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4593Valley of the Moon - Jack London

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  • tjmarkle2005
    Jan 24, 2011
      I've been reading classics again and I just finished a biography on Jack London. Some thoughts raced through my mind that I thought I'd bounce off the group. It might be pure fantasy but maybe fun to think about. My thoughts are:

      Jack London's hay day was during Don's early teen development. Did Don read Jack London or be influenced by Jack's vagabond writer charisma? I've not come across anything in writing by Don or anyone else that suggests this but I'd be surprised if Don didn't know of Jack London and his exploits.

      Don's mother gave him travel books by Stoddard to read before his teen years. The Stoddard travel books, so it was said, influenced Don and may have given Don the Centaur image that he carried with him the rest of his life. The Stoddard travel books also opened up the world to Don and showed him that Lawton was not the only place on earth. Later on Stoddard was part of a Bohemian writers group that resided in Carmel in the early 1900's. Jack London was part of this group and he was friends with George Sterling a prominent writer in Carmel who was a part of the Bohemian Carmel group. Stoddard, London and a few others were prominent Bohemian writers bouncing in and out of Carmel, San Francisco and Jack's home in Glenn Ellen. This was before Don ever left Lawton. These great writers set the stage for future Carmel writers and artists like Don.

      In January 1916, Jack London with Charmain went to Hawaii on a trip to help heal him of various afflictions. It was Dec. 1916 that Don arrived in Hawaii. I know the story of the Hawaiian play he saw in Kansas. Might Don have known about Jack London going to Hawaii
      in 1916 the same year Don went and the rest of the story of Don is known. Jack also spent time with the Temsky's in Hawaii. Don later had a friendship with Armine Von Temsky who also used Don's home in Carmel. Coincidence?

      I'm sure that Jack's trips were known to the public as he was such a popular figure of the day. Might that have influenced Don to go to Hawaii as well as the play? Don the future vagabond imitating the the current and most famous vagabond, Jack London?

      It was around 1935 that Don left Taos and camped his way with Scotty to Carmel where he located himself for some time. In between Taos and Carmel came a short stay with Charmain London in Jack's old digs. How did he know to stop there? I've seen nothing in Don's writing that really describes this stop over with Charmain or any advance letters, communications, etc. Was his choice of Carmel influenced by this group of Bohemian writers long since gone?

      Obviously this is all curious speculation but there are certain ties with Stoddard/London/Temsky's that are curious and might require extra digging. Again, I've read nothing that connects any of this together and it may be pure fantasy. But, what fun to think about.

      With that I close my first post on this site for 2011.

      tj
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