THE IRON HEEL

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YouHui Culture Publishing Company, 1929 - 369 Seiten


THE IRON HEEL

by Jack London

FOREWORD.

IT CANNOT BE SAID THAT THE Everhard Manuscript is an important

historical document. To the historian it bristles with errors- not

errors of fact, but errors of interpretation. Looking back across

the seven centuries that have lapsed since Avis Everhard completed her

manuscript, events, and the bearings of events, that were confused and

veiled to her, are clear to us. She lacked perspective. She was too

close to the events she writes about. Nay, she was merged in the

events she has described.

Nevertheless, as a personal document, the Everhard Manuscript is

of inestimable value. But here again enter error of perspective, and

vitiation due to the bias of love. Yet we smile, indeed, and forgive

Avis Everhard for the heroic lines upon which she modelled her

husband. We know to-day that he was not so colossal, and that he

loomed among the events of his times less largely than the

Manuscript would lead us to believe.

We know that Ernest Everhard was an exceptionally strong man, but

not so exceptional as his wife thought him to be. He was, after all,

but one of a large number of heroes who, throughout the world, devoted

their lives to the Revolution; though it must be conceded that he

did unusual work, especially in his elaboration and interpretation

of working-class philosophy. 'Proletarian science' and 'proletarian

philosophy' were his phrases for it, and therein he shows the

provincialism of his mind- a defect, however, that was due to the

times and that none in that day could escape.

But to return to the Manuscript. Especially valuable is it in

communicating to us the feel of those terrible times. Nowhere do we

find more vividly portrayed the psychology of the persons that lived

in that turbulent period embraced between the years 1912 and 1932-

their mistakes and ignorance, their doubts and fears and

misapprehensions, their ethical delusions, their violent passions,

their inconceivable sordidness and selfishness. These are the things

that are so hard for us of this enlightened age to understand. History

tells us that these things were, and biology and psychology tell us

why they were; but history and biology and psychology do not make

these things alive. We accept them as facts, but we are left without

sympathetic comprehension of them.
 

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