Zakharova A.P. Reception of Jack London’s Image in the Russian Literary Criticism (1900–1916)
Jack London’s name for the first time appeared in Russian critical articles in 1904 when the author himself was still alive. Some reviews on his literary works could be found in Russian magazines from 1910 to 1912. But the real lossom of the criticism of that period began in 1912. In 1912 Jack London was called a little-known American writer, but by the 1916 he became a man whose name was familiar to every little boy who loved adventure books. Ideologically this period of Russian criticism is quite homogeneous therefore we can consider it as a whole, without any additional categorization. Apart from the later criticism which already belonged to the Soviet period the articles of this time mainly draw readers’ attention to the artistical features of Jack London books putting social and ideological elements of the literary analyses to the middle ground.
Jack London’s books compared to the vast massive of contemporary European literature that was translated to Russian during the above mentioned period of time were notable because of the simplicity of style and ideological content. In such context his books were outstanding due to their unequalled vivacity and optimism that made his works extremely popular among Russian readers. This simplicity of style greatly influenced the process of creating an image of London as a writer, whose books were written for young people and children, which began in that period of time. The appearance of the common biographical topos, that Jack London personally experienced all the adventures described in his stories and some of his big novels, for example, in “Martin Eden”, can also be referred to 1912. London’s labor biography and extensive experience were easily perceived through the familiar figure of Russian writer Maksim Gorky who was often compared to London.
lifetime criticism, reception of Jack London’s image, literary context