The Biography of Jack London (in English)
Posted on Сентябрь 1, 2012 by The Hostess
Биография Джека Лондона на английском языке
Jack London. The Biography (part 1)
Jack London took his place in American literature at the beginning of the twentieth century. At that time, the library shelves and bookshops of America were already full of books by well-known authors. But Jack Londons stories were new stories: his heroes were not like heroes in books by famous authors, and the pictures he painted were not the same as their pictures.
The men in his books live a difficult life, a life full of danger. In terrible world that Jack London shows us in his stories, a man who makes even the smallest mistake must fall and die in the snow. But his people are afraid of nothing, and nothing can stop them. People in books by London never lose hope: they never stop fighting for life, even when the end seems near. That is the lesson every man and woman must learn that in everything we want and everything we do, if we do not lose hope, we must and will win.
Jack Londons credo
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 proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.»
Jack London 1876-1916
Кредо Джека Лондона (в переводе на русский язык)
Я предпочел бы гореть ярким пламенем, а не задыхаться от пыли. Я бы предпочел быть сверкающим метеором, а не спящей и вечной планетой. Человек должен жить, а не существовать. Я не собираюсь тратить свои дни, пытаясь продлить свое существование. Я тороплюсь ЖИТЬ!
Londons life was not easy. And it was not long he lived less than forty years. But he saw more and did more during those years than many other men see and do in almost a century.
Jack London was born in San Francisco, California, in 1876. His father was poor, and there were many other children in the family. They always needed money, and Jack, who was older than the other children, had to help as much as he could. When he was only eight years old, he was already selling newspapers and going to school at the same time. But after a few years, he had to leave school and go to work.
Like many other poor boys in California, he found work on the ships that went from America to the countries of the East, and to the islands of the South Seas. There he saw wonderful places: beautiful green islands in the endless blue sea, and high mountains that threw red fire into the black night sky. But the ships paid boys very little, and when Jack came back to California he had almost northing.
So he left home again, this time to look for work in the big cities of the United States, and in the great forests and on the great lakes and rivers of Canada. He never had a days rest and he worked from morning to night. But when the days work was over, he listens to the mens jokes and their conversations about places and people, about workers and revolution.
When he came home again, Jack London was full of a new idea. He was going to become a writer. “I have been to such wonderful places and I have heard such interesting stories,” he thought. “I am sure they will be interesting to other people too.”
But to his surprise, when he tried to write, he couldnt make the words tell the stories. His language was poor and it was full of mistakes, because he did not know grammar. “I never learned English,” he thought, “because I couldnt go to school. But why cant I go to school now? The pupils will be surprised when they see somebody so much older in the class room. But Ill be ashamed when I cant pronounce difficult words. But my memory isnt bad, and if they can study physics and mathematics and biology, I can too. And Ill learn English together with science!”
And he did! He learned from his teachers and from other pupils, but most of all, he learned from books. He read all the books on the shelves of the school library and the city library. He read all afternoon, and he sat half the night with a book or a textbook in front of him and a large dictionary at his side. As he read novels by well-known authors, he tried to notice the words they used and how they used them: he tried to discover the secrets of their art.
If you study English, find in the text and read aloud:
a) the sentences in the text about the places that Jack London visited:
b) the sentences that explain what is new in his stories: