Jack London

Submitted by admin on Tue, 09/20/2016 - 22:27

photo of Jack LondonQuotes

  • 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.
  • Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?
  • 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.
  • The scab is a traitor to his God, his mother, and his class.
  • A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
  • Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
  • I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate.
  • One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having that nature recoil upon itself.


John Griffith "Jack" London was born John Griffith Chaney in San Francisco on January 12, 1876 and died in Sonoma County on November 22, 1916 He was born and raised in troubled circumstances, but became an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. A pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction, he was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone.

Some of his most famous works include The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life". He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and of the San Francisco Bay area in “The Sea Wolf”.

London was part of the radical literary group "The Crowd" in San Francisco and a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers. He wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes.

An eloquent public speaker, he was much sought after as a lecturer on socialism and other economic and political topics. Most people considered London a living symbol of rugged individualism, a man whose fabulous success was not due to special favor of any kind, but to a combination of immense mental ability and vitality. Strikingly handsome, full of laughter, restless and courageous, always eager for adventure, Jack London was one of the most romantic figures of this time.  He ascribed his worldwide literary success largely to hard work - to 'dig', as he put it.

There is even a Jack London State historic Park in the Sonoma Valley