ALL literature is, in a sense, autobiographical. Jack London's later works appeared to be so in particular. Certainly he has interwoven his own experiences with those of his hero, Martin Eden. Like Upton Sinclair, Jack London has portrayed in a sensational novel his own early literary struggle.
ALL literature is, in a sense, autobiographical. Jack London's later works appeared to be so in particular. Certainly he has interwoven his own experiences with those of his hero, Martin Eden. Like Upton Sinclair, Jack London has portrayed in a sensational novel his own early literary struggle. Martin Eden is a child of the slums, a sailor rough and blunt, with the delicate soul of a sensitive plant. He save a young bourgeois youth from a band of hoodlums, and is introduced by him to his bourgeois family, including Ruth, his lovely, if bourgeois sister. Ruth, to him, is an angelic vision. Soon the blunt sailor, by a marvelous transformation, is changed into a bookworm. He lusts for knowledge with an almost physical passion. The poet and the writer who had slumbered in the subconscious caverns of his brain awakens, but one has faith in his genius; his sister looks upon him as a loafer; his sweetheart-for Ruth had been unable to escape the virile magnetism of this sailor-poet-urges him to accept a small clerkship in her father's office. The ravens of despair darken his sky. He attributes his failure to the incapacity of the powers that be in the world of letters; he waxes eloquent when he writes of them. The chief qualification of ninety-nine per cent of all editors, he assures us, is that they have failed as writers.
And then suddenly, magically, success beckons. Glorified with the halo of a "best seller," he finds himself courted and dined. Even Ruth is reconciled to him; he, however, sternly rejects her; he declines her with thanks, even as his manuscripts had in the past been returned. The hypocrisy of human nature is revealed to him. There was no justice in this "scheme of things." He was no different from what he had been; his work was no different. He was now sought out, besieged and flattered, not because he was Martin Eden, but because he was famous and wealthy. Indignantly he throws everything, even life, from him. He undertakes a trip to the South Seas; and one night "drops into darkness."
Many critics of the time dismissed the story's ending as too pessimistic and that Jack London has never done anything more shocking and unnecessarily "dramatic" than the suicide of his hero. The Boston Transcript found it inferior to "Call of the Wild," "The Sea Wolf," and "Before Adam." They went on to say: "He is too violent, too belligerent, too exaggerative, too crude to be an artist in fiction...."
"The New York Globe," predicted that the book would add to the author's reputation, even if it is a little hard on the editors and book reviewers whose daily prayer is: "Dear God delivers us from the temptations of literature, teach us to so live that we may not add to the burden of books which is already greater than the world can bear." It might also be argued that certain distinguished authors, such as Edwin Markham, are also critics. William Marion Reedy is grateful to Jack London for putting "entrails" into our literature. "A powerful book," he exclaims in "The Mirror," "written white-heatedly, screaming "'J'accuse '" at society, education, economy, politics, God, man, woman. A prodigious thing in letters, Polyphemic, huge, vast, monstrous whose only eye is put out-the eye of faith. I've never seen a Rodin sculpture, but that's what 'Martin Eden' makes me think of when I read the book.
- الفئات: عامة
- غلاف الكتاب: غلاف عادي
- لغة الكتاب: الانجليزية
- الكاتب: Jack London, The Kinneys
- الناشر: Createspace
- رقم ال ISBN: 9781497461840
- عدد الصفحات: 320
- لأبعاد (الارتفاع*العرض*العمق): 9.02 x 5.98 x 0.67 inches