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Kings of the Road > Letters

Web Letter

Having followed Jack London for many years I am looking forward to Raskin's new book. It is important to note that London was a racist as well as nationalist. It is also important to see the philosophical side of London. The Star Rover, for example, is a story that has much to do with the mind/body dualism first noted in Western thought by Plato. Of course the influence of Nietszche cannot be understated, as anyone familiar with London's work knows.

London was both a product and historical agent of his times and his notion of a nationalist socialism is one that needs to be explored. His adamant imperialist calls for the invasion of Mexico and his belief in the superiority of the "white male" are all topics that must be seated within the eugenics of the time.

Dr. Danny Weil

Lewiston, CA

Jul 24 2007 - 3:42pm

Web Letter

"No, no, no, you're talking absolute bullshit and Wolfean romantic posh!"--Carlo to Sal in Denver.

Remi threatened to call Sal a name, but couldn't think of it. Who's that writer who wore a stovepipe hat and stuffed newspapers in his boots? K tells us, This was an exaggeration of what I'd told him about Dostoyevski.

Just a couple of names that come up when I read in this article how Jack London was the only author K mentioned by name in On the Road. I'm sure there were others, like Hart Crane and Proust.

Also, while Dean spent much time in the reformatory prior to meeting Sal, neither of them were in jail during the run of time the novel portrays. I can recall once they were hassled, after Ed Dunkel did his double-lane bypass on their last trip back across the land together, but they escaped with a fine.

Timothy Bowden

Bonham, TX

Jul 16 2007 - 10:16pm

Web Letter

Shoehorning hippies in with the Beats and hipsters of the '40s and '50s is a conceit that will, I suppose, subside only when the 100th anniversary of the "Summer of Love" rolls around. In the absence of any former hippies to cheer themselves on, it's difficult to believe that any serious attention will be paid to those who flew their freak flags high. Comparing Jack London to Eldridge Cleaver? London was a writer, Cleaver just a politician.

Mike Hudson

Niagara Falls, NY

Jul 14 2007 - 12:56pm