Notwithstanding the renaissance of Jack London studies during the past generation, we would be mistaken in thinking there have been no important aspects of this great author's work still unexplored. The publication of Dan Wichlan's impressive edition of London's hitherto unpublished and uncollected nonfiction makes clear what we have been missing—filling a major gap in our understanding of this extraordinarily complex author. Particularly noteworthy in this collection is the interrelationship between London's nonfiction and his fiction--and the demonstration of how both these genres were vitally related not only to each other but also to the author's personal experiences. Wichlan's book is a "must read" for all London scholars and serious fans.
--Earle Labor, Wilson Professor of American Literature at Centenary College of Louisiana, has published several books on Jack London, including the Stanford Editions of London's letters and short stories. He is currently finishing a biography of London for Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Publishers.
At last, over 90 years since the author’s death, the path is open to the last unexplored area of Jack London studies. Dan Wichlan’s book, hard-won over many years of patient search and meticulous research, brings together for the first time all of London’s heretofore uncollected short nonfiction. These pieces appeared in fugitive newspapers and magazines, most of them short-lived, virtually all long ago defunct, have never before appeared in book form and are, therefore, available to the general reader for the first time. Moreover, Wichlan has even uncovered and included in this collection heretofore unpublished London works. The result is a book of surpassing importance in better understanding this vital figure of American literature."
— Dale L. Walker is editor of In a Far Country: Jack London’s Tales of the West; Curious Fragments: Jack London’s Tales of Fantasy Fiction; No Mentor But Myself: Jack London on Writing and Writers, and author of many other London works.
This book contains a selection of Jack London’s short nonfiction works, heretofore either unpublished or uncollected in book form. These are the rarest and least-known examples of London’s nonfiction and, therefore, the "last frontier" for research of London’s literary legacy. It is important to consider this cross-section of London’s work in the context of the entire body of his nonfiction.
Over two decades of research have resulted in my collecting London’s complete nonfiction; this includes numerous uncollected works, several previously undocumented publications and even some unpublished works. Most of the uncollected works have not been reprinted since their original appearances, often in obscure periodicals.
London’s short nonfiction output comprises over 500 articles, essays, letters-to-the-editor, lectures, interviews, book reviews, book introductions and other miscellaneous works. It is a substantial body of work that is largely unexplored since much of it has not been collected or even reprinted, existing only as microfilm copies of the original newspaper or magazine appearances
London’s nonfiction is significant, first, because it is a surrogate for the autobiography that he planned to write but never did. His notes show that he intended to call his autobiography Sailor on Horseback, the same title that Irving Stone used for his biography of London.
Dan Wichlan is a retired business executive who spent much of his professional career with Bank of America and Charles Schwab & Co. in the information technology field. He is also a lifelong independent London scholar who has spent much of his discretionary time over the last 24 years collecting the complete nonfiction of Jack London. Many of these works do not appear in any bibliography and previously existed only as manuscripts or microfilm copies of newspaper and magazine articles. His book, Jack London: The Unpublished and Uncollected Articles and Essays makes these writings available to London scholars and aficionados for the first time.
Dan has been active in the academic London community for over a decade. He first presented “The Complete Nonfiction of Jack London -- Research Methodology and Findings” at the Popular Culture Association in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 1996. He has also presented papers at the Biennial Jack London Symposiums.
His other publications include:
“Language of the Tribe – Jack London’s Evolved Views on Race”
Jack London Journal, Number 2, 1995.
“The Nonfiction of Jack London – Scope and Significance”
Jack London Foundation Newsletter, October 1, 2003, v. 15, no. 4.
The Fiction of Jack London: A Chronological Bibliography, 2nd Edition
Co-edited with Dale L. Walker which is pending publication.
The Complete Poetry of Jack London – to be published in fall 2007
The Uncollected Letters and Interviews of Jack London -- to be published in winter 2007
Dan received the 2005 Jack London Foundation “Man of the Year” Award and his research at The Huntington Library was sponsored by Earle Labor, the country’s leading London scholar. He is a member of the Jack London Society and the Jack London Foundation.