Jack London

Discussion in 'Literary Fiction' started by BAYLOR, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Connavar

    Connavar Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for recommendation Anvil! Its time for me to read different types of London and Martin Eden sounds more like Great Expectations by Dickens than other Jack London novels. Which is very interesting to me because i wonder how he writes that type of novel, if the authorbiografical element adds to his writing.

    London is rare to me as classic American writer of 1800s-early 1900s author because he has so many sides to this fiction writing atleast compared to american classic authors you read in school in this country. Other than Poe the classic ones that are big here in Sweden are not as versaitle as London, Poe.
     
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  2. Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    No doubt, followers of this thread have been on tenterhooks; waiting me to finish this Valley of the Moon thing, and addend to my previous post.

    Well, I was dead wrong when I predicted, in my previous post, that this thing would launch into profound social commentary about the Labor movement. Our Dynamic Duo is actually fleeing the travails of city life: working for The Man for a pittance and being forced into the brutal battle 'twixt labor and the Greed Heads.

    The thing becomes a rather idyllic travelogue, as our heroes bum their way between odd jobs in a search for the Perfect Place to set up a homestead and Make Their Own Way. There are few crises, setbacks or tensions to drive a story here. And it's long.

    What held my interest were the elaborate descriptions of farming techniques and the geography. Mostly because the milieu is very familiar to me.

    As our dynamic duo plods south; they interview various farmers, either roadside or when they cadge a few days of day-labor for a couple of bucks.

    Walking south of Oakland, it doesn't take long to get into farming country. The Santa Clara Valley; known, nowadays as "Silicon Valley." My grandparents had a place on Blossom Hill, in the foothills on the western edge of Santa Clara, in the 1960's when there were still blossoms on Blossom Hill. My grandparent's place was surrounded by vast fruit and nut orchards. That whole fertile valley has been paved from head to toe and there hasn't been a blossom on Blossom Hill since 1982.

    In a curious comparison to modern times; there are plenty of complaints about the wretched immigrants taking over. On the one hand complaining that the "Old Americans" (those who walked across the plains to settle the West) are being pushed out by the nefarious practices of colluding immigrants. On the other hand admiring the work ethics of aforesaid interlopers; and their superiorly innovative farming practices.

    The Portagees have commandeered Silicon Valley with their intensive year round vegetables; the Eyetalians, the Pajaro Valley, with their amazing fruit tree grafting; The Japanese, the Carmel Valley, with gawd knows what, they're inscrutable. (And now we're in Steinbeck Country)

    Lo and behold there is an amazing artist colony at Big Sur. A good place to spend a winter.

    Which above probably makes more sense to me than a casual reader; because I, and 5 generations of my roots, know these people and places.

    The Idyll heads north again, manages to acquire a team of horse and a "Camping Wagon" traveling up through Lake County, the upper Sacramento River, Mt Shasta and across the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers country in Southern Oregon, then South along the coast (through my neck of the woods); winding up, eventually, in the Land of Milk and Hunny, in The Valley of the Moon. Jack doesn't have much to say about my Humboldt County; other than to remark that it's one of several extreme Northern California counties that are "larger than many East Coast States." And it's too foggy. I second that.

    I probably couldn't have finished this romantic treatise without my personal interest in time and place.

    Coincidentally, my wife and I are booked to spend next weekend soaking in the natural hot springs, and wine tasting in and about Calistoga, California; next ridge over from the Valley of the Moon. We leave early Saturday morning. It only takes three hours to drive there.

    I'll give my regards to Jack, for you all, if we happen to visit the ruins of "The Wolf House."
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  3. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    I may have to read selected portions, at least, of that Valley of the Moon book, Alex. I grew up in the Rogue Valley, and used to take the Greyhound bus to Coos County on the coast, where I had formerly lived; the Umpqua Valley (specifically Roseburg) was where I'd change buses. (On one occasion I missed my bus; I think I was wrapped up in looking at books and comics at a little store by the bus station.)
    upload_2016-3-31_9-36-4.png
     
  4. Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    That's beautiful country up there, Extollager. I once took a three day raft trip down the Rouge river, from Grants Pass to the coast. Absolutely spectacular.
     
  5. Extollager

    Extollager Well-Known Member

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    Alex, how far are you from the Yolla Bolly wilderness area?

    It figures in an interesting book about two guys who set up a Russian Orthodox "skete" in Shasta County, doing translations of rare mystical texts and printing them themselves. In a way, a very American story, I thought!

    Platina, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    upload_2016-3-31_12-0-19.jpeg

    The photo was taken on Mt. Yolla Bolly.

    But, yeah, that southern Oregon area is beautiful. It and Coos County were good places to be growing up on Tolkien 45 years or so ago.

    But I'd better bring this back to Jack London. Thanks again for the comments on Valley of the Moon. I hadn't known, or else hadn't remembered, that he had an Oregon connection at all. But here we go, from the book:

    "Wait till you get across the Oregon line into the Rogue River Valley," they were told. "There's God's Paradise --climate, scenery, and fruit-farming; fruit ranches that yield two hundred per cent. on a valuation of five hundred dollars an acre."


    "Gee!" Billy said, when he had driven on out of hearing; "that's too rich for our digestion."


    And Saxon said, "I don't know about apples in the valley of the moon, but I do know that the yield is ten thousand per cent. of happiness on a valuation of one Billy, one Saxon, a Hazel, a Hattie, and a Possum."


    Through Siskiyou County and across high mountains, they came to Ashland and Medford and camped beside the wild Rogue River.
    [etc]

    He mentions Castle Crags...
    [​IMG]
    I have a pathetic anecdote about that. We had a family expedition there one Saturday when I was a teenager. But my big concern, as I remember it, was to get back to Ashland in time to watch Star Trek in syndication. For my sins (no, I don't really mean that) I ended up in North Dakota.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  6. Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    Egads! I don't often encounter anyone, not-from-here, who knows where is Platina. That's Wild West country out there, to this day. The Yolla Bolla wilderness is about 80 miles, or so, South East of me. I've never hiked into there; but there are endless miles of Forest Service roads in the area; where I've made some excursions, in the past, when there was less danger of stumbling into a heavily guarded pot farm. Steep, dry, rugged country; of the sort that Billy and Saxon found that there was a reason that none of the homesteaders wanted it when the government was giving it away.

    Ruth Lake, our favorite place to pop out for a weekend getaway with the camper and boat is out that way. Also, I have friends that have a cabin on the South Fork of the Trinity river, out near Forest Glen. Fifteen miles of bad road to get in there; but a beautiful place for swimming and fishing. Nowadays, they're probably the only people in that area that aren't outlaw pot farmers.

    For hiking, I've spent more time in the Marble Mountain wilderness area. It's a similar distance to the North East of me. It's more "Alpine" in nature; with the granite crags and high mountain lakes. That's the Siskyou range on the California side.
     
  7. Alex The G and T

    Alex The G and T Thar! That Blows.

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    So, yes. My wife and I had a famous visit to Jack London Country, soaking in HydroGeothermal bliss and wine tasting; though we did not visit the ruins of the Wolf House.

    But the actual reason that I've tuned into this thread again, at this time, is that I've just discovered the Jack London Facebook page:

    Jack London

    No comment. It seems curiously anachronistic to put a Facebook book face on the man.
     
  8. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    He was only 40 when he died, imagine what he could have written had he lived another 40 years.
     
  9. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    Cool stuff. (y):cool:
     
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