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"A trade, like anything else": 'Martin Eden' and the literary marketplace. (novel by Jack London)

Gair, C. (1992) "A trade, like anything else": 'Martin Eden' and the literary marketplace. (novel by Jack London). Essays in Literature , 19 (2). pp. 246-259. ISSN 0094-5404

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Abstract

Jack London's novel 'Martin Eden' portrays the contradictions faced by a writer of the early 20th century between adherence to artistic integrity and the demands of the literary marketpalce. The novel presents Eden's development from an ambitious and ill-educated sailor into an internationally acclaimed writer and critic. It also compares and contrasts writing with other occupations such as manual labor and law. Eden's eventual ennui and suicide can be traced to his status as both writer and peddler of texts, as both worker and capitalist. This contradictions excludes him from both classes and results in his eventual alienation and suicide.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Gair, Dr Christopher
Authors: Gair, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Essays in Literature
Publisher:Western Illinois University
ISSN:0094-5404
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