Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
John Barleycorn is an autobiographical novel by Jack London dealing with his enjoyment of drinking and struggles with alcoholism. In this memoir, there are the themes of masculinity and male friendship. London discusses various life experiences he has had with alcohol, and at widely different stages in his life. Key stages are his late teen years when he earned money as a sailor and later in life when he was a wealthy, successful writer.It was published in 1913.
childhood on various California farms and a succession of poorhouses in Oakland, where the family moved in 1886. London left school at the age of fourteen to work in a cannery. After a brief, dangerous stint as an oyster pirate on San Francisco Bay, he became a deputy for the California Fish Patrol, having adventures he later recalled in The Cruise of the Dazzler (1902) and Tales of the Fish Patrol (1905). In 1893 he boarded a sealing schooner headed for the Bering Sea. The seven-month voyage
and worshiped him. And for years afterward I worshiped the memory of him. Despite my two disastrous experiences, here was John Barleycorn, prevalent and accessible everywhere in the community, luring and drawing me. Here were connotations of the saloon making deep indentations in a child’s mind. Here was a child, forming its first judgments of the world, finding the saloon a delightful and desirable place. Stores, nor public buildings, nor all the dwellings of men ever opened their doors to me
would call Wolf House. Its three wings would face a thirty-by-fifteen-foot reflecting pool and be constructed of slabs of volcanic rock and redwood logs. Among other amenities, there would be six guest rooms, a separate wing for Charmian and another for servants, a library that could hold fifty thousand volumes, and a poolroom where male guests could retreat to the pleasures of brandy and cigars. Wolf House was a poor boy’s vision of heaven. There was only one way for a writer to deal with such
CHAPTER XXII Three years was the time required to go through high school. I grew impatient. Also, my schooling was becoming financially impossible. At such rate I could not last out, and I did greatly want to go to the state university. When I had done a year of high school, I decided to attempt a short cut. I borrowed the money and paid to enter the senior class of a “cramming joint” or academy. I was scheduled to graduate right into the university at the end of four months, thus saving two
drinking. My program was no drink in the morning; first drink-time came with the completion of my thousand words. Then, between that and the midday meal, were drinks numerous enough to develop a pleasant jingle. Again, in the hour preceding the evening meal, I developed another pleasant jingle. Nobody ever saw me drunk, for the simple reason that I never was drunk. But I did get a jingle twice each day; and the amount of alcohol I consumed every day, if loosed in the system of one unaccustomed to