Wednesday, October 26, 2011
It's Just So Odd
Among other things, I am reading Jack London's The Abyss, which -- despite his claims to unorthodoxy -- is a fairly standard example of Victorian social exploration. Unlike Eric Blair's later descent into the netherworld of poverty, drink, and the workhouse, London periodically escapes the terrors of the city of London's East End. Also unlike Blair's later discussion of poverty in, I think it was, The Road to Wigan Pier, London doesn't castigate the poor for their eating habits. which makes him different from some today. What he does do, however, is contrast the British poor with the American and finds that the American "hobo" chose the open road for its softness while the British tramps and homeless are the detritus of an immoral and inhuman economic system. Odd, ayna. You would think he would have understood that American workers' poverty and economic limnality, if that is a word, was identical with that of the British workers.