The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories

By Jack London; Earle Labor et al. | Go to book overview

NOTE ON THE TEXT

FOR the texts of the two novels and five short stories in this edition we have chosen to reprint the versions which appeared in the first book (rather than serial) publication of each selection. It is evident from his correspondence and from his meticulously kept "Book Sales Records" and "Magazine Sales Records" that London, anxious to receive financial compensation for his work (especially in his early career), was willing to allow magazine editors to take liberties with his fiction. He was later able to restore the text to its original form, when it was submitted for volume publication. Often there is little difference between the version of a text which appeared in a magazine and its book counterpart: paragraphing, punctuation, wording, and chapter divisions (in the novels) vary in greater and lesser degrees. In all cases we have adopted the text which we feel most nearly represents London's final intention.

The following accounts, taken directly from London's own records, provide the compositional and marketing history of the texts in this volume.

The Call of the Wild was begun on 1 December 1902 and finished at the "last of January, 1903." The manuscript was submitted for serial publication to the Saturday Evening Post on 26 January 1903; on 12 February 1903 the Post offered to buy it if London agreed to reduce the length--32,000 words--by 5,000 words. London agreed and asked to receive for his work three cents per word for American serial rights. On 25 February 1903 the Post informed London that they were sending him $750 for the story. In the meantime, on 12 February 1903, London sent a copy of the novel to A. P. Watt & Son in London, to secure English serial rights; on 25 February 1903 he sent a third copy to the Macmillan Company for book publication. Macmillan offered London $2,000 cash for all rights, but he declined and made a counter-offer: he would accept $2,000 for all

-xxiii-

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The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxvi
  • A Chronology of Jack London xxvii
  • Contents 3
  • I - Into the Primitive 5
  • II - The Law of Club and Fang 15
  • III - The Dominant Primordial Beast 24
  • IV - Who Has Won to Mastership 37
  • V - The Toil of Trace and Trail 46
  • VI - For the Love of a Man 60
  • VII - The Sounding of the Call 73
  • Contents 91
  • Part One - The Wild 93
  • I - The Trail of the Meat 93
  • II - The She-Wolf 101
  • III - The Hunger Cry 110
  • Part Two - Born of the Wild 120
  • I - The Battle of the Fangs 120
  • II - The Lair 130
  • III - The Gray Cub 138
  • IV - The Wall of the World 143
  • V - The Law of Meat 153
  • Part Three - The Gods of the Wild 159
  • The Makers of Fire 159
  • II - The Bondage 170
  • III - The Outcast 178
  • IV - The Trail of the Gods 183
  • V - The Covenant 188
  • VI - The Famine 196
  • Part Four - The Superior Gods 204
  • I - The Enemy of His Kind 204
  • II - The Mad God 213
  • III - The Reign of Hate 221
  • IV - The Clinging Death 226
  • V - The Indomitable 237
  • VI - The Love-Master 243
  • Part Five - The Tame 256
  • I - The Long 256
  • II - The Southland 261
  • III - The God''s Domain 268
  • IV - The Call of Kind 278
  • V - The Sleeping Wolf 284
  • BÂtard 293
  • Moon-Face 309
  • Brown Wolf 315
  • That Spot 331
  • To Build a Fire 341
  • Explanatory Notes 358
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