samedi 9 octobre 2010

Jack London, MARTIN EDEN, New York, The Modern Library, 2002 [1909]

"After all, your writing has been a toy to you," she was saying. "Surely you have played with it long enough. It is time to take up life seriously - our life, Martin. Hitherto you have lived only your own."
"You want me to go to work?" he asked.
"Yes. Father has offered -"
"I understand all that," he broke in; "but what I want to know is whether or not you have lost faith in me?"
She pressed his hand mutely, her eyes dim.
"In your writing, dear," she admitted in a half-whisper.
"You've read lots of my stuff," he went on brutally. "What do you think of it? Is it utterly hopeless? How does it compare with other men's work?"
"But they sell theirs, and you - don't."
"That doesn't answer my question. Do you think that literature is not at all my vocation?"
"Then I will answer." She steeled herself to do it. "I don't think you were made to write. Forgive me, dear. You compel me to say it; and you know I know more about literature than you do."
"Yes, you are a Bachelor of Arts," he said meditatively; "and you ought to know."
"But there is more to be said," he continued, after a pause painful to both. "I know what I have in me. No one knows that so well as I. I know I shall succeed. I will not be kept down. I am afire with what I have to say in verse, and fiction, and essay. I do not ask you to have faith in me, nor in my writing. What I do ask of you is to love me and have faith in love."
(p. 265)

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