October 30, 2007
Something Of Value I
A minor mythographer who emerged at the same time as Burroughs and his Tarzan was the famous character Dr. Fu Manchu of the Irishman Arthur H.S. Ward writing under the name of Sax Rohmer. While his subject is in disrepute at the present time, Rohmer was aware that the times were one of a world sea change. He sensed, along with a few others, now equally in disrepute, that the EuroAmerican tide had crested; its flow was now out.
Rohmer running counter to Western trends made careful ethnic identities even to the point of identifying Irish and Anglo sub-groups although some of the characteristics he attributed to them seem mistaken to my eye.
Nevertheless he sensed the world was entering a period of Mfecane, to use the African term, or a time of troubles to use the Western term.
The African Mfecane which occured among the Bantu tribes of South Africa during the first half of the nineteenth century, and recorded so ably by Burroughs’ major influence, Rider Haggard, was a time when rapdily expanding population pressed on available resources. This was the time when the Zulu chief Chaka organized the Zulu impis or military battalions so excitingly described by Haggard. They were used, in the Zulu phrase to ‘stamp the ememy flat’ which is to say, exterminate them.
Numerous Bantu tribes were either exterminated or driven out to find new lands which is to say stamp non-Zulu tribes flat or drive them off good lands into the desert. Such is the historical process which operates without respect to race. Now, historically all peoples consider themselves the true men while all others are an emasculated inferior sort. This was and is true of the Semites. We all know the legend of diabolical Jewish cleverness. As is well known the Jews consider themselves the Chosen People of not only their tribal god but they have made of their god a universal god that has been accepted by an astonishingly large number of people. The Chinese peoples, which Dr. Fu Manchu represented, consider themselves of the Celestial Empire or Middle Kingdom to which all must bend the knee. The Arab Semites pray: Praise be to Allah, Lord of Creation…Guide us in the right path, the path of those whom you have favored.
Thus both leading Semitic peoples believe they are Chosen peoples which explains that conflict. In the United States, of course, we believe we have god on our side. We are naturally right being unable to be wrong. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Strangely enough the contemporary world believes it is living outside the historical process, that evolution has ended leaving all species in stasis whereas nothing could be further from the truth. A mythographer like Sax Rohmer is in possession of the truth. This was made apparent with the success of the Bolshevik Revolution when Mfecane took definite shape.
In this long wave action by the Jewish people that began with the apostasy of Sabbatai Zevi in 1666 it seemed momentarily that the messianic years of 1913-28 would be crowned with success, that the Jews would achieve world domination by 1928. The Bolshevik Revolution created a storm of anti-Jewish reaction.
This period from the Revolution of 1917-24 when Lenin died was one of intense apprehensive literature about worldwide Jewish intentions. Not counting the new Nazi reaction in Germany there was a burst of literature criticizing the Jews. In the United States, usually so placid, a reaction was led by Henry Ford then at the crest of his reputation as an auto maker. He had his reasons.
Ford thought he was dealing with an intellectual problem. He wasn’t aware that he had involved himself in an emascualtion contest, or pissing match as they are vulgarly called. The Jews, of course, never let the problem be examined on its merits but immediately raised the spectre of anti-Semitism. Ford was accordingly branded an anti-Semite. Why he or anyone else shoud favor the manhood of Jews over his own is, or should be, open to conjecture but no one can withstand the charge of anti-Semitism and remain respectable in his community. Ford lost the fight on the grounds of anti-Semitism, not the facts, while the Jews now confess to his accusations.
Disregarding all the benefits Ford conferred on civilization, which are very, very many, his fellows deserted him and he has no reputation today.
Thus, as of 1924, it seemed to the Jews as though the millennium had come but then Lenin died. Stalin seized the reins of Soviet government while Hitler’s star was in the ascendance in Germany.
The pall of Freud’s vision of the unconscious spread over the world. All other interpretations of the unconscious had been suppressed. Men like Jean Genet were coming into their own. Then, a year before the messianic years ended when things didn’t look quite so rosy Freud wrote another book, calling this one the Future Of An Illusion. This is a difficult book to understand. To merely condemn religion in the abstract seems redundant, even puerile. Freud appears to be responding to the defeat of the Jewish revolution in the Soviet Union. This must be the illusion whose future concerns him. While Hitler had not yet crushed the Judaeo-Communist revolution in Germany matters were in hand.
Stalin was neutralizing, if not yet eliminating, the cadre that executed the Revolution. It would be another two years before Freud realized that his instructions in 1917 had been in vain. In fact his releasing of his negative vision of the subconscious was about to backfire on him in the hands of Stalin and Hitler in a spectacular way.
I think that it is also signficant that, in these later years of his life, the Castration Complex became more signficant in his thinking, almost displacing the Oedipus Complex in importance. His concentration on it has the sound of an hysterical shriek as the failure of the millennium would be a type of group castration.
For the mythographers, the Burroughs of 1911-17 had been a plateau. Burroughs had brought all the mythological strands together. Like the arrow shot in the air to land one knew not where now one knew where Burroughs’ writing had been leading. It was his turn to inseminate many minds. Those minds no longer had only books to disseminate their views but they had even more potent forms of communication. The nickelodeon of the eighteen nineties had evolved into movies shown in palaces. Looking back, the early movie theatres were a temporary but spectacular moment. In my hometown the chif theatre was appropriately called: The Temple.
The movie makers seized on the psychological projections of the mythographers which could be interpreted and manipulated quite independently of the intentions of the authors. This brought a number of projections which might have been overlooked into the forefront of world consciousness. The exploration of Bram Stoker’s Dracula began in earnest, soon bearing little relation to Stoker’s book. Another stunning projection that would have gone unnoticed except for the movies was Gaston Le Roux’s Phantom Of The Opera. While not a particularly good book, although arresting, the character was coopted by a Hollywood producer while the book was being serialized in a New York paper. Strangely, the Phantom has become a counterpart of Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean among the Red/Liberals.
Radio had come along in 1920 to be a force from the thirties on.
Movies and radio appealed directly to the subconscious in the brain stem through the eyes and ears which are connected to the brain stem more or less bypassing the conscious mind. With the movies there is too much content to consciously assimilate while the speed with which it passes leaves no room for consideration. Books on the other hand are read into the brain stem but are immediately evaluated by the conscious mind.
At least until the emergence of video tapes beginning in the 1970s movies were an ephemeral form of entertainment. Memories of movies are extremely unreliable as the subconscious manipulates the material for its own uses. Today one can review this ephemera which had such an influence on you, understanding and correcting any misconceptions.
Even more ephemeral and now lost forever was the radio show. One that left the most indelible impression was influenced by Burrough’s work. That most mortal but penetrating pyschological projection was The Shadow.
Today he can live only in the minds of those who were there although abut 350 pulp novels were written about the Shadow of which 280 were written by one man, if you can believe it. He was Walter Gibson. One believed that the Shadow stepped through the creaking door of the Inner Sanctum.
I have never seen the pulp novels but, as Gibson was in charge of both the show and the novels, the results must be the same. The stories were unimportant, as indeed all stories are, the important thing was and is the attitude, the myth. What mythographers call the truth. Thus if you hear only the literal story you have missed the real story. All good writing is done in keys.
The shows could only have been written post-Freud as well as post-Burroughs. the images do not appeal to the conscious mind.
The Shadow had learned ‘the hypnotic power to cloud men’s minds so that they cannot see him.’ (p. 608 On The Air: The Encyclopedia Of Old Time Radio, John Dunning, Oxford 1998) This may sound like so much hocus pocus, yet if one reads Freud’s Group Psychology carefully one will see that what Freud is proposing is hypnotizing groups to achieve one’s ends unnoticed.
If you watch the movies of Hitler working up a crowd you are watching a master hypnotist at work. Perhaps he also had read Le Bon. He comes quietly to the fore after his introduction, stands quietly watching and listening, his hand drops down to manipulate some items on the table. The audience, in their thousands, sit waiting in anticipation. Hitler begins to speak, quietly, indifferently; then his pace picks up, his intensity increases, passion flows from his voice while he gestures wildly, dramatically bringing his huge audience into a trance which he is able to satisfy completely before terminating the seance in a wild orgy of screaming indignation and wildly flailing gesticulation. It may not look impressive viewing it with cool dispassion on film but he’s good, even an artist.
Watch him. You don’t even have to understand German. He was terrific.
Freud also, merely through the force of his personality and reputation was able, through his writing, to influence large numbers of influential people, through them the masses, just by telling them in abstruse terms what they wanted to hear. To wit: Let your unconscious rule, the more sex you have the better a person you will be, do not allow any fancy you may have to be repressed. It’s bad for you. The unconscious, sex and free expression of the libido are good. You like that don’t you? If you act on it you may as well consider yourself hypnotized.
The Shadow in the Freudian sense and the Burroughsian sense was a man of many identities. One becomes a personality of many facets in the unconscious, one might almost say multiple personalities. Indeed, the Shadow lived in the everyday world under a borrowed identity not even his own. “To two persons only is the Shadow’s true identity known- that of Kent Allard, internationally known aviator- and those persons are Xinca Indians, servants picked up by Allard during a stay among their tribe in Central America. A guise often used by the Shadow is that of Lamont Cranston, world renowned big game hunter and traveler, when Cranston is away on his travels. This is by leave of the real Cranston, a man of deep understanding.” (The Pulps: Fifty Years Of American Pop Culture, compiled by Tony Goodstone, Bonanza 1970, p. 228)
Cranston must indeed have been a man of deep understanding while Kent Allard was freed from responsibility for his acts. Nice situation if you can get it. Like all the psychological projections the Shadow was a man of many identities. Most of the projections were experts of disguise, being able to imitate a vast variety of human conditions perfectly from street sweeper to nuclear scientist. Real Urban Spacemen. In Burroughs’ case he created a number of alter egos including John Carter, John Clayton also known as Tarzan, Lord Passmore and other identities, David Innes and Normal Bean. Unlike Freudian/Liberals they were and are more aligned with a firm grip on morality. Jekyll to the core. As the Shadow said: Crime must go! He gave his mocking laugh and said: ‘Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.’ Purge your hearts f0r there is no escaping the Shadow.
There was a lot of evil lurking in the hearts of men during the thirties. A very large part of it was centered in Germany and the Soviet union where the epic struggle between good and evil was taking shape that was to end in that catastrophic war. I know you will think that the evil was represented by Adolf Hitler and the good by Judaeo-Communism.
Hitler has been represented as the nadir of evil. He was certainly one of the bad boys of history but then his Freudian style subconscious had been released. Besides, as I have pointed out he was the antagonist and not the protagonist; in other words he could not have existed without Judaeo-Communism, possibly not without Freud: he was acting in self-defense.
Hitler was not outside history as some would have it. It is time to integrate him into the historical process so the period can be understood. The period from 1913 to 1945 was one in which the great goddess Kali danced merrily around the world while Shiva played the pipes. Death is the eternal dance of life in the deepest mythological sense. Nor do Shiva and Kali care how many or who die. Many go, many more come. Since 1913 mankind, not Hitler, but mankind has murdered its hundreds of millions but Nature has replaced the dead with billions. After the human destruction of seven decades the world population has grown to life stifling levels. If the world population is twelve billion by 2050 as has been predicted, mankind will see Kali dance more wildly than ever before while Shiva plays faster, faster and more madly still. Hitler an arch demon? What? Grow up.
From the point of view of Religious Consciousness and this holds true for Judaism, Christianity and Moslemism anything and everything that happens, is merely the will of god. God works in mysterious way his wonders to perform while his mind is beyond the ken of man. I mean…if you believe this religious stuff then you have to accept all of it or else. This is religious fact! Thus Hitler was merely peforming the will of god as he had no other choice. God had created set and setting. From the Religious point of view Hitler must therefore be blameless while god is accountable for all that transpired.
From the scientific Darwinian evolutionary point of view the great wars were inevitable. The wars were the inevitable consequence of natural selection. I know that the general consensus is that not only do we live outside the historical process but that all the evolutionary rules have been set aside in our case. To those people I say believe as you will. In point of fact the struggle for human special existence goes on today as it did in the thirties and forties. One species will triumph over the others if society as we know it is not ended by natural causes by c. 2050.
The period under consideration was a confllict between Slavs, Germans and Jews. It occurred adjacent to and was partially caused by Jewish millennial ideas. Germans and Slavs had been contending for centuries both along the Slavic German border as well as in Courland which ran around the southern and eastern Baltic and within Russian itself.
During the nineteenth century the Czars encouraged Germans to colonize the Ukraine as farmers. A large German colony was established at the mouth of the Volga River. An alien Semitic people, the Jews, resided in Germany and Russia. While the Jews claim to have been loyal German and Russian subjects this notion is nonsense which will not bear up to historical analysis. They were part of the international Jewish community residing in their respective States. Just as the Germans and Slavs wished them to accept their national identities, as Semites the Jews wished to impose their world view on them. Hence one has a classic example of Natural Selection, varieties and species in conflict. In addition Hitler and the Germans were suffering from Emasculation as a result of the Great War while in the new USSR the State was being administered by Emasculated formerly subject peoples.
While one may say this contributed to the savagery of the period from 1913 to 1945 what we have here is a classic Mfecane or Time of Troubles that is still developing. The only solution was to ‘stamp flat’ or exterminate rival combatants. This was merely a part of the historical and evolutionary process. A harsh reality but true. Kali don’t mind, Krishna plays on.
Had the Jews been powerful enough they would have stamped flat both the Germans and Russians just as they began to do with with the Crimeans and as they would do with the Palestinians if let loose today. As it was, both Hitler and Stalin set about exterminating the Semitic Jews. Stalin would have completed the job in 1954 but Kali beckoned to him first.
The Jews always preferred German culture so that in the nineteenth century when the Russians compelled them to take surnames a great many Jews resident in Russia chose German names. As Judaeo-Communists they moved back and forth between Germany and Russia creating the illusion from 1917 to 1945 of German collaboration with Russia. To have called them Jews would have opened one to the charge of anti-Semitism. Who needs that?
If the Czars had attempted to Russify the subject peoples it was as nothing compared to the effort of the USSR under Stalin. Nationality was outlawed under the Communists. Stalin made the resident Germans a special target. Unable to dent the Volga colony’s nationalism he merely exterminated them after WWII.
You could watch Kali dance and Shiva pipe.
Reverting to the Religious Consciousness what purpose of God’s will did Hitler serve? I’m sure His mind is too deep for me, but if you’re religious this point has to be considered. Well, at the time the Popular Front governments in 1936 that were all Red, Judaeo-Communism seemed on the verge of world conquest from China to the USA. Except for Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan Reds were in the ascendant. Even Germany and Italy had adopted variants of Red socialism.
While it may not appear to be so at first glance Hitler smashed the Red economy. The USSR never truly recovered from the war, limping along until its economic collapse during Reagan’s administration in the US.
The war also gave the democratic forces of the US time to organize their resistance to the Red Menace. Unfocussed and in disarray before the war the Scientific element seized control of the State Department and the armed forces so that with the death of the Popular Front president, Roosevelt, the United States actually assumed the role of Hitler and his Nazis as the bulwark against Communism forcing the Jews in the United States to reconsider their position vis-a-vis Communism. It was really at this point that many Jews became anti-Communist in the United States. Hence the Jews assumed their traditional good cop/bad cop role. The US position against Communism gave rise to Jewish charges of Fascism in their bad cop role.
If from a religious point of view everything that occurs is the will of god then god must have been a Red baiter. Today’s Reds take note.
Nevertheless as the mythographers to a man were opposed to Red totalitarianism they all came under attack from the Red/Liberal forces. Every attempt was made to abort established careers while stifling new ones.
If you remember a while back I described a scene in which Commissars were reading Tarzan to employees of the Worker’s Paradise. That fact made Edgar Rice Burroughs a marked man. A concerted effort was begun to interfere with his career. Unfortunately for the Reds this effort resulted in a dozen of the best novels of Burroughs’ career supplying him with a fresh batch of material.
At the same time publishing became more difficult for him while his editors at the pulps became hypercritical of material they had once begged for. Also at this critical time Burroughs changed secretaries. His new secretary, who became his business manager and de facto head of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. was a man named Ralph Rothmund. Rothmund claimed to be Scotch although I’m sure the sept of Rothmund must have been lacking its own Tartan.
The name translates from the German to Red World. It may be coincidence or it may be a joke. Certainly when an organization is being infiltrated the most sought after post is that of secretary. All information passes through the secretary’s hands. Rasputin, for instance, not surprisingly had a Jewish secretary which led to the charges of his complicity with the Germans. You may be sure that Rasputin was not complicit while you may be equally sure that his secretary was. At least with the German Jews.
There hasn’t been much work done on Rothmund by Burroughsians nor do I have any new information to report but let us examine Rothmund’s record as secretary and business manager. What was the result of his twenty-five years of work? Was Burroughs further ahead or further behind when Rothmund went to his greater reward?
The man nearly brought the business to a halt.
He disrupted all relations with the publishers of Burroughs’ early novels, bringing the flow of royalties to a halt in 1946, they had been miniscule even laughable since 1940. Nor did he actively pursue the publication of titles owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. The lucrative radio show was discontinued in 1936. In what some fancy as a coup Rothmund sold the movie rights to Tarzan to MGM for a flat fifty thousand a picture, no residuals. By 1940 Burroughs was so broke, or told he was by his business manager, that Rothmund advised him to leave the country for Hawaii where the great creator of Tarzan lived on the meager $250.00 a month that Rothmund allotted him. What was Rothmund’s salary at this time? How much was the corporation earning?
In addition this supposed business manager allowed Burroughs’ copyrights to lapse, never renewing them. By 1945 the most popular titles of Burroughs were available to whoever wanted to publish them. Amazingly no one did while Burroughs’ long time reprint publishers, who knew the copyrights were lapsed, Grossett and Dunlap, honored argreements they were under no obligation to do.
Burroughs’ bacon was pulled from the fire by an earlier more lucrtive movie deal he had nogotiated with a producer named Sol Lesser. When MGM tired of the Tarzan series they let Lesser assume the rights. The revenues from Lesser’s productions defeated Rothmund’s apparent purpose.
Still, after Burroughs died in 1950 Rothmund made no attempt to keep any Burroughs’ titles in print. From 1950 until 1963 at which later date publishers discovered that the copyrights had never been renewed, nothing was available but a few titles from Grossett and Dunlap.
Even then, Burroughs’ most famous book, Tarzan Of The Apes, had been out of print for twenty years or more. Some business manager.
Thus, as is probably true, as a Red infiltrator Rothmund had destroyed the career of the arch Americanist, Edgar Rice Burroughs. the greatest of the mythographers was almost silenced.
While Rothmund worked to silence the Master, the Freud/Hitler/Stalin confrontation in Europe broke out into the most destructive war the world had ever seen. Unlike the previous wars there were no rational minds seeking to ameliorate the damage. Freud had unleashed the Hyde-like destructive subconscious of the West. Hitler, who had always said if the Jews involved Europe in another disaster like the Great War, they would pay the price, meant it. He was no empty boaster. He had the will, he had the ways and means. In the coldest, most scientific way imaginable he systematically rounded the Jews up deeding them to the flames Wow! Not since the great Roman manhunt of 135. Here was new meaning to the Jewish concept of passing the enemy through the fires. Wow!
Hitler raged East and West but he raged beyond his power. As must have inevitably happened before the first shot was fired, after the initial surprise German forces were driven back on all fronts. Driven into isolation by his enemies there was no possibility for a negotiated terminus to the war. In the struggle between the revolution and counter-revolution the only end could be unconditional surrender. That sick madman in Washington, crippled in body and mind, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, working from his subconscious no less than Hitler, insanely persisted in the demand for unconditional surrender. What a different world it would have been if the West had accepted Germany’s surrender before the Russians entered Poland. Heck, Roosevelt wouldn’t have had to honor any deal he made with the Germans any more than his mentor Wilson did in the Great War. What kind of man was Roosevelt anyway?
So here we have a man emasculated by disease, a seriously emasculated man by circumstance and a politically emasculated man directing the affairs of the three most powerful States in the world. Wow!
In defeat Hitler acted in the self-destructive way of the emasculated. He knew he had to die so he wanted nothing left standing in Europe when he was gone. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill were nothing loath to help him.
Hitler ordered Paris wired for total destruction. The city was to be blown off the earth in the face of the advancing allies. Wow! However, with the intellectual superstructure of the City of Light destroyed it would have collapsed into the Sewers of Paris, that would have remained intact. Freud had destroyed Morality as D.H. Lawrence had feared:
With dilated hearts we watched Freud disappearing into the cavern of darkness….He was making to the origins. We watched his ideal candle falter and go small. Then we waited as men do wait, always expecting the wonder of wonders. He came back with dreams to sell.
But sweet heaven, what merchandise!….What was there in the case?….Nothing but a huge slimy serpent of sex, and heaps of excrement, and myriad repulsive little horrors spawned between sex and excrement.
Yes, Freud hd destroyed the conscious mind and morality and reaped the Sewers of Paris. As the payback for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain the Jews had stultified Europe. What came out of the sewers as intellectual Paris burned?
Of course any right thinking person is appalled by the course of history from 1913 to 1945 (or from year one to the present not excluding what went before) but for every right thinking person there are at least two who aren’t. The Third Reich was a paradise for a significant minority. Jean Genet was one of those. Check out a French movie titled ‘Dr. Petiot’ if you want to see another. (The Varieties of Sexual Experience) Genet enjoyed the period. He was a man come into his own. As he has been quoted previously, he delighted in the union of the criminal mind with authority. Why wouldn’t he?
But just as the French Revolution allowed the Marquis de Sade scope for his personality, Napoleon, when he assumed the reins of government clapped de Sade into the insane asylum at Charenton. So the Post-war Fourth Republic sentenced the petty thief Jean Genet to life imprisonment.
Genet might very well have died in prison but for the fact that he, while lying in his bunk smelling his farts, composed the novel entitled: Our Lady Of The Flowers. (What scents are these?) While respectable non-Communist writers were being hounded out of literature this criminal, homosexual, severely emasculated creep found a publisher. Saint, indeed!
Not only that, he found a friend. Jean Paul Sartre had surfaced in 1936 with his novel: Nausea. From this novel he developed what was known in the post-war world as existentialism. This notion was supposedly philosophy. I have been called an existentialist by people who should know what it is but I have to say that I have never understood what Sartre means by it. I’ve even read his trilogy, Roads to Freedom. Still don’t know what he’s talking about; I deny all charges.
Nevertheless by war’s end he had a tremendous reputation within France and without. For some reason he and other literati felt that any criminal who can write a book shouldn’t be in prison, as though Genet had been sentenced for the crime of never having written a book. So they sprung Genet. He could now steal with impunity. Ain’t life just too funny for words. Sartre later wrote a book of some six hundred odd pages about this petty thief entitled: St. Genet: Thief and Martyr. The two must go together. Sort of Geminis perhaps.
Genet had Sartre’s numbers. He dedicated his autobiography, The Thief’s Journal to Sartre: a Sartre au Castor. To Sartre as Castor. If Sartre was Castor then his twin brother Genet, was Polydeukes. As we all know Castor was the mortal twin while Polydeukes was the immortal. Genet was prescient as well as mocking. Today his myth lives on while Sartre and his existentialism is all but forgotten.
The point is that Genet was instrumental in creating the cult of the homosexual. It was through him that the homosexual was allied to the post-war Red coalition. In this union of Emasculates that seized control of US culture, if not always the government, the criminal mores of the homosexual as taught by Genet formed the basis of Red morality, or immorality, as you would have it. Freud was wrong in thinking men can live without the notion of a moral code.
The great mythographers who had attempted to give mankind a positive approach to morality by a union of the conscious and subconscious minds with consciousness preeminent were driven underground as the Red/Liberals seized control of the media preventing any view but their own being expressed.
Freudian visions seem to have triumphed, still, though Edgar Rice Burroughs died in 1950 his great psychological projection Tarzan lived on. He still lives.
To recapitulate: In the course of evolution a new type of man came into being in mid-nineteenth century who required a new vision of psychology. Society, for our purposes here, was thereby split into two divisions. One of Scientific man and two factions of Religious man. One of the latter was the reaction of Christianity which refused to make any accommodation with the new reality while its fellow the Red/Liberal faction while in as violent a reaction as the Christians adopted pseudo-scientific modes while seeking to subvert the Scientific Consciousness.
On the literary level the cudgel of Science was taken up by a group of neo-mythographers who treated psychology and evolution according to the tenets of science.
The Red/Liberal faction developed a revolutionary program guided by the religious conception of science led on the literary level by Sigmund Freud.
Taking the various concepts of the unconscious developed at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries Freud twisted them to his purposes to envision the unconscious as a bale of evil impulses; he then convinced the West to release their impulses under the rubric of liberating the unconscious. The immediate result was an orgy of hate, sadism and murder that lasted, for our purposes from 1917 until 1945 at which time the old order collapsed.
The mythographers who had been less assertive were eclipsed by the Red/Liberals who now led the post-war era. They continued their campaign to sabotage the Scientific Consciousness by instigating a subtle reign of terror from the released unconscious.
Having now completed a survey of the first hundred years centered on the concepts of psychology I will now consider the same period from the point of view of evolution as reflected in the writing of Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the final part I will entwine both the psychological and evolutionary strands in a survey of society from 1945 to the present.
I dreamed I saw Ed Burroughs
As live as live could be.
‘Ah, but Ed, you’re dead.’ Says I.
‘I never died.’ Says he.
‘I never died.’ Says he.
As he stood smiling at me he had Something Of Value in his hand which he gave to me. It was a copy of Tarzan. I became as a pillar of smoke leading the people through the desert to freedom.
End of Something of Value I
Something Of Value II follows.
October 24, 2007
SOMETHING OF VALUE I, PART III
Part 3 of Vol. I.
Freud was severely emasculated in both personal ego and in his group ego. He was in fact a practicing homosexual. His relationship with Fliess was homosexual in nature which Freud confessed vowing never to do it again. His group, the Jews, were and are a severely emasculated people. They have been since they walked away from Ur. But on with Freud.
Freud was fond of telling the story of his father and his hat, it seems that Mr. Freud related a story to Sigmund, or Sigismund as he was known then, (His Hebrew name significantly was Solomon) of how when he was a young man walking down the street proudly wearing his new hat, a gentile knocked the hat from his head into the gutter, snarling: ‘Go get your hat, Jew.’
When Sigmund asked breathlessly what his father did, expecting an heroic response, the old gentleman replied: ‘I stepped into the gutter and picked up my hat.’ severely disappointing the young boy.
Since Freud told and retold this story we may be forgiven for believing it had a profound effect on his young conscious and subconscious minds and possibly his ‘unconscious’ too. On the one hand he may have been so ashamed of his father’s very reasonable reaction that he shared his emasculation encapsulating it in his subconscious as a fixation. It is possible that this story either made or contributed to his homosexuality. On the other hand we know for a fact that it inflamed his group ego with an ardent desire for revenge against the gentiles.
As a result of the story he made the Carthaginian Semite, Hannibal, his alter ego. When Hannibal’s father was defeated by the Romans he had his son swear that the would never cease waging war on the Romans until he died. Obviously Freud made his vow against the Europeans although his father didn’t demand it.
It is no coincidence that both Freud and Hannibal were Semites and that the Romans and Europeans were gentiles. Nor is it a coincidence that both Hannibal and Freud were defeated after seemingly winning the war and that rather than fighting the enemy to the end both fled. Now, it therefore follows that Freud never ceased waging war against the Europeans.
You say: How? Come along. I can’t take you into the Inner Sanctum, which way you will have to find on your own, but I can show you some of the records I have been allowed to abstract from the files.
This will involve the secret history of the human race but don’t be alarmed. If you don’t want to believe it you don’t have to. It still is a rousing good story. Besides, if you should ever come around the archives you’ll find it is true.
Freud himself made an attempt to explain a little of the origins of the Jewish psyche in Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety and Moses And Monotheism. The earlier millennia don’t concern us here. The Jews throughout history in their egotism have felt much put upon. This sense of grievance grew until with the expulsion from Spain after the Reconquest their sense of injustice burst into open flames. The group swore revenge on Europe. It must be remembered that at the end of the thirteenth century they were expelled from England, at the beginning of the fourteenth from France and for the duration, well, they were really welcome nowhere.
They swore to stultify Europe. Judaism is the history of messianism.
This man was the last great messianic imposter. In 1666, the number of the beast plus a thousand, the Jews of Europe awaited the word from Sabbatai, then at the Ottoman Court to begin the slaughter. But Zevi apostatized to Moslemism instead. The uprising never came off. Hung fire. Fizzled.
Hope beats eternal. The learned Rabbis vowed never to place their hopes on a single individual again. They now concocted a plan for the group to rise as one man in rebellion. The date selected for the revolution was the period 1913-28. You want to give yourself a little leeway there. Born in 1856, in 1913 Sigmund Freud was fifty-seven years old. Although none of his biographers say much about his his Jewish background it is quite clear that he was read in Jewish lore. You may say that he wasn’t a religious Jew but he nevertheless was devoutly Jewish.
Freud quite consciously hated the gentiles for personal reasons that meshed quite well into those of his group identity.
During 1913-17 Freud’s reputation was immense both within and without the Jewish community. It was true his heir apparent, C.J. Jung had broken with him perhaps for this very reason but he and Psychoanalytic Movement had suffered no damage.
In psychoanalyis Freud had the means to instruct his group and control the gentiles. It is said that he gave up hypnotism when he turned to psychoanalysis but as a perusal of ‘Group Psychology’ will show he was preparing for a breathtaking attempt at hypnotizing the entire Western world not unlike that of Burroughs’ Lotharians against their invaders.
Freud lived in Vienna where for years, even decades before 1913, emigrating Jews had flowed through from the entry port into Austria from the East of Brody on their way to America via the North German ports. The prosperity of the whole German shipping lines was built on steerage passengers. Nor were the decisions to emigrate necessarily individual; it may have begun that way but to emigrate was soon organized and directed by the international Jewish community. Check the career of Baron Maurice Hirsch.
The Jewish establishments of both Europe and America provided funding. At about this time provisions were made to transport the entire Jewish population of the Pale, from Lithuania to Romania, to the United States Of America. At the time the international Jewish goverment led by Jacob Schiff and Louis Marshall was located in the United States, New York City. The decks were being cleared so as to remove resistance in America. So as not to call too much attention to the fact by having hordes disembark entirely in New York and Boston, for there would be resistance however feeble, the ports of New Orleans and Galveston were organized to deal with millions of immigrants.
This plan was aborted by the Great War. The Jews had already been at war with Russia, or the Czar as they personalized it, for a hundred years. The international Jewish community had engineered the Russo-Japanese war almost pulling off a revolution in its wake in 1905.
Activities were now intensified. At the time and for about the next sixty years the Jews threw a veil of obfuscation over their activities always denying involvement in Communist or Revolutionary matters. In recent years Jewish scholars, for whatever reason, have now found it expedient to admit that which they were accused of but always denied. They now admit that every national subversive Communist part was over fifty percent Jewish. Those of Russia and Germany were considerably higher. Freud had been involved in Jewish subversive organizations like the B’nai B’rith for many years. As the master psychologist, an expert in the unconscious, he prepared the Jewish mind for the great task of the millennial years in Central and Eastern Europe, which would require much bloodshed, while formulating his psychological plan of conquest not dissimilar from the military plans of his hero, Hannibal.
Freud himself was centered in Vienna. A lieutenant, Abraham, was his man in Berlin while Frerenczi was posted to Budapest in Hungary. The three crucial central European points were covered. Jung in Zurich had split off shortly before this. It is interesting that the Jewish psychoanalytic extablishment spitefully denounced him as a Nazi.
The Jewish millennial years began in 1913. The Great War began in 1914. The Bolshevik Revolution occurred in 1917. Freud’s Introductory Lectures On Psychoanalysis appeared in 1917 also, even though there must have been an extreme paper shortage; it is not a short book. Freud encoded last minute instructions to the Revolutionists in the book.
At this point in 1917 Freud released the inhibitions of millions of Mr. Hydes in Russia, Hungary and Germany. The Bolsheviks took Russia out of the war signing a seemingly humiliating peace treat at Brest-Litovsk. As Lenin said the peace treaty was meaningless because it was his intent to stab Germany in the back.
Germany had a huge Communist Party which it is now admitted was around sixty percent Jewish. Now with the United States in the war, Germany debilitated internally and crippled psychologically, thousands of Jewish revolutionaries intent on the realization of the millennium flowed back into Germany from Russia in hopes of achieving the Revolution there, giddy with the hopes of thereby annexing Central and Eastern Europe. That they didn’t was because of the efforts of the German Volkish groups such as Hitler and his Nazi Party.
The unconscious psychoses of the Jewish people who it will be remembered as a group were suffering from severe emasculation were erupting. Emasculation of the Ego is always expressed in a sexual manner frequently sadistic. Freud had been preaching the practice of unrestrained sexual activity for years. Murder is a sexual act. He was against ‘repression’ you remember.
When Russia began its program of expansion under the Romanovs it annexed an enormous number of nationalities. The Russians then tried to impose their language and manners on the conquered peoples in an attempt to form an homogeneous State. In so doing they emasculated the subject peoples. Those same subject peoples were now the masters of the Russians with permission to indulge their ‘unconscious.’
Jews, Letts, Poles and others let loose. Stalin himself was a Georgian.
As Jean Genet correctly saw of the Nazi State, in Russia a criminal intellect was now joined to the political and legal apparatus of the State. The criminal code was changed from an objective one to a subjective one; one of vengeance. For a period of years law was suspended in Russia. Amidst the chaos International Jewish organizations including those of the United States operated openly to coordinate their hopes for the millennium.
What I’m about to say has been denied and suppressed but the example was before both Hitler and Stalin. In Hungary Freud had his man Ferenczi to coordinate the Hungarian Jews. The Jewish Bela Kun (Cohn) seized the government beginning a reign of terror against the gentiles during which thousands of non-Jews were murdered in a horrible sadistic manner commensurate with a severely emasculated Ego.
For some time the Jews had been clamoring for a State of their own. Taking advantage of the chaos in Russia the Jewish American Joint Distribution Committee under the leadership of Schiff and Marshall decided to appropriate the Crimea. Bela Kun who had escaped Hungary during the inevitable reaction, going to Moscow, was sent down to the Crimea to exterminate the population to make lebensraum for the Jews. He was in the process when Lenin died. Stalin then recalled him to Moscow where he was subsequently shot.
All these activities were obscured and suppressed. It is forbidden in American universities to study the subject to this day.
Still, Europe was so horrified that they declined to discuss it or even acknowledge it. But Hitler and Stalin remembered.
The Communists in Moscow being composed solely of emasculated peoples functioning from Freud’s vision of the unconscious like so many Hydes conducted a criminal homosexual style State that would have delighted Genet had he been there. The author the The Thief’s Journal would have gasped at the warehouses full of stolen furs, diamonds and other jewels, art objects and whatever of value that the poor emasculated wretches had stolen from their murdered victims. It was the triumph of the Common Man.
As soon as Stalin gained power he began to discredit and remove Jews from influential positions. Trotsky was sent to a malarial swamp in Siberia to die but from which he escaped to be killed by Stalin’s assasins later. As Stalin consolidated his power he acted more directly until he held the famous show trials of 1936. He then began the systematic elimination of Jews which resulted by the end of 1945 in the death of millions.
Thus Hitler, an emasculated man leading an emasculated people had the Judaeo-Communist example before him. As an avid anti-Communist and open anti-Semite he was virtually isolated by the world that by 1936 was under the control of Judaeo-Communists. He was the antagonist not the protagonist.
While Stalin who had religious training was clever enough to seemingly work through the system openly followed legal controlled methods although the law had been subordinated to his ends. Hitler acted as a homosexual with an ax in his hand. Stalin’s officers dispatched prisoners hidden in the depths of the Lubyanka with a bullet in the back of the head, which method, by the way, was favored by Jewish and Italian members of Organized Crdime in America of the time, while the Nazis brutally beat prisoners, finally shooting them in the back while escaping.
Stalin, Hitler, Freud, which was worse? Freud enabled, Stalin and Hitler executed. They were all the same.
In Russia during the first year or so of Lenin some Russian workers were being read to as they worked. Were they being read the works of Marx or Lenin? No. They were being read the Tarzan novels of Edgar Rice Burrougs. This infuriated the Politburo. The State was trying to impose a collectivist unconscious psychology on the Russians while Burroughs and his great psychological projection were individualist and responsible. In fact, Burroughs offered a concept of the unconscious which was directly opposed to that of Freud. One might say that Burroughs was Dr. Jekyll to Freud’s Mr. Hyde.
Burroughs himself had been severely emasculated at the age of nine. The situation seems to be this: Burroughs came from a prosperous Chicago family. His parents were very proud of their English ancestry. If you’re unwilling to understand national and racial prejudices that were very pronounced at the time then you probably won’t be able to understand. There were strong feelings between the Anglo-Saxon and Celt or English and Irish. The Anglos considered the Celts if not inferior at least eccentric. The Burroughses employed two Irish girls as servants. In all probability Young Burroughs assumed an attitude of superiority which the girls resented. They then concocted a plan to cut young Burroughs down to size.
They had a friend or relative by the name of John who was aged twelve to Burroughs’ nine. Being much larger and tougher than Burroughs he stopped the younger boy on the way to school one day where he thoroughly intimidated and terrified him. It is quite possible that Burroughs messed his pants. In any event, he suffered severe emasculation that was to haunt him all his life. He does not seem to have ever practiced homosexuality although he was haunted by a feeling of sexual ambiguity.
The incident with John the Bully not only played havoc with Burroughs personal psychlogy in the narrow sense of creating a psychosis but there was also an effect in what Freud’s erstwhile associate, C. J. Jung called the collective unconscious. The individual is limited by his very humanity to a small number of general responses.
Thus Burroughs was given a cast of mind which the Hindus denoted as Shivaistic. This is a general outlook or philosophy of life, if you wish, which one adopts unconsciously as the consequence of one’s experience. I share it although it took me nearly a lifetime to recognize and accept it.
Burroughs himself was aware of the fact by at least 1931 when he wrote Tarzan And The Leopard Men. In one key or on one level the story is one of Shiva and Kali his consort. Burroughs names his heroine Kali while she is selected to be the White Goddess of the Leopard Men as part of their death cult.
As can be seen by their complete disregard for life Freud, Hitler and Stalin were also Shivaites.
Shiva and Kali are the Hindu representation of Life and Death. Shiva plays unconcernedly on the pipes while the carnage of life and death goes on around him. The song goes on. Kali, his consort, the goddess of death and regeneration dances on the bodies of the dead to Shiva’s music while wearing a necklace of skulls. Death means nothing because she as the eternal mother has the means to multiply unendingly. Do multitudes die? Why then, multitudes die. Not to worry. Life goes on.
Burroughs also developed an interest in psychology in his attempt to free his mind of the fixation given him by John the Bully. As his psychological notions were well formed by 1911 when he began to write in his attempt to expiate his guilt it follows that he acquired his knowledge during his early married years from 1900 to 1911. He married at 24. He had little opportunity to do his reading before then as the major works were only appearing in the late ’90s.
His main concern was the subconscious mind. While his evolutionary ideas are easier to trace he has left no mention of his psychological reading. It seems certain that he was familiar with FWH Myers who, as noticed, first defined the notion of the unconscious in 1886. He must have read James while Freud’s notions would have been discussed, if not yet translated; thus DH Lawrence had highly developed ideas on the Freudian unconscious in his 1911 Psychoanalysis And The Unconscious while I doubt Burroughs had read Freud in the German.
Also it seems probable that Burroughs had read Le Bon.
Burroughs’ idea of the unconscious differed greatly from Freud’s while being more soundly based in the actual functioning of the mind. While Burroughs’ hero Tarzan seems to function with an integrated personality from his creation in 1911-12 Burroughs himself came very close to integrating his own from 1913 to ’17 or may have although he always had trouble with his Animus and Anima.
Even though Freud advertised the fact that he had taken a year off (golly, a whole year) for self-analysis, whatever the results may have been he never succeeded in integrating his personality or, apparently, realized he should have. He was severely conflicted all his life. Just take a look at his photo where you can see that huge welt running from his lover right cheek across his nose into his forehead. That was caused either by excessive cocaine use or mental conflict in the brain stem, probably both.
As did all mythographers, Burroughs had read his Poe, like them he was concerned with the conscious and subconscious minds. While Stevenson’s Jekyll lost his conscious mind in his subconscious mind, Burroughs cencentrated on the concept of the beast within the man, the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious. In Chapter 3 of The Return Of Tarzan, in what appears to be a plagiarization of the murder scene of Poe’s Murders In The Rue Morgue, Burroughs has Tarzan act out the parts of both the Sailor and the Orang.
Lured up to the apartment on the pretext of helping a young woman, Tarzan is set upon by her accomplices. Discarding the trappings of his recently acquired civilization Tarzan reverts to his anthropoid education of the Jungle becoming Poe’s Orang, yet always retaining the restraints of his humanity or the Sailor.
When the police come he leaps out the window to a telephone pole which one imagines were more common in Chicago than Paris. (Burroughs had never been to Paris so he replicated the urban scene he knew.) While still in his ape guise he has the sense to look down where he sees a policeman below so he climbs up leaping to a rooftop.
Racing across the rooftops of Paris he climbs down another pole. Then in a Hyde-like transformation back to Jekyll he shakes himself from his ape self back into his human self, without the aid of drugs, enters a restaurant to clean up in the rest room then saunter jauntily down the street as though nothing had happened.
Thus the plagiarization of not only Poe but Stevenson was merely an attempt to give a better solution by using the mythological symbols.
Return was written at the end of 1912 and the beginning of 1913.
Burroughs’ own self-analysis would continue through his astonishing output of 1911-17 when he finally integrated his personality with the final volume of his Mucker Trilogy published as the Oakdale Affair but alternately titled Bridge And The Oskaloosa Kid which is the better title. At that time he had exorcised his major fixations which should have integrated his personality.
In understanding that the disintegration of the personality was caused by an affront or affronts to the Ego or Animus that resulted in the creation of fixations that festered in the subconscious that in turn manufactured affects that evidenced themselves in various physical and psychological ways he realized that the same could be exorcised returning the Ego to a whole state.
Unfortunately he strung his theory on through a couple dozen works of fiction disguised as incident. A very few would read all the novels while the only possible interpreters could be those who had read them all not only with a psychological background but an open, inquisitive mind. We’re a very small minority.
If I hadn’t been through the same process on my own I probably never would have recognized it. However as his theories were embodied in his hero Tarzan as mythology they passed into the unconscious of his readers of which, as a teenager, I was one, so shall we say, my mind was prepared.
October 14, 2007
Something Of Value I
Back To Solid Ground, More Or Less
At the same time Stevenson and Haggard appeared, another of the great mythographers made his appearance. Arthur Conan Doyle brought his great psychological projection Sherlock Holmes onto the world stage. Doyle listed Poe as his second most influential author with whom he had been familiar since his youth. All the great mythographers were well acquainted with Poe. He was the great originator.
Holmes is the first great psychological projection of the Scientific Consciousness. He fulfills the role of Mastermind. His intellectual greatness fulfilled Poe’s dictum of the analytical mind.
As the two Dupins fulfilled the roles of ego and alter ego so Doyle gave Holmes Dr. John H. Watson as alter ego and foil. Holmes represented the future while Watson was a relic from the religious past. As the evil Hydelike representative of the subconscious Doyle provided us with the infamous criminal mastermind Dr. Moriarty.
With the introduction of Holmes the Scientific mythology began to take shape.
The new mythology was based on the new discoveries of science. The scientific mind was pouring out new technological wonders almost on a daily basis but it was the discoveries in the sciences of biology and psychology that would most undermine the Religious Consciousness.
Darwin had organized biology along the new scientific lines when his Origin Of Species appeared in 1859. There was no greater challenge to the orthodox belief system than this. When a few years later Darwin issued The Descent Of Man things really erupted. According to the religious viewpoint, since the origins of consciousness the notion had been that man was descended from the gods, later monotheistically amended to God. In a really inept choice of words Darwin states, or his followers did, that man was descended from monkeys. The idea of evolution might have met with less reistance had Darwin titled his book: The Ascent Of Man since, properly speaking, Homo Sapiens is an advance on monkeys and all that has gone before. Thus man could have been said to ascend the evolutionary scale from apes but descend from God meeting somewhere in the middle. Darwin wasn’t so farsighted.
At the same time great advances were being made in psychology. The Frenchman, Jean Martin Charcot, was proving the effect of the subconscious on our minds in his studies of hysteria and hypnosis. The sub or unconscious mind had been a topic of consideration since the days of the Enlightenment but discussion was carried on in vague terms. In 1886 the English psychologist FWH Myers identified the subconscious by the name of the Unconscious preparing the way for Freud who would set the world on its psychological ear the way Darwin had its biological ear.
The way was now prepared for one of the two greatest mythographers, H.G. Wells (1866-1946). Wells had a split personality. On the one hand he was a mythographer and on the other he was a Red/Liberal/Utopian. In 1920 the Utopian side won out and he became a whole-hearted Revolutionist.
Wells began writing about 1893. His early work was in the genre of scientific fantasias, as they were called at the time, of which genre he is said to be the founder. Wells noted quite correctly that about mid-century a new type of scientific man became increasingly apparent.
Let there be no mistake but that a few centuries earlier these scientific disturbers of the peace would have been murdered. The reaction by the beginning of the twentieth century was that science was evil and ought to be stopped. George Griffith, himself writing a scientific fantasia for Pearson’s Magazine, Stories Of Other Worlds, put these words into his heroine Zaidie’s mouth as she was on the way to Mars:
“They’re very ugly aren’t they?” said Zaidie; “and really you can’t tell which are men and which are women. I suppose they’ve civilized themselves out of everything that’s nice, and are just scientific and utilitarian and everything that’s horrid.”
And Zaidie was a sweet thing too. Against an even more hostile background Wells understood that tempers against science were running high but he came down on the side of the New Men. In his interesting fantasia The Food Of The Gods he postulates that the new men had perhaps been fed some new synthetic food which made them intellectual and physical giants.
Actually they had been around for centuries but had been suppressed by the Religious Consciousness in the form of the Judeo-Catholic religion. As their forces gathered in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they became strong enough to defy the Judeo-Catholics. Thus when the evidence of their emergence became evident in mid-nineteenth century they were already too numerous and too strong to be set aside. The two consciousnesses came into conflict with the Religious Consciousness splitting into the reactionary Devout group and the other the more forward leaning Red/Liberals.
Thus Wells on his Utopian side became the advocate of a form of the Religious Consciousness as he struggled with his Scientific Consciousness. After the Russian Revolution he wholeheartedly went over to the revolution.
While very influential on subsequent mythographers Wells was unable to create a psychological projection of his own while after 1920 he became a member of religious communism turning out politico-religious tracts.
Emerging at about the same time as Wells the Irishman Bram Stoker contributed the master psychological projection of the twentieth century in his masterwork, Dracula while E.W. Hornung (1866-1921) created the minor projection, the Amateur cracksman- A. J. Raffles. A cracksman was a burglar; Raffles was the archetype of the gentleman thief. While Raffles himself has virtually disappeared from the collective memory the notion of the gentleman criminal has taken hold on the mythological consciousness. Raffles is not to be confused as a version of the earlier Robin Hood who ‘stole from the rich to give to the poor.’ No, Raffles unashamedly kept and spent all the proceeds.
In the background all this time the greatest of the creative mythographers, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was waiting for his consciousness to mature. It matured in 1911 when he first created John Carter of Mars then followed up with the prodigious psychological projection of Tarzan Of The Apes. Shew, bigger than an A-bomb.
Burroughs was the plateau to which all other roads led and from which all other roads proceeded. He managed to consolidate all the mythological trends of the previous decades into his work where he refined and perfected them sending them on to new heights.
Edgar Rice Burroughs. To coin a cliche, Burroughs was an enigmatic figure. While himself a great original writer he managed to incorporate the various strands of the myth into his writing in such a way, either clumsy or tributary, as you wish, that he stands accused of being a plagiarist. This is nonsense of course. Like any mythographer he had to work with established materials. Myths are not original– they are cooperative efforts. The great Greek cycle, of which Homer is the center, was the work of many hands. The fact does not diminish Homer’s contribution.
Burroughs was able to incorporate the two most significant disciplines of psychology and evolution into his work in such an entertaining manner that the seriousness of his thought was lost in the glamour.
While the sources of Burroughs’ evolutionary ideas which will be discussed in Part II, are relatively easy to trace his psychological sources are more difficult. That he had already thought deeply on psychological matters before he began writing is obvious. That he continually added to his learning in psychology as well as evolution is clear from the development of his thought throughout the corpus.
Burroughs was especially concerned with the nature of the unconscious. He was an intelligent man who knew that his own behavior was controlled from his subconscious. I am certain that he was familiar with the 1886 work of FWH Myers, as well as Myers’ 1903 work Human Consciousness. As Freud was not translated into English before 1912 it seems certain that he had not had direct contact with the man’s work before then, however, by 1916 in his short story ‘Tarzan’s First Nightmare’ it seems evident that he had read at least The Interpretations Of Dreams.
Still, Burroughs had considerable contact with practicing psychologists as he indicated in The Gods Of Mars.
As the notion of the unconscious was discussed in various journals he very probably had read a number of articles, while as the notion of the Freudian slip was current in the second decade of the twentieth century he may have been familiar with Freud’s Psychopathology Of Everyday Life.
At any rate his writing of that decade drove relentlessly toward the goal of integrating his personality which is to say unifying the subconscious and conscious minds which he succeeded in doing by 1917 when he published The Oakdale Affair or, as alternatively titled, Bridge And The Oskaloosa Kid.
In his portrayal of the big Bwana, Tarzan has an integrated personality from his beginning in 1912. In his other works Burroughs constantly offers many portrayals of the subconscious.
The contrast between the conscious, or intelligent mind, and the unconscious, subconscious or ‘instinctive’ mind is one of the central tenets of the myth.
For Burroughs the study of the subconscious was to liberate, for Freud it was to subjugate the human will. Make no mistake, I consider Freud an evil presence while being the most destructive force of the twentieth century equal to any number of atomic bombs. Freud’s notion of the subconscious as a Hydelike repository of horrid repressed criminal needs was very mistaken.
One has the feeling that Freud learned much more about the human psyche than he told and that he told what he did with ulterior motives in mind. Those ulterior motives did not go unnoticed at the time. As D.H. Lawrence expressed it is his Psychoanalysis And The Unconscius of 1911:
And does it need a prophet to discern that Freud is on the brink of a Weltanschauung- or at least a Menschenschauung, which is a more risky affair? What detains him? Two things. First and foremost the moral issue. And next, but more vital, he can’t get down to the rock on which he must build his church.
Actually the unconscious was the rock but another rock was how to turn the basis of psychoanalysis, which is emasculation, into something palatable. Freud stumbled over his concept of castration which he was apparently sincerely unable to extend into the workable concept of Emasculation. The Castration Complex is only a symbol for Emasculation. And then there was the difficult moral issue. Lawrence again, same work:
First and foremost the issue is a moral issue. It is not here a matter of reform, new moral values. It is the life and death of all morality. The leaders (Freud, Ferenczi, Abraham) among the psychoanalysts know what they have in hand. Probably most of their followers are ignorant, and therefore pseudo-innocent. But it all amounts to the same thing. Psychoanalysis is out, under a therapeutic disguise, to do away entirely with the moral faculty in man. (My italics.)
Lawrence put his finger on the criminal intent. Freud was in fact running an Order in which one learned the true intent as one moved from initiate to adept. Freud in fact did wish to destroy the concept of Christian, that is to say European morality, and he had his reasons. But why the ‘unconscious’, why something which in his vision lies outside, even beyond, our minds, some alien evil force which controls our actions against our will. Lawrence persists:
It is obvious we cannot recover our moral footing until we can in some way determine the true nature of the unconscious (Percipient O!) The word unconscious itself is a mere definition by negation and has no positive meaning. Freud no doubt prefers it for this reason. He rejects subconscious and preconscious, because both of these would imply a sort of nascent consciousness, the shadowy half-consciousness which precedes mental realization. And by his unconscious he intends no such thing. He wishes rather to convey, we imagine, that which recoils from consciousness, that which reacts in the psyche away from mental consciousness. His unconscious is, we take it, that part of the human consciousness which though mental, ideal in its nature, yet unwilling to expose itself to full recognition and so recoils back into the affective regions and acts there as a secret agent, unconfessed, unadmitted, potent, and usually destructive. The whole body of repressions makes up our unconscious.
Here Lawrence states the obvious, there is no such thing as the unconscious. There is a subconscious that he rightly understands Freud to have rejected for ulterior motives. A subconscious is part of us which can be dealt with while an unconscious which is metaphysical cannot, it therefore follows that there cannot be an unconscious which would be a religious symbol, or in other words, supernatural.
However Lawrence while he scoffs seems to understand the function or a function that Freud gave to his unconscious which is in fact partially true of the subconscious. ‘The whole body of repressions makes up our unconscious.’ Not a fact because when the personality is integrated and fixations or what Freud call repressions disappear there is still a function to the subconscious which is unrelated to the fixations or repressions. I believe repression to be an inaccurate term. Rather what Freud calls repressions are fixations. A Challenge that the mind finds overwhelming is received and perpetuated as a fixation in the subconscious that in its control of the personality appeared to Freud as repression. Freud repeatedly reports the symbol as the fact whether through misconception or in intent to deceive is not always clear.
What is clear is that as Lawrence perceived so clearly in 1911 was Freud’s intent to destroy morality in a Jekylllike intent to release the Hydelike repressions on the world. In this he succeeded quite well. Much to his own injury. Just as Hyde brought destruction on himself so Freud brought destruction on the Jews in this Jewish millennial period.
At this point it might be instructive to examine an aspect of the intellectual milieu in which Freud developed. A large part of personal psychology is integral in one’s group psychology and general psychology as in, for instance, education. By education I do not mean schooling per se, but all the influences which constitue character formation.
Freud’s father came from the area of the Pale known as Galicia. This area is very close to the homeland of the ecstatic variant of Judaism known as Hasidism, and in fact his father was a Hasid. This sect arose out of the period of the last great messianic individual, Sabbatai Zevi. This man was active during the period 1640-66. As might be expected in group psychology when the Day approaches the faithful raise their expectations, growing elated, becoming forgetfull of niceties. This is what happened to the Jews of the southern Pale in 1648. As auxiliaries of the Poles who had conquered the Ukraine the Jews suffered the same fate as the Poles when the Ukrainians revolted. this massacre occurred at the same time as the expected millennium which was a complete contradiction in terms, or in other words, how mysterious can the ways of God be? Then in 1666 the whole millennial illusion collapsed when Zevi failed as a messiah.
One result of the failure was the attempt to regenerate Judaism by means of ecstatic Hasidism. By all rights Yahvey, not for the first time, having failed his people should have been renounced. The Jews couldn’t do this. There was also a second effect. Out of the wreckage of Zevi a man named Jacob Frank evolved another strain of Judaism in which he said that the age of the millennium would never appear until the Jews had exhausted their proclivity for evil. It was therefore necessary for Jews to indulge in whatever evil impulses they had to purge their systems to make way for the good or millennium.
Here also is where the Jewish notion of good arising from evil finds its clearest expression. Jewish ideas are never distinct from the ideas of the general community, in this case European. A European reaction to Judaeo-Catholicism had been going on for centuries passing through many manifestations such as the Beggars, the Free Spirtis, Anabaptists and others. All of these like the Frankists believed, like Freud, in the free expression of subconscious impulses.
Now joined by the Frankist notions after the beginning of the eighteenth century the basis of the Revolution was formed.
By mid-eighteenth century many of these groups, now styled Libertines, were functioning openly in England and on the Continent. Perhaps the most famous organization representing these beliefs which were integral to the Revolution which had been developing for centuries were clubs like the Hell Fire Club of England.
These groups of people were quite extreme. Their credo was startlingly expressed in Tobias Smollett’s 1748 novel Roderick Random. Note the date, which is just before the destruction of the notorious prisons, Newgate in England and the Bastille in France. Smollett’s novel is forty-one years before the outbreak of the French Revolution which was supported in England by members of these clubs.
Smollett’s hero, Roderick Random, was introduced into the home of one of these incendiaries to whom he attribute the following poem:
Thus have I sent the simple king to hell
Without or coffin, shroud or passing bell.
To me what are divine or human laws?
I court no sanction but my own applause!
Rapes, robb’ries, treasons, yield my soul delight;
And human carnage gratifies my sight;
I drag the hoary parent by the hair,
And toss the sprawling infant on my spear,
While the fond mother’s cries regale my ear.
I fight, I vanquish, murder friends and foes;
Nor dare the immortal gods my rage oppose.
Sound like any two revolutions you may have heard of? The above pretty much defines Freud’s intent in his use of the subconscious while forming the framework of his personal Weltanschauung. Whether Freud was consciously aware of these notions or whether they were part of his subconscious is open to question. Much of the education of this sort is absorbed on the subliminal level perhaps never being or becoming conscious. Most of this primal education is buried so deep that one is never aware of its source. I scoff at Freud’s claim that he was able to analyze himself in just one year at the turn of the century.
Now, the majority of Freud’s thought was completed by the time he published his Introductory Lectures In Psycho-Analysis in 1917 just before the Bolshevik Revolution. In order to explain the results of the Freudian ideas of the ‘unconscious’ let me provide a framework by moving ahead a little.
What we are talking about here is the context of Freud’s notion of the castration complex. Castration is a specific symbol while the generalized concept is Emasculation. the Castration Complex is not even an affect but only a symbol. If Freud was aware of the generalized Emasculation concept he nowhere lets us know. Emasculation is caused by an unresolved affront to the Ego from which all men and women suffer to some degree.
The scapegoat for our sins or arch-villain of all time as some would have it was and remains Adolf Hitler. Hitler was seriously emasculated. Having read all the major Hitler biographies while delving is some detail into the hisory of post-Great War Germany I was at a loss to explain the man and his time down to the Rock of his Church. Having folowed through on Freud’s notion of the Castration Complex exlucidating it into the Emasculation theory I came across the novels of that most horribly emasculated and repulsive figure in modern literature, Jean Genet.
For those not familiar with Genet, he wrote plays which I have not read and five novels I have which I list: Our Lady Of The Flowers, The Miracle Of The Rose, Funeral Rites, The Thief’s Journal and Querelle Of Brest.
Genet was a vicious homosexual and criminal which is to say he was completely emasculated. He wore women’s dresses but not as a transvestite. Any self-respect he had was totally negative. However, it is possible to recognize something of oneself in his hurt. He knew how to universalize his anguish. His degradation gave him some insight into his times and its personalities. He traveled in Nazi Germany between 1930 and 1940.
While not using these terms he understood and applauded the criminal annexation of Law and government to the uses of Freud’s concept of the unconscious or, in another word, criminality. The criminal nature of the regime was so in accord with his own perversions that he had no desire to thieve as such crimes seemed to him to be no insult to society in Germany.
It seemed to him that Hitler was one with himself in his desires.
I don’t believe Hitler was a practicing homosexual but he was emasculated to the point of deformity. Which is what I suppose revolted his contemporaries so. However, as all emasculation is expressed in a variant homosexual manner, self hatred being a form of homosexuality, one may believe that he was a ‘latent’ homosexual. One wonders about his relationship with Hindenburg; what exaggerated respect and smoldering resentment must have been there.
In may ways Genet forms a link between the ante and post WWII worlds. In his own goals and aims he was peculiarly related to Freud.
Shortly after the Great War Freud wrote ‘Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego.’ The essay is applied Freudianism; it doesn’t do you any good to have the scientific knowledge if you don’t apply it. Man has his individual ego while sharing it in one or more group egos. The question then becomes how does one engineer the individual ego into a group ego so that the individual within an artificial group can achieve your desired political ends will he nil he, hypnotized as it were.
Freud tackles this problem in Group Ego. The book raises several interesting questions. Freud based this work on an 1895 study by the Frenchman Gustave Le Bon titled: The Crowd: A Study Of The Popular Mind. Le Bon’s was a seminal work still in print after 110 years. He might be said to have originated the concept of group psychology which Freud appropriated.
‘Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego’ is virtually the Crowd rewritten with better organization and definition. At the risk of quoting too extensively I have abstracted several quotes from Le Bon used by Freud in Group Ego which form the basis of Freud’s essay. Le Bon’s book may be illustrative of the manner in which Freud built several of his ideas:
The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological group is the following. Whoever be the individuals who compose it, however like or unlike be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence, the fact that they have been transformed into a group puts them in possession of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think and act in manner quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think and act were he in a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts except in the case of individuals forming a group. The psychological group is a provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a living body form by their reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from those possessed by each of the cells singly. (p. 29)
It is easy to prove how much the individual forming part of a group differs from the isolated individual but it is less easy to discover the causes of this difference.
To obtain at any rate a glimpse of them it is necessary in the first place to call to mind the truth established by modern psychology, (1895) that unconscious phenomena play an altogether preponderating part not only in organic life, but also in the operations of intelligence. The conscious life of the mind is of small importance in comparison with its unconscious life. The most subtle analyst, the most acute obserber, is scarcely successful in discovering more than a very small number of the conscious motives that determine his conduct. Our conscious acts are the outcome of an unconscious stratum created in the mind mainly by hereditary influences. The substratum consists of the innumerable common characteristics handed down from generation to generation, which consitute the genius of a race. Behind the avowed causes of our acts there undoubtedly lie secret causes that we do not avow, (The issue is not issue, Mark Rudd) but behind these secret causes there are many others more secret still, of which we ourselves are ignorant. The greater part of our daily actions are the result of hidden motives which escape our observation. (Ibid. 30)
A necessary transition note from Freud. (Page 8, Group Psychology). ‘Le Bon thinks that the particular acquirements of individuals become obliterated in a group, and that in this way their distinctiveness vanishes. The racial unconscious emerges, what is heterogeneous is submerged in what is homgeneous. As we should say, the mental superstructure, the development of which in individuals shows such dissimilarities is removed, and the unconscious foundations, which are similar in everyone, stand exposed to view.
In this way individuals in a group would come to show an average character. But Le Bon believes that they also show new characteristics which they have previously not possessed, and he seeks the reason for this in three different factors.’
Freud quoting Le Bon again:
The first is that the individual forming part of a group acquires, solely from numerical considerations, a sentiment of invincible power which allows him to yield to interests which, had he been alone, he would perforce have kept under restraint. He will be the less disposed to check himself, from the consideration that, a group being anonymous and in consequence irresponsible, the sentiment of responsibility which always controls individuals disappears entirely. (Ibid. 33)
The second cause, which is contagion, also intervenes to determine the manifestations in groups of their special characteristics, and at the same time the trend they are to take. Contagion is a phenomenon of which it is easy to establish the presence but which it is not easy to explain. It must be classed among those phenomena of a hypnotic order, which we shall shortly study. In a group every sentiment and act is contagious, and cantagious to such a degree that an individual readily sacrifices his personal interest to the collective interest. this is an aptitude very contrary to his nature, and of which a man is scarcely capable, except when he makes part of a group. (Ibid. 33)
A third case and by far the most important, determines in the individuals of a group special characteristics which are quite contrary at times to those presented by their isolated individual. I allude to that suggestibility of which, moreover, the contagion mentioned above is also an effect.
To understand this phenomenon it is necessary to bear in mind certain recent physiological discoveries. We know today that by various processes an individual may be brought into such a condition that, having entirely lost his conscious personality, he obeys all the suggestions of the operator who has deprived him of it, and commits acts in utter contradiction with his character and habits. The most careful investigations seem to prove than an individual immersed for some length of time in a group in action soon finds himself– whether in consequence of the magnetic influence given out by the group, or from some other cause of which we are ignorant– in a special stae, which much resembles the state of ‘fascination’ in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer.
…The conscious personality has entirely vanished; will and discernment are lost. All feelings and thoughts are bent in the direction determined by the hypnotizer.
Such also is approximately the state of the individual forming part of a psychological group. He is no longer conscious of his acts. In his case, as in the case of the hypnotized subject, at the same time that certain faculties are destroyed, other may be brought to a high degree of exaltation. Under the influence of a suggestion, he will undertake the accomplishment of certain acts with irresistible impetuosity. This impetuosity is the more irresistible in the case of groups than in that of the hypnotized subject, from the fact that, the suggestion being the same for all individuals in the group, it gains in strength by reciprocity. (Ibid. 34)
We see, then, that the disappearnce of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in the identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested idea into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will. (Ibid. 35)
The remainder of Freud’s Group Psychology is the application of Le Bon’s observations as a manual for psychologically manipulated groups through hypnosis and suggestion to achieve an agenda. I will repeatedly refer to Group Psychology in Freud’s plan hereafter. While it is clear that Freud read Le Bon’s 1895 book absorbing much, the book was immediately translated into English in 1896 where it became accesible to a world public, it is therefore probable that a number of other people read the book taking what they needed for their purposes.
One of these may very well have been Edgar Rice Burroughs. I know of no way of determining the fact that he read the book but one asks is there any evidence in his novels that would indicate that he had. I’ll be darned, there is. As I said, because of the frivolous nature of the novels one dismisses Burroughs as an uneducated fantasist. He himself said that he would take a political or social idea and highly fictionalize it into something else. If one reads his 1914 novel Thuvia, Maid Of Mars one finds a story suspiciously like Le Bon’s ideas in The Crowd but highly fictionalized.
Burroughs’ psychological ideas are difficult to trace but well developed. Throughout his corpus Burroughs is well informed about hypnosis. It appears to be a subject he gave special attention to. Le Bon’s ideas are based on group hypnosis. In Thuvia the hero finds his way to the Martian kingdom of Lothar. He engages his invaders in a battle with the Lotharians. The city walls of Lothar are manned by innumerable bowmen firing arrows on the Green Men of Mars. The field is strewn with dead Green men killed by the arrows of he phantom bowmen.
The fight ending the hero looks away for an instant breaking eye contact with Lothar. When he looks back the field is strewn with dead Green Men but the arrows are gone. Wondering about this he looks back at Lothar to find the bowmen are gone too.
As it turn out the Lotharians no longer exist in physical form but are merely psychological projections who have learned to mass hypnotize their enemies into believing that they do exist and are shooting real arrows. Their enemies believe they are real arrows and so die by them.
Thus it is quite possible that in Thuvia we have a fictionalization of Le Bon’s ideas which Burroughs must have picked up from the 1895 book converting them into fiction in 1914 well ahead of Freud and Hitler.
Oh yes. Him again. Hitler. Whether historians would agree that Germany was ‘stabbed in the back’ or not, it was universally believed by Germans, especially by Hitler, and they and he acted on that belief. Thus the psychic injury suffered by the privations of war, the loss of the war, and the belief that victory had been taken from them by traitorous means made a curious form of group emasculation of the collective ego shared by each individual creating the conditions for a group psychology which under the influence of a hypnotizer they would not be responsible for their acts. The group ego is where the emasculation occurs being then relegated to the group subconscious where it surfaces under various names and impulses. As the American Jew Mark Rudd was to say in respect to his group’s post-WWII emasculation: The issue is not the issue. In other words, their complaint was the disguise for their emasculation which is what they were really trying to address.
Jean Genet was not a philosopher or a politician so that he did not understand that Hitler was not the protagonist but the antagonist. He was not acting but reacting. What was he reacting to? Let’s go back to Freud.
End of Part 2. Go To Part 3
October 12, 2007
A Contribution To The Edgar Rice Burroughs
by R.E. Prindle
The Sheik by E.M. Hull is found in ERB’s library. The novel published at the beginning of 1921 was a runaway bestseller going through thirty-0ne printings by October. My copy is of the thirty-first printing. How many more it may have gone through I am not aware.
The book was quickly made into the movie of the same name starring Rudolph Valentino and released on November 20th of the same year. Thus the impact would have been redoubled on ERB reading the book and seeing the movie.
Having troubles in his relations with Emma, he was somewhat bedeviled by what she wanted as Freud was by what women wanted. The Sheik presented one woman’s solution to the problem of what women want. The Englishwoman E.M. Hull examined the problem in some detail. Her solution would find expression in ERB’s Tarzan And The Ant Men of 1923 in the story of the Alalus women.
While Mrs. Hull’s novel is invariably reviewed as a soft core porn novel it is actually quite a serious attempt to explore what women want. Not a potboiler, the story is well thought out and carefully constructed.
The story falls into the category of the desert nomad thriller.
The scene is somewhere between Biskra and Oran in Algeria. Biskra is the southernmost point on the railroad from the coast to the Sahara in the East of Algeria. It is an oasis area and was a winter resort for Europeans. This area was also the scene of Robert Hitchen’s The Garden Of Allah and the Sahara scenes from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Return Of Tarzan.
As with Hitchens’ the desert serves as a symbol for self-realization and redemption. The story was written as the career of the rebel Abd El Krim was reaching its apex in the Rif. Krim’s story was terrifically romantic for women of the era. I had a high school history teacher in the fifties who was still capable of gushing about Krim thinking him the most manly and desirable of men.
As with Hitchens the story revolves around a man and a woman. The woman an Englishwoman and the man a Krim like sheik of the desert.
The woman is appropriately named Diana. Diana was the virgin huntress of Greek mythology who spurned all relations with men thus putting her in enmity with Aphrodite. She is somehow related to the Lady Of The Lake of ancient Lacedaemon which name means Lady Of The Lake and in a line of progression to the Northern European archetype of the second half of the Piscean Age. This is a rather strange female archetype to represent the Northern European psyche. She is a cold unloving symbol that may have something to do with the European character.
Whether Mrs. Hull knew these things or not she represents them perfectly in her story. This is quite extraordinary.
Thus her Diana was raised by her brother as a boy. She is represented throughout the story as an ambiguous girl-boy, nearly a hermaphrodite. She is herself a skilled huntress who has no use for men. As the story opens she has yet to be kissed. Mrs. Hull skillfully represents the respect that Northern European men have for their women which in itself may be conditioned by the Diana image. They are easily put off. When one man asks Diana for a kiss he accepts his rejection with equanimity asking only if they can at least be pals.
The Sheik as the wild man of the desert knowing no law but his will offers quite a contrast. By the time of Mrs. Hull’s novel ERB had already explored the same literary territory in the Return Of Tarzan and The Lad And The Lion as well as The Cave Girl. I would hesitate to say Mrs. Hull had read Burroughs but the Sheik is portrayed as a Tarzan like superman in a decidedly pulp manner.
The Sheik does not observe any civilized niceties. At one point Mrs. Hull refers to his civilization being less than skin deep. As the Sheik, Ahmed, says, if he wants something he takes it. Having seen Diana in the marketplace of Biskra he sets out to kidnap and rape her. There are no other words for it and Mrs. Hull does not mince them.
His plan worked out so that he buys off Diana’s desert guide to deliver her to him on the first night out of Biskra. Prior to that he surreptitiously serenaded her on the night before even entering her room in the dark while she is there to replace the bullets in her pistol with blanks to prevent her from shooting him in the desert which she did attempt to do.
Now, Mrs. Hull is presenting an allegory so the novel is filled with symbols. The key symbol is the horse. The horse is, of course, a symbol of the female associated with the Greek god Poseidon. In ancient times the symbol of the bull was associated with the missing y chromosome of the female being replaced in Patriarchal times with the horse. Thus the Patriarchal goddess Athene is sometimes represented as horse headed.
When the guide brings Diana a horse to ride it is a magnificent creature much better than she might have expected from a commercial enterprise. The horse has actually been provided by Ahmed the Sheik so as Diana leaves Biskra she is already mounted on the Sheik’s horse- a powerful sexual symbol. The horse is trained to respond to signals from The Sheik.
The story is filled with horses and horse races between she and the Sheik. In one race the Sheik gives her a minute to stop or he will shoot her horse dead which he does. He then places Diana in front of him on his horse (these horses are all magnificent and beyond magnificent) at which point she realizes that she is not only in love with the Sheik but has been for some time.
Previous to this time she had noted in the camp
…but it was the horses that struck Diana principally. They were everywhere, some tethered, some wandering loose, some excercising in the hands of grooms.
So everywhere is the symbol of the female. At this stage Diana has been sexually subordinated to the Sheik but she is intellectually resisting. The Sheik puts on a demonstration of how useless her resistance is as he fully intends to break her.
A man eater is brought out who has killed a man earlier that morning. The horse obviously represents Diana. Some two or three men attempt to break the horse but they all fail. Then the Sheik mounts. The result is a thoroughly exhausted and beaten horse. She stops fighting with her legs splayed while the Sheik jumps off. Then the horse rolls over left with no will of its own.
This is exactly Diana’s situation. Earlier she had boasted to her brother: I will do what I choose, and I will never obey any will but my own.
That is now proven an empty boast as the Diana riding in front of the Sheik chooses to obey the Sheik’s will.
Perhaps Mrs. Hull has prophesied the submission of England’s will of today to the desert Sheiks. As of now the Moslems have all but assumed religious control of England. Thus England as Diana has submitted its sexuality to the sons of the Sheiks.
However Diana’s Sheik still has to prove himself as the dominant male of his society to retain her allegiance. One hesitates to say that she perversely tests him nevertheless having been cautioned to take care on her desert rides she insists on going too far afield. Naturally she and her seven man escort are ambushed by the fat swarthy greasy rival sheik’s men. Six of the seven escorts die joyously defending their sheik’s property. The seventh, the sheik’s European manservant gets the classic bullet crease alongside the head. Diana disappears into the fat greasy sheik’s tent. This guy is everything an Arab sheik should have been in contemporary European eyes. Fat, greasy, swarthy, unbelievably smelly, uncouth to the nth degree. There’s no doubt there’s the fate worse than death for the boyish, sylphlike, slender, lithe Diana. Yes, it seems pretty certain, unless…
Here comes the Sheik with a small but loyal and dedicated band of followers eager to die for their leader. Just as the greasy, swarthy sheik has got it out and ready in crashes Ahmed in the nick of time. Rather than shooting the bastard and getting it over with he wants to dispatch El Greaso by hand. As we all know strangling a a struggling strong man takes a little time. Enough time for El Greaso’s vile Ebon followers to burst into the tent. Right behind them come Ahmed’s men. Shades of Tarzan! Ahmed takes a severe blow to the head and a couple long blades in the back.
Will he live? After muttering a couple pages similar to the last words of Dutch Schultz the matter is in the hands of Allah and the European surgeon. As much as I like having god on my side, in certain situations a good surgeon is even better.
Nevertheless if Ahmed lives he has proven himself to be the right man for Diana. Interestingly the virgin huntress has submitted to the law of Aphrodite. The European archetype has accepted the dominance of the Moslem Arab.
Well, almost. In the first place the tribe of Ahmed is very interesting according to his French friend who arrived in time for the big battle. It seems that Ahmed’s tribe is different from the rest of the desert greasers. It is inferred that his tribe is one of the legendary White tribes supposed to be living in the Sahara. Undoubtedly a surviving remnant of Atlantis that moved South when the Mediterranean flooded.
Why, in addition, it turns out that Ahmed isn’t even an Arab. It seems that he’s actually English. Well, an English Spanish blend. His English father when in his cups did some unspeakable thing to Ahmed’s mother when she was pregnant with him and she was found by Ahmed Sr. Ahmed Jr.’s adopted father wandering dazed and confused beneath the broiling desert sun.
Taken in she dropped Ahmed Jr. and died. The baby was raised as the successor to Ahmed Sr. But he developed an uncontrollable hatred for England, its people and all things English. That’s why he captured and raped Diana over and over. But it’s OK, they both realize they love each other now.
The lesson seems to be that that’s what woman wants: a man who can earn her repect by dominating and controlling her while at the same time being the dominant male in his society, being able to provide all her wants and desires while being able to defend her from the El Greasos of the world. So all the necessary elements come together here and we have a marriage if not made in heaven perfect for terrestrial travails.
If nothing else ERB learned where he had failed Emma in the beginning but who now wondered in his own role of sheik where the rewards from Emma were.
I’m going to speculate that ERB read the story in 1921. He might have enjoyed Valentino in the movie but I think it improbable that the silent film came near capturing the nuances of the novel. I’m sure the signficance of Diana as female European archetype didn’t come through on celluloid.
Was it even in Mrs. Hull’s mind one may perhaps ask. Is it possible I’m projecting my beliefs on Mrs. Hull’s story? It is possible but consider this passage in The Sheik:
He was so young, so strong, so made to live. He had so much to live for. He was essential to his people. They needed him. If she could only die for him. In the days when the world was young the gods were kind, they listened to the prayers of hapless lovers and accepted the life they were offered in the place of the beloved whose life was claimed. If God would but listen to her now.
So we know that Mrs. Hull was read in Greek mythology. It would seem inevitable that she was familiar with the stories of King Arthur to some degree. Certainly she knew the story of Merlin and Vivian. She was a writer. Knowing little about Mrs. Hull it is impossible for me to know for certain exactly what she read or understood. And yet, there it is in the pages of her novel if one has eyes to see. The Sheik is as much a work of mythology as is that of Burroughs’ Tarzan. It is possible that neither was conscious of what they were saying but the information taken into their minds was transformed subconsciously, at least, into the form in which it issued forth from their pens. It works that way for writers. I am often astonished at the subliminal message of what I write. Did I intend it? Must have. There it is. Still, I do put myself into a mild trance when I’m writing so that I concentrate on words rather than ideas. So the words are more conscious while the content is more subliminal. We know ERB wrote from a trancelike state and Mrs. Hull’s story has that quality. I think we have enough evidence to know that she had read the mythological material so that whether she had consciously formulated her ideas they come out in her writing. In short, I don’t think I’m projecting much if anything. Tra la.
There is no doubt that The Sheik made a big impression on ERB. The question is how did he understand it. His first reaction appeared in 1923′s Tarzan And The Ant Men in the weird parody of the Alalus people in which he reverses the male-female roles with the women being stronger and dominant. As Ahmed figures the women brutally dominate the men. Using them for sexual pleasure then discarding them. ERB’s story seems to be tongue in cheek but without a reference point the ridiculous story is hard to follow. With E.M. Hull’s The Sheik I believe we have the reference point.
It seems clear that Mrs. Hull was influenced by Robert Hitchens’ The Garden Of Allah. What is not clear is whether she was influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs and if so by what novels. The Sheik follows a pulp format. So, if Mrs. Hull read the pulps on a regular basis there is no reason to believe that she was not familiar with some of his work as Burroughs certainly by 1920 when she probably began the novel was already the premier pulp writer.
If that was the case it seems likely that she might have read The Return Of Tarzan and The Lad And The Lion, perhaps The Cave Girl. If she read Lad then she reversed the roles of the chief male and female characters making the Woman English and the man Arab.
I haven’t read the magazine version of The Lad And The Lion so I am not sure of the specific changes ERB made between the 1913 version and the 1938 rewrite for book publication. The rewrite shows clear evidence of influence from The Sheik unless of course Mrs. Hull was reflecting the influence of the Lad on herself. In any event the two books reflect an influence from one to the other.
So, as with Trader Horn and Burroughs it is possible that Hull was influenced by Burroughs and with both of these authors Burroughs reading of them was reflected in his subsequent writing.
Our list of reciprocal influences is growing when one adds that of H.G. Wells. What once seemed simple grows more complex.
Postscript: I have since learned that Mrs. Hull was a student of mythology.
October 6, 2007
Springtime For Edgar Rice Burroughs
The return from San Diego in March-April 1914 was a turning point in Burroughs’ life. In a sense it was a childhood’s end. The past was now the past. ERB’s future lay ahead.
The fact that he had won the gamble of the stay in San Diego being able to spend recklessly and still have his back financially covered must have been a tonic to his self-confidence. He was able to do nearly anything he wanted to do. One was to begin his library. A key book in his library was Edward Gibbon’s Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire. He recorded its purchase date in 1913 and the day he completed the work just after his birthday in 1915. One imagines that by the time he wrote his three sequels in mid-1914 he had read a few of the volumes of his twelve volume set.
This is important because reading Gibbon is a life changing event. In the language of the sixties the history is consciousness expanding. In a sense it is a transition from childhood to maturity.
It is impossible to stress sufficiently the changes that ERB is going through or the rapidity of the changes. Already just returned from San Diego he is purchasing a new automobile, a Hudson. It is perhaps no coincidence that The Mad King opens with Barney Custer/ERB careening down the road in a new Roadster. That it is gray is of very little significance because the only colors available in 1914 were probably grey and black. Or perhaps as the Hudson appears to be grey in black and white photos Barney’s car for that reason was grey.
One can only imagine the exhilaration ERB experienced as he climbed behind the wheel of big new touring car. It was Hudson not a cheap Ford. Nineteen fourteen was also a turning point in the history of Ford Motors. ERB always disparages Fords in these years proud that he’s driving a more expensive automobile. The woes of not being able to afford a car from 1903 on must have melted away.
Not only did ERB buy a new car but he and his family of wife and three children moved into luxurious new quarters in the affluent Chicago suburb of Oak Park. So ERB began a new life on his return to Chicago.
Shortly after his return Tarzan Of The Apes was released in book form by A.C. McClurg. Magazine and newspaper response to his stories had been terrific so there was no reason for Burroughs not to anticipate large sales. One can imagine him sitting up nights calculating the number. A hundred thousand? Too low. A million? Well, if he got really lucky. We’ve all enjoyed the anticipation of some sort along those lines.
The book was released in May, 1914 but there is no indication that McClurg’s even sold through the fifteen thousand of the contract or, indeed, that they even ever printed that many. The title was turned over to the reprint house of A.L. Burt early the next year in 1915. Burt was so uncertain of the books reception that they made McClurgs guarantee the first printing. When Burt turned the title over to Grossett and Dunlap they claimed to have sold less than seven hundred thousand copies at fifty cents each. Royalties were only four and a half cents a copy of which McClurg’s got half so Burroughs realized a mere pittance.
So what then?
He was thrown back almost wholly on his magazine revenues. He began to receive some money from newspaper syndication but this was relatively a pittance given his expectations. Within a few years movie money would begin coming in but for the time being Burroughs had to keep writing bcause as usual he was spending in advance of receipts.
I believe one can detect a change in the style of his writing at this point.
Whereas prior to the return from San Diego with the energy of the bloom of Spring relying perhaps on stories that had evolved in his mind as he daydreamed in the lean years stories just flowed from his pen. It seems likely that he exhausted that reservoir in San Diego so that now he had actually to work at dreaming up stories. In all three of the titles the sequels are significantly longer than the first halves while changing from personal revelations more toward formal stories.
The editorship of Munsey’s had also changed from Metcalf to Bob Davis- Robert H. Davis. From the available evidence Metcalf seems to have been the more tolerant and indulgent of Burroughs’ writing. When Davis was assigned Burroughs in 1914 the latter was an established star of the Munsey stable of writers. Davis wrote an autobiography c. 1940 that I haven’t been able to obtain but which should have much information on his dealing with ERB.
Davis appears to have been much more critical of Burroughs, even bullying him, pushing suggestions on him that the vulnerable writer couldn’t resist. Davis was the one who suggested that Tarzan have a son something Burroughs always regretted doing. Davis seems to have been of the opinion that ERB used a number of trite situations, situations that have subsequently been amply exploited by the movies. Not having grown up in ERB’s milieu and being sufficienctly underread in the various literatures of the times I am unable to say whether or not Burroughs presentation of Barney Custer’s execution by firing squad was trite or not as Davis states. Why Davis should have accepted the grazing of the head by the bullet that has become so commonplace in the movies and rejected the first episode is beyond me.
That Davis accepted Barney’s escape through the sewer without a demur when the episode is a blatant plagiarism of Jean Valjean’s escape through the sewer in Les Miserables is beyond me also. Burroughs even duplicates the upturned face as the filth rises about Valjean. ERB does provide the original twist of Barney being completely submerged in the sewage. Gruesome enough.
So Davis’ intent seems to have been a contest for control and dominance. It seems then that there were large variations between the magazine stories and the published books as ERB reinserted deleted passages and changed details back to his original writing. Overall, from the available evidence, I hold an unfavorable opinion of Davis’ interference.
On the home front, while ERB may have thought to find acceptance for his success as a writer and his newfound prosperity he was to be bitterly disappointed as his writing was disparaged and his topics made him a literary clown in his contemporaries eyes. To my undertanding he has never been accorded the respect that is his due to this day either in Oak Park or Chicago.
The fact is that he was able to please his audience in the pulp fiction genre mightily not only in 1913-14 but for at least a quarter century until his medium, pulp fiction, began to flounder in the thirties and forties. Having now read so many of his novels four to six times I am beginning now to have a much greater respect for ERB’s writing abilities.
The sequels of all three novels under consideration show an extreme focus on exactly what the story is and told with great economy yet with words so well chosen that the reader learns everything that he has to know. I am especially impressed with the single minded drive of The Mad King.
While obviously desiring acceptance and even importance in Chicago’s society ERB made an effort to be accepted by the newspaper columnists he had so admired from young manhood on. These men were very much admired by ERB. Indeed the columnists occupied a position analogous to the drive time radio commentators of our day. Chicago had some of the best.
Burroughs had collections of Eugene Field and George Ade in his library so that it is clear that he was much influenced by them. He does not seem to have cared for Peter Finley Dunne and his Mr. Dooley Irish dialect stories. Now as man he began to contribute to the successors of Field and Ade. Bert Leston Taylor’s column A Line Of Type Or Two in the Chicago Tribune printed some of Burroughs’ verse submitted under his pseudonym, Normal Bean, as well as another column in the Tribune, In The Wake Of The News by Hugh E. Keogh also known as HEK. (source: Porges) Both columns were prestigious so that the acceptance of ERB’s verse would indicate that it was high enough quality for the columns. After all it isn’t that easy to get into such columns or even have a letter to the editor published. Burroughs also joined the White Paper Club that sounds like a catchall scribblers club. He was ignored and shunned by the prestigious clubs.
A note on cars and then to the books on review. In 1913 he had and sold a Velie. In 1914 he bought and drove a Hudson while he drove a Mitchell in 1915.
The Velie is of interest (see http://www.angelfire.com/mt/velie/ )
The Velie was a low priced model bought second hand so it probably didn’t put ERB out too much. Willard Velie attended Yale at the same time as the Burroughs Boys graduating in 1888. One wonders if the Brothers knew of Velie at Yale. Perhaps such a knowledge may have influenced Burroughs choice or perhaps not.
The choice of the Hudson was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that ERB’s hero, L. Frank Baum, who ERB almost certainly visited in 1913, drove one.
If there is a possible story behind the Mitchell I haven’t learned it as yet. Also it shoud be noted that the movie industry did not affect Baum’s decision to move to Hollywood. Cecil B. Demille and Jesse Lasky didn’t step off the train in LA until 1914 when they introduced Hollywood to the movies.
So now ERB began to organize his life around his future rather than his past. The first burst of writing in which he released his pent up emotions was now spent. On the return to Chicago his writing becomes a vocation in which he had to turn out stories every year for the pulps so that he became a professional writer rather than a quasi-amateur.
Tarzan Of The Apes was published in May upon his return but it would seem to disappointing sales. It was even difficult for McClurg’s to get the reprint firm of A.L. Burt to take it however it did well for Burt although apparently not in the spectacular numbers so often reported. Nevertheless money began to come in from that source.
Burroughs’ writing would also be influenced by the political situation presented by the Wobblies or I.W.W. as well as the outbreak of the Great War in August. That conflict became the subject of the sequel to The Mad King that was written after the war began.
The tone of the three sequels then changed from the first halves becoming less personal in their presentation but still concerned with ERB’s relationship with Emma.
The opening sequence of The Cave Girl-The Mad King-The Eternal Lover was changed to The Cave Man-Sweethearts Primeval (Eternal Lover)-and Barney Custer Of Beatrice (Mad King).
Barney Custer of Beatrice seems to display some first hand knowledge of Bert Weston’s business so it is possible that ERB and family visited Weston and Beatrice on the way back from California. In the only letter in the Weston correspondence near the 1914 date, that of June 14, ERB does not allude to any such visit which may or may not mean anything.
The Cave Man then was written first of the sequels as was The Cave Girl of the original stories. There are very significant elements to the story. ERB would later use the Nadara as the White Goddess in Tarzan And The Leopard Men. That in turn links Nadara to La and thence to Florence. In this story Nadara has been captured by some aborigines and made their goddess as will be Kali Bwana. Just as Nadara was wearing the Panther pelt so Kali Bwana would be associated with the Leopard as goddess of the Leopard Men. So both women are invested with ERB’s symbol of female sexuality.
Just as the long temple here was on a river so would be the Leopard temple. Waldo as Thandar uses the roof as does Tarzan. ERB thus duplicates the story. As Florence entered his life he began to associate her with this early dream of Nadara as well as her successor, La. Signficantly La makes her last appearance in 1930s Tarzan The Invincible transformed to reappear immediately as Kali Bwana of Leopard Men. That would indicate that by 1930 ERB had decided to leave Emma for Florence.
Another interesting twist is the similarity of Nadara and the temple to those of Trader Horn. We know that Trader Horn read Burroughs so it is probable that he somehow picked up a copy of the magazine version of Cave Man gestating the story for a decade or so when it came out of his head in 1927. Thus the close association of Burroughs and Horn before and after the publication of the latter’s story. Keeps getting more and more interesting, doesn’t it?
A second major issue seems to be ERB trying to reconcile himself and his parents. The second half of the Cave Man is very concerned with portraying Thandar/ERB’s father as a fine old man in contrast to the crazy deaf mute of Lad And The Lion. In this story the father figure is sympathetic while the mother figure is more harsh. She does become reconciled to Nadara in the end when she learns the girl is a French Princess. French again. One wonders if ERB’s mother was opposed to his marrying Emma.
Nadara herself who waffles between a representation of Emma/Jane and La in the Cave Girl begins Cave Man as more Ema but becomes morel like La/Kali Bwana as the story progresses ending strongly as the latter which would indicate that ERB already preferred his dream Golden Girl to Emma. He finally settled for the rather commonplace Florence as his version of the Wild Thing.
The story opens with the usual adventures. Getting Nadar back to her people it is necessary to kill King Big Fist to keep her. Thus we have a series of male images that reflect ERB’s conflict with Frank Martin.
Big Fist dead the people appoint Tandar/Waldo as their king. Thandar is in the process of converting the tribe to American Democracy when the earth quake strikes. In addition to head bashing one is astonished at the role earthquakes play in these early stories along with memory loss.
In this one Thandar/Waldo is creating a new society somewhat in imitation of the bizarre improvements Jules Verne made to his Mysterious Island when the earthquake strikes ending Thandar’s experiment.
The earthquake separates him from Nadara who is then pursued by another neanderthal type; perhaps this is a varation on the theme of ERB’s ccontest with marank Martin for Emma’s hand.
In a bizarre episode Thandar puts to sea in a bobbing strange little boat finally falling in with Pirates. From then on the story resembles Pirate Blood. Pirate Blood appeared at the same time as his relationship with Florence developed so the two are proable related to his Anima fantasies.
All comes out right in the end as the Pirates restore the belongings of Waldo’s father and mother whose yacht they had captured. Thandar rescues Nadara, all are reunited and Thandar/Waldo and Nadara are able to consummate their natural union with the marriage rites of civilization. An odd little story overall.
ERB next turned to the sequel of The Eternal Lover, Sweethearts Primeval. I just like this story. Nu and Victoria return to the Niocene. ERB missed some opportunities here. While Nu left the Niocene to go to the present Nat-ul never did. So when Victoria made her first trip to the Niocene both she and Nat-Ul should have been there. It would have been well if ERB had explained how their two being meshed after the munerous rebirths of Nat-Ul that produced Victoria.
In this story Nat-Ul who is a variation of La, and Nu become separated. The story is their attempt to reunite. Once again a character who may represent Frank Martin attempts to abduct Nat-Ul but she escapes him to fall into the clutches of another cave man only to escape finding her way to a small island.
The imagery is quite wonderful. Burroughs at his best. The scenery is quite reminiscent of Pellucidar with its coasts and islands. The pirate theme is also prominent in the Pellucidar stories of this time.
Nat-Ul manages to be abducted a number of times escaping each time.
Nu is hampered in his search for Nat-Ul by the appearance of a woman named Gron the wife of Tur of the Boat People. She attches herself to Num who has a difficult time getting rid of her. In the end Nu goes off in seach of the tiger OO this time dying while Victoria/Nat-Ul returns to the present leaving a hole in Space and Time.
In the end we learn that the whole story of Nu took place in the three mintues Victoria was unconcious.
Burroughs then turned to the sequel of The Mad King. The reversal in sequence of The Mad King and The Eternal Lover was necessitated by the fact that after the first part of The Mad King Barney had gone to Africa so that it was now necessary to get him back to Lutha.
Thus the Mad King and The Eternal Lover are actually one novel of the History of Barney Custer. The two books could be combined and titled something like The Adventures Of Barney Custer in Lutha and Africa.
The proper way to read the two books then is Part I of The Mad King, both parts of The Eternal Lover and then the sequel to The Mad King.
After losing Emma in Mad King Part I, Barney goes to Africa to ‘forget’ along with Butzow. Leaving Africa we next find him and Butzow in Beatrice, Nebraska visiting Bert and Margaret and their grain mill.
If Peter of Bletz had lost rack of Barney in Africa he relocates him in Beatrice (I am informed that Beatrice if pronounced Be-at-trice). After a failed murder attempt by Peter’s henchman Maenck Barney and Butzow return to Lutha.
As the story was written after the beginning of the Great War Austria is now attempting to annex Lutha. Apparently ERB was opposed to Austria as he sides with the Serbs.
Having been unable to forget Emma in Africa Barney now attempts to win her hand from King Leopold.
Barney and Leopold are yet another variation on The Prince And The Pauper then. Barney is captured trying to enter Lutha and put before a firing squad. Miraculously escaping death he escapes the Austrians by a direct borrowing of Jean Valjean’s escape through the sewers of Paris.
He is temporarily reunited with Emma but then captured by Maenck. Taken to Leopold he is sentenced to death but contrives to escape by exchanging identities with Leopold. In the guise of Leopold Barney manages to save Lutha from the Austrians. He dressed in Royal and Leopold dressed in rages the two are impossible to tell apart which replicates Twain’s story.
Barney is more seriously injured than Leiop[old so more vulnerable and also stupidly trusting. It should be clear that Barney and Leopold are doppelgangers of ERB. The crux of the problme here is the struggle for Emma. She had been promised in marriage to Leopold so that she is unwilling to disengage fromt he agreement without Leopold’s consent.
ERB writes this remarkable passage about his tow identities, the one the loser of yesteryear, Leopold, and the other the success of his present, Barney.
‘What do you intend doing with me?” (Leopold) said. “Are you going to keep your word and return my identity?”
“I have promised,” replied Barney, “and what I promise I always perform.”
“Then exchange clothing with me at once,” cried the king, half rising from his cot.
‘Not so fast, my friend,” replied the American. “There are a few trifling details to be arranged before we resume our proper personalities.”
One of the trifling details is the release of Emma from her obligation to Leopold. Barney extorts the letter releasing the king placing it under his pillow. Exhausted from his wound he then falls asleep. Not so tired Leopold waits until Barney is asleep than recovers his clothes takes back the letter and leaves Barney to his fate.
Up to this point in 1913-14′s output ERB has been struggling to make amends with for his dismal performance in the first thirteen yers of marriage and regain her confidence. Thus Leopold represents the old ERB and Barney the new. As Emma has been married to ERB and is familiar with his loser persona it is difficult for her to transit from Leopold to Barney in her affections. As they are so similar in appearance she had difficulty telling them apart. This has been ERB;s dilemma for the last year and a half, convincing Emma that he is trustworthy and will continue to be a good provider.
ERB has confidence in his ability to continue his writing and finanical success but his future was not so clear to Emma as he continued his wastrel ways. As she could not share his optimism she continued to be wary refusing to accord him the trust and actually the respect he desired.
Leopold in possession of the letter identifying him as Barney races to Lustadt presumably with the intent to present Emma with the letter identifying him as Barney, the man she really wants, the marrying her quickly under the false pretense thus foiling Barney.
His own plan is foiled when upon arriving at the castle in Lustadt he is shot dead by Maenck who mistakes him for Barney . Barney then shows up claiming the hand of Emma.
He is then proclaimed king. Emma says to him:
“There is no other way, my lord King,” she said with grave dignity. “With her blood your mother requeated you a duty which you may not shirk. It is not for you or me to choose. God chose for you when you were born.”
Thus with the line: God chose for out ERB unites the stories of Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Prince And The Pauper. The Little Prince of ERB’s early years returns to his God appointed place. He and Emma are united.
One believes that the story and its ending was intended for Emma to observe ahd heed. Apparently she didn’t because in the next Tarzan story, Jewels Of Opar of 1915, Tarzan and La flirt again.
Anyway The Mad King sequel rounds out the stories of 1913 bringing Burroughs’ springtime to an end. The tragedy is that Emma couldn’t foresee that ERB had tapped into the Mother Lode. No matter how improvident ERB would continute to be the money would always be there to continue their new life style. Perhaps if she had surrendered to fate and Made ERB her king in fact both she and La would have been united in one figure.
It seems that the Cave Girl, The Eternal Lover and The Mad King explored ERB’s relationship with Emma fromt he beginning to the point aht ERB was minded to replace her with an ideal woman.
The notion would develop in his mind until in 1927 he actually did so.
The three sequels ended the quest of his Springtime. His youthful enthusiasm was exhausted. From this point on he would compose more formal novels searching for story lines.
Personally I find his post 1914 to 1920 work some of his best. The two sequels to The Mucker yet to come are outstanding.
Female problems continued to dominate his work. Then in 1921 he read a work on male-female relations by E.M. Hull that had a profound effect on him. that was the novel of The Sheik. I would like to do a review of that next before I return to the Tarzan series.
October 1, 2007
Something Of Value I
If a man does away
With his traditional way of living
And throws away his good customs,
He had better first make certain
That he has something of value to replace them.
–Basuto proverb as quoted by Robert Ruark
One Hundred Years In The Sewers Of Paris
With Jean Valjean.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sigmund Freud
And The Myth Of The Twentieth Century
The Concepts Of The Unconscious And Emasculation
It has been truly said that man does not live by bread alone. He also requires a mythic foundation on which to base his actions. In the neolithic era his mythology was governed by a Matriarchal vision of reality. In the subsequent Egypto-Greco-Mesopotamian mythology the Matriarchal series went through a revision being replaced by an advanced Patriarchal mythological consciousness. This system was followed by the Judaeo-Christian mythological system which endured as the basis of mythological belief until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the belief system was subverted by the emergence of the Scientific Consciousness.
Unlike the mythopoeic consciousness which preceded it the Scientific Consciousness left no place for supernatural explanations; all had to be explained within a rational scientific framework. This placed a great strain on a significant portion of the population which did not have the intellectual equipment to evolve. Thus the basis of psychological comfort provided by religion was destroyed. The code of behavior seemingly sent down from the sky had lost its validity.
In place of an apparent unified consciousness it now became noticeable that EuroAmerican man had an unconscious or subconscious mind as well as a conscious mind. Thus another evolutionary degree of differentiation unfolded that separated the advanced Scientific Consciousness from the anterior Religious Conciousness. A struggle has ensued in which advanced people are compelled to reintegrate their conscious and subconscious minds while the Religious Consciousness divided into the two camps of the Devout and the Reds resist.
The discovery of what was known as the Unconscious began with the emergence from the Religious Consciousness during and after the Enlightenment. Anton Mesmer with his discovery of Animal Magnetism or hypnotism may have been the first stage. Goethe and others carried the discussion forward until the Englishman FWH Myers isolated or identified the subconscious by the name of the unconscius in 1886.
The notion of the unconscious as known during the twentieth century was formulated by Sigmund Freud during the twentieth century’s first decade. Both Myers and Freud misconceived the nature of the sub or unconscious. Myers’ conception was more generous than Freud’s and more in accordance with proto-scientific Patriarchal Greek mythological conceptions which were also mistaken but visionary.
In Myers’ vision of the unconscious it had two aspects: the destructive aspect which he gave the Greek name of Ate and the constructive aspect he termed Menos. Thus he recognized that the unconcious could be good or bad.
Myers’ vision may have been based in Greek mythology. It will be remembered that the creative god, Hephaestus, was married to the emotional goddess, Aphrodite. Hephaestus and Aphrodite had their digs at the bottom of the sea which is to say the symbol of the unconscious which corresponds to the seeming location of the unconscious at the bottom of the mind or, in other words, the brain stem.
Thus it is said that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, which is to say irrationality, emerged from the sea on the half shell.
So, I suppose, love, being never rational is a subconscious decision which is one sided or a half shell. Love may be either constructive or destructive.
Thus also good ideas, a la Hephaestus, seem to rise unbidden from the subconscious or the depths.
Hephaestus and Aphrodite were ancient gods dating back to the Matriarchy. The incoming Patriarchal god, Zeus, had no part in their creation; they were solely a part of Hera the great goddess of the Matriarchy. She was much older than Zeus but the youthful Zeus united with her in the form of a cuckoo bird who as she clutched it to her breast slipped down her dress and ravaged her. So the Patriachy subsumed the Matriarchy.
When Hephaestus later sided with his mother against Zeus, the great Olympian threw him from heaven laming him. Then Aphrodite was given to him to wife. Unbridled lust combined with creative activity, Ate and Menos.
Aphrodite was not happy with the lamed god. While Hephaestus was on trips to Olympus she dallied with another Matriarchal god, Ares, the symbol of uncontrollable desire or rage. Hephaestus having been informed of Aphrodite’s infidelity set a trap for her and Ares. He constructed a finely meshed net of gold which he suspended over his bed.
Aphrodite, unbridled lust, and Ares, uncontrollable rage, were literally caught in the act being unable to disengage. Thus we have two aspects of Ate, lust and rage, caught by the efforts of creativity in the depths of the sea or the unconscious
Hephaestus called the other gods to witness. Athene, a new Patriarchal goddess who was the counterpart and antithesis of Ares and Aphrodite turned away in disgust. Apollo, another new Patriarchal god and the antithesis of Hermes just laughed. Hermes, the patron god of thieves, a Matriarchal god, said he would change places with Ares in a second. Thus, lust, rage and dishonesty are combined in one figure of Ate in the subconscious.
The image of Ate and Menos is what Myers meant by his idea of the unconscious. Freud, on the other hand, understood the unconscious as pure Ate.
Both the Greeks and Myers attempted scientific explanations while Freud gave the unconscious a religious and supernatural twist. He seemed to believe that the unconscious has an independent existence outside the mind of man which is beyond man’s control while being wholly evil.
Opposed to morality, Freud then wished to unleash this conception of the unconscious on the world. He was uniquely prepared to do so. All he had to do was manipulate the symbols of psychoanalysis of which he had full control. The question then is did Freud have deeper understandings that he concealed in order to bring about his desired ends?
Such is the case with his conceptions of sexuality. There is no need for him to have had deeper understanding, after all he was a pioneer opening a new field of inquiry. On the other hand…
Defining the unconscious was done by many men preceding Freud so that his is only one of many understandings, not necessarily the best, although today in common belief he invented the concept of the unconscious.
Next he chose to define the concepts of sex. He was equally successful in this field as far as the public was concerned, although I differ in understanding the matter as I do with the unconscious.
In analyses with patients Freud discovered that there was a fear of castration out of all proportion to actual incidents of sexual mutilation. It follows then that castration symbolizes something other than the removal of the genitals. I contend that it was impossible for Freud to have missed the signficance of castration as a symbol.
Castration as a symbol represents the broader concept of Emasculation, in this case psychological emasculation. This does occur in everyone’s life in many different manifestations while being something to really fear or avoid. Unless I am mistaken all neuroses and psychoses depend from it.
Understanding Emasculation is as much a ‘royal road to the unconscious’ as dreams.
I do not accept Freud’s map of the mind but we both agree that the Ego or Animus is the key to identity. Freud fully understood the significance of the Ego. Thus when the Ego is challenged with an affront or insult to which it is either unable or doesn’t know how to respond to successfully emascualtion to some degree takes place. There is no unconscious, just as there are no instincts so that a fixation is suppressed in the subconscious as a result of the affront. These fixations produce effects, which can be grouped in categories such as hysteria, paranoia, obsessive-compulsiveness and the whole panoply of general affects. The affects then find expression physically and psychologically, or in another word, psychosomatically. The mind and the body is one unit. These affects answer to what Freud called neuroses and psychoses.
When the Ego or Animus is denied its right to assertion the denial is frequently espressed in a hysterically sexual manner corresponding to the the insult. If the victim feels he has been taken from behind he will undoubtedly resort to anal intercourse as one type of underhanded response in an attempt to get back his own as in the case with homosexuality. Homosexuality is Emasculation par excellence.
The human mind is very limited in its inventiveness so all these affects can be catalogued and matched with the insult so that, absent resistance under analysis, they can easily be addressed and exorcised. The problem is not as complicated as it has been made out.
Freud understood so much more than he was willing to tell the goys but then he was not a scientist but a Jewish prophet. In his Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego to which we will return he gave the game away.
The individual can and does submerge his own ego into a, or at various times, many group egos. Prominent among these group egos are ethnic, national and religious group egos.
Just as the individual can be emascualted so can ethnic, national or religious groups be emasculated which the individual will share. I mention the Jews only as the most obvious case although Negroes, American Indians or any defeated people suffer emasculation to one degree or another.
Thus I will discuss the unconscious from a general point of view with Freud’s concept prominent while the concept of Emascultion will be discussed by my understanding based on the studies of Freud on the castration complex and group psychology.
Bear in mind that I think Freud criminally distorted scientific knowledge for ethnic, national and religious ends.
Born with an integrated mind, circumstances soon disintegrate the personality so that the mind must be reintegrated to return to a state of psychic wholeness. A sort of personal mythology is created by one’s early disintegrative experiences which form one’s dreamscape in an attempt to deal with an overwhelming reality. However, when a person gains some control over external reality when the personality is integrated and the initial dreamscape based on early memories is eliminated a sort of distressing vacuum ensues that exists until a new dreamscape is formed which, while sufficient to ease the discomfort lacks the depth and substance of the fully mythologized dreamscape of childhood. One had reached a scientific consciousness. It may not be as satisfying but it fills the space while not controlling one’s behavior.
Western man, Euroamerican man, as the only segment of mankind so differentiated had then to begin to work out a new mythology based on rational scientific ideas. In other words he had to create a comfortable basis from which to understand and interpret the world.
Thus after a couple proto-mythographies in the early nineteenth century a cluster of writers or neo-mythographers began to create a mythology for the Scientific Consciousness.
The destruction of the Religious Consciousness began to become obvious after the eighteenth century Industrial Revolution in England. With the advent of steam the problem began to become acute.
The proto-mythologers may be Walter Scott, Byron, Peacock and the Shelleys. There is a departure in feel and style with these writers. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein posits the scientific problem laying a foundation for the new mythology but does not itself deal with the psychological effects.
The first mythographer to make an attempt to explain the split consciousness from my own researches was the American, Edgar Allan Poe, 1801-49.
Poe began his writing career as a psychologically troubled man ending it insane. Along the way he wrestled with the problem of the void in the subconscious created by the elimination of the supernatural. His message was received by the later group of mythographers who read him without exception all being influenced by his work.
Poe caught the great intellectual change as it emerged. The period from 1830-1880 was the period of the great initial scientific advances that would change the world. From Poe’s death in 1849 to the emergence of the new breed of mythographers beginning in the 1880s was a period of literary quiescence.
Poe began his influential masterpiece The Murders In The Rue Morgue with the paragraph:
As the strong man exhibits his physical ability, delighting in such excercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in the moral activity which disentangles. He derives pleasure from even the most trivial occupations bringing his intellect into play. He is fond of enigmas, conundrums, hieroglyphics; exhibiting in his solutions of each a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension as praeternatural. His results brought about by the very soul and essence of method, have in truth the whole air of intuition.
By analysis Poe didn’t mean the sort of educated guesswork that had passed for analysis in the pre-scientific consciousness. No, this was scientific analysis that disassembled a problem into the component parts revealing the secret than reassembling the problem to its original state.
In doing so Poe revealed himself as a master mythographer as well as a scientist. In C. August Dupin, the initials spell cad, Poe created the archetype of the eccentric madman who would be the here of countless novels. As a projection of Poe’s own mentality Dupin and his unnamed alter ego live in a dilapidated house. The house is the psychological symbol for self which Poe used almost to exhaustion. As the Fall of the House of Usher prefigured Poe’s own descent into insanity as to a number of alter egos representing his sane side figure in the House of Usher, William Wilson, Rue Morgue and most notably in the System of Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether in which his sane alter ego drops his other half off at the door of an insane asylum.
The two Dupins live in a darkened house during the day, creaking not unlike the House Of Usher, going out only into the depressed asylum of the night.
Poe thus presents the separation of the conscious and subconscious modern man in the riddle of the murders in the Rue Morgue. In the Rue Morgue the subconscious is represented by the Orang u tang or animal side of human nature while the conscious is represented by the sailor owner. From Poe to at least Freud the subconscious was popularly considered a dangerous wild side of man.
In Dupin and his alter ego versus the sailor and the Orang, Poe may have perceived the emergence of a new species much as H.G. Wells was to do at the end of the century. Thus both men perceived that the antecedent consciousness and the Scientific Consciousness were not just matters of learning but a genetic difference although they didn’t put it that way that couldn’t be bridged.
Both aspects were brought out brilliantly by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) in his 1880 novel: The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde. This book may properly be said to be the first true represention of the scientific myth.
In this case the good Dr. Jekyll is the disciplined, self-controlled scientist committed to doing good in the world. Beneath his intelligent exterior he feels the primitive wild man lurking. The primitive of what is in fact a predecessor Homo Sapiens is very very appealing to him. Unable to bring this aspect of his psychology to the surface by conventional means he resorts to drugs.
Having once freed his wild side, who he names Mr. Hyde, he is unable to put Hyde back into the bottle or syringe, whichever the case may be. Hyde assumes control of the personality which leads both aspects of the personality to destruction. This is not unlike Freud’s notion of the unconscious.
Thus Stevenson brilliantly prefigured the twentieth century future in which the scientist is dragged back to the level of the predecessor species through a psychological inability to take the great leap forward and turn his back on his past.
The same sense of the alienation from a predecessor existence was evidenced in the work of a great transitional figure, H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925). Let me say that Haggard is a much neglected literary figure. As his topics concerned Esoterica and Africa, the former which is scorned and the latter ignored, his literary reputation has been allowed to virtually disappear. Having read a large part of his work in the pursuit of these studies I would rank Haggard very highly, certainly among the top ten authors, possibly as high as number five. one and two are Walter Scott and Balzac, while Dumas holds down third and possibly Trollope in the fourth spot. Haggard is a writer of genius.
He spent his late teens and early twenties in the South African provinces of Natal and Zululand where he acquired a vision of the difference between the first Homo Sapiens, the Negro, and the current scientific man. As the saying goes, there’s something to be lost and something gained when you move up the ladder.
Haggard never made it to scientific man himself being stuck in the Religious Consciousness. He belonged to the Esoteric side rather than the Christian. In the third novel of his great African trilogy, Allan Quatermain, Haggard examined the difference between the African and European in this manner.
Ah! this civilization what does it all come to? Full forty years and more I spent among savages, and studied them and their ways; and now for several years I have lived here in England, and in my own stupid manner have done my best to learn the ways of the children of light; and what do I find? A great gulf fixed? No, only a very little one, that a plain man’s thought may spring across. I say that as the savage is, so is the white man, only the latter is more inventive, and possesses a faculty of combination…but in all essential the savage and child of civilization are identical.
In the same book Haggard also put the problem more poetically:
…he dreams of the sight
of Zulu impis
breaking on the foe
like surf upon the rocks
and his heart rises in rebellion
against the strict limits
of the civilized life.
Here Haggard states the central thesis of Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde. In the evolution of the species there is always a small gulf between two adjacent species: nature does not take great leaps, it moves in small increments. Thus it may be a small leap between the two, expecially when the next transition creates not only a new variety but a new species, but the leap is backwards as in Jekyll’s case while it is impossible for Hyde to make the leap forward, nor is he capable of adjusting to the new strict limits. Wasn’t Stevenson precocious?
Haggard who was not of the Scientific Consciousness was left behind while his work formed the basis of the greatest of the scientific mythographers.
Before moving on let us here consider the patron saint of the future Red/Liberal aspect of the Religious Consciousness, the Frenchman, Victor Hugo (1802-85).
Paris Is A Leaky Basket
Paris has another Paris under herself; a Paris of sewers; which has its streets, its crossings, its squares, its blind alleys, its arteries and its circulation, which is slime minus its human form.
~Victor Hugo- Les Miserables
As Haggard was a transitional figure for the mythographers one might say that Victor Hugo created the literary foundation for the Red/Liberal faction of the Religious Consciousness. His Les Miserables with its tragi-comic format forms the bedrock of Revolutionary beliefs. Hugo was himself a Revolutionary. His novel Les Miserables is the account, so he says, of the apotheosis of Jean Valjean from bestiality to salvation. Along the way to his apotheosis Valjean makes a detour through the sewers of Paris.
Hugo was a poet; his account of the sewers of paris is, shall we say, poetic. In fact a scatalogical masterpiece worthy of our own Lenny Bruce. If Lenny had studied Vic a little he would have been able to say everything he wanted to say while staying out of jail at the same time.
One wonders whether Freud read Hugo. There are certain similarities in style. Certainly they both seem to have had the same notion of the unconscious. Valjean’s trip through the sewers of Paris, he with the bleeding Marius on his back must have been intended as a representation of the unconscious. And a very funny one at that.
Freud would certainly have agreed with Hugo when the latter wrote: The history of men is the history of cloacae. From Hugo’s description of the sewers of Paris it is clear that Paris was not anal retentive.
Freud was no less scatological in his approach to psychology than this astonishing section of Hugo’s book. Who wouldn’t be miserable down in a sewer; miserable enough if only your mind was in the sewer. In Hugo one gets the same macabre, morbid sense of humor Freud exhibits in his own work. Oh yes, read properly Freud tells a lot of jokes. Didn’t he write a book titled: Jokes And Their Relation To The Unconscious? Sure he did. Knew what he was talking about too.
The first chapter of the section of Hugo’s book, The Intestines Of Leviathan is a series of morbid one liners which are as funny as anything Lenny Bruce came up with. Double entendre? To say Paris is a leaky basket! In the underworld homosexual argot of Jean Genet the term basket refers to a man’s crotch and penis. Undoubtedly the same argot was current in Hugo’s time. He was a student of criminal argot. So Paris being a leaky basket is equivalent to saying Paris was incontinent, pissing all over itself. Don’t you think that’s funny?
And then: “The sewer is the conscience of the city.” Hm? ‘This can be said for the garbage dump, that it is no liar.” I ask you, does Victor Hugo know how to get down and boogie? Let us follow Jean Valjean into the “Conscience of Paris” “which is no liar” from which Hugo says Villon talks to Rabelais. Fabulous funny images, morbid but fabulous and funny.
To be sure, psychology in 1862 when Les Miserables was published, had not been developed, yet notice how closely Hugo’s tongue-in-cheek, laughing in his sleeve, description of Jean Valjean’s journey through the pitch black maze of this subterranean worker’s paradise into which from time to time faint glimmerings of light enter answers to the images of Freudian Depth Psychology. Depth psychology? Was that a pun or play on words?
Just imagine Jean Valjean as he enters the sewer. Take time to construct concrete images in your mind. After this, shall we say, harrowing of hell not unlike that of Theseus and Peirithous, from which Perithous never returned, Valjean receives his apotheosis not unlike Hercules. One might also compare this scene with the temptation of Christ.
Valjean is carrying the bleeding Marius on his back who might or might not be dead. Hugo doesn’t let us know. This might be compared to one’s old self before or during the integration of the personality. In fact Valjean sheds Marius after emerging from the sewer from which the gatekeeper of Hell, Thenardier, allows him to emerge after being paid his obol.
The sewer is certainly a symbol of the unconscious for the scatological Freud who seems to revel in such fecal images. Amidst a chatty history of the sewers of Paris which Hugo keeps up as Valjean plods through the darkness always intuitively heading in the right direction, down. He evades the thought police who are searching for him or someone just like him in the sewers. A shot sent blindly down his gallery grazes his cheek. Jesus! Isn’t a man safe from harassment in the depths of his own mind? If you think Paris is dangerous, try the sewers.
Valjean is exhausted from his long walk carrying Marius on his back, poor suffering humanity, the sign of the cross, nevertheless with the heart of a lion he plods on. He moves forward through deepening fluids as his bare feet sink into fecal matter “which does not lie” while Hugo carries on a charming separate conversation with we readers about little known facts of the Paris sewers. No, the fecal matter, as well as Hugo, tells the truth however hard that may be to decipher from the material at hand as well as underfoot.
As the fluid (also however that may be composed as Hugo is writing scatologically) rises, his feet sink up to his knees into “the conscience of the city.” Get this! Valjean is one of the great strongmen, he lifts the dead weight of Marius above his head on his extended arms still sucking his feet from the muck. Hugo does not reveal whether Valjean lost his shoes during this ordeal or not but surely a while back. Perhaps of all the details Hugo records this particular item which consumes my interest had none for him.
Nevertheless, heedless of the the danger to her shoes, Valjean plods on. Plod, plod.
Now, here’s a detail of interest Hugo does record. Feet and legs deep in the conscience of paris, Marius held above his head visualize this, the fecal fluid had risen above Valjean’s mouth and nose so that he has to tip his head back, I’m not sure this would have been effective, until only a mask can be seen rising eerily above the surface, as well as two arms and Marius. He ain’t heavy, he’s my other self. Seen in Stygian darkness that is.
If we’re all in the same sewer here imagine particles of the conscience of Paris, scatologically know as turds, bumping up against the mask probably trailing behind Our Man Of The Sewer in a wake of fetid glory.
Even in the pitch black Thenardier is watching this spectacle. Fortunately the psychic crisis is past. Valjean leaves the conscience of Paris which does not lie, you can say that about it, behind striking solid, er, ground.
A striking vision of Freud’s and the Revolution’s reality. Had Valjean been given the name Spartacus the Revolutionary vision would have been complete. The Red/Liberals had spent a hundred years or more in the sewers of Paris before they turned this primary text of theirs into the Broadway musical of Les Miserables. Next time you see it put it into this context of the sewers of Paris. The songs will take on new meaning.
Part II of Something Of Value I follows.