Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Quote of the Day (Jack London, on a Man Freezing in the Subzero Yukon)

“Already all feeling had gone from his feet. To build the fire he had been forced to remove his mittens, and the fingers had quickly become numb. His pace of four miles an hour had kept his heart pushing the blood to all parts of his body. But the instant he stopped, the action of the heart slowed down. He now received the full force of the cold. The blood of his body drew back from it. The blood was alive, like the dog. Like the dog, it wanted to hide and seek cover, away from the fearful cold. As long as he walked four miles an hour, the blood rose to the surface. But now it sank down into the lowest depths of his body. His feet and hands were the first to feel its absence. His wet feet froze first. His bare fingers were numb, although they had not yet begun to freeze. Nose and face were already freezing, while the skin of all his body became cold as it lost its blood.” —American fiction writer Jack London (1876-1916), “To Build a Fire” (1908)

The illustration accompanying this post, created by American artist Frank E. Schoonover (1877–1972), appeared in black and white with “To Build a Fire” in the August 1908 issue of Century Magazine.

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