HE storyteller whose life story was as interesting as his fiction, Jack London was born on this day in 1876.
Despite having a troubled childhood wrapped within layers of personal and economic problems, the creator of White Fang and The Call of the Wild rose above his situation and didn’t allow his condition define his destiny. After poverty made him quit school at an early age, London took up different jobs to sustain himself before joining the Klondike Gold Rush to make a fortune. Though he didn’t strike gold, he did make a fortune through his writings. A classic example of rags-to-riches story, London is said to be one of the first writers to become a millionaire through his writings.
From exploring the harshest places on Earth to being an oyster pirate to covering the Russo-Japanese war, the creator of The Call of the Wild has had a wild and adventurous life. London’s is a terrific story of how the human spirit is capable of beating the odds to shine in all its glory and splendour.
Jack London’s Credo
Source : Jack London’s Tales of Adventure, ed. Irving Shepard, Introduction, (1956)
[Text of the Credo]
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
Though there is a debate around the source of the parts of this creed, it sure does capture the glimpse of that thrilling spirit that is Jack London.
His story The Story of Keesh has been selected as the story for the week to mark the birthday of this terrific storyteller. You can read the story here.