7 Famous Quotes from American Writer Jack London

Jack London. Getty Images

Jack London was an American writer, famous for The Call of the Wild, Sea Wolf, Before Adam, Iron Heel, and many other works. Many of his novels were based on his real-life experiences as an adventurer and sailor. Here are a few quotes from Jack London.


  1. "I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
    - Jack London
  1. "Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Often, before I learned, did I wonder whence came the multitudes of pictures that thronged my dreams; for they were pictures the like of which I had never seen in real wake-a-day life. They tormented my childhood, making of my dreams a procession of nightmares and a little later convincing me that I was different from my kind, a creature unnatural and accursed."
    - Jack London, Before Adam
  2. "The soft summer wind stirs the redwoods, and Wild-Water ripples sweet cadences over its mossy stones. There are butterflies in the sunshine, and from everywhere arises the drowsy hum of bees. It is so quiet and peaceful, and I sit here, and ponder, and am restless. It is the quiet that makes me restless. It seems unreal. All the world is quiet, but it is the quiet before the storm. I strain my ears, and all my senses, for some betrayal of that impending storm. Oh, that it may not be premature! That it may not be premature!"
    - Jack London, Iron Heel
  1. "The one opened the door with a latch-key and went in, followed by a young fellow who awkwardly removed his cap. He wore rough clothes that smacked of the sea, and he was manifestly out of place in the spacious hall in which he found himself. He did not know what to do with his cap, and was stuffing it into his coat pocket when the other took it from him. The act was done quietly and naturally, and the awkward young fellow appreciated it. 'He understands,' was his thought. 'He'll see me through all right.'"
    - Jack London, Martin Eden
  1. "Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost."
    - Jack London, The Call of the Wild
  2. "All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places. I have been aware of other persons in me. Oh, and trust me, so have you, my reader that is to be. Read back into your childhood, and this sense of awareness I speak of will be remembered as an experience of childhood. You were then not fixed, not crystallized. You were plastic, a soul in flux, a consciousness and an identity in the process of forming--ay, of forming and forgetting."
    - Jack London, The Star Rover
  3. "Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean toward each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land."
    - Jack London, White Fang
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    Lombardi, Esther. "7 Famous Quotes from American Writer Jack London." ThoughtCo, Jan. 11, 2016, thoughtco.com/famous-quotes-from-jack-london-740579. Lombardi, Esther. (2016, January 11). 7 Famous Quotes from American Writer Jack London. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-quotes-from-jack-london-740579 Lombardi, Esther. "7 Famous Quotes from American Writer Jack London." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-quotes-from-jack-london-740579 (accessed March 25, 2018).