Jack London, London, Jack London Society discussed on The Art of Manliness
All right earlier welcome back to the show. Thanks breath great to be here again so we had you on going to say five years years ago. Six years ago to talk about Your Jack London biography. Then we had you on again the talk about your memoir the far music which I know a lot of our our listeners enjoyed this time. I've made a trip down to Shreveport Louisiana. Come shake your hand because I wanted to meet you after all these years and then to talk more about Jack London and in Particularly about the literary themes of Jacqueline. Because that's what you spent your career writing about researching lecturing about was Jack London and his literature. So I think the first question I'd like to start off with is how did you get started. How did you become a Jack London? Scholar I'm going back act. Nineteen forty eight bread professor at SMU. Named George Bond on talk of course in the American novel and among the novels he chose not only hemingway and faulkner walkner fitzgerald. He chose an obscure novel by Jack. London title Martin Aden my best friend. Taeb Lindsey combat veteran from the Second World War couple years older but much older in many ways took that course and Tomi Earl Martyn aiden is very powerful novel. You need to read it at that time. I had some other entrace mostly extra literary but four years later. I'm on a weekend pass to New York City from they recruit training center in Bainbridge Maryland. Downtown Manhattan just strolling around. The sides walked into this newsstand. Stand and saw twenty five cent penguin paperback of Martin. Aden well well. My friend had recommended it. I thought I look at it. I took it down border but it and my hip pocket take back to the bus. I started reading it on the bus back to the base could not put it down Brad. I stayed up all night. I didn't end up exactly. I stayed in my bunk with my flashlight on our so fascinated with that novel and I said when I go back to get a PhD. Jack London is going to be my subject and that was the beginning of my serious study. Now it was wild before I got to that because I had some other obligations. It's Damn Dunkeld. Sam in the military training recruits right said that base in Maryland also spent some time on a US yes AO destroyer. When I got out of the Navy I had a family a wife and a child and I have a job so I went to work for Hager Company in in Dallas? Men's slacks was really lucky in terms of that was Growing company but I found that they intellectual Alexa challenge of men's pants. Were a thin. After about six weeks I was doing okay from their point of view but I wanted to get back into teaching so so the same professor George Bond. Call me one Saturday morning and early. Nineteen fifty five live and said earlier's Little College Liberal Art College over in Shreveport Looking for an instructor if you're interested in getting back back into teaching I'll recommend you three weeks later. Hours teaching at Centenary College and have been teaching go on and off at centenary since then Doma retirement few years ago took off a few years for various things I may have mentioned. In in some early works. Such as the Fulbright lectureship in Denmark for a year et Cetera et CETERA. But mainly I've been teaching and Morgan on Jack London. Ever since so for your Dev- you did the first major study on Jack London as he true literary artists. And you're really breaking new ground because for a long time the literary establishment didn't take London's work seriously and very few scholars had studied as craftsmanship. Why why was that in? What's the status of London today? Literature particularly in terms of scholarship. Where it's it's on the rise for sure as men for the past generation? Sure so two Mazen say what's happened in the last couple of decades but for a long time. He was dismissed as little more. There's a say then act writer for adventure stories and what have you. Fortunately there have been a number of breakthroughs was just in the last two or three decades actually to be honest bread. I think over the past half century or so. I have a lecture lectured that I give sometimes on the politics of literary reputation and I explained to my students said look the books you read. I wanted you read in high school. Many that you read and garbage were not handed down to Moses Haughton a tablet that They're selected by a certain group and those of the so-called late. They decide what you're gonna read. They decide for example. You're gonNA read Shakespeare. And maybe maybe I'll thorns scarlet letter. Which is fine? But they should be also assigned Jacqueline's the say Wolf or something and addition to you. Call it a while anyhow. London was not a part of a group that makes those decisions now. You've asked for one thing. London was Western rider and they were not part of the eastern established. Run pretty well dictated. They they literary et selections or whatever at the time and the Nineteen Aven twentieth century. Eric Miles Williamson uses the term since the IV math year. That may not be quite fair. But they gotta gotTa gotTa Fun any the idea that as those easterners back in the nineteenth century even early twentieth century centered around Boston. New York William Dean House was the leader of that group for a generation anticipating that he encouraged writers. Like Amnon Garland Stephen Grain even Emily Dickinson. And here's London. Time Damn the most popular of all of them and virtually ignored by William Dean House. Now that's got to been deliberate. I think so All of that ties end. What I call the politics of their reputation which is an impeded they recognition of Jag for a number of years but finally we're getting that recognition as a result of what's been done over the past fifty years and certainly the last generation mound student? Genie Aloe has begun genie. Gambro Razman started the Jack London Society in about Nineteen Ninety or so and Ken Brand is currently the consecutive director of the head and just in the last few years the.