Media Adaptations

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‘‘To Build a Fire’’ was adapted as a 56-minute film with actor-director Orson Welles providing the story’s narration. The film is in VHS format and is distributed by Educational Video Network.

The story was also adapted as a recording, read by Robert Donly and distributed by Miller-Brody.

For Further Reference

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Reesman, Jeanne Campbell. Jack London: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne, 1999. Various essays on London's short fiction and London criticism in general.

Sherman, Joan. Jack London: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1977. A bibliography of works published about London to help guide students to articles and books written about London.

Watson, Bruce. "Jack London Followed His Muse into the Wild." Smithsonian (February, 1998): 104. A lively short biography of Jack London.

Watson, Charles N., Jr. The Novels of Jack London: A Reappraisal. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983. A good introduction to the study of London's novels.

Ghosts of the Gold Rush http://www.goldrush. org. April 12,1995. A good site for information about the Klondike gold rush.

"Jack London." Online Literature Library http://www.literature.org/authors/ london-jack. June 29, 1999. Contains web versions of over twenty London stories and books.

The Jack London Collection http://sunsite. berkeley.edu/London. May 15, 2000. The site includes a biography, audio clips, photos, documents, London's writings, a bibliography and research aids, resources for students and teachers, and links to other sites.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Last Updated on May 26, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1044

Sources

Barker, James H. Always Getting Ready/Upterrlainarluta: Yup’ik Eskimo Subsistence in Southwest Alaska, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993, pp. 13, 118.

Barltrop, Robert. ‘‘The Materials of Fame,’’ in his Jack London: The Man, the Writer, the Rebel, Pluto Press, 1976, pp. 179-91.

Komarnitsky, S. J. ‘‘Grandparents, Child Freeze to Death.’’ Anchorage Daily News, Vol. 51, January 19, 1996, A1, A12.

Labor, Earle, and King Hendricks. ‘‘Jack London’s Twice- Told Tale,’’ in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 4, Summer, 1967, pp. 334-41.

Labor, Earle, and Jeanne Campbell Reesman. ‘‘The Literary Frontiersman,’’ in Jack London, edited by Nancy A. Walker, rev. ed., New York: Twayne, 1994, pp. 18-48.

Lundquist, James. ‘‘Meditations on Man and Beast,’’ in his Jack London: Adventures, Ideas, and Fiction, The Ungar Publishing Company, 1987, pp. 77-113.

Perry, John. Jack London: An American Myth, Nelson- Hall, 1981.

Sinclair, Andrew. ‘‘The Beauty Ranch,’’ in his Jack: A Biography of Jack London, Harper and Row, 1977, pp. 159-69.

Stark, Peter. ‘‘Death by Degree,’’ We Alaskans: The Anchorage Daily News Magazine, February 2, 1997, G4-G11.

Walcutt, Charles Child. Jack London, University of Minnesota Press, 1966.

Further Reading

Barker, James H. Always Getting Ready/Upterrlainarluta: Yup’ik Eskimo Subsistence in Southwest Alaska, University of Washington Press, 1993. A collection of contemporary interviews and photographs of Yup’ik Eskimos who make their living on the delta of the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. According to Jack London, the Yukon River was part of the main route for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897.

Barltrop, Robert. ‘‘The Materials of Fame,’’ in his Jack London: The Man, the Writer, the Rebel, Pluto Press, 1976, pp. 179-91. Acknowledging that London has produced many badly written ‘‘pot-boilers,’’ Barltrop asserts that ‘‘To Build a Fire’’ is one of London’s ‘‘outstanding’’ stories. On the basis of such excellent stories and considering his popularity with readers, Barltrop concludes that London’s reputation as a writer cannot be dismissed by literary critics.

Berton, Pierre. Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896- 1899, McClelland and Stewart Inc., rev. ed., 1987. Writing from a Canadian point of view, Berton traces the history of the Klondike Gold Rush, distinguishing between the behaviors of Canadian and American prospectors and their reactions to Canadian law enforcement in the territory.

Elliott, Emory, Linda K. Kerber, A. Walton Litz, and Terence Martin. ‘‘Expansion and National Redefinition: The Late 19th Century,’’ and ‘‘Jack London,’’ in their American Literature, Vol. 2, Prentice-Hall, 1990, pp. 1-9, 894. The authors place the literature of the nineteenth century in the context of land acquisition and the boom and bust cycle of the period. They also provide a short biography of London.

Hedin, Robert, and Gary Holthaus. Alaska: Reflections on the Land and Spirit, The University of Arizona Press, 1989. A collection of essays on Alaska, including one by Pierre Berton about the Alaskan connection to the Klondike Gold Rush and another by Jack London about housekeeping in the Klondike.

Johnston, Carolyn. ‘‘Boy Socialist,’’ in her Jack London— An American Radical?, Greenwood Press, 1984, pp. 27-61. Johnston examines London’s brand of socialism and discusses how his experiences in the Klondike brought out his racism, especially when he encountered Alaska’s indigenous people.

Kingman, Russ. A Pictorial Life of Jack London, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1979. Kingman presents photographs of London and of his family and friends, maps of his travels, relevant cartoons and newspaper clippings of the period, and a textual biography of London’s life.

Komarnitsky, S. J. ‘‘Grandparents, Child Freeze to Death,’’ in Anchorage Daily News, Vol. 51, January 19, 1996, A1, A12. Newspaper account of death by hypothermia of a Yup’ik Eskimo couple and their grandchild after their car became stuck in the snow on a rural road in Alaska.

Labor, Earle, and King Hendricks. ‘‘Jack London’s Twice- Told Tale,’’ in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 4, Summer, 1967, pp. 334-41. Labor and Hendricks reprint London’s 1902 version of ‘‘To Build a Fire’’ that was directed towards an adolescent audience and compare it with his 1908 version of the story to prove that the later, adult version demonstrates London’s genuine ability to write serious fiction.

Labor, Earle, and Jeanne Campbell Reesman. ‘‘The Literary Frontiersman,’’ in Jack London, edited by Nancy A. Walker, rev. ed., New York: Twayne, 1994, pp. 18-48. Labor and Reesman examine the tragic imagery and symbolism in ‘‘To Build a Fire’’ and argue that London’s harsh winter setting functions as an antagonistic and mythical character in the story.

London, Joan. ‘‘Introduction,’’ in her Jack London and His Times: An Unconventional Biography, University of Washington Press, 1968, pp. xi-xvii. In this new introduction to her 1939 biography of her father, Joan London assesses the changing critical attitudes to Jack London’s writings.

Lundquist, James. ‘‘Meditations on Man and Beast,’’ in his Jack London: Adventures, Ideas, and Fiction, The Ungar Publishing Company, 1987, pp. 77-113. In this chapter, Lundquist focuses on the mood and setting of ‘‘To Build a Fire,’’ calling the story ‘‘starkly elegant.’’

O’Connor, Richard. ‘‘Self-Discovery in the Klondike,’’ in his Jack London: A Biography, Little, Brown, and Company, 1964, pp. 80-103. O’Connor discusses ‘‘Klondicitis,’’ or America’s mad rush for gold in 1897, and describes London’s own trek into the Klondike territory and his attitudes towards the people he met there.

Perry, John. Jack London: An American Myth, Nelson- Hall, 1981. In this biography, Perry devotes several chapters to London’s Klondike fiction and observes that ‘‘To Build a Fire’’ elicits ‘‘moods of impotence and loneliness through images of cold.’’

Pizer, Donald. ‘‘Historical and Geographical Note,’’ in Jack London: Novels and Stories, The Library of America, 1982, pp. 1001-04. In this selection of London’s novels and stories, Pizer provides maps and a history of the ‘‘Klondike stampede’’ to Canada’s principal mining town of Dawson.

Sinclair, Andrew. ‘‘The Beauty Ranch,’’ in his Jack: A Biography of Jack London, Harper and Row, 1977, pp. 159-69. In this chapter, Sinclair observes that London was unable to distinguish between his good stories, among them ‘‘To Build a Fire,’’ and his poorly written stories, and thus included both types in his collections Lost Face and When God Laughs.

Stark, Peter. ‘‘Death by Degree,’’ in We Alaskans: The Anchorage Daily News Magazine, February 2, 1997, G4-G11. Stark uses scientific data and anecdotal accounts to define hypothermia.

Walcutt, Charles Child. Jack London, University of Minnesota Press, 1966. In this overview of London’s work, Walcutt remarks that the early critical reception to London’s stories was positive.

Bibliography

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 124

Auerbach, Jonathan. Male Call: Becoming Jack London. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996.

Cassuto, Leonard, and Jeanne Campbell Reesman, eds. Rereading Jack London. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1996.

Hedrick, Joan D. Solitary Comrade: Jack London and His Work. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.

Kershaw, Alex. Jack London: A Life. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997.

Labor, Earle, and Jeanne Campbell Reesman. Jack London. Rev. ed. New York: Twayne, 1994.

Reesman, Jeanne Campbell. Jack London: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne, 1999.

Sinclair, Andrew. Jack: A Biography of Jack London. New York: Washington Square Press, 1979.

Stefoff, Rebecca. Jack London: An American Original. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Watson, Charles N. The Novels of Jack London: A Reappraisal. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982.

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