Jack London, a masterful storyteller and social activist, crafted vivid narratives that brought the rugged landscapes of the Yukon and the high seas to life. His tales, such as "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang," capture the raw power of nature and the primal instincts that govern both animals and humans. London's personal experiences as a gold prospector and sailor infused his writing with a sense of authenticity, while his keen observations of the human condition underscored themes of survival, class struggle, and the pursuit of dreams. Beyond his literary contributions, London's commitment to social justice is evident in his writings that critique economic inequality and champion the rights of the working class. Through his literary and activist endeavors, London's legacy endures as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling to evoke empathy and incite change.
Jack London Quotes
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 function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past.
The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage.
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.
A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
It is so much easier to live placidly and complacently. Of course, to live placidly and complacently is not to live at all.
The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.
Love cannot in its very nature be peaceful or content. It is a restlessness, an unsatisfaction. I can grant a lasting love just as I can grant a lasting unsatisfaction; but the lasting love cannot be coupled with possession, for love is pain and desire and possession is easement and fulfilment.
There's only one way to make a beginning, and that is to begin; and begin with hard work, and patience, prepared for all the disappointment s.
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
To be able to forget means sanity.
Man rarely places a proper valuation upon his womankind, at least not until deprived of them.
Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law; and this mandate, down out of the depths of Time.
Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen.
The aim of life was meat. Life itself was meat. Life lived on life. There were the eaters and the eaten.
Life is so short. I would rather sing one song than interpret the thousand.
The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smoulders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive. I am filled with dreams and mysteries. I am all sun and air and sparkle. I am vitalized, organic.
Mercy did not exist in the primordial life. It was misunderstood for fear, and such misunderstandings made for death.
And how have I lived? Frankly and openly, though crudely. I have not been afraid of life. I have not shrunk from it. I have taken it for what it was at its own valuation. And I have not been ashamed of it. Just as it was, it was mine.
Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.
Desire is a pain which seeks easement through possession.
Socialism, when the last word is said, is merely a new economic and political system whereby more men can get food to eat.
Limited minds can recognize limitations only in others.
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive.
A good joke will sell quicker than a good poem, and, measured in sweat and blood, will bring better remuneration.
He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself.
If cash comes with fame, come fame; if cash comes without fame, come cash.
The scab is a traitor to his God, his mother, and his class.
The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life.
Pursuit and possession are accompanied by states of consciousness so wide apart that they can never be united.
He had come to know quite thoroughly the world in which he lived. His outlook was bleak and materialistic. The world as he saw it was a fierce and brutal world, a world without warmth, a world in which caresses and affection and the bright sweetness of spirit did not exist.
Life, in a sense, is living and surviving. And all that makes for living and surviving is good. He who follows the fact cannot go astray, while he who has no reverence for the fact wanders afar.
Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
Everything is good, as long as it is unpossessed. Satiety and possession are Death's horses they run in span.
Fear urged him to go back, but growth drove him on.
I would rather be ashes than dust.
The word is too weak. There is no word in the language strong enough to describe my feelings.
He was a silent fury who no torment could tame.
I believe that when I am dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated as the last mosquito you and I squashed.
Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.
Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
No; I did not hate him. The word is too weak. There is no word in the language strong enough to describe my feelings. I can say only that I knew the gnawing of a desire for vengeance on him that was a pain in itself and that exceeded all the bounds of language.
I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums... All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me... Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born.
Intelligent men are cruel. Stupid men are monstrously cruel.
Age is never so old as youth would measure it.
Somehow, the love of the islands, like the love of a woman, just happens. One cannot determine in advance to love a particular woman, nor can one so determine to love Hawaii.
The Law is a lie, and through it men lie most shamelessly.
She was thrilling to a desire that urged her to go forward, to be in closer to that fire, to be squabbling with the dogs, and to be avoiding and dodging the stumbling feet of men.
So that was the way. No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you.
Had the cub thought in man-fashion, he might have epitomized life as a voracious appetite, and the world as a place wherein ranged a multitude of appetites, pursuing and being pursued, hunting and being hunted, eating and being eaten, all in blindness and confusion, with violence and disorder, a chaos of gluttony and slaughter, ruled over by chance, merciless, planless, endless.
You look back and see how hard you worked and how poor you were, and how desperately anxious you were to succeed, and all you can remember is how happy you were.
Having no new companions, nothing remained for him but to read.
Affluence means influence.
White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.
A good soldier is a blind, heartless, soulless, murderous machine. He is not a man. His is not a brute, for brutes kill only in self defense. All that is human in him, all that is divine in him, all that constitutes the man has been sworn away when he took the enlistment roll. His mind, his conscience, aye, his very soul, are in the keeping of his officer. No man can fall lower than a soldier-it is a depth beneath which we cannot go.
His conclusion was that things were not always what they appeared to be. The cub's fear of the unknown was an inherited distrust, and it had now been strengthened by experience. Thenceforth, in the nature of things, he would possess an abiding distrust of appearances.
To have a full stomach, to daze lazily in the sunshine--such things were remuneration in full for his adors and toils, while his ardors and toils were in themselves self-remunerative. They were expressions of life, and life is always happy when it is expressing itself.
The life that is demanding to be born is limitless. Nature is a spendthrift. Look at the fish and their millions of eggs. For that matter, look at you and me. In our loins are the possibilities of millions of lives. Could we but find time and opportunity and utilize the last bit and every bit of the unborn life that is in us, we could become the fathers of nations and populate continents.
You stand on dead men's legs. You've never had any of your own. You couldn't walk alone between two sunrises and hustle the meat for your belly
Man is man because he chanced to develop intelligence instead of instinct; otherwise he would to this day have remained among the anthropoid apes. He has turned away from nature, become unnatural, as it were, disliked the earth upon which he found himself, and changed the face of it somewhat to his liking.
And at the instant he knew, he ceased to know.
But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space.
Out of this pack-persecution he learned two important things: how to take care of himself in a mass-fight against him; and how, on a single dog, to inflict the greatest amount of damage in the briefest space of time.
Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time.
I am first of all a white man, and only then a socialist.
Go strip off your clothes that are a nuisance in this mellow clime. Get in and wrestle with the sea; wing your heels with the skill and power that reside in you, hit the sea's breakers, master them, and ride upon their backs as a king should.
I was five years old the first time I got drunk.
I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me.
He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time.
His bondage had softened him. Irresponsibility had weakened him. He had forgotten how to shift for himself. The night yawned about him.
Of her own experience she had no memory of the thing happening; but in her instinct, which was the experience of all mothers of wolves, there lurked a memory of fathers that had eaten their new-born and helpless progeny.
Not all the monsters have fangs.
It's better to stand by someone's side than by yourself
One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having that nature recoil upon itself.
A man with a club is a law-maker.
The game of life is good, though all of life may be hurt, and though all lives lose the game in the end.
Some sorts of truth are truer than others.
The greatest of the arts is the conquering of men.
Too much is written by the men who can't write about the men who do write.
Strength is an empty shell.
Mental or spiritual health, which is rationality, makes for progress, and the future demands greater and greater mental or spiritual health, greater and greater rationality. The brain must dominate and direct both the individual and society in the time to come, not the belly and the heart.
I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate.
Life? Bah! It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest. Everywhere it goes begging. Nature spills it out with a lavish hand. Where there is room for one life, she sows a thousand lives, and it's life eats life till the strongest and most piggish life is left.
The loneliness of the man is slowly being borne in upon me. There is not a man aboard but hates or fears him, nor is there a man whom he does not despise.
Stupid women, and all are stupid, think the first winning of the man the final victory. Then they settle down and grow fat, and stale, and dead, and heartbroken. Alas, they are so stupid. But you, little infant-woman with your first victory, you must make your love-life an unending chain of victories. Each day you must win your man again. And when you have won the last victory, when you can find no more to win, then ends love. Finis is written, and your man wanders in strange gardens.
Denied the outlet, through play, of his energies, he recoiled upon himself and developed his mental processes. He became cunning; he had idle time in which to devote himself to thoughts of trickery.
Alcohol tells truth, but its truth is not normal.
As one grows weaker one is less susceptible to suffering. There is less hurt because there is less to hurt.
Love is the sum of all the arts, as it is the reason for their existence.
In a saturated population life is always cheap.
There are things greater than our wisdom, beyond our justice. The right and wrong of this we cannot say, and it is not for us to judge.
Cruelty, as a fine art, has attained its perfect flower in the trained-animal world.
I love the flesh. I'm a pagan. "Who are they who speak evil of the clay? The very stars are made of clay like mine!"
The great task demanded of man is reproduction. He is urged by passion to perform this task. Passion, working through the imagination, produces love. Passion is the impelling factor, imagination the disturbing factor; and the disturbance of passion by imagination produces love.
He was justifying his existence, than which life can do no greater; for life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.
And not only did he learn by experience, but instincts long dead became alive again. The domesticated generations fell from him. In vague ways he remembered back to the youth of the breed, to the time the wild dogs ranged in packs through the primeval forest and killed their meat as they ran it down.
When, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolf-like, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him. And his cadences were their cadences, the cadences which voiced their woe and what to them was the meaning of the stillness, and the cold, and dark.
Our ape-like and arboreal ancestors entered upon the first of many short cuts. To crack a marrow-bone with a rock was the act which fathered the tool, and between the cracking of a marrow-bone and the riding down town in an automobile lies only a difference of degree.
The human race is doomed to sink back farther and farther into the primitive night ere again it begins its bloody climb upward to civilization.
The pitch to which he was aroused was tremendous. All the fighting blood of his breed was up in him and surging through him. This was living., though he did not know it. He was realizing his own meaning in the world; he was doing that for which he was made.... He was justifying his existence, than which life can do no greater; for life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.
But this is not a world of free freights. One pays according to an iron schedule--for every strength the balanced weakness; for every high a corresponding low; for every fictitious god-like moment an equivalent time in reptilian slime. For every feat of telescoping long days and weeks of life into mad magnificent instants, one must pay with shortened life, and, oft-times, with savage usury added.
But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called -- called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.
But nobody else ever romped with White Fang. He did not permit it. He stood on his dignity, and when they attempted it, his warning snarl and bristling mane were anything but playful. That he allowed the master these liberties was no reason that he should be a common dog, loving here and loving there, everybody's property for a romp and good time. He loved with single heart and refused to cheapen himself or his love.
Then one can't make a living out of poetry? Certainly not. What fool expects to? Out of rhyming, yes.
The man, with his brain, can pierce the intoxicating mirage of things and contemplate a frozen universe in the most perfect indifference to him and his dreams.
They were not half living, or quarter living. They were simply so many bags of bones in which sparks of life fluttered faintly.
He felt strangely numb. As though from a great distance, he was aware that he was being beaten. The last sensations of pain left him. He no longer felt anything, though very faintly he could hear the impact of the club upon his body. But it was no longer his body, it seemed so far away.
For the pride of trace and trail was his, and sick unto death, he could not bear that another dog should do his work.
It is good that man should accept at face value the cheats of sense and snares of flesh, and through the fogs of sentiency pursue the lures and lies of passion.
My mistake was in ever opening the books.
This expression of abandon and surrender, of absolute trust, he reserved for the master alone.
He was not immoral, but merely unmoral.
Men do not knowingly drink for the effect alcohol produces on the body. What they drink for is the brain-effect; and if it must come through the body, so much the worse for the body.
If a company is distributing images and video then obviously they need bandwidth solutions. But if they are looking to the mass market then they must develop WAP sites.
― Jack London Quotes
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.