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Great stuff Dave. I finished The Sea Wolf a little while back, and there's clearly this sense of adventure and raw discovery pervading London's work.

Cool post Dave. My home is just blocks away from the waterfront where London worked as a youth. There's still an ancient old saloon there where London read, drank, took notes for his books, and plotted his campaigns for mayor on the Socialist ticket. Interesting guy; I need to check out his stuff beyond "Call of the Wild."

Also, I can't resist the temptation to be a dork and point out one of my favorite usage issues: I think you meant "picaresque" rather than "picturesque." The former is defined as "stories involving clever rogues or adventurers"; the latter means something like "as pretty as a picture." A much funner pedanticism than "begs the question," right?

Thanks, Greg. You get the New Word of the Week Award for "picaresque," which was not in my working vocabulary until today. However, in speaking of island maladies I did mean "picturesque" but in an ironic sense, as the elephantiasis and skin diseases one finds there (both today and as described by London) are anything but picturesque.

Well, that's what I get for trying to be pedantic.

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