5 Jack London Quotes About Life and Meaning

Jack London was born on this day in 1876. Decades after his time on earth, many of us still hold The Call of the WildTo Build a FireWhite Fang, and his other works close to our hearts fraught with wanderlust. His writing instills a sense of adventure, enjoyed by young and old readers alike to this day.

Here are five of our favorite quotes that reflect London’s voice and resilient nature, as he instructs us to live a proper life to the fullest.


The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.



He lacked the wisdom an the only way for him to get it was to buy it with his youth; and when wisdom was his, youth would have been spent buying it.



The trouble with his was that he was without imagination. He was quick and alert in the things of life, but only in the things, and not in the significances.



I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate.



There is an ecstasy that 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.