Monday, November 04, 2013

This is Not What I Meant to Say or Myths About Jack London

Yesterday, I attended Susan Nuernberg's talk on the Jack London's Fame.  It was an amazing talk and got me (in the midst of my Jack London writing project) all fired up about how many lies and half-truths have been circulated about Jack London.  Today's prompt comes from two sources.  The first is my weekly writing group where we were assigned to write a "kill list" like the one that has recently been published by Josef Caplan.  The other was to write a poem in response to "This is Not What I Meant to Say".  What I first came up with was long and windy.  Apparently, when it comes to writing a response to statements such as Jack London is a racist I have a lot to say. But, instead, I used simplified and repitious format of the kill list.  Here is my draft.   
This is Not What I Meant to Say or Myths About Jack London
The cottage where he lived on Sonoma Mountain was deserted after his death and and after the death of his second wife, Charmian’s.
Jack London’s life was his greatest book.[1]
Jack London was born poor. [2]
Jack London worked hard and pulled himself out of poverty.[3]
Jack London worked to support his family.[4]
In the 1970s a huge safe was discovered in the dilapidated building.  It was filled with Charmian’s diaries, original manuscripts and notes.

Jack London’s mother never loved him.[5]
Jack’s London’s mother tried to commit suicide.[6]
John London was not Jack London’s real father.[7]
Jack London never got over finding out William Chaney was his father.[8]

Through fundraising efforts, Jack London State Park raised enough money to restore the cottage (where Jack and Charmian lived). 
Jack London was a racist.[9]
Jack London was not a true socialist.[10]
Jack London was a womanizer.[11]
Jack London couldn’t write a female character to save his life.[12]
Jack London was too prolific.[13]
Jack London wrote to make money.[14]
Great effort was put into the recreation of the cottage to its original form.  Of note, are the curtains which are reproductions of the curtains found in photographs of the cottage, Jack and Charmian’s separate sleeping quarters, and Jack’s office where he and Charmian wrote his books.
Jack London was an alcoholic.[15]
Jack London burned down his mansion Wolf House.[16]
An enemy burned down Wolf House the night before he and Charmian were to move in.[17]
Jack London killed himself.[18]
But each year the woodpeckers return and borrow back into the once feral house to leave their winter acorns.

[1] False.
[2] False. 
[3] False.
[4] Half-truth.
[5] False.
[6] Half-truth .
[7] Half-truth.
[8] False.
[9] False.
[10] False.
[11] Half-truth.
[12] False.
[13] False.
[14] True.
[15] Half-truth.
[16] False.
[17] False.
[18] False

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