The World of Jack London
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  1. "The Sickness of Lone Chief"Out West, v. 17 (October 1902), 468-475. [CF]

    London received $10 for this story on December 14, 1902.

  2. "The League of the Old Men"Brandur Magazine (New York), v. 1 (October 4, 1902), 7-11. [CF]

    In explaining why he chose this story as his best, London wrote to Grand Magazine, 1 (August 1906), p. 86. "Though the 'League of the Old Men' has no love-motif, that is not any reason for thinking it my best story. In ways, the motif of this story is greater than any love-motif; in fact, its wide sweep includes the conditions and situations for ten-thousand love-motifs. The voices of millions are in the voice of Old Imber, the tears and sorrows of millions in his throat as he tells his story; and his story epitomises the whole vast tragedy of the contact of the Indian with the white man. In conclusion, I may say that nobody else agrees with me in the selection which I have made and which has been my selection for years." London received $160 for this story on July 30, 1902.

1903

  1. "In Yeddo Bay"St. Nicholas, v. 30 (February 1903), 292-296. [DC]

    See entry 3. London received $50 for this story on June 16, 1902.

  2. "The One Thousand Dozen"The National Magazine (Boston), v. 17 (March 1903), 703-713. [FM]

    A tale similar to the Smoke Bellew story "A Flutter in Eggs," (entry 165), a true exploit of "Swiftwater Bill" Gates, a Klondiker of legendary fame. This story was reprinted as "Fortune Hunter" in the December 1958 issue of Jack London's Adventure Magazine. London received $20 for it on March 9, 1903.

  3. "The Shadow and the Flash"The Bookman (New York), v. 17 (June 1903), 410-417. [MF]

    London received $50 for this story on May 27, 1903. Charles Walcutt has observed that London ". . . increasingly moved too far away from the representative concerns of man into the realms of fantasy." See Walcutt's Jack London (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, Pamphlets on American Writers, No. 57, 1966), p. 28. Walcutt cites MF, entry 12, as an example of a collection of such stories. Actually London wrote some first rate science fiction and fantasy fiction, though these stories are little-known. "The Red One" (entry 182) is probably the supreme example.

  4. "The Faith of Men"Sunset Magazine (San Francisco), v. 11 (June 1903), 103a, 114-121. [FM]

    London received $156 in transportation vouchers for this story.


  1. The Call of the Wild — Serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, June 20-July 18, 1903.

    Book publication: New York, The Macmillan Co., July 1903. Philip Foner says the book sold 10,000 copies on the first day of sale and by 1964 had sold six million copies. (Foner, Jack London, American Rebel, p. 54.)

    In a letter to George F. Brett of Macmillan (March 10, 1903), London wrote, "I did not like the title, The Call of the Wild, and neither did the Saturday Evening Post. I racked my brains for a better title & suggested The Sleeping Wolf. They, however, if in the meantime they do not hit upon a better title, are going to publish it in the Post under The Wolf. This I do not like so well as The Sleeping Wolf, which I do not like very much either. There is a good title somewhere, if we can only lay hold of it." (Letters of Jack London, p. 351.) Fortunately no one could lay hold of a better one so the original title was used by both the Post and Macmillan. The Post paid London $2,000 for the story and Brett offered him a flat $2,000 for outright sale of the book rights, instead of contracting for it on a royalty basis. London, to his later great disadvantage (this book alone could nearly have earned him a living for his remaining years), snapped up Brett's offer.

    On March 13,1903, London wrote to Anna Strunsky (with whom he collaborated on The Kempton-Wace Letters, published the following May by Macmillan), "I started it as a companion to my other dog-story 'Bâtard,' which you may remember; but it got away from me, and instead of 4000 words it ran 32,000 before I could call a halt." (Book of Jack London, I, 388.) This is, of course, London's supreme achievement as a story-teller, and it remains one of the very great short novels in America's literature. (See also entry 36.)


The World of Jack London
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