DEARBORN – As part of The Big Read community-wide celebration of Jack London’s classic novel “The Call of the Wild,” Lawrence Berkove will present the keynote lecture: “Darwinian Issues in ‘The Call of the Wild’” at 7 p.m. March 18 at the Henry Ford Centennial Library Auditorium, 16301 Michigan Ave.
Admission is free and open to the public.
London devoted his career to grappling with the implications of Darwinian thought. The novel is best understood and appreciated as a thoughtful but not conclusive stage in London’s Darwinianism. Works of his with Darwinian themes bracket the novel, and all show his mind engaged with Darwinian thought at an unexpectedly sophisticated level.
“‘The Call of the Wild’ is much more than an adventure story,” Berkove said.
An emeritus professor of English literature at the University of Michigan-Dearborn since 2003, Berkove has continued to be active in his specialization of 19th and early 20th century American literature. Extensively published in this field, he is an authority on London, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and the writers of the Comstock Lode’s Sagebrush School, and is a former president of the Jack London Society and the Mark Twain Circle of America. He is the author of significant essays on London, particularly those dealing with Darwinian influence, and the editor of the 2012 book “Critical Insights: Jack London.”
View a complete list of more than 35 events exploring “The Call of the Wild” at www.bigreaddearborn.org. The Big Read Dearborn runs from March through May.
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The program is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage people to read for pleasure and enlightenment.