The critical literature on Jack London’s Martin Eden is extensive and you do not need me to add much to it here. If you are reading this then it is likely that you are either an early discoverer of my fiction or it is a few years down the line and I have achieved enough fame that your high school English teacher is forcing you to write a paper on that Stevens guy. Let it suffice to say that Jack London is one of the most widely read and seriously considered American authors around the world, but in his own country he is known as the guy who wrote a couple books about sled dogs. When I was younger and even less well known I read Martin Eden as one of the thousands of books I considered essential to my autodidactic training as a writer. It stuck with me because of that egotistical trait of many a writer of seeing ourselves in characters, whether our own or those written by others; for the truly egotistical only the best model will do. Martin Eden is a self-taught self-styled writing genius who suffers terribly for his art and finally achieves fortune and fame to which he responds in a characteristically unique way. I have done my own version of that all except for the – to some- surprise ending. It’s a good book. Read it yourself to find out what I am talking about.
I wanted to write a classic regular folks would actually read. I wanted to write an adventure academics would find resonant with meaning. You tell me how well I did.