The Call of the Wild. Jack London

Publié le par Tactile

The Call of the Wild. Jack London

Buck est un chien paisible aimé de ses maîtres et bien nourrit par le personnel de la villa californienne qu’il domine. Le Grand Nord ? C’est très loin de ses préoccupations quotidiennes qui sont de jouer et de recevoir d’affectueuses caresses. La belle vie jusqu’au jour où l’un des employé le revend pour effacer un dette de jeu. La vie de Buck bascule et il se retrouve brisé, tabassé dans sa cage qui navigue vers le Canada.

« Every night, regulary, at nine, at twelve, at three, they lifted a nocturnal dong, a weird and eerie chant, in which it was Buck’s delight to join. »

Sur place il découvre la vie de chien de traineau, la meute, le leadership et la relation avec les maîtres. Descendant de St Bernard et de loup il est imposant, féroce, malin et concurrent naturel de Spitz, un husky sans pitié et fourbe. La vie est rude et tout apprentissage se fait par la violence. Il apprécie néanmoins rapidement la vie de chien de traineau et le défi physique qui lui incombe tout en se soumettant à ses maîtres.

« He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time. He was mastered by the sheer, surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that is was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the face of dead matter that did not move. »

L’histoire de Buck devient malheureuse lorsqu’il est revendu à des amerlocs newbies qui débarquent pour le Klondike en quête d’or. Sa force contre la bêtise et l’inexpérience n’est d’aucune aide et il frôle la mort avant d’être recueillit par un vieux chercheur d’or affectueux et protecteur.

« The circle had thightened till he could feel the breathsof the huskies on his flanks. He could see them, beyond Spitz and to either side, half-crouching for the spring, their eyes fixed upon him. A pause seemed to fall. Every animal was motionless as tough turned to stone. Only Spitz quivered and bristled as he staggered back and forth, snarling with horrible menace, as though to frighten off impending death. Then Buck srang in and out ; but while he was in, shoulder had at last squarely met shoulder. The dark circle became a dot in the moon-flooded snow as Spitz disappeared from view. Buck stood and looked on, the successful champion, the dominant primordial beast who had made his kill and foudn it good. »

London rejoue l’histoire d’un canidé pas tout à fait loup, pas tout à fait chien et qui s’écrit à l’inverse de celle de Croc Blanc. Toutes les émotions de Buck, sa force, son talent au combat, son intelligence, sa compréhension des enjeux, tout cela est subtilement couché sur papier. Mais comment un homme peut-il aller aussi loin dans les tréfonds d’un animal ?

« He was a killer, a thing that preyed, living on the things that lived, unaided, alone, by virtue of his own strength and prowess, surviving triumphantly in a hostile environment where only the strong survived. Because of all this he became possessed of a great pride in himself, wich communicated itself like a contagion to his physical being. It advertised itself in all his movements, was apparent in the play of every muscle, spoke plainly as speecj in the way he carried himself, and made his glorious fury. »

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