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  • TITLE: Call of the Wild & White Fang
  • AUTHOR: Jack London
  • PUBLICATION YEAR: 1903 & 1906
  • AWARDS:
  • WEBSITE: http://london.sonoma.edu/
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    The only way I can bind Jack London to fantasist literature is to say it is worth remembering that Jack London wrote a science fiction novel in 1908 some consider the worthy forerunner of Orwell's 1984. It was titled The Iron Heel and essentially preached the oppression of the middle class by a capitalistic oligarchy. Being a mouthpiece for London's political socialism, its literary merits suffer from typically fervent didacticism and has not maintained the status of his more classical works. And, believe me, if the Crawford's List was not inhibited by its obvious guidelines, Call of the Wild would be on that list.

    It's almost as if these works were created as bookends to hold dear all of London's feelings about Nature and Nurture. Where Call of the Wild moves its canine hero from human civilization to the feral wilderness, White Fang reverses the trek to make sure all boundaries are comprehensively marked. Similarly, Buck's most associative and riveting scenes come at the end of his story, while White Fang's unfolds at the opening of the novel before the title character's even born. Call of the Wild is up and away the finer work considering all points, but White Fang is such a tight pack-mate that ditching it would be a grave disservice to the gift London is bestowing. There are very few worthy articulations on man's essential relationship between all non-human creations—the world consisting of animals, plants, and rocks—and so-called civilization. London's four-legged protagonists howl just the right artistic resonance on such a critical dialogue.

     

    © copyright 09/07/2006 by Larry Crawford

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