingly ill-advised.
like his papa in his love of turning on the