lunes, 21 de noviembre de 2016

JOHN BARLEYCORN - Jack London


Jack London was born on 12th January, 1876 in San Francisco. He did not have a usual childhood but he dealt with it and overcame his grief. He could not continue higher studies because of financial problems but this did not restrain him from becoming a writer. He had a vivid way of expression and was efficient in putting this in writing. London realized his flair for writing and decided to take it as a profession and began to write regularly. This novelist was adventurous and his voyages and journeys provided him the material of his stories. During his short life he has penned several stories,about 40 novels, poetry, journalistic reports and even autobiographical literary pieces. Jack London breathed his last on 22nd November 1916, in his ranch in California. There are many speculations about his death but the cause of his death is still not determined.



John Barleycorn is an autobiographical novel dealing with his enjoyment of drinking and struggles with alcoholism. It was published for the first time in 1913. In this memoir, London discusses various life experiences he has had with alcohol, and at widely different stages in his life. Key stages are his late teen years when he earned money as a sailor and later in life when he was a wealthy, successful writer. The name “John Barleycorn” is taken from a British folksong, about the Spirit of Alcohol.

«And so I draw the indictment home to John Barleycorn. It is just those, the good fellows, the worth while, the fellows with the weakness of too much strength, too much spirit, too much fire and flame of fine devilishness, that he solicits and ruins. Of course, he ruins weaklings; but with them, the worst we breed, I am not here concerned. My concern is that it is so much of the best we breed whom John Barleycorn destroys.(…)Immediately, with greeting and salutation, I am taken into the fellowship. The alcohol, shrewdly blended with water, is handed to me, and soon I am caught up in the revelry, with maggots crawling in my brain and John Barleycorn whispering to me that life is big, and that we are all brave and fine -free spirits sprawling like careless gods upon the turf and telling the two-by-four, cut-and-dried, conventional world to go hang.»




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