The Sea Wolf

I believe Victor lied to me about what London book he chose after his daughter offered him his choice of many first editions as gratitude for the the home loan that saved her abode. Captain Vic would show mercy to some of his victims. I believe my father chose Jack’s ‘The Sea Wolf’ for it is his life’s script that he didn’t want anyone close to him to see lest they keep their distance. Of course at the bar, it was a different story, thus the father of the four Presco Children spent all his free time there, acting the part of the Big Cheese to any Bar Fly he could bribe with a drinkee-poo.

In sharing our deepest dark tales of woe, Vicki told me how Vic would take her to Oscar’s Bar & Grill on Lakeshore, prop his six year old daughter up at the bar with a Shirley Temple, while he huddled at a table in a dark corner with his cronies, alleged business associates, who had snuck away from their family to play Army and Navy til the Fat Lady sings.

“I could smell the burnt bodies of the Japs on my ship standing off from Iwo Jima!”

After grading and hauling potatoes all day for the Spud King, Victor left Mark and I sitting in his flatbed Ford truck for two hours why he had a nice warm social with his mates at the bar. Sometimes we did not get fed dinner til nine o’clock,and then sent immediately to bed so we would be well rested when we were awoken at 4:00 A.M.

Rosemary was beside herself at the mistreatment of her two sons, but, she was terribly in love with this – bully – and did nothing for the longest time, which told my brother and I “You’re on your own!”

Of course when it came to other folks children, we heard;

“I love these kids. I treat them like my own children!”

This was part of Captain Victim’s Loyalty Check, because he told everyone that his two sons could never be loyal to him. Indeed, all sons want to kill their fathers so they could have their mothers to themselves. Being an only child, Vic had his mother all to himself till the day she died, before she died, he went after her Legacy that she intended for all Vic’s children, he telling her big fat lies on her death bed, how we never loved her, not like he did. Being a Real Momma’s Boy deep inside, must have caused some real conflict with Captian Victim’s outer image, thus I was assigned the role of being a Momma’s Boy.

A little psychology in the mind of a narcissistic moron, is a dangerous thing. However, Victor was not mistaken when he assumed he was heir to the tough ambience Jack London created in his published words, for, Vic was The Real Deal. He had gone to sea with real tough men who changed his life forever. His father had been a loved professional gambler in San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, and his mother was a friend of Joaquin Miller.

Above we see Captain Victim aboard his boat ‘The Loan Shark’ with his son-in-law, Garth Benton. Garth’s kindred, Jessie Benton, lived across the bay at Black Point, where she and her husband hosted a Salon, where Mark Twain chatted with Bret Harte, who coined the phrase, Bohemianism. Harte was Jessie’s protegé. She got him a jbo at the San Francisco Mint where he minted gold coins in the Good Ol Days before bad Realestate Loans collapsed the World Economy, and brought the big bad wolf to the door of a million little piggies.

“And I’ll, huff, and I’ll puff!”

Above is a photo of Vic and Ernie in Mexico where Vic took all the girls in the family. I know he was glad his sons were out of the picture. We would have just gotten in the way when Captain victim and his crew went after those helpless baby seals marooned on an iceberg, surrounded by sharks, because they Defaulted on their home loans.

Above we see a photo of Victor William Presco, President of Acme Produce, a.k.a. The Spud King, shaking hands with Al Davis. I know he looks like Darth Vader, but, that’s my Pops!

Did you know the pirate on the Sea-Raider Logo is Jack London?

Jon Presco

Copyright 2011

The Sea-WolfFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Seawolf (disambiguation).
The Sea-Wolf

First edition cover
Author(s) Jack London
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Adventure novel
Publisher Macmillan
Publication date 1904
Media type Print

(Hardback & Paperback)

The Sea-Wolf is a 1904 psychological adventure novel by American novelist Jack London about a literary critic, survivor of an ocean collision who comes under the dominance of Wolf Larsen, the powerful and amoral sea captain who rescues him. Its first printing of forty thousand copies were immediately sold out before publication on the strength of London’s previous The Call of the Wild.[1] Ambrose Bierce wrote, “The great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, Wolf Larsen… the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime… The love element, with its absurd suppressions, and impossible proprieties, is awful.”[2]

Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 Plot summary
3 Characters
3.1 Humphrey van Weyden
3.2 Wolf Larsen
4 Film adaptations
5 References
6 External links

[edit] BackgroundThe personal character of the novel’s antagonist “Wolf Larsen” was attributed to a real sailor London had known, Captain Alex MacLean.[3] According to London himself, “much of the Sea Wolf is imaginary development, but the basis is Alexander McLean”.[4] Captain Alex MacLean, or McLean,[5] was born May 15, 1858 in East Bay, Nova Scotia. He did sail mostly in the Pacific North West with his brother, Captain Dan MacLean. MacLean was at one time the Sheriff of Nome, Alaska. The MacLean Captains maintained their ties to Cape Breton Island despite having spent much of their lives sailing the Pacific Coast and do have living descendants.[6]

London, who was called “Wolf” by his close friends, also used a picture of a wolf on his bookplate, and named his mansion “Wolf House”.[7] Given that Van Weyden’s experiences in the novel bear some resemblance to experiences London had, or heard told about, when he sailed on the Sophia Sutherland, the autodidact sailor Wolf Larsen has been compared to the autodidact sailor Jack London.[citation needed]

Writing the final rescue of van Weyden and Maud by a US Revenue Cutter London could well have had in mind the USRC Bear since 1885 in service along the Alaskan coast.

London’s intention in writing The Sea-Wolf was “an attack on (Nietzsche’s) super-man philosophy.”[8] Nietzsche and Schopenhauer are mentioned in the second sentence of the novel as the preferred reading of the friend Humphrey van Weyden visited before his shipwreck. The novel also contains references to Herbert Spencer in chapters 8, 10, Charles Darwin in chapters 5, 6, 10, 13, Omar Khayyám in chapters 11, 17, 26, Shakespeare in chapter 5, and John Milton in chapter 26.

[edit] Plot summaryLike The Call of the Wild, The Sea Wolf tells the story of a soft, domesticated protagonist, in this novel’s case an intellectual man named Humphrey van Weyden, forced to become tough and self-reliant by exposure to cruelty and brutality. The story starts with him aboard a San Francisco ferry, called Martinez, which collides with another ship in the fog and sinks. He is set adrift in the sea, eventually being picked up by Wolf Larsen. Larsen is the captain of a seal-hunting schooner, the Ghost. Brutal and cynical, yet also highly intelligent and intellectual (though highly biased in his opinions, as he was self-taught), he rules over his ship and terrorizes the crew with the aid of his exceptionally great physical strength. Van Weyden adequately describes him as an individualist, hedonist, and materialist. Larsen does not believe in the immortality of the soul, he finds no meaning in his life save for survival and pleasure and has come to despise all human life and deny its value. Being interested in someone capable of intellectual disputes, he somewhat takes care of Van Weyden, whom he calls ‘Hump’, while forcing him to become a cabin boy, do menial work, and learn to fight to protect himself from a brutal crew.

A key event in the story is an attempted mutiny against Wolf Larsen by several members of the crew. The organizers of the mutiny are Leach and Johnson. Johnson had previously been beaten severely by Larsen, and Leach had been punched earlier while being forced to become a boat-puller, motivating the two. The first attempt is by sending Larsen overboard; however, he manages to climb back onto the ship. Searching for his assailant, he ventures into the sleeping quarters, located beneath the main deck, the only exit being a ladder. Several, at least seven men, take part in the mutiny and attack Larsen. Larsen however, demonstrating his inhuman endurance, strength, and conviction, manages to fight his way through the crew, climb the ladder with several men hanging off him, and escape relatively unharmed. Van Weyden is promoted as mate, for the original mate had been murdered. Larsen later gets his vengeance by torturing his crew, and constantly claiming that he is going to murder Leach and Johnson at his earliest convenience, being after the hunting season is done, as he can’t afford to lose any crew. He later allows them to be lost to the sea when they attempt to flee on a hunting boat.

During this section, the Ghost picks up another set of castaways, including a female poet named Maud Brewster. Miss Brewster and van Weyden had known each other previously—but only as writers. Both Wolf Larsen and van Weyden immediately feel attraction to her, due to her intelligence and “female delicacy”. Van Weyden sees her as his first true love. He strives to protect her from the crew, the horrors of the sea, and Wolf Larsen. As this happens, Wolf Larsen meets his brother Death Larsen, a bitter opponent of his. Wolf kidnapped several of Death’s crew and forced them into servitude to fill his own rank, lost previously during a storm. During one of Wolf Larsen’s intense headaches, which render him near immobile, van Weyden steals a boat and flees with Miss Brewster.

The two eventually land on an uninhabited island, heavily populated with seals. They hunt, build shelter and a fire, and survive for several days, utilizing the strength they gained while on the Ghost. The Ghost eventually crashes on the island, with Wolf Larsen the only crew member. As a revenge, Death Larsen had tracked his brother, bribed his crew, destroyed his sails, and set Larsen adrift at sea. It is purely by chance that van Weyden and Miss Brewster meet Larsen again.

Van Weyden obtains all of the firearms left on the ship, but he cannot bear to murder Larsen, who does not threaten him. Van Weyden and Miss Brewster decide they can repair the ship, but Larsen, who intends to die on the island and take them with him, sabotages any repairs they make. After a headache, Larsen is rendered blind. He feigns paralysis and attempts to murder van Weyden when he draws within arm’s reach but just then is hit with a stroke that leaves him blind and the right side of his body paralyzed. His condition only worsens; he loses usage of his remaining arm, leg, and voice. Miss Brewster and van Weyden, unable to bring themselves to leave him to rot, care for him. Despite this kindness, he continues his resistance, setting fire to the above bunk’s mattress.

Van Weyden finishes repairing the Ghost, and he and Miss Brewster set sail. During a violent storm, Wolf Larsen passes away. They give Larsen a burial at sea, an act mirroring an incident van Weyden witnessed when he was first rescued. The story ends with them being rescued by an American revenue cutter.

[edit] Characters[edit] Humphrey van WeydenVan Weyden starts the book weak of body but strong of mind. He grows stronger as the story progresses, physically through the manual labor, including his learning of the ship’s workings and rivalry with Thomas Mudgridge and spiritually as he endures the various hardships, including his inconsistent relationship with Wolf Larsen. Upon meeting Maud Brewster, he realizes just how much he has changed, gaining muscle mass, a more rugged appearance, and a different outlook on life.

Van Weyden has a unique relationship with Wolf Larsen. Though he is in effect the captain’s prisoner, Larsen shows him favoritism and occasionally acts as a father figure, giving advice on how to survive aboard the ship. Though Larsen claims to take van Weyden aboard primarily because he needed an additional hand, he also seems to genuinely believe he is doing something good for van Weyden. He claims that van Weyden has never “stood on his own legs”, meaning he has never had to work and always relied on his inheritance from his father to survive. Throughout the book, Larsen compliments van Weyden on his growth, eventually telling him he is proud of him, and calling him a real man, able to stand on his own legs rather than a “dead man’s (his father’s)” legs.

Van Weyden has an ideology that is in sharp contrast to Larsen’s. He believes in the eternal soul, inherent good, and that men should act justly under all circumstances. His views are constantly being challenged by Larsen, who encourages him to give in to his desires and behave in an immoral fashion. Van Weyden resisted himself from the teachings, and kept his original ideology. By the end of the story, Larsen is annoyed that van Weyden still clings to his beliefs and refuses to murder him, despite all the suffering Larsen has put him through.

[edit] Wolf Larsen
A drawing of Wolf Larsen.Larsen is a complex character. Physically, he is described as approximately five feet ten with a massive build: broad shoulders and a deep chest. He displays tremendous strength throughout the story. Van Weyden describes Larsen as beautiful on more than one occasion, perfectly symmetrical, a perfect specimen of masculinity. Yet, despite this, his true strength is described as something more primal, more primitive, and animalistic. He is extremely intelligent, having taught himself a variety of fields, including mathematics, literature, science, philosophy, and technology.

Larsen was born in Norway, though he is of Danish descent. He spent his entire life at sea: cabin-boy at twelve, ship’s boy at fourteen, seaman at sixteen, able seaman at seventeen. It is unclear when he obtained the Ghost and became captain. He has several brothers, but only Death Larsen is mentioned.

Larsen displays characteristics of a sociopath. He has absolutely no fault with manipulating and bullying people to better serve his needs. He routinely takes men hostage, castaways such as van Weyden and seal hunters from other ships, and uses them to fill his own ranks when needed. He murders and abuses people without hesitation, seeing no value in life. He enjoys the intellectual stimulation that van Weyden and Miss Brewster provide, but van Weyden describes their relationship as one between a king and his jester. According to van Weyden, he is only a toy to Larsen.

Despite his immense internal strength, Larsen at times shows signs of weakness and depression. He is envious of his brother, because his brother is simple minded, and so is able to enjoy life unburdened. He also claims he is envious of Miss Brewster’s and van Weyden’s faith, but later says it is only his mind, and he knows he is better off without it. He also speaks of frustration that he never amounted to anything great. He claims that he had all the determination and will but was never given the proper opportunity.

Wolf is not Larsen’s real given name. His genuine given name is never spoken. Dialogue heavily implies that he is called “Wolf” because of his nature and viciousness, and, for similar reasons, his brother is called “Death”.

The word “Wolf” has the highest number of occurrences in the novel, appearing 422 times. The name “Larsen” comes the second, with 363 appearances.[9]

[edit] Film adaptationsJack London’s novel has been adapted for motion pictures:

The Sea-Wolf (USA, 1913), starring Hobart Bosworth, with Jack London appearing as an unnamed sailor;
The Sea Wolf (USA, 1920), starring Noah Beery (Larsen) and Tom Forman (van Weyden);
The Sea Wolf (USA, 1926), starring Ralph Ince and Claire Adams (Maud);
The Sea Wolf (USA, 1930), starring Milton Sills and the former USRC Bear as the sealer Macedonia;
The Sea Wolf (USA, 1941), starring Edward G. Robinson (Larsen), Ida Lupino (Maud), and John Garfield;
Wolf Larsen (USA, 1958), starring Barry Sullivan and Peter Graves;
Der Seewolf (Germany, 1972, TV, 4 part miniseries), starring Raimund Harmstorf and Edward Meeks;
Il Lupo dei Mari (Italy, 1975, The Legend of the Sea Wolf), starring Chuck Connors and Giuseppe Pambieri;
Morskoj volk (Russia, 1991, TV), starring Liubomiras Lauciavicius and Andrei Rudensky;
The Sea Wolf (1993, TV), starring Christopher Reeve and Charles Bronson;
The Sea Wolf (1997), starring Stacy Keach;
The Sea Wolf (ProSieben, Germany, 2008), starring Thomas Kretschmann;[10]
Sea Wolf (ZDF, Canada/Germany, 2009), starring Sebastian Koch, Stephen Campbell Moore, Neve Campbell and Tim Roth; Produced by TeleMünchen;[

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Sea Wolf

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    My cousin Dayrl Bulkley does not want this history in the public eye and thus she is trying to censor me on her FB.

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