Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Call of the Wild

I’ll be honest: I have never been interested in the writings of Jack London. It’s probably because I have always viewed him as a boys writer. A boys writer of dog stories. And I don't like dogs. I know that’s unfair to London, as he did not exclusively write dog stories. But we all have our misconceptions about certain authors.

Anyhoo, Call of the Wild – it’s about a dog in the Klondike. And pretty much reinforces my thoughts about Jack London…and doesn’t leave with the desire to seek out more of his work. I don’t say that because I thought the story was bad, or because I thought the writing was bad. But it’s essentially an adventure story that is most suited to pre-teen boys.


Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

...and yet, Jack London was a big influence on Jack Kerouac!

Kristin said...

I know! But of course, Kerouac came to London initially as a preadolescent. Looking through my Kerouac references, I see that even in his early years, Kerouac was "fascinated by the drunken collapse of London's career, those tragic, unproductive final years when London would burst into barrooms vaunting, "I'm Jack London!" to people who could at best pity the ruined hulk of the once dynamic author-adventurer." (Nicosia) What's every sad is that that is almost exactly what happened to Keroauc (though if final years weren't unproductive). I'm reminded of his return to Lowell in 1962. I'm reading Empty Phantoms which is a book of "interviews and encounters with Kerouac" and it's really sad. It sometimes almost brings me to tears.