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Literary Notes - The Call of the Wild

All quotes and page numbers are derived from the 1970 Whitman Publishing Company hardcover edition.

“There is an ecstasy which marks the summit of life and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck; leading the pack, sounding the old wolf cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight.” (pg. 82)

“He was older than the days he had seen and the breaths he had drawn. He linked the past with the present, and the eternity behind him throbbed through him in a mighty rhythm to which he swayed as the tides and seasons swayed.” (pg. 152)

“Thornton’s doubt was strong in his face, but his fighting spirit was aroused – the fighting spirit that soars above odds, fails to recognize the impossible, and is deaf to all save the clamor for battle.” (pg. 167)


“He may be seen running at the head of the pack through the pale moonlight or glimmering borealis, leaping gigantic above his fellows, his great throat abellow as he sings a song of the younger world, which is the song of the pack.” (pg. 210)

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