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Jack London and Anna Strunskaya: Happiness as a triumph of the soul
Jack London and Anna Strunskaya: Happiness as a triumph of the soul
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Jack London and Anna Strunskaya: Happiness as a triumph of the soul

They were connected with each other from the first meeting until the very end. In separation, they wrote each other detailed letters, leading endless disputes about the world order, about rationalism and feelings. Jack London and Anna Strunskaya, two passionate fighters for justice, two furious debaters, two halves of the same soul …

Socialist ideals

Anna Strunskaya, 1900

They met at a lecture on the Paris Commune and almost immediately felt their spiritual kinship. Anna, a Jewish girl who emigrated with her parents to America at the age of nine from the Belarusian town of Babinovichi, became a member of the Socialist Workers' Party in high school.

Jack London, who in childhood knew all the hardships of poverty and poverty, was also an adherent of socialist ideas. From an early age he worked. As a child, his working day began in the dark, he delivered newspapers, then ran to school, and after school he again laid out the evening issues in the mailboxes. Then he worked in a factory, was a sailor and one of the first conquerors of the Klondike, where he got infected with the gold rush.

Storm in a teacup

Jack London

Their friendship seemed natural and harmonious to them, in spite of the most heated disputes that they waged endlessly. The topics of their heated discussions were so varied that it seemed as if they were just looking for a reason for them. Economics, religion, materialism, education, biology and socialism - literally everything touched and occupied them. And it made them endlessly prove to each other that they were right.

But these disputes were not quarrels. This was just the case when the truth was born. And Jack and Anna turned out to be very close people. In separation, they wrote letters filled with the same passion as their meetings. Only not a sensual passion, some scientific passion, the passion of researchers and discoverers.

Anna has now become a reader and critic of his works. Jack London highly appreciated the opinion of his friend and repeatedly invited her to take up the pen herself. He believed that she must necessarily reflect on paper her ardor, depth of views, an amazing change of mood.

The unspoken is above all

Jack London

A whole book "Correspondence of Kempton and Ways" was devoted to their friendship, in fact, recreating their views on feelings, relationships, on the institution of marriage. Two heroes defend their point of view in letters. Anna is Kempton, a romantic and lover in marriage. Jack London - Weiss is a realist who calls for creating a family with a cold heart, guided only by the mind.

The collaboration brought Anna and Jack even closer together. He found Anna genius, admired her mind and way of expressing his thoughts. But he did not want to admit that his attitude towards Anna had long ago stepped over from the category of friendly to sensual. Soul kinship, if Jack London had not been such an ardent defender of his ideas, could very well have led them to marriage.

Jack London and Anna Strunskaya

But he married, guided exclusively by reason. He confessed to his future wife Bessie Maddern that he had no feelings for her, but would be glad to have sons. In this marriage, two wonderful girls appeared, but there was no joy in it. And in letters to Anna, Jack London confessed that it was in her that his happiness lay.

In 1902, it became clear that they had far from friendly feelings for each other. Jack London offered Anna to become his wife, but she refused, believing that she had no right to build her family on the ruins of his past relationship and deprive him of his father's children.

"Many faces" I called her "

Jack London

Both of them were gripped by a wave of enthusiasm for the first Russian revolution of 1905. Anna took an active part in helping the revolutionaries. She collected money, and then went to Russia herself. From there she sent him a lot of materials used after in the novel "Iron Heel"

In 1906 she will be in Russia again, this time as an employee of William Walling's revolutionary news bureau. Together with the head of the bureau, Anna will meet Russian writers: Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky. She would later marry Walling and give birth to four children.

Anna Strunskaya and William Walling

However, Anna Strunskaya will not find happiness in marriage. Annie and William had too different views on life, they disagreed on absolutely all issues. However, in this dispute, the truth was no longer born. Their family broke up in 1932.

He, not finding happiness with his first wife, married Charmian Kittredge. There were other women in his life, but he never met such a relationship of feelings, thoughts and ideas as they had with Anna. Jack London died in 1916, having managed to leave the Socialist Party due to the loss of the latter's fighting spirit. Anna remained true to her ideas to the end. She died in 1964, while remaining a member of the party and a participant in social and social movements.

Remained in memory of the complexity of feelings only their correspondence, in which both friendship and tenderness, and the very love that could not become the basis of marriage, are guessed.

The story of the relationship between Jack London and Anna Strunskaya is full of the light sadness of unfulfilled love. But love was eternal pain.

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