Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Native Son   By: (1873-1970)

Book cover

First Page:


By Inez Haynes Irwin


James W. Coffroth Meyer Cohn Porter Garnett John Crowley Willie Ritchie J. Cal Ewing James Wilson Andrew J. Gallagher


Albert M. Bender Austin Lewis Sam Berger Xavier Martinez Gelett Burgess Perry Newberry Michael Casey Patrick O'Brien Perry Newberry Patrick Flynn Fremont Older Will Irwin Lemuel Parton Anton Johansen Paul Scharrenberg Waldemar Young

All of Whom Have Played Some Graceful Part In Translating California To Me

This Appreciation is Dedicated


The only drawback to writing about California is that scenery and climate and weather even will creep in. Inevitably anything you produce sounds like a cross between a railroad folder and a circus program. You can't discuss the people without describing their background; for they reflect it perfectly; or their climate, because it has helped to make them the superb beings they are. A tendency manifests itself in you to revel in superlatives and to wallow in italics. You find yourself comparing adjectives that cannot be compared unique for instance. Unique is a persistent temptation. For, the rules of grammar not withstanding, California is really the most unique spot on the earth's surface. As for adjectives like enormous, colossal, surpassing, overpowering and nouns like marvel, wonder, grandeur, vastness, they are as common in your copy as commas.

Another difficulty is that nobody outside California ever believes you. I don't blame them. Once I didn't believe it myself. If there was anything that formerly bored me to the marrow of my soul, it was talk about California by a regular dyed in the wool Californiac. But I got mine ultimately. Even as I was irritated, I now irritate. Even as I was bored, I now bore. Ever since I first saw California, and became, inevitably, a Californiac, I have been talking about it, irritating and boring uncounted thousands. I begin placatingly enough, "Yes, I know you aren't going to believe this," I say. "Once I didn't believe it myself. I realize that it all sounds impossible. But after you've once been there " Then I'm off. When I've finished, there isn't an hysterical superlative adjective or a complimentary abstract noun unused in my vocabulary. I've told all the East about California. I've told many of the countries of Europe about California. I even tell Californians about California. I will say to the credit of Californians though that they listen. Listen! did I say listen? They drink it down like a child absorbing its first fairy tale.

In another little volume devoted to the praise of California, Willie Britt is on record as saying that he'd rather be a busted lamp post on Battery Street than the Waldorf Astoria. I said once that I'd rather be sick in California than well anywhere else. I'm prepared to go further. I'd rather be in prison in California than free anywhere else. San Quentin is without doubt the most delightfully situated prison in the whole world. Besides I have a lot of friends but I won't go into that now. Anyway if I ever do get that severe jail sentence which a long suffering family has always prophesied for me, I'm going to petition for San Quentin. Moreover, I would rather talk about California than any other spot on earth. I'd rather write about California than any other spot on earth. Is it possible that any Californian Chamber of Commerce has to pay a press agent? Incredible! Inexplicable! I wonder that local millionaires don't bid their entire fortune for the privilege. Now what has Willie Britt to say?

Yes, my idea of a pleasant occupation would be listing, cataloguing, inventorying, describing and oh joy! visiting the wonders of California... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books