The World of Jack London
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ALTHOUGH NOW HIS FINGERS WERE QUITE STIFF, HE DID NOT HURRY.
To Build a Fire
Page 17

1908

  1. "The Passing of Marcus O'Brien"The Reader (New York), v. 11 (January 1908), 135-144. [LF]

    London received $350 for this story on March 28, 1907.

  2. "Trust"The Century Magazine, v. 75 (January 1908), 441-448. [LF]

    This story also contains a description of the Dead Horse Trail. See entry 27. London received $500 for this story.


  1. The Iron Heel — New York; The Macmillan Co., February, 1908.

    Anatole France, in a 1924 introduction of a printing of this novel, said: " 'The Iron Heel' is the name by which Jack London designates Plutocracy . . . Alas, Jack London had that particular genius which perceives what is hidden from the common herd, and possessed a special knowledge enabling him to anticipate the future."

    W. J. Ghent's Our Benevolent Feudalism (1902) was an important source and inspiration for this novel.


  1. "That Spot"Sunset Magazine, v. 20 (February 1908), 371-376. [LF]

    London received $200 for this story on January 15, 1908.

  2. "Flush of Gold"Grand Magazine (London ),v. 4 (April 1908),400-408. [LF]

    See entry 28. London received £25 for this story on June 30, 1908.

  3. "Make Westing"Pall Mall Magazine (London), v. 41 (April 1908), 453-458. [WGL]

    London received £13.13 for this story on March 31, 1908.

  4. "To Build a Fire"The Century Magazine, v. 76 (August 1908), 525-534. [LF]

    London explains how this story evolved from the earlier tale of the same title which appeared in The Youth's Companion for May 29, 1902, in Letters of Jack London, p. 777. This most celebrated and anthologized of all Jack London short stories was written during the Snark voyage. London's debt to Jeremiah Lynch's Three Years in the Klondike (1904) is described in Jack London and the Klondike, pp. 255-257. Both the 1902 and 1908 versions of this tale are included in Mandala: Literature for Critical Analysis, edited by W. L. Guerin, Earle Labor, Lee Morgan and J. R. Wiliingham (New York: Harper & Row, 1970). The famous opening to "To Build a Fire" has an interesting genesis. In the 1908 tale, it is written, "Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray . . ." In "Chris Farrington, Able Seaman" (entry 47), London used the line, "after interminable hours of toil, day broke cold and gray." In his first novel, A Daughter of the Snows, entry 5, he wrote: "It was a mid-December day, clear and cold." In "The Unexpected," (entry 89), "The day of the execution broke clear and cold." In "Morganson's Finish" (entry 99), it became "Dawn broke and merged into day. It was cold and clear." London received $360.00 for this story on November 29, 1907.

The World of Jack London
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