Video: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Great American Literature Series

National Association of Scholars

“He had learned well the law of club and fang, and he never forewent an advantage or drew back from a foe he had started on the way to Death... He must master or be mastered; while to show mercy was a weakness... Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law; and this mandate, down out of the depths of Time, he obeyed.”

What makes The Call of the Wild a great American novel? How does the novel exemplify American pastoralism—the return of the mythic hero to nature? Who influenced London's writings, and who did his writings influence?

This webinar features Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Professor of History at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Geoffrey D. Smith, Head of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at The Ohio State University and author of American Fiction, 1901-1925: A Bibliography; and Kenneth Brandt, Professor of English at the Savannah College of Art and Design and editor of The Call, the magazine of the Jack London Society. You may find links to their books by clicking here.


Photo by Thomas Bonometti on Unsplash

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