by Joan London Of all Jack London’s serious works, none has been more widely misapprehended than Martin Eden, which he began to write soon after the Snark reached Honolulu. Most readers, ignoring the tragic ending which Jack deliberately conceived and logically reached for this novel, have regarded it solely as [...]
Robert Hass, in his introduction to the Bantam edition of "Martin Eden", points out that Jack London simply reflects the culture of his time, a culture that was dominated by imperialism, social Darwinism, and a style of aggressive masculinity.
In the following essay, published in 1970, Spinner discusses the autobiographical novel Martin Eden, which he regards as one of the first bleakly existentialist anti-hero novels in American literature.
by Sam S. Baskett The poem of the mind in the act of finding What will suffice. —“Of Modern Poetry,” Wallace Stevens When Martin Eden says, ‘‘My desire to write is the most vital thing in me,”1 he is merely giving ‘‘impassioned voice” to what has been apparent from the [...]
Fifty books remain—the product of Jack London's fevered spirit and tremendous energy. Of them, none is better than Martin Eden. Like all his books, it is uneven in structure, sometimes clumsy in expression, at times mawkish in tone. Yet it possesses great lasting power, having more vitality today than it did the day it issued from the press.
by Sam S. Baskett Vividly embodying as it does the tangled strands of Jack London’s personal, cultural, intellectual and artistic experience, Martin Eden remains a readable, affecting work sufficiently complex to invite continued critical attention. The results of this attention, however, have been inconclusive. Some critics, pointing to the novel’s [...]
by Sam S. Baskett In April, 1907, Jack London sailed out the Golden Gate aboard his $30,000 yacht, bound on what was planned as a seven-year cruise around the world. Within a few months London, already a popular writer and a famous public figure at thirty-one, had put aside the [...]