14 August 2006

The Sea Wolf


I'm nearly finished with my first reading of Jack London's The Sea Wolf, and have found it quite a terrific find! I have long had an old copy of it on my shelves, a hand-me-down (of which I have many) from my parents, but had never read it. I confess, I'd never given much stock to London as a novelist, always believing him little more than a bitter naturalist and only a fair writer to boot. How wrong was I in my estimation! Much talent revealed in this novel, and philosophical pickings as well--Captain Larsen is perhaps the most complete and consistent atheist I've yet read in literature. Apparently, London's aim was to decry the Nietzschean Superman in Larsen, though he does not give full confidence either to the moralistic musings of the narrator of the tale. This narrator falls flat because his moralism gives no reckoning to a true God, and therefore has no absolute Author(ity) above it, behind it, or in it. Still, the debates between Van Weyden and Larsen are capital...

Above, a photograph of young London--mostly because I have yet to try putting a picture on this blog, and must prove that I can. Does this look like the face of a young man who played the parts of oyster pirate, national hobo, Yukon explorer, and frequent library patron in his young life?

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