110+ Jack London Quotes On Death, Nature And Writing
Quick Jump To
Top 10 Jack London Quotes (BEST)
- Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
- Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past.
- The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
- The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage.
- A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.
- I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
- I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
- Mercy did not exist in the primordial life. It was misunderstood for fear, and such misunderstandings made for death.
- The function of man is to live, not to exist.
Jack London Image Quotes
The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage. — Jack London
Jack London Short Quotes
- The scab is a traitor to his God, his mother, and his class.
- There is such a thing as anaesthesia of pain, engendered by pain too exquisite to be borne.
- Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.
- He was a silent fury who no torment could tame.
- The word is too weak. There is no word in the language strong enough to describe my feelings.
- So that was the way. No fair play. Once down, that was the end of you.
- Intelligent men are cruel. Stupid men are monstrously cruel.
- Affluence means influence.
- White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.
- I am first of all a white man, and only then a socialist.
Jack London Quotes On Love
Love cannot in its very nature be peaceful or content. It is a restlessness, an unsatisfaction. I can grant a lasting love just as I can grant a lasting unsatisfaction; but the lasting love cannot be coupled with possession, for love is pain and desire and possession is easement and fulfilment. — Jack London
Love, genuine passionate love, was his for the first time. — Jack London
I love the flesh. I'm a pagan. "Who are they who speak evil of the clay? The very stars are made of clay like mine!" — Jack London
Love is the sum of all the arts, as it is the reason for their existence. — Jack London
I was jealous; therefore I loved. — Jack London
Somehow, the love of the islands, like the love of a woman, just happens. One cannot determine in advance to love a particular woman, nor can one so determine to love Hawaii. — Jack London
The great task demanded of man is reproduction. He is urged by passion to perform this task. Passion, working through the imagination, produces love. Passion is the impelling factor, imagination the disturbing factor; and the disturbance of passion by imagination produces love. — Jack London
Jack London Quotes On Death
Everything is good . . . as long as it is unpossessed. Satiety and possession are Death's horses they run in span. — Jack London
He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars. — Jack London
I believe that when I am dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated as the last mosquito you and I squashed. — Jack London
For the pride of trace and trail was his, and sick unto death, he could not bear that another dog should do his work. — Jack London
Jack London Quotes On Nature
His conclusion was that things were not always what they appeared to be. The cub's fear of the unknown was an inherited distrust, and it had now been strengthened by experience. Thenceforth, in the nature of things, he would possess an abiding distrust of appearances. — Jack London
He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. — Jack London
One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having that nature recoil upon itself. — Jack London
Life? Bah! It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest. Everywhere it goes begging. Nature spills it out with a lavish hand. Where there is room for one life, she sows a thousand lives, and it's life eats life till the strongest and most piggish life is left. — Jack London
But, – and there it is, – we want to live and move, though we have no reason to, because it happens that it is the nature of life to live and move, to want to live and move. If it were not for this, life would be dead. It is because of this life that is in you that you dream of your immortality. — Jack London
Jack London Quotes On Life
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. — Jack London
And how have I lived? Frankly and openly, though crudely. I have not been afraid of life. I have not shrunk from it. I have taken it for what it was at its own valuation. And I have not been ashamed of it. Just as it was, it was mine. — Jack London
The aim of life was meat. Life itself was meat. Life lived on life. There were the eaters and the eaten. — Jack London
Life, in a sense, is living and surviving. And all that makes for living and surviving is good. He who follows the fact cannot go astray, while he who has no reverence for the fact wanders afar. — Jack London
The aim of life was meat. Life itself was meat. Life lived on life. There were the eaters and the eaten. The law was: EAT OR BE EATEN. He did not formulate the law in clear, set terms and moralize about it. He did not even think the law; he merely lived the law without thinking about it at all. — Jack London
The ghostly winter silence had given way to the great spring murmur of awakening life. — Jack London
He was always striving to attain it. The life that was so swiftly expanding within him, urged him continually toward the wall of light. The life that was within him knew that it was the one way out, the way he was predestined to tread. — Jack London
Ever bike? Now that's something that makes life worth living! — Jack London
To have a full stomach, to daze lazily in the sunshine--such things were remuneration in full for his adors and toils, while his ardors and toils were in themselves self-remunerative. They were expressions of life, and life is always happy when it is expressing itself. — Jack London
It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild. (Ch.1) — Jack London
Jack London Quotes On Writing
I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate. — Jack London
I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. — Jack London
Too much is written by the men who can't write about the men who do write. — Jack London
Avoid the unhappy ending, the harsh, the brutal, the tragic, the horrible -- if you care to see in print things you write. (In this connection don't do as I do, but do as I say. — Jack London
Don't write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. — Jack London
Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it. — Jack London
Jack London Famous Quotes And Sayings
The most beautiful stories always start with wreckage. — Jack London
The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smoulders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive. I am filled with dreams and mysteries. I am all sun and air and sparkle. I am vitalized, organic. — Jack London
I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet. — Jack London
He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survive. — Jack London
He became quicker of movement than the other dogs, swifter of foot, craftier, deadlier, more lithe, more lean with ironlike muscle and sinew, more enduring, more cruel more ferocious, and more intelligent. He had to become all these things, else he would not have held his own nor survived the hostile environment in which he found himself. — Jack London
. . . and God knows we are sensitive to the suffering that has sometimes broken loose to come billowing forth from your appendages like the pungent vapors of whales - often it appears that in this life of experience and accommodation we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. But Sissy . . . hold on! — Jack London
I am a hopeless materialist. I see the soul as nothing else than the sim of activities of the organism plus personal habits - plus inherited habits, memories, experiences, of the organism. I believe that when I am dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated as the last mosquito you and I squashed. — Jack London
Pursuit and possession are accompanied by states of consciousness so wide apart that they can never be united. — Jack London
He had come to know quite thoroughly the world in which he lived. His outlook was bleak and materialistic. The world as he saw it was a fierce and brutal world, a world without warmth, a world in which caresses and affection and the bright sweetness of spirit did not exist. — Jack London
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. — Jack London
No; I did not hate him. The word is too weak. There is no word in the language strong enough to describe my feelings. I can say only that I knew the gnawing of a desire for vengeance on him that was a pain in itself and that exceeded all the bounds of language. — Jack London
I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums... All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me... Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born. — Jack London
She was thrilling to a desire that urged her to go forward, to be in closer to that fire, to be squabbling with the dogs, and to be avoiding and dodging the stumbling feet of men. — Jack London
Out of this pack-persecution he learned two important things: how to take care of himself in a mass-fight against him; and how, on a single dog, to inflict the greatest amount of damage in the briefest space of time. — Jack London
But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space. — Jack London
You stand on dead men's legs. You've never had any of your own. You couldn't walk alone between two sunrises and hustle the meat for your belly — Jack London
Of her own experience she had no memory of the thing happening; but in her instinct, which was the experience of all mothers of wolves, there lurked a memory of fathers that had eaten their new-born and helpless progeny. — Jack London
It was the worst hurt he had ever known. — Jack London
But it did not all happen in a day, this giving over of himself, body and soul, to the man-animals. He could not immediately forego his wild heritage and his memories of the Wild. There were days when he crept to the edge of the forest and stood and listened to something calling him far and away. — Jack London
His bondage had softened him. Irresponsibility had weakened him. He had forgotten how to shift for himself. The night yawned about him. — Jack London
Go strip off your clothes that are a nuisance in this mellow clime. Get in and wrestle with the sea; wing your heels with the skill and power that reside in you, hit the sea's breakers, master them, and ride upon their backs as a king should. — Jack London
I was five years old the first time I got drunk. — Jack London
On the sled, in the box, lay a third man whose toil was over, - a man whom the Wild had conquered and beaten down until he would never move nor struggle again. It is not the way of the Wild to like movement. Life is an offense to it, for life is movement; and the Wild aims always to destroy movement. — Jack London
They were firemakers! They were gods! [humans] — Jack London
Man is a flux of states of consciousness, a flow of passing thoughts, each thought of self another self, a myriad thoughts, a myriad selves, a continual becoming but never being, a will-of-the-wisp flitting of ghosts in ghostland. — Jack London
Thus it was that in obedience to the law laid down by his mother, and in obedience to the law of that unknown and nameless thing, fear, he kept away from the mouth of the cave. — Jack London
But this is not a world of free freights. One pays according to an iron schedule--for every strength the balanced weakness; for every high a corresponding low; for every fictitious god-like moment an equivalent time in reptilian slime. For every feat of telescoping long days and weeks of life into mad magnificent instants, one must pay with shortened life, and, oft-times, with savage usury added. — Jack London
The Law is a lie, and through it men lie most shamelessly. — Jack London
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. — Jack London
The loneliness of the man is slowly being borne in upon me. There is not a man aboard but hates or fears him, nor is there a man whom he does not despise. — Jack London
Denied the outlet, through play, of his energies, he recoiled upon himself and developed his mental processes. He became cunning; he had idle time in which to devote himself to thoughts of trickery. — Jack London
Mental or spiritual health, which is rationality, makes for progress, and the future demands greater and greater mental or spiritual health, greater and greater rationality. The brain must dominate and direct both the individual and society in the time to come, not the belly and the heart. — Jack London
As for the primitive, I hark back to it because we are still very primitive. How many thousands of years of culture, think you, have rubbed and polished at our raw edges? One probably; at the best, no more than two. And that takes us back to screaming savagery, when, gross of body and deed, we drank blood from the skulls of our enemies, and hailed as highest paradise the orgies and carnage of Valhalla. — Jack London
Fear urged him to go back, but growth drove him on. — Jack London
A good joke will sell quicker than a good poem, and, measured in sweat and blood, will bring better remuneration. — Jack London
The first theft marked Buck as fit to survive in the hostile Northland environment. It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death. It marked, further, the decay or going to pieces of his moral nature, a vain thing and a handicap in the ruthless struggle for existence. — Jack London
My mistake was in ever opening the books. — Jack London
Cruelty, as a fine art, has attained its perfect flower in the trained-animal world. — Jack London
A human life the treasure of the world cannot buy; nor can it redeem one which is misspent; nor can it make full and complete and beautiful a life which is dwarfed and warped and ugly. — Jack London
Age is never so old as youth would measure it. — Jack London
If a company is distributing images and video then obviously they need bandwidth solutions. But if they are looking to the mass market then they must develop WAP sites. — Jack London
Our ape-like and arboreal ancestors entered upon the first of many short cuts. To crack a marrow-bone with a rock was the act which fathered the tool, and between the cracking of a marrow-bone and the riding down town in an automobile lies only a difference of degree. — Jack London
They were not half living, or quarter living. They were simply so many bags of bones in which sparks of life fluttered faintly. — Jack London
...in his gambling, he had one besetting weakness -- faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain. — Jack London
Some sorts of truth are truer than others. — Jack London
When, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolf-like, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him. And his cadences were their cadences, the cadences which voiced their woe and what to them was the meaning of the stillness, and the cold, and dark. — Jack London
I was carrying a beautiful alcoholic conflagration around with me. The thing fed on its own heat and flamed the fiercer. There was no time, in all my waking time, that I didn't want a drink. I began to anticipate the completion of my daily thousand words by taking a drink when only five hundred words were written. It was not long until I prefaced the beginning of the thousand words with a drink. — Jack London
Then one can't make a living out of poetry? Certainly not. What fool expects to? Out of rhyming, yes. — Jack London
The game of life is good, though all of life may be hurt, and though all lives lose the game in the end. — Jack London
To be able to forget means sanity. — Jack London
He had no conscious knowledge of death, but like every animal of the Wild, he possessed the instinct of death. To him it stood as the greatest of hurts. It was the very essence of the unknown; it was the sum of the terrors of the unknown, the one culminating and unthinkable catastrophe that could happen to him, about which he knew nothing and about which he feared everything. — Jack London
It is good that man should accept at face value the cheats of sense and snares of flesh, and through the fogs of sentiency pursue the lures and lies of passion. — Jack London
A good soldier is a blind, heartless, soulless, murderous machine. He is not a man. His is not a brute, for brutes kill only in self defense. All that is human in him, all that is divine in him, all that constitutes the man has been sworn away when he took the enlistment roll. His mind, his conscience, aye, his very soul, are in the keeping of his officer. No man can fall lower than a soldier-it is a depth beneath which we cannot go. — Jack London
I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself. — Jack London
Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, was the law; and this mandate, down out of the depths of Time. — Jack London
A man with a club [bat] is a law-maker, a man to be obeyed, but not necessarily conciliated. — Jack London
He felt strangely numb. As though from a great distance, he was aware that he was being beaten. The last sensations of pain left him. He no longer felt anything, though very faintly he could hear the impact of the club upon his body. But it was no longer his body, it seemed so far away. — Jack London
The fortunate man is the one who cannot take more than a couple of drinks without becoming intoxicated. The unfortunate wight is the one who can take many glasses without betraying a sign; who must take numerous glasses in order to get the ‘kick’. — Jack London
Socialism, when the last word is said, is merely a new economic and political system whereby more men can get food to eat. — Jack London
A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild. — Jack London
The pitch to which he was aroused was tremendous. All the fighting blood of his breed was up in him and surging through him. This was living., though he did not know it. He was realizing his own meaning in the world; he was doing that for which he was made.... He was justifying his existence, than which life can do no greater; for life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do. — Jack London
Limited minds can recognize limitations only in others. — Jack London
There's only one way to make a beginning, and that is to begin; and begin with hard work, and patience, prepared for all the disappointment s. — Jack London
...men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanted dogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles by which to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost. — Jack London
Life Lessons by Jack London
- Jack London's life and work can teach us the importance of resilience and hard work. He was born into poverty and worked hard to become one of the most famous authors of his time.
- He also taught us to never give up on our dreams, no matter how difficult the journey may be. He was rejected by many publishers before finally finding success.
- Finally, his life and works show us the power of imagination and creativity. He wrote about his own life experiences and used them to create stories that captivated readers around the world.
Which quote resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of Jack London quotes? Or may be you have a quotation about Jack London to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.
About the author
This collection is managed by Quotlr Team, with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.
Feel free to cite and use any of the quotes by Jack London. For popular citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA), go to citation page.
Embed HTML Link
Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage