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Jack London$
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Kenneth K. Brandt

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780746312964

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780746312964.001.0001

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Coda: Literary Legacy and Scholarship

Coda: Literary Legacy and Scholarship

(p.124) 8 Coda: Literary Legacy and Scholarship
Jack London

Kenneth K. Brandt

Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter offers a succinct overview of London’s position in the canon of American literary studies and highlights important biographical and critical studies of the author’s work. Over the last three decades, serious scholarship on Jack London has continued to expand and deepen. International readers also incline to see him as an archetypal American writer. Following London’s death, however, literary modernists in the 1920s, whose formal difficulty catered to a culturally elite audience, were wary of his popular accessibility and largely ignored his writing. But his major concerns—generating consolatory value in an increasingly post-theistic world, remedying exploitive socioeconomic systems, and achieving a more nuanced understanding of our psychobiology—remain central to societal, political, and intellectual debates worldwide. The cultural-theoretical turn that shaped most scholarly discourse by the early 1980s initiated a more comprehensive re-evaluation of his writing. By the 1990s a London revival in the academy was well underway and scholars continue to generate innovative critical approaches to his work.

Keywords:   Scholarship, Literary Canon, Literary History, Modernism

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