Martin Eden, by American author Jack London, is about a young proletarian autodidact struggling to become a writer.
Eden represents writer' frustration with publishers by speculating that when he mails off a manuscript, a "cunning arrangement of cogs" immediately puts it in a new envelope and returns it automatically with a rejection slip. The central theme of Eden's developing artistic sensibilities places the novel in the tradition of the K nstlerroman, in which is narrated the formation and development of an artist.
Eden differs from London in that Eden rejects socialism, attacking it as "slave morality," and relies on a Nietzschean individualism. In a note to Upton Sinclair, London wrote, "One of my motifs, in this book, was an attack on individualism (in the person of the hero). I must have bungled, for not a single reviewer has discovered it."