Punks, ‘Prushuns and Gay-Cats: vulnerable youth in the work of Jack London and A-No.1

Clayton, Owen (2019) Punks, ‘Prushuns and Gay-Cats: vulnerable youth in the work of Jack London and A-No.1. Studies in American Naturalism . ISSN 1931-2555

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Punks, ‘Prushuns and Gay-Cats: vulnerable youth in the work of Jack London and A-No.1
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Abstract

Scholars have represented Jack London's days as a hobo in heroic, hyper-masculine terms. Yet his book The Road (1907) demonstrates insecurity over the historical reality that London was a young and potentially vulnerable boy during his days as a hobo. This article is about how he negotiates that vulnerability. I argue that The Road is haunted by the spectre of submission to the will of other men, including, but not limited to, sexual submission. I also analyse the work of an acquaintance of London's, Leon Ray Livingston, who was known by his hobo moniker of 'A-No.1'. I argue that it is productive to analyse these writers together together because Livingston’s work makes explicit what is implicit in London’s narratives, specifically the sexual threats faced by transient boys.

Keywords:Hobo, The Road, Jack London, Leon Ray Livingston, Tramping, Working class literature, American literature, Homosexuality, sexual abuse
Subjects:T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T720 American Literature studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:35876
Deposited On:10 May 2019 08:24

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