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176 Western American Literature that what had appeared a radical divergence is really only a question of style and of medium of exploration. The quest of the son is basically very like the quest of the father. Both are trying to learn more about “nature” and our relationship with it. The rational materialist and the romantic are but two sides of the same coin, after all, and toward the end of the book they are taking the first steps toward understanding one another. Although Brower refrains from making broad social extrapolations from the Dysons, one hopes this move toward understanding will prove a prophecy. This is a book the reader will remember. It is a book worth reading. PAUL T. BRYANT, Colorado State University Jack London: Essays in Criticism. Edited by Ray Wilson Ownbey. (Santa Barbara, CA: Peregrine Smith, Inc., 1978. 126 pages, $4.95.) Peregrine Smith, an excellent small publisher, has been interested in Jack London studies for some time, having issued very fine editions of London’s The Road and, in two volumes, The Valley of the Moon. By bringing out this significant collection of critical essays, ably edited by an English professor at the University of Maine, Peregrine Smith has added an entirely new dimension to the London revival — one long awaited. Ownbey’s is the first book-length collection of critical essays on Jack London’s extraordinarily diverse output. Ownbey’s selections represent a solid cross-section of the best London scholars around today: the late King Hendricks on London’s short story craftsmanship; Earle Labor on “Jack London’s Symbolic Wilderness”; James I. McClintock on London’s use of Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious; Clarice Stasz, biographer of Charmian London, on “Androgyny in the Novels of Jack London”; Sam Baskett’s memorable essay on “Jack Lon­ don’s Heart of Darkness”; Earl Wilcox on London as the “Kipling of the Klondike” — the naturalism in London’s early fiction; James Ellis on a new reading of The Sea Wolf; Gordon Mills on “The Transformation of Material in a Mimetic Fiction”; and Jonathan Spinner’s “Jack London’s Martin Eden-. The Development of the Existential Hero.” In a letter to Ellwyn Hoffman in February, 1902, London complained about the critical comment his work was generating “What’s it all worth?” he asked. “Cavil, and carp, and criticise, bark and snap, and what does it amount to? You’re none the better for it.” In truth, he knew whereof he spoke, but in 1902 there was little yet for the critic to examine: no The Call of the Wild, no Martin Eden, no The Sea Wolf, most of his great stories yet unwritten. The sad thing is that even after these works Reviews 177 had been published, indeed, for more than three decades after his death, London criticism had little stature above the carp and cavil, bark and snap school of thought. It has only been in recent times, from the 1950’s to the present, that important critical work has been published — a steady trickle to this day— on London’s works. It is now, after all, 63 years since London died, and Ray Ownbey’s “Essays in Criticism” is the first book of its kind. It is an auspicious beginning. DALE L. WALKER, The University of Texas at El Paso A Whaler and Trader in the Arctic. By Arthur James Allen. (Anchorage: Alaska Northwest, 1978. 213 pages, $5.95.) What Jim Allen’s autobiography, “A Whaler and Trader in the Arctic” achieves is to let the reader experience the Arctic, a region that remains distant and incomprehensible to most. Allen’s gift of writing clearly and simply creates an understandable Arctic. Jim Allen was born in San Francisco in 1875. His father, an Irish immigrant who worked as a marine engineer, tried to discourage young Jim from being a mariner, but Allen was restless with school and academics and at fifteen got a job in the engine room of a steamship. With that he began his life-long involvement with the ocean. At age nineteen both of Allen’s parents died within two months of each other. He deeply loved his mother in particular, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 176-177
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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