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review 2017-04-15 23:29
La peste scarlatta - Jack London,O. Fatica

Diecimila anni di cultura e civiltà svaniti in un batter d’occhio, “fugaci come schiuma”.

 

La peste scarlatta uscì nel 1912 sulla rivista “The London Magazine”. In Italia fu pubblicato nel 1927 dalla casa editrice Sonzogno.

 

Nel 2013 un’epidemia falcidiò l’umanità. Pochissimi i sopravvissuti. Sessant’anni dopo, uno di questi, l’ottuagenario professor Smith racconta al nipote dodicenne Edwin e ad altri ragazzi la storia della Morte scarlatta. La società è regredita, il sapere perduto; l’unico modo per tramandare la storia è il racconto orale, ma i giovinetti non comprendono il linguaggio del vecchio. Il suo racconto pare loro farneticante. “Il mondo era pieno di gente. Stando al censimento del 2010 l’intera popolazione mondiale era di otto miliardi... […]sì, otto miliardi di persone vivevano sulla terra quando attecchì la Morte Scarlatta.” A quel tempo comandava il Consiglio dei Magnati dell’Industria. Smith era un professore universitario. Apparteneva, come diversi privilegiati, alla classe dirigente. Poi c’erano gli altri, chiamati da quelli come Smith “uomini liberi”. Ma solo per scherzo. In realtà erano schiavi, vivevano delle briciole, e se osavano ribellarsi subivano punizioni o lasciati morire di fame. L’epidemia non fece distinzioni fra potenti e miseri. Gli scampati imbarbarirono tutti allo stesso modo col degradare della civiltà.

 

Uomini, bambini e animali sono ora ugualmente selvaggi, in questo luogo primitivo, dove ognuno cerca di difendersi, domare, prevalere. I puma spingono i cavalli fino al mare. I leoni marini mugghiano sulla scogliera. L’ultimo aereo ha solcato il cielo sessant’anni fa. Testimoni di quel mondo lontano rimangono i binari orfani invasi dalle erbacce. E alcuni volumi della biblioteca del professor Smith custoditi in una grotta. La Storia tragicamente interrotta riprende il suo cammino, ma il vecchio sa che tutto si ripeterà. Il cerchio si apre. Il cerchio si chiude. In un moto perpetuo.

“La polvere da sparo tornerà. Niente potrà impedirlo... la stessa vecchia storia si ripeterà. L’uomo si moltiplicherà e gli uomini si combatteranno. La polvere da sparo permetterà agli uomini di uccidere milioni di uomini, e solo a questo prezzo, con il fuoco e con il sangue, si svilupperà, un giorno ancora lontanissimo, una nuova civiltà. E a che pro? Come la vecchia civiltà si è estinta, così si estinguerà la nuova. Ci vorranno forse cinquantamila anni per costruirla, ma finirà per estinguersi. Tutto si estingue.”

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review 2017-04-07 00:00
Wolfsblut
Wolfsblut - Jack London Wolfsblut - Jack London Dieses Buch verliert viel in der √úbersetzung.
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text 2017-03-29 17:16
a life lesson (kill or be killed, eat or be eaten
The Call of the Wild, White Fang and Other Stories (World's Classics) - Jack London

Buck, a powerful dog, half St. Bernard and half sheepdog, lives on Judge Miller's estate in California's Santa Clara Valley. He leads a comfortable life there, but it comes to an end when men discover gold in the Klondike region of Canada and a great demand arises for strong dogs to pull sleds.

 

 

the book call of the wild connects to the book white fang because The she-wolf mates with one of the wolves and has a litter of pups. Only one survives after several more famines, and he grows strong and is a feisty pup. They come to an Indian village where the she-wolf's (who is actually half-wolf, half-dog) master is. He catches her again and White Fang, her pup, stays nearby.

 

Parents need to know that this story has moved kids for years. Its fast-paced drama hooks even reluctant readers. That said, it also reflects the sensibilities of another age. This is a story of survival, which entails a great deal of brutality by and toward dogs. It may be a bit much for sensitive young animal lovers of today, when beating dogs with clubs is not considered an acceptable way of training them. Dogs fight each other to the death, and tear out the throats of dogs and men, yielding geysers of blood when the jugular is ripped open. Buck, the canine main character, is often beaten, once almost to death. But ultimately, this is a story of dignity and leadership that will grip kids and hold them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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url 2016-11-26 22:18
Jack London - short bio

An interesting article by Kenneth Brandt in the Smithsonian magazine about the life of Jack London.

An extremist, radical and searcher, Jack London was never destined to grow old. One hundred years ago this month, London, author of The Call of the Wild, died at age 40. His short life was controversial and contradictory.

Born in 1876, the year of Little Bighorn and Custer’s Last Stand, the prolific writer would die in the year John T. Thompson invented the submachine gun. London's life embodied the frenzied modernization of America between the Civil War and World War I. With his thirst for adventure, his rags-to-riches success story, and his progressive political ideas, London’s stories mirrored the passing of the American frontier and the nation’s transformation into an urban-industrial global power.

With a keen eye and an innate sense, London recognized that the country’s growing readership was ready for a different kind of writing. The style needed to be direct and robust and vivid. And he had the ace setting of the “Last Frontier” in Alaska and the Klondike—a strong draw for American readers, who were prone to creative nostalgia. Notably, London's stories endorsed reciprocation, cooperation, adaptability and grit.

..............

To read the rest, click on the link.

Source: www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/short-heroic-rags-riches-life-jack-london-180961200
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review 2016-10-12 00:13
Call of the Wild - Jack London
The Call of the Wild - Peter Husmann,Jack London

The story of Buck, a St. Bernard/Shepherd cross family pet, stolen and subsequently sold to become a sled dog in the harsh environments of the Alaskan wild.  Passed from owner to owner, Buck soon learns that the only way to survive is to use his sheer size to overpower any would be attackers and show them who's boss. 

 

Told from an odd combination of Buck's perspective in third person, we slowly see Buck transform from beloved family pet to the savage mutt, fighting to survive in the (excuse the pun) dog eat dog world,  finally to the wild and free dog, adopted by the local wolf population. 

 

I have to admit, I'm fond of books told from an animals perspective (Black Beauty being one of my all time favourite books), horrified at the way people treat them, heart melting when they at last have a happy ending.  Though the setting wasn't really appealing to me, I still enjoyed the story.

 

4 stars.

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