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Jack London

Jack London Quotes

Jack London

John Griffith “Jack” London (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. He is best remembered as the author of The Call of the Wild and White Fang, both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, as well as the short stories “To Build a Fire”, “An Odyssey of the North”, and “Love of Life”. He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as “The Pearls of Parlay” and “The Heathen”, and of the San Francisco Bay area in The Sea Wolf.





1. 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.

2. DON’T LOAF AND INVITE INSPIRATION; LIGHT OUT AFTER IT WITH A CLUB.

3. YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR INSPIRATION. YOU HAVE TO GO AFTER IT WITH A CLUB.

4. 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.

5. LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS A MATTER OF HOLDING GOOD CARDS, BUT SOMETIMES, PLAYING A POOR HAND WELL.

6. SHOW ME A MAN WITH A TATTOO AND I’LL SHOW YOU A MAN WITH AN INTERESTING PAST.

7. IT’S BETTER TO STAND BY SOMEONE’S SIDE THAN BY YOURSELF.

8. THIS EXPRESSION OF ABANDON AND SURRENDER, OF ABSOLUTE TRUST, HE RESERVED FOR THE MASTER ALONE.

9. 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.

10. THUS IT WAS THAT IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW LAID DOWN BY HIS MOTHER, AND IN OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF THAT UNKNOWN AND NAMELESS THING, FEAR, HE KEPT AWAY FROM THE MOUTH OF THE CAVE.

11. IT WAS THE WORST HURT HE HAD EVER KNOWN.

12. 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.

13. MAN RARELY PLACES A PROPER VALUATION UPON HIS WOMANKIND, AT LEAST NOT UNTIL DEPRIVED OF THEM.

14. HIS BONDAGE HAD SOFTENED HIM. IRRESPONSIBILITY HAD WEAKENED HIM. HE HAD FORGOTTEN HOW TO SHIFT FOR HIMSELF. THE NIGHT YAWNED ABOUT HIM.

15. HE HAD KILLED MAN, THE NOBLEST GAME OF ALL, AND HE HAD KILLED IN THE FACE OF THE LAW OF CLUB AND FANG.

16. I WOULD RATHER BE A SUPERB METEOR, EVERY ATOM OF ME IN MAGNIFICENT GLOW, THAN A SLEEPY AND PERMANENT PLANET. THE PROPER FUNCTION OF A MAN IS TO LIVE, NOT TO EXIST.

17. THE CLAY OF WHITE FANG HAD BEEN MOLDED UNTIL HE BECAME WHAT HE WAS, MOROSE AND LONELY, UNLOVING AND FEROCIOUS, THE ENEMY OF ALL HIS KIND.

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