Pig-Ethics

The other day I mentioned a title by Jack London to an avid reader and was reminded that most people, including me, have only read the obvious titles by any author and might not be aware of the less-well-known or obscure titles that are never stocked on the shelves at the big-box-bookstores. Despite its shortcomings, I find Wikipedia an excellent source for the bibliographies of most authors (I like the clear lists and not the essays which obscure the titles). So my recommendation is to check the full bibliography of every author you read.

Let’s check Jack London at Wikipedia:

Novels

  • The Cruise of the Dazzler (1902)
  • A Daughter of the Snows (1902)
  • The Call of the Wild (1903)
  • The Kempton-Wace Letters (1903) (published anonymously, co-authored with Anna Strunsky)
  • The Sea-Wolf (1904)
  • The Game (1905)
  • White Fang (1906)
  • Before Adam (1907)
  • The Iron Heel (1908)
  • Martin Eden (1909)
  • Burning Daylight (1910)
  • Adventure (1911)
  • The Scarlet Plague (1912)
  • A Son of the Sun (1912)
  • The Abysmal Brute (1913)
  • The Valley of the Moon (1913)
  • The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1914)
  • The Star Rover (1915) (published in England as The Jacket)
  • The Little Lady of the Big House (1916)
  • Jerry of the Islands (1917)
  • Michael, Brother of Jerry (1917)
  • Hearts of Three (1920) (novelization of a script by Charles Goddard)
  • The Assassination Bureau, Ltd (1963) (left half-finished, completed by Robert L. Fish)

Short story collections

  • Son of the Wolf (1900)
  • Chris Farrington, Able Seaman (1901)
  • The God of His Fathers & Other Stories (1901)
  • Children of the Frost (1902)
  • The Faith of Men and Other Stories (1904)
  • Tales of the Fish Patrol (1906)
  • Moon-Face and Other Stories (1906)
  • Love of Life and Other Stories (1907)
  • Lost Face (1910)
  • South Sea Tales (1911)
  • When God Laughs and Other Stories (1911)
  • The House of Pride & Other Tales of Hawaii (1912)
  • Smoke Bellew (1912)
  • A Son of the Sun (1912)
  • The Night Born (1913)
  • The Strength of the Strong (1911)
  • The Turtles of Tasman (1916)
  • The Human Drift (1917)
  • The Red One (1918)
  • On the Makaloa Mat (1919)
  • Dutch Courage and Other Stories (1922)

Autobiographical memoirs

  • The Road (1907)
  • John Barleycorn (1913)

Non-fiction and essays

  • The People of the Abyss (1903)
  • How I Became a Socialist (1903)[68]
  • The War of the Classes (1905)[62]
  • Revolution, and other Essays (1910)
  • The Cruise of the Snark (1911)

Plays

  • Theft (1910)
  • Daughters of the Rich: A One Act Play (1915)
  • The Acorn Planter: A California Forest Play (1916)

Jack London is one of those authors that you remember for dog stories and the Alaskan Gold rush, but other than an overly imaginative episode of Bonanza or some other old television show that hadn’t quite jumped the shark, most of London’s works are unrecognized and seldom read. But let’s face it, not everything any author writes is great or even good and London is singularly uneven in his writing. By the way, Jack London (like Mark Twain) wasn’t the author’s real name:  he was born as John Griffith Chaney.

One advantage of an author like Jack London is that you can find so many of these obscure works online at sites like Project Gutenberg … for free! Download them, pop them onto your iPad, and read, read, read.

My recent reading had me dipping onto Jack London’s socialist side with an interesting novel called The Iron Heel. I’m not going to review this book here but I want to introduce a new term into the political vocabulary which comes from this book … pig-ethics. London, through his character Ernest Everhard, uses this term to more accurately refer to capitalism. I have been a regular user of the word greed but now I’m switching to pig-ethics.

Isn’t laissez-faire French for pig-ethics?

What are your thoughts on this?

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