Glen Ellen Historical Society discusses Jack London
Saturday August 20th 2011 -
“Who Knows Jack?,” a panel discussion about the man behind the image of Jack London, will be presented by the Glen Ellen Historical Society on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. It will take place in Mayflower Hall, next door to the Glen Ellen Community Church at 5311 O’Donnell Lane. Admission is free to the public, but you are encouraged to arrive early, as seating is quite limited.
The conversation will be a deconstruction of several common misconceptions about Jack London, who has been characterized as an alcoholic, womanizing adventurer who wrote popular stories. A more nuanced, layered sense of this man will be explored and developed, as the passionate social idealist whose perspective predicted and inaugurated many of the movements that defined the century that followed, from Socialism and environmentalism to feminism and recovery – recovery of the land, and of humanity.
Speakers will be Jonah Raskin, Clarice Stasz, and Lou Leal, recognized authorities who have studied Jack London’s life and writings thoroughly. They will each speak for 20 minutes or so before the discussion is opened up to the room for general conversation.
Jonah Raskin is a professor at Sonoma State University where he teaches law and literature. He is the author of 12 books and the editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution, a study of his political writings and the extent of his participation in the formation of the American Socialist Party.
Clarice Stasz is a professor of history (emerita) at Sonoma State University. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, she has written American Dreamers: Charmian and Jack London and Jack London’s Women. She is fascinated by how London has been consistently misrepresented by biographers, and how he continues to manage his own self-image long after death.
Lou Leal is a member of the Jack London Foundation and the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, and has been a docent at the Jack London State Park for many years. He presented a paper at the Jack London Society Symposium last year titled “Finding the Real Jack London,” which explored London’s autobiographical book John Barleycorn and his involvement with alcohol.