not places that lose romantic interest: the immemorial English counties and the Bay of Naples
offer themselves freely to the artist, generation after generation.
What is lost is the glamour of youth, the specific atmosphere of a given historical epoch.
Colonel W. F. Cody
( “Buffalo Bill” ) has typified to millions of American boys the great period of the Plains
, with its Indian fighting, its slaughter of buffaloes, its robbing of stage-coaches, its superb riders etched against the sky. But the Wild West
was retreating, even in the days of Daniel Boone
and Davy Crockett
of the cowboys, as Theodore Roosevelt
and Owen Wister
knew it and wrote of it in the eighties and nineties, has disappeared, though it lives on in fiction and on the screen.
, born in California
in 1876, was forced to find his West in Alaska
--and in alcohol.
He was what he and his followers liked to call the virile or red-blooded type, responsive to the “Call of the wild,” “living life naked and tensely.”
In his talk Jack London
was simple and boyish, with plenty of humor over his own literary and social foibles.
His books are very uneven, but he wrote many a hard-muscled, clean-cut page.
If the Bret Harte
theory of the West
was that each man is at