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Jack London

"I was a sick child, and despite the terrible strain on my heart and tissues, I continually relapsed into the madness of delirium. All the contents of the terrible and horrible in my child's mind spilled out...All the inconceivable filth a child running at large in a primitive countryside may hear men utter was mine...My brain was seared for ever by that experience. Writing now, 30 years afterwards, every vision is as distinct, as sharp-cut, every pain as vital and terrible."
- Jack London, born on this day in 1876

London was one of my earliest literary heroes. I remember, as a kid, starting and abandoning White Fang half a dozen times before finally finishing it, after which I re-read it several times and then adding Call of the Wild, The Sea-Wolf and Martin Eden along the way. And "To Build A Fire" is still one of my favorite short stories. My interest in the writer continues on - I recently downloaded The People of the Abyss (his account of living with the destitute of London's East End) to my iPhone and hope to read it soon.

January 12, 2011 in Books | Permalink