Together 10 letters and notes, 16 pages, 8vo and 4to (mostly), double-spaced, five of the letters professionally de-acidified and encapsulated in mylar (the encapsulation process reversable). [With:] 11 letters and 1 card from Jack London's wife Charmian to Orfans, 1913-1938; 7 letters (some carbons) from Orfans to Jack London, 24 February-18 November 1916, and 5 autograph letters signed (some retained drafts?) from Orfans to Charmian, 1916-1917; a photograph of Jack London and Charmian, inscribed and signed by Charmian to Orfans and signed by London, all on verso, 77 x 105 mm., mylar encapsulated; 9 photographs of London, London and Charmian, London and Orfans fencing, London's valet,etc., 12mo-8vo, a few with wear and creases; 6 vintage picture postcards of London and/or the Glen Ellen ranch and 3 modern pictorial postcards of same; 12 photographs of Orfans and his family; a newspaper clipping, 1917, about Orfans; and a group of letters, etc., from Peter Orfans (Spiro's son) explaining his view of the nature of the London-Orfans relationship, and a few letters from scholars, etc., regarding this archive. Virtually all of the items are in a half green morocco and cloth quarto-size binder. THE DARKER SIDE OF LONDON An important correspondence revealing a troublesome side of Jack London: his attitude towards race and his capacity for mean-spirited bullying. Spiro D. Orfans (1886-1948) was a Greek immigrant who became an artist when he moved to the West Coast in 1908. He wrote to London and received an invitation to visit him at Glen Ellen. He became friends with London and his wife Charmian, and often stayed at the ranch, fencing with the writer and joining in various activities. In his five letters and notes to Orfans dating from 21 December 1910 to 13 December 1914, London invites Orfans up to the ranch, gives him advice on "clear thinking" (Orfans had a "predisposition towards metaphysics"), talks of events at the ranch (Charmian writes him about the devastating fire at their new home, Wolf House, in August 1913), and tells him of his travel and other plans. During this period Orfans virtually became a London acolyte. The dispute, reflected in London's five letters of 1916, began after Orfans wrote London in November and December 1915 questioning the writer's racial views (e.g., the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race) expressed in The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1914). London responded in his letter of 25 January 1916, unleashing a verbal attack on Orfans: "...you say that my main proposition of race in The Mutiny of the Elsinore is not quite clear to you. Next, you want me to tell you all about it. Nobody asks anybody to bow before anybody. Either they bow or they do not bow. They are made to bow, or they cannot be made to bow. God abhors a mongrel. In nature there is no place for a mixed breed..." London gives several examples of the mongrelization of pure breeds, and continues: "There's no use in your talking to me about the Greeks. There are not any Greeks. You are not a Greek. The Greeks died two thousand years ago, when they became mongrelized...The Greeks were strong as long as they remained pure...when they mongrelized themselves by breeding with the slush of conquered races, they faded away, and have playing nothing but a despicable part ever since in the world's history. This is true of the Romans; this is true of the Chaldeans; this is true of the Egyptians; this is not true of the Gypsies, who have kept themselves pure. This is not true of the Chinese, it is not true of the Japanese, this is not true of the Germans, this is not true of the Anglo-Saxons. This is not true of the Yaquis of Mexico. It is true of the fifteen million mongrels of Mexico; it is true of the mongrels that inhabit the greater portion of the West Indies, and who inhabit South America and Central America from Cape Horn to the Rio Grande...Read up your history. You will find it all on the shelves. And find me one race that has retained its power of civilization, culture, and creativeness, after it mongrelized itself..." 22 March 1916 (in response to Orfans' letter of 24 February): "...You prove that you are not a clear thinker, you prove that you have no homogeniety of blood in you, you prove that you have a base hetereogenity of blood in you when you treat me the way you do...You make a noise...as though you talked science. You don't know the first word of science...No man can be scientific and personal at the same time...What you are is not a Greek, ethnologically considered. The Greeks died over two thousand years ago..." London then comments on Orfans' attitude towards him: "You who come along, fawning and lick-spittling at my feet, kissing my hand, saying that you are a disciple of my great God-Almightiness of intellect, and have read all that I have written and swallowed it whole, and assert that I am the most magnificent and wonderful human-thinking creature that ever came down the pike -- you do all this, as you have done from my first contacts with you, and then, because you have happened to have read one of my latest novels, proceed to get in and worry me, and challenge me, and ding-dong at me, for me to tell you what I really meant in said latest novel, and I finally patiently come through and tell you what every written word of mine has uttered from the first book I ever published. Read "The Son of the Wolf" short-story, in my very first book, entitled The Son of the Wolf [1900]. Read the dedication in that book. Find there that I laid down the very principle that I have ever continued to lay down..." (The dedication London refers to reads: "To the sons of the wolf who sought their heritage and left their bones among the shadows of the circle.") London continues his attack: "...Because you are a boob, because you are the stupid thing that you are, because only at this late date you learn what my printed stuff has always stood for, you come back and call me a quack and a hypocrite, and a thrower of bull. In reality you crucify yourself upon your own colossal stupidity -- the cross is the stuff you have ever read and have never grasped...What do I care that the paramount reason why you do not make love to another man's wife is, not because it is against one of the Commandments, but because you couldn't look that man in the eye and tell him to go to hell if you felt like it. You silly slush! Let me give you a tip: After you have successfully loved and possessed another man's wife is the very time you can look that man in the eye and tell him to go to hell." London devotes a paragraph to Lord Byron in Greece, and closes: "...Well, you claim you are a glorious Greek. How have you treated this white man me?...I have given you much. You sought me out...At the end of it all you have behaved toward me as any alleged modern Greek peddlar has behaved toward the superior races he has contacted with anywhere all over the world. You weak, spineless thing. One thing remains to you. Get down on your hams and eat out of my hand. Or cease forever from my existence..." As the heated debate between the two grew, Orfans demanded that London send him a bill for his room and board when he was a guest for several weeks. They settled on a $60 charge; they then argued whether it had been paid or not. In London's last letter, of 19 October 1916, written a month before his death, he encloses a duplicate of the missing letter/receipt and comments: "...Now you are trying to pull it over by denying that you ever received the letter. This is a stereotyped habit of mongrels. Mongrels are always subterranean...In your case, when I see you repeatedly using the one favorite phrase of vituperation on your list, namely 'you chunk of bluff,' I can only conclude that you are continually advertising your own weakness. This weakness is bluff...Please remember that only a mongrel can mistake vituperage for logic. Please remember, Spiro, that you have to sleep by yourself, and that it is up to you to decide, when you run over your entire affair with me, from beginning to end, whether you are a good fellow with which to sleep." On Orfans' last letter to London, dated 18 November 1916 -- London died at his Glen Ellen ranch on 22 November -- he has written a note many years after: "S.F. Jan. 24th. 1937. As I read this letter over twenty one years later I regret that Jack died three [sic: four] days later. He was a fine man although a little oversure of himself when he dealt with a 'lesser mortal' like me...now I feel and always did that it was better if he had lived and I lost forty such arguments with my right hand to boot." Apparently this London-Orfans archive is the only extant two-way correspondence of London's: it is certainly the only known controversy in his letters. (10) " /> LONDON, JACK. Seven typed letters signed, one typed leter (stamped signature), one typed note signed, and one autograph note signed (all "Jack London,") to Spiro D. Orfans in San Francisco; written from Glen Ellen, California, and Honolulu, 21 December 1910-19 October 1916. <I>Together 10 letters and notes, 16 pages, 8vo and 4to (mostly), double-spaced, five of the letters professionally de-acidified and encapsulated in mylar (the encapsulation process reversable)</I>. [<I>With</I>:] 11 letters and 1 card from Jack London's wife Charmian to Orfans, 1913-1938; 7 letters (some carbons) from Orfans to Jack London, 24 February-18 November 1916, and 5 autograph letters signed (some retained drafts?) from Orfans to Charmian, 1916-1917; a photograph of Jack London and Charmian, inscribed and signed by Charmian to Orfans and signed by London, all on verso, <I>77 x 105 mm., mylar encapsulated</I>; 9 photographs of London, London and Charmian, London and Orfans fencing, London's valet,etc., <I>12mo-8vo, a few with wear and creases</I>; 6 vintage picture postcards of London and/or the Glen Ellen ranch and 3 modern pictorial postcards of same; 12 photographs of Orfans and his family; a newspaper clipping, 1917, about Orfans; and a group of letters, etc., from Peter Orfans (Spiro's son) explaining his view of the nature of the London-Orfans relationship, and a few letters from scholars, etc., regarding this archive. <I>Virtually all of the items are in a half green morocco and cloth quarto-size binder</I>. THE DARKER SIDE OF LONDON An important correspondence revealing a troublesome side of Jack London: his attitude towards race and his capacity for mean-spirited bullying. Spiro D. Orfans (1886-1948) was a Greek immigrant who became an artist when he moved to the West Coast in 1908. He wrote to London and received an invitation to visit him at Glen Ellen. He became friends with London and his wife Charmian, and often stayed at the ranch, fencing with the writer and joining in various activities. In his five letters and notes to Orfans dating from 21 December 1910 to 13 December 1914, London invites Orfans up to the ranch, gives him advice on "clear thinking" (Orfans had a "predisposition towards metaphysics"), talks of events at the ranch (Charmian writes him about the devastating fire at their new home, Wolf House, in August 1913), and tells him of his travel and other plans. During this period Orfans virtually became a London acolyte. The dispute, reflected in London's five letters of 1916, began after Orfans wrote London in November and December 1915 questioning the writer's racial views (e.g., the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race) expressed in <I>The Mutiny of the Elsinore</I> (1914). London responded in his letter of 25 January 1916, unleashing a verbal attack on Orfans: "...you say that my main proposition of race in <I>The Mutiny of the Elsinore</I> is not quite clear to you. Next, you want me to tell you all about it. Nobody asks anybody to bow before anybody. Either they bow or they do not bow. They are made to bow, or they cannot be made to bow. God abhors a mongrel. In nature there is no place for a mixed breed..." London gives several examples of the mongrelization of pure breeds, and continues: "There's no use in your talking to me about the Greeks. There are not any Greeks. You are not a Greek. The Greeks died two thousand years ago, when they became mongrelized...The Greeks were strong as long as they remained pure...when they mongrelized themselves by breeding with the slush of conquered races, they faded away, and have playing nothing but a despicable part ever since in the world's history. This is true of the Romans; this is true of the Chaldeans; this is true of the Egyptians; this is not true of the Gypsies, who have kept themselves pure. This is not true of the Chinese, it is not true of the Japanese, this is not true of the Germans, this is not true of the Anglo-Saxons. This is not true of the Yaquis of Mexico. It is true of the fifteen million mongrels of Mexico; it is true of the mongrels that inhabit the greater portion of the West Indies, and who inhabit South America and Central America from Cape Horn to the Rio Grande...Read up your history. You will find it all on the shelves. And find me one race that has retained its power of civilization, culture, and creativeness, after it mongrelized itself..." 22 March 1916 (in response to Orfans' letter of 24 February): "...You prove that you are not a clear thinker, you prove that you have no homogeniety of blood in you, you prove that you have a base hetereogenity of blood in you when you treat me the way you do...You make a noise...as though you talked science. You don't know the first word of science...No man can be scientific and personal at the same time...What you are is not a Greek, ethnologically considered. The Greeks died over two thousand years ago..." London then comments on Orfans' attitude towards him: "You who come along, fawning and lick-spittling at my feet, kissing my hand, saying that you are a disciple of my great God-Almightiness of intellect, and have read all that I have written and swallowed it whole, and assert that I am the most magnificent and wonderful human-thinking creature that ever came down the pike -- you do all this, as you have done from my first contacts with you, and then, because you have happened to have read one of my latest novels, proceed to get in and worry me, and challenge me, and ding-dong at me, for me to tell you what I really meant in said latest novel, and I finally patiently come through and tell you what every written word of mine has uttered from the first book I ever published. Read "The Son of the Wolf" short-story, in my very first book, entitled <I>The Son of the Wolf</I> [1900]. Read the dedication in that book. Find there that I laid down the very principle that I have ever continued to lay down..." (The dedication London refers to reads: "To the sons of the wolf who sought their heritage and left their bones among the shadows of the circle.") London continues his attack: "...Because you are a boob, because you are the stupid thing that you are, because only at this late date you learn what my printed stuff has always stood for, you come back and call me a quack and a hypocrite, and a thrower of bull. In reality you crucify yourself upon your own colossal stupidity -- the cross is the stuff you have ever read and have never grasped...What do I care that the paramount reason why you do not make love to another man's wife is, not because it is against one of the Commandments, but because you couldn't look that man in the eye and tell him to go to hell if you felt like it. You silly slush! Let me give you a tip: After you have successfully loved and possessed another man's wife is the very time you can look that man in the eye and tell him to go to hell." London devotes a paragraph to Lord Byron in Greece, and closes: "...Well, you claim you are a glorious Greek. How have you treated this white man me?...I have given you much. You sought me out...At the end of it all you have behaved toward me as any alleged modern Greek peddlar has behaved toward the superior races he has contacted with anywhere all over the world. You weak, spineless thing. One thing remains to you. Get down on your hams and eat out of my hand. Or cease forever from my existence..." As the heated debate between the two grew, Orfans demanded that London send him a bill for his room and board when he was a guest for several weeks. They settled on a $60 charge; they then argued whether it had been paid or not. In London's last letter, of 19 October 1916, written a month before his death, he encloses a duplicate of the missing letter/receipt and comments: "...Now you are trying to pull it over by denying that you ever received the letter. This is a stereotyped habit of mongrels. Mongrels are always subterranean...In your case, when I see you repeatedly using the one favorite phrase of vituperation on your list, namely 'you chunk of bluff,' I can only conclude that you are continually advertising your own weakness. This weakness is bluff...Please remember that only a mongrel can mistake vituperage for logic. Please remember, Spiro, that you have to sleep by yourself, and that it is up to you to decide, when you run over your entire affair with me, from beginning to end, whether you are a good fellow with which to sleep." On Orfans' last letter to London, dated 18 November 1916 -- London died at his Glen Ellen ranch on 22 November -- he has written a note many years after: "S.F. Jan. 24th. 1937. As I read this letter over twenty one years later I regret that Jack died three [sic: four] days later. He was a fine man although a little oversure of himself when he dealt with a 'lesser mortal' like me...now I feel and always did that it was better if he had lived and I lost forty such arguments with my right hand to boot." Apparently this London-Orfans archive is the only extant two-way correspondence of London's: it is certainly the only known controversy in his letters. (10) | Christie's