November 26, 2011
The Prague Cemetery
Tracing The Racial Memory
For what is history but the attempt to remember or reconstruct the racial past and therefore one’s own pre-history. For as the ancients said: The unexamined life is not worth living. Where better to begin than with the origins of life.
The key fact of existence on earth is that the planet is a huge dynamo generating an electro-magnetic field. In other words the core of the planet is moving at a different rate of speed than the outer layers. There could be no life without this fact. The movement of the core also generates a combination of the elements hydrogen and oxygen we humans call water which is extruded to the surface creating the oceans.
Isaac Asimov describes the human body as big sack of water where H2O comprises very nearly the whole body. So, in contradiction to the ignorant Semitic model ‘dirt’ has no part in the composition of the body.
It is said that the early atmosphere was 100% hydrogen. Thus the extrusion of water and its evaporation must have freed oxygen atoms. As air is 21% oxygen, that fixes the origin of life at the time when oxygen displaced hydrogen in the atmosphere to the extent of 21% at which level it remains today. That also means that if the percentage varied by very much life as now constituted could not survive.
All matter can be deconstructed into its constituent chemical atoms, primarily four gases. While hydrogen and oxygen are the bases of life forms, a dozen or so other trace elements are used in the amounts that were in the sea when life began. All were therefore dissolved in water. It therefore follows by a chain of those atoms proto-life was formed. As life is activated by electricity it follows that electricity was imparted from the electro-magnetic field, the sun or possibly activated by an electrical charge from lightning in conjunction with the electro-magnetic field.
Thus life, a single cell, was formed in the ocean waters which as everyone knows is salty. Hence human are salty. From then in some mysterious process not yet discovered the single cell evolved into all the myriad forms of life that have been and are. At some point ocean forms evolved into land forms which became increasingly complex until one has the human form the most evolved and complex of all. Just because the process can’t be described in full as yet doesn’t mean that Evolution isn’t a reality.
The World Island, Pangaea, is said to have to have begun breaking up 250 million years ago. The planet is said to be about four billion years old so in all probability the land mass was not the same for that entire time period. Pangaea was an intermediate period. As the planet is essentially a top spinning freely in space all the rules of physics pertaining to tops apply.
If you have a water filled top with solid bits in it when you spin the top the solid bits will be drawn to the upper hemisphere. This is what happened to the land mass of the earth. The rotational stresses were such that the surface cracked into large plates that began drifting North. Hence today the land mass forms a circle around the North Pole. Above Russia and Siberia long transverse islands have pulled away from the main mass to gravitate further toward the Pole.
Africa occupies the central position of Pangaea so that as the continents moved they were essentially split off from Africa. Asia moved up and curved around the Pole. The Atlantic Rift separated North and South America moving them to the North and West. India split off moving East and North to collide with Asia forcing the great transverse mountain range of the Himalayas up. And of course Indonesia and Australia trailed out across the ocean to their current stations. Antarctica was drawn South to form that Pole.
As the parcels separated whatever life there was must have traveled on their respective parcels. Thus, even though it may be said the life began in Africa the various life forms must have evolved separately on their land masses.
There have been several mass extinctions not least of all that which occurred at the end of the last ice age when, for instance, many life forms including horses, mastodons, saber tooth tigers and possibly humans disappeared from the Americas. Huge death rate. The remains of least tens of thousands of mammoths were killed and in Siberia and the American North frozen quickly enough and permanently enough to preserve their flesh which was still edible, although gamey, when the bodies were unearthed in recent times.
As this disaster occurred as recently as probably ten thousand years ago it must have left a memory trace in the traditions of humans
We are told that Homo Sapiens came into existence about 150- 200 thousand years ago in Africa. This may possibly or probably be true but it cannot be stated positively. What can be known is that the earliest remains of Homo Sapiens have been found in Africa. At any rate at the beginning of the Age Of Leo dawned, Ages are how the ancients kept track of immense reaches of time, every part of the Earth bore some human population. These populations were in different evolutionary states. The least evolved human species was in Africa. The East of Asia was populated by Mongols who are evidently a sterile branch of the human species. Europe had a population but not a large one of Neanderthals and various human races while the population flooded out of the previously exposed Mediterranean Basin gathered around the shores of the sea, most notably at the effluence of the Nile.
Now, the ancestors of the Folk of which Eugene Sue speaks were centered somewhere in Central Asia probably around the Aral Sea. This was the great hive from which the Aryans were to spread across the World.
There are many, many legends of these distant times such as Atlantis, the land of Mu and Shambala., the last of which was located in Central Asia. These legends must have some basis in fact; the imagination of man is incapable of creating anything out of whole cloth; whatever man believes must have been suggested to it by actual circumstances.
While little is known of the actual origins of the Aryans that can be ascertained as fact is that beginning around the year 2000 BC the Aryans began to move out of their hive lands. We know that they moved West into the Middle East and South into India. There is no reason not to believe that bands or hordes didn’t also move East into China.
The first migrations into India and the West did so with a fully developed religious system or world view, a Weltanschauung. This means that the system and view were well developed in the Hivelands before the Aryans began their migrations. Thus the similarities between the Hindu religion and the Homeric religion were probably deviations from the old time Hive religion adapted to their specific new conditions.
It is possible that there was cross fertilization between India and Greece but since the entire North from Greece to Northern Europe to Iran/Persia and India were invaded and dominated by the Aryans I think it is just as likely that the core beliefs were common to all the Aryans shifting forms to adapt to religions established in the occupied areas.
Thus while I can offer no proof, I think it probable that Shambala did exist and that it was the Aryan home citadel. In legend Shambala was on an island in the middle of a lake in what is now the Gobi Desert. At the end of the ice age both the Caspian and Aral seas were much more extensive than they are while the Gobi may have been wet also. It seems more probable that a temple city may have been on an island of either of those two more expansive seas. Still the legend is the legend. Increasing desiccation would in any event have forced population dislocations in Central Asia. In any event about the year –2000 the Aryans began to move. However they were located, whether strung out from the Himalayas to the Caspian or whatever, one branch crossed the Hindu Kush down into India. Wherever the Aryans went they wrote these huge long Weltanschauungs, at least after writing reached them which they don’t seem to have had on their own.
Because the Indian books were written in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit was determined to be the most ancient Aryan language words common to the Aryan languages were said to be derived from Sanskrit. This needn’t be the case. I think it more likely that since all Aryans derive from the same stock the language was their common inheritance from the Hivelands. Thus while there may have been contacts between Greek and Indian the similarity more likely reflects the common religious heritage of both peoples. Thus, the Indian Aryans wrote their huge corpus while at about the same time the Greeks were composing their own version of the national epic in Greece and Troy.
Over the centuries the various hordes descended into Persia and Anatolia while when the Scyths appeared in Southern Russia they were then nomadic rather than settlers. Assuming that the Aryans of the Shambala period were sedentary it follows then that climatic conditions forced the Folk into a different economic niche. That the Scyths were of the same Aryan stock as the Greeks is evident from their metal working.
After the Scyths we have the Celtic migrations many of whom ended up at the End of the World in Ireland. Along the way they caused havoc in Anatolia where they were known as the Galatians, harassed the Greeks, gave the Romans the willies from their settlements on the Po and finally became the Gauls of what would become France then came the German tribes who would establish themselves in Northern Europe.
When the Aryans migrated into more populous areas they lost their identity. Probably mere hordes, those who reached China were completely absorbed just as later Jewish migrants to China being few in relation the Chinese were also absorbed. Depending on the size of the Indian contingent they were able to shape the mores of the India with its huge Black population but were absorbed racially. The caste system came into existence as a result of the Aryan’s desperate attempt to maintain racial purity.
Even in the Middle East the Aryan influence has been diluted and all but extinguished. The Aryans of Iran are now adherents to the alien Semitic religion of the Arabs.
Over several centuries the Aryan tribes were able to conquer the Romans but in the process destroyed the Roman Civilization bringing about the long social reorganization of society known as the Dark or Middle Ages. It is here in the German or Frankish conquest of France that Eugene Sue must begin his novel of The Mysteries Of The Folk.
It’s a pity the novel has never been translated into English because Sue must cover the whole of European history including the period of the Crusades. The Indian and Greek epics had long been written when the now European Aryans began the third great national epic, the story of Chivalry of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. This is one huge story. The Vulgate-Lancelot alone runs to several thousand pages with numerous very long branches.
Now, the roots of the Arthurian epic still date back to the Homeric epic while receiving input from myths and legends from the Aryan Hivelands. There is then continuity from the very beginning, so to speak.
The Arthurian epic is a curious European recreation of the Indian books and the Homeric cycle with a Semitic add layer of course. In addition to curious crises at the intra changeover of the Piscean Age. We are not talking of the personal astrology of the newspapers here. Astrology was once a serious part of astronomy. We are talking of the great Astrological religious system that began development eons ago. If you wish to believe Sumerian mythology or sources it has vague memories of tens of thousands of years previously. I have no reason to question the veracity of these Sumerian sages. An age, of course, is one twelfth segment of the Great Year of 25 thousand something years. Thus after the cycle of twelve ages Pisces will once again return. The symbol of Pisces is of two connected fish swimming in opposite directions, perhaps indicating Dionysian androgyny. Thus halfway through the age the archetype of the age changed from the male domination of Jesus to the female archetype of Mary in Southern Europe and Diana in Northern Europe. This actually happened.
In the South Mariolatry emerged while in the North Diana replaced Merlin in Pagan circles. According to the legend Vivian (Diana, Artemis) The Lady Of The Lake, charmed Merlin into revealing all his magic to her. Once she obtained it she threw a hex on Merlin entombing him either under a rock or in a tree. Thus Diana replaced Merlin as the pagan archetype of the Piscean Age. Artemis in Greek, Diana in Latin and Vivian with the Norse, the Virgin Huntress, Mistress Of the Animals and The Lady Of The Lake who abhorred the company of men, became Northern Europe’s ruling archetype or Anima while the Virgin Mother became that of the South.
Having eliminated Merlin, Vivian then kidnapped Lancelot as a boy (because she was the Virgin Huntress and couldn’t bear her own son) taking him to her enchanted palace beneath the lake where as the Alpha female she taught him to be a preeminent knight or the Alpha male in Arthur’s court. Arthur was a creature of Merlin but lost the use of the latter’s magic when he was entombed. Thus Arthur was unprotected against Vivian’s purloined magic.
As Lancelot was Vivian’s or Diana’s creature there had to be conflict between the two halves of the Piscean Age. That was naturally caused by a woman, Arthur’s flirtatious wife, Guinevere. As a result the golden age of the Round Table came to an end.
The Arthurians were acquainted with some Homeric traditions that I have not found in the mythological sources. Thus the Arthurian cycle was a continuation in the mold of the Homeric cycle. Vivian or Artemis in Greek, was traced back to the Greek Peloponnese or Lacedaemon. Lacedaemon means the Demon or Lady Of The Lake. So Diana, in Roman Myth or The Lady as she appears in Dumas’ Three Musketeers. But, I can’t find any extant record of the myth.
Arthur and his characteristics can be traced back into the Caspian and Aral Hivelands of the Aryans so that the three traditions come together in the Arthurian cycle of Europe. The cycle also combines Gallic legends of Britain bringing in that great Aryan race.
This is the rich stew then that Eugene Sue had to work with in his mysteries of the Folk. My ancestors and yours. The Arthurian cycle was active from c. 1060 to 1300. Malory is a late compilation. When the Crusades ended and the Templars were suppressed the period ended. Thus the second half of the millennium began.
We will skip the intervening history until the great European upheaval of the Enlightenment and French Revolution.
The Jews In Europe
As Eco’s story is centered around the Jews concerning the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus case it will be necessary to say a few words concerning their history to set the stage.
I hope I have demonstrated the persistence of the racial memory in my brief tracing of the movements of the Aryans. Their motif is the scientific explanation of nature which they have pursued with varying success in all their movement from the Hivelands to India and Great Britain and from there to North America and Australia and New Zealand. The scientific goal has never been lost sight of.
There is no other people on Earth with a stronger racial memory and an inflexible but criminal will than the Jews while at the same time, like the Aryans, they have recorded their goals in print. They too persist doggedly in the attempt to realize their plan.
Briefly the place and time the tribe came into existence can be pinpointed if their writings are accurate. That place was Ur of the Chaldees and the time was the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries c. 2000 BC. Their pedigree goes back no further than that. They are an artificial Semitic creation; they have no roots in antiquity.
Challenging the authority of the Chaldean astronomers the Jews were expelled from Ur for their impertinence. Thus they were born of disappointed expectations; their future was cast; they were doomed to disappointed expectations.
However they knew how to push their luck to the limit; call it chutzpah.
Skipping over two thousand years of conflict we find the Jews established throughout the Roman Empire challenging the Romans for supremacy. Defiant of Roman authority even in the capitol Rome, the Jews taxed their fellows sending the gold to Jerusalem which they established as their capitol contra Rome. Hence the famous Rome-Jerusalem dichotomy. While their prophet Jesus counseled them to cede temporal authority to Rome- render unto to Caesar that which is his and unto God his own- open rebellion began which was crushed, the people killed or dispersed, Jerusalem leveled with Jews being forbidden to set foot in the city again. An early version of the final solution.
Briefly, we next find the Jews in Spain. Here the Roman Catholic Church has established itself and for superstitious reasons granted the Jews an invaluable monopoly, that of loaning money at interest. A one of a kind gift. Wheedling their way into another monopoly, that of being royal tax farmers, they did indeed farm their Spanish cattle, not unlike the Greek and Italian situation today. This was an intolerable situation that took a long time to culminate but in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain. This was a crushing blow for them.
Due to the Spanish expulsion and various other expulsions Jews migrated into the sparsely inhabited area of Eastern Poland which then included Byelorussia and the Ukraine, later to be called the Pale Of The Settlement.
Then, the worst catastrophe ever hit the tribe. The Northern Europeans began to assert their birthright of free inquiry while at the same time rejecting the Judaeo-Christian incubus. It was called the Enlightenment. Aryan scientific thought asserted itself against the Semitic stultification throwing the Semitic religions- Christianity, Judaism and Moslemism- into an atavistic status of a prior and lower intellectual state.
The Enlightenment would quickly result in the French Revolution which was to change the course of both Jewish and Aryan history. With the Revolution came the emancipation of the Jews. They were placed on an ‘equal’ footing with the Europeans. Emancipation was more quickly achieved in France while in Central Europe it moved in stages reaching fulfillment after the 1848 revolution.
It was then that Europeans became aware that equality was a one way street; it was not what the Jews were after. In the reaction about 1875 the German Wilhelm Mars invented the term anti-Semitism and the stage was set for the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus Affair.
In the wake of the Revolution Eco’s heroes Eugene Sue and Alexander Dumas were born whose novels filled Eco’s imagination and memories with their fantastic works.
We’ll move in that direction in Part III.
November 20, 2011
THE PRAGUE CEMETERY
Review by R.E. Prindle
Eco, Umberto: The Prague Cemetery, A Novel, 2010, Houghton Mifflin, NYC
Part I: Prologue
Little Bags Of Memory
In this novel Eco attacks the dark subconscious mind of nineteenth century Europe. It was the moment when Europeans discovered the difference between their conscious and subconscious minds. As a historical novel Eco mines his fifty thousand volume private library to construct his story. His sources range from Dumas and Eugene Sue at one end to George Du Maurier and J.K. Huysmans at the other. At this point in history, other than Dumas I presume the other authors are virtually unread if not unknown. Fortunately I have read most of Eco’s sources with my more modest five thousand volume library.
Eco seems to have a very fond spot in his heart for George Du Maurier and I found his treatment of the author most interesting.. Du Maurier was a long time contributor to the English humor magazine, Punch in both text and artworks through the heart of the nineteenth century. The illustrations Eco uses in his novel are very reminiscent in style to those of Du Maurier. Indeed, Du Maurier is very seductive both artistically and literarily. When he was turned down for the editorship of Punch he was crushed, turning away to write and illustrate his subtly fantastic three novels Peter Ibbetson, Trilby and The Martian, the last finished just before his death in 1896.
Like Eco Du Maurier lugged a lifetime of memories, literary and personal through his novels. I’m still working my way through his sources, or favorites at least. Du Maurier was a Bohemian artist in Paris at about the same time as Henri Murger who wrote his fabulous description of Bohemian life, The Bohemians Of The Latin Quarter that was turned into Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. DuMaurier found Murger’s description of Bohemian life repellent to his own sensibilities so he romanticized the nearly same story into the lovely fairy tale of his own version, Trilby. Trilby was a sensation of its time and remains a classic.
Eco has read and thoughtfully considered Du Maurier and while Du Maurier tended to romanticize painful or repellant memories into order to create a fairy tale existence for himself all that sunshine seems to cover a bitter undergrowth. Eco who astutely perceives this was led to parody him in Eco’s own fabulous first chapter of Prague that is a hilarious stand up comedy routine worthy of the mordant, sick humor of Lenny Bruce. Eco then makes his character Dr. Du Maurier the chief of an insane asylum parodying Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson while reversing the roles of Ibbetson and the Duchess of Towers in the character of Diana Vaughan. Very nice bit of inside humor on the part of Eco.
While I make it a rule to not recommend books, a rule I often violate, if you’re reading this I presume you’re simpatico. I heartily recommend any of these sources of Eco if you haven’t already read them.
Obviously Du Maurier’s novels holds a special place in Eco’s heart and a well merited place both in his and mine. However, Eco gives precedence to two of the greatest French novelists of the nineteenth century, Alexander Dumas and Eugene Sue. As it happens I revere both authors as much as Eco. Dumas’ most famous titles are still widely read while Sue’s much less so or, perhaps, not at all.
Eco mentions Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Cristo and the French Revolution novels centered around the magician Cagliostro or by his other name, Joseph Balsamo. I first read The Three Musketeers as a youth while I have reread it again along with first time readings of Monte Cristo and the Cagliostro series within the last ten years.
What Eco is doing in the Prague Cemetery is writing his version of a Dumas novel. While a good novel Prague falls far short of Dumas. What Eco lacked that Dumas had was a collaborator of the quality of Auguste Maquet who researched and worked up the material in outline so that Dumas could concentrate on composing the dramatic touches of the story. This allowed Dumas a much wider scope and deeper detail that brought out the fabulous myth of Three Musketeers or the huge scope and depth of Monte Cristo and the Revolution novels.
I’ve read reviews of Prague where Cagliostro is apparently thought of as a Dumas creation. Oh no, Dumas could write historical novels to place alongside his role model, the great Walter Scott, or as a model here for Eco. While novels, Dumas’ Revolution stories are accurate as history. Cagliostro was a real person. Such a collaborator as Maquet might have given Eco room to expand his horizon and widen the scope of his novel to include for instance the rise of psychology and the discovery of the European unconscious while introducing some of the stage hypnotists and magicians such Robert Houdin, the model for the subsequent Houdini who used his name.
Eco’s novel is OK but he could have made it much better. The Simonini dual personality touch is a surface probe of the unconscious that had real potential perhaps bringing in the Society for Psychic Research but I think the execution of Simonini was weak and not properly developed. Still the character was a nice stab at Dumas’ and more especially the unbelievably fantastic Eugene Sue. What a madman. One could think him insane but I choose to believe he was touched by the divine afflatus. Sue, if mad, had the madness of the gods. If Dumas was more than human, Sue far exceeded Dumas. I have never read anything that comes near Sue’s The Wandering Jew or The Mysteries Of Paris, especially the latter which probes the outer limits of sanity.
The unfortunately named Wandering Jew will drive off most American readers who have been conditioned to avoid anything concerning Jews lest they be considered anti-Semitic. Although as Eco points out the hidden hand of the Jesuit priest Rodin that haunts the novel from beginning to end is one of the most terrifying apparitions in all literature and Sue was the master of terrifying images.
Both he and Dumas were obsessed shall we say by the historical memory. Eco himself is obsessed by memory as am I. I have that in common with these writers. I have explored my personal memories in several novels I have post the internet and most of my essays here on I, Dynamo are concerned with ordering the historical memory. Eco sought to recapture the memories of his youth in his previous novel The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana. Both Eco’s and my own efforts are much after the fashion of George Du Maurier. I would recommend Du Maurier highly except that it takes some dedication to understand the luxuriant beauty of his work; his three novels have to be read several times to acquire his intense longing to never lose his memories, taking them with into the Great Beyond. But, if you are of a like mind and feel up to it, have at it.
So, Dumas proposed to novelize the whole of French history, the racial memory and had a magnificent go at it. The guy is really spectacular. Eco mentions also the last novel of Eugene Sue, The Mysteres Du Peuple which is has yet to be translated; as Eco says he labored through the French. Apparently Sue took the task he set for himself quite seriously as Eco says the story is quite complex and I imagine very long. Mysteries Of Paris itself is three volumes or about fifteen hundred pages.
The title translates as I see it, The Mysteries Of The Folk. As Eco says Sue begins his story with the Frankish invasions of the fourth to sixth centuries, then tells his story along two family lines one Frankish, one Gallic. This would be a prodigious feat of historical and racial memory, an explosion of Sue’s past educational imprinting in both society and school. This would be especially important to him as both he and Dumas were of the first post-Revolution generation of which they very likely heard many first hand reminiscences growing up while reading reams of memoirs. As the Revolution was primarily racial in character, Gauls versus Franks, this would give added poignancy to Sue’s search to retrieve the history of the two races.
So, what Eco seems to be doing in the Prague Cemetery is carrying the personal, racial and historical European memory forward from the work of Dumas and Sue. How well I think he did it will be in the concluding part of the review. First we have to take a huge memory detour in order to bring the historical and racial memories from the beginning back up to Dumas, Sue, and Eco and late nineteenth century history. When I say huge detour, let us begin our magical memory tour at the beginning, Pangaea.
Part II will follow.
November 14, 2011
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 TARZAN THE INVINCIBLE
Part XI and last
Love Is A Hurting Game
Having dealt with politics and religion let us now turn to the social backgrounds of Burroughs and Tarzan. Once again I will treat the subject within the framework of Multi-culturalism.
I will treat of the cultures in the manner of the great warts and all school of the debunkers of Burroughs time in the twenties. There will be no sacred cows as in the tradition of the great debunking school. I will consider vices as well as virtues. As with men a culture of the greatest virtues also matches them with the greatest vices. Such is the nature of life; there is no escaping it.
To speak of the culture of both Burroughs’ period and the twentieth century is to speak of Sigmund Freud. For better or worse Freud’s psychological ideas have created the form of subsequent society. Any positive benefits of Freud are restricted to a few individuals while the negative effects of his ‘science’ have been reflected on society as a whole.
He began his career as a biologist but soon felt constricted by the strict limitations of the scientific method. Probably science conflicted with his religion thus he desired a more free form mode of expression. There is talk of his academic career being hampered by anti-Semitism in Vienna at that time but that is sheer nonsense. As in all countries dthe careers of medicine and law were populated by Jews to the extent of a majority or near majority representation. One is hard pressed to find discrimination in those statistics.
Rather as Freudian psychology suggests one is drawn in the direction of one’s true desires or in Freudian terms: inner wishful thinking. Freud felt a deep antipathy toward Europeans and non-Jewish culture in general. Those were the years of the first Kultur Kampf in Germany. That is a war between cultures. In the German case between the German and Jewish cultures. That’s what multi-culturalism is.
Freud correctly saw that the Jewish culture was unable to win on any military battlefield and that the real war would indeed be a war for cultural and sociological dominance. He saw that it would be a war of centuries.
Hence when he learned of the psychological experiments of Jean-Martin Charcot in Paris, though impecunious he packed his bags and legged it for the City Of Lights. His scientific credentials were adequate to gain an entrance to the Salpetriere where Charcot taught. Once there he pushed himself into Charcot’s attention enough to be invited to his home although I think he found himself unpalatable. However, chutzpah done right almost never fails.
Charcot was conducting studies on hysteria. One must remember that as little understood as such psychological states of mind are today they were even less understood then. In his studies Charcot used hypnosis which also was little understood at the time although well developed today. While hypnosis is an ancient art it was only begun to be developed as a scientific discipline in pre-Revolution France in the eighteenth century by Dr. Anton Mesmer. The art fell into disrepute when Mesmer was discredited because he made excessive claims that couldn’t be authenticated. But, it still continued to develop. There were two schools of hypnotism in France, Charcot’s in Paris and Bernstein’s in Nancy. Freud would acquaint himself with both. It seems then, that hypnotism was the major attraction for him.
Writing of Charcot’s school the great esotericist Madame Blavatsky pointed out that in Charcot’s hands the use of hypnotism may have been used benevolently but its potential for evil in evil hands was a very great danger. Those evil hands were at the end of Freud’s arms as he lurked about the Salpetriere and Nancy.
Nancy was a very influential school of hypnotism. The school’s basis was the work of Auguste Liebeault, a goy, who attracted the attention of Hippolyte Bernstein. The latter, like Freud, was of the Jewish culture. Thus the importance of hypnotism while developed by the goyim quickly drew the attention of the Jewish culture, just as it was quick to realize the potential of movies which were also developed by the goyim and meshed with hypnotism as the proverbial hand and glove.
Apparently having soaked up what he could from Charcot, Freud drifted over to Nancy where he spent some time with Bernstein where he learned the importance of suggestion. Freud found Bernstein’s methods too heavy handed but learned what the man had to offer. From thence he returned to Vienna where he linked up with a student of hysteria by the name of Joseph Breuer, another Jew. At that point Freud may have realized that hysteria was created by suggestion and was a manifestation of a hypnotic situation. When the suggestion or fixation was removed by the victim’s recognition of the suggestion the symptoms disappeared. In other words the suggestion was obviated and the fixtation resolved.
Very little of Freud’s work was original but built directly on other men’s work, most of whom, if not all, were goyim. So the source of the knowledge came from the European culture and not the Jewish. Thus the idea of the unconscious was well developed before Freud associated it with dreaming. His one original contribution to the science of psychology was the recognition of the origins and the intent of dreams.
Dreams then are a sort of hypnotic trance. Thus in those days it was thought that to hypnotize a person he had to be put into a sleeplike trance gaining the unconscious mind by passing conscious censorship.
Once Freud realized that free association and a relaxed inattentive attitude were all that was necessary to make a person begin reminiscing in an unconscious manner he had the key to the notion not only of mass hypnotism but the hypnotizing of whole societies in ways that Ignatius Loyola never imagined.
One can’t know when he read Gustav Lebon’s The Crowd: A Study Of The Popular Mind published in 1895 some few years before Freud’s dream book but by 1921′s Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego, which title is self-explanatory, Freud had understood the implications of Le Bon’s study incorporating them into his own program for the hypnosis of Euroamerican society.
Having earlier successfully imposed his static vision of the unconscius on society as the only possible viewpoint he then attempted to concentrate the attention of the peoples on that great social dissolvent, sex. By sex Freud meant simply a concentration of the mind on sexual intercourse. If he understood the nature of the sexual organization of the species it is nowhere apparent in his writings. Thus when the extreme stress of coeducational sex education was brought to fruition in the last few decades, sex education merely stressed frequent fornication while giving equal validation to all forms of sexual intercourse including anal and oral but disparaging masturbation which as a private act could have little social impact.
So, having deemphasized the contribution of the conscious rational mind in favor of the irrational unconscious combined with sex the mind was open to suggestion. A great conditioning propaganda was organized by the Jewish culture using the hypnopaedic media which the majority of the goyim have been unable to resist. That is, that the Jews are morally superior while having an extra gene that makes them incomparably more intelligent than the peoples. At the same time they emphasized the idea that the Euroamericans are inherently stupid and actually evil needing Jewish guidance to keep them on the right track.
What with the hypnopaedic media which they control and the disaster of Hitler that the Jewish culture has been able to use to convince Euroamericans that they all share that particular original sin from which the Jewish culture is exempt while they must constantly examine themselves to root out all vestiges of anti-Semitism. That is to say that they must forego their own culture and support the minority position of Semitism. Not a bad plan if you can pull it off. It seems that they have.
Thus, as of 2012, Euroamerica has been successfully hypnotized along Freudian lines.
In 1900 when Freud was forty-four Edgar Rice Burroughs was twenty-five. I hope I have demonstrated from the novels of Burroughs that from the beginning of A Princess Of Mars he had a fair knowledge of psychological principles. His novels are flush with pyschological references if you look for them and pay attention to them. The question is how did he come by his interest and knowledge as I have been able to find no psychological works in his library as present by ERBzine.
While Freud visited the United States at Clark College in 1909 during the time his influence was widespread being discussed constantly in magazines. There is no record that Burroughs read German so any familiarity with the texts in English had to await translation. A.A. Brill began this in 1909-10. The Interpretation Of Dreams appeared in the US in 1913. Tarzan’s First Nightmare gives clear indications of Burroughs having read The Interpretation Of Dreams by 1916-17.
But the basis of Burroughs’ psychological thinking had been formed well before then. I have to think that the origins of his education in both psychology and hypnotism began with his first stay in Idaho in 1891. At that point he met the recent Yale graduate, Lew Sweetser. Sweetser was in partnership with the Burroughs Boys in ranching. Sweetser and Harry Burroughs were great friends from Yale. Brother George as I read it tagged along. ERB was especially close to brother Harry and Sweetser. Sweetser had nothing but the finest encomiums for ERB.
Sweetser at Yale had apparently been a psychology major or at least taken several courses. He was not only conversant in psychology but familiar with the theory of hypnosis. Now, this was well before Freud had even begun to study hypnosis and hysteria; this was before the great psychological discoveries of the nineties. This was before William James was made a Professor of psychology at Harvard.
Just for perspective. Sweetser was two years out of college in 1889 while 1891 was a full nine years before Freud’s Interpretation Of Dreams so whatever knowledge Sweetser imparted most probably was of an original nature independent of either Jungian or Freudian influences. One wonders what psychology they were teaching at Yale in the 1880s.
It will be remembered that Thuvia, Maid of Mars has a rather amazing sequence concerning mass, if not societal hypnosis, hypnosis that could only have reflected information Burroughs had acquired well before Freud could have been an influence on him or probably any academic.
As Sweetser took up lecturing on suggestion, auto-suggestion, hypnotism and the unconcious in the 1920s I believe that shows the depth of his commitment to his study of psychology.
So, while Burroughs was certainly open to any Freudian, Jungian or other psychological sources he seems to have developed a singularly independent approach to the topic. I have discussed this independence of Freudian and Jungian schools with fellow Bibliophile David Adams who while unwilling to deny its possiblity thinks it rather a stretcher.
Possible, but I am waiting to hear other explanations for Burroughs’ otherwise unaccountable knowledge and interest in both psychology and hypnotism.
Now, how far is it from his knowledge to the realization that, in the manner of Freud, he could possibly suggest Tarzan to be the man-god archetype of the Aquarian Age?
However the Tarzan ethos of self-sufficiency is the antipodal position from Freud’s notion of collective consciousness. For Freud all members of society must be a unit of the whole while for Burroughs each member should stand alone. As you can see there is a basis for the tripe written by Richard Slotkin.
For some reason the quality of Burroughs’ writing has always been impugned. That is from his day to this. Of course when someone wishes to denigrate a writer they disapprove of they always point to some spelling, punctuation or grammatical error. Or they criticize such intanigibles as ‘style.’ The authors style they say is faulty.
Burroughs was subjected to a barrage of criticism denying him any literary skills. In point of fact the greatest stylists often write the most boring books simply because they are concentrating on ‘literary’ style. I didn’t mention the current darling of the ‘salons’, Henry James. Didn’t think it was necessary.
My own feeling is that anyone who can sell a few million copies knows how to write much better than those who can’t. Yes, that’s right, commercial success is an infallible gauge of ability, at least, to judge the public.
That said, Burroughs’ style does break from that of the nineteenth century, not that the literary style of the nineteenth century was that superior. By my own criteria all of the following writers were great writers, classics but far from perfect. The best of the lot and perhaps the greatest novelist ever was Walter Scott. I have recently seen him demoted to the ranks of ‘adventure’ writers while soon after his death his work began to be disparaged for irrelevant reasons and has been so construed since. Nevertheless he is the greatest novelist in the English or any other language or culture in existence in this or any parallel universe.
The current most popular writer of all time, Charles Dickens, has always left me cold. Personally, I couldn’t say he’s any better than Burroughs. He always sacrifices his stories for effect although wonderful effects. But, who really cares? The only question is, did you enjoy the book? Did the book sell?
Anthony Trollope, an actual favorite of mine, writes the most intolerably long soap operas in existence. The same can be said of another excellent author, Jane Austin, although I don’t intend to go near ‘Emma’ again.
Wilkie Collins, another currently popular author is very spotty in plot development. Thackeray is terrific if you don’t mind a little stultifying boredom. He’s supposed to have the most subtle humor but as subtle as I like to think myself, I haven’t gotten it yet. George Eliot survives because she was a woman in drag. Keeps the lesbians happy. I can’t stomach her approach to life.
I could go through the French and Russian writers but it would be more of the same. Dostoyevsky, for instance is very difficult to read and appreciate. The construction of Crime and Punishment is so jagged it obscures his point which isn’t the commission of a conscienceless crime.
The great literature of the nineteenth century was written before the rise of the popular press but finding a serial presence in the magazines of the day. This fact alone pushed literature toward sensationalism and a less complex literary style more in accord with mass tastes.
Thus Burroughs’ great predecessor Arthur Conan Doyle discarded all the arabesques, writing in a simple straightforward manner. He still has a strong nineteenth century flavor, as why not, compared to Burroughs modern twentieth century style. That style was evolving to the simple short sentences of Hemingway.
While the popular press had its influence, perhaps the greatest of all solvents of nineteenth century literary style was the advent of the movies. If not invented by Thomas Alva Edison he at least gave moving pictures their commercial application. Thus with 1903′s Great Train Robbery the first of the great hypnopaedic media took form. Burroughs didn’t begin writing until eight years after The Great Train Robbery so he had plenty of time to absorb cinematic techniques.
When he began writing most others were still writing nineteenth century novels. I contend that Burroughs’ writing is a major departure from that style and that he was heavily influenced by the cinematic story telling method. That he, as well as the whole country, was enamored of the flickers is attested by the fact that he personally rented movies to show at Tarzana. He was supposed to be too broke to afford such extravagances from 1903 to 1913 but something tells me he found ways of keeping up.
One is always astounded by the concrete pictures Burroughs conjures up, the astonishing images he is able to create in the reader’s mind. There is little more vivid to me than the scene in Thuvia, Maid Of Mars when the Green Men attack the Invisible Men’s castle. I might point out that the Invisible Men who were themselves an illusion had mastered the techniques of hypnotism to the point that the Green Men imagined themselves killed by illusory arrows, and hence were. I refer you to Fritz Lang’s Mabuse The Gambler who could also create such effects.
Allowing that Burroughs learned of hypnotism from Lew Sweetser in 1891, had he ever seen an hypnotic demonstration of the type he describes and if so, where?
Thus Burroughs has a perfect cinematic style perhaps improved by his interest in hypnotism in such a way that he can make the reader see what he wants them to see. This is the art of suggestion. When one looks more closely one finds a great more depth in Burroughs than one supposes was there while the distance between him, Jung and Freud narrows. His psychological ideas owe nothing or very little to either Jung or Freud however.
Enthralled by the movies, as his whole generation was, Burroughs worked very hard to break into films as a scenarist. He diverted much of his prodigious energy from novels to working up scenarios to submit to films. So far as I know they were universally rejected.
The rise of Hollywood itself was a remarkable story. When L. Frank Baum moved there in 1910 it was just another small suburb of LA. Then the film makers discovered the place in 1914. Within a very few years Hollywood almost as it is now became a reality. During the teens probably as many movies were made in Chicago as LA but by 1919 when he moved there Hollywood was the established movie capitol. ERB missed putting his best foot forward by quite a lot when he published The Girl From Hollywood criticizing the film community for things they now take great pride in, dope and sex. Then it was the putative porn capitol of the world, now it is the legally established one. Still, ERB was in his element. He made no effort to leave, gradually acclimatizing himself to the mores of the film colony.
Actually the filmmakers took kindly to his Tarzan series, easily recognizing its commercial potential if not its psychological appeal. After a hiatus from 1921 to 1927 when no Tarzan films were made, when the talkies came in, 1932′s Tarzan, The Ape Man by MGM established Tarzan in the psyche of the country if not the world.
This from a man on the edge of failure if not psychological disintegration in 1911. From there he rode the medium of the age to fame and fortune. He may not have realized the extent of his success but he had established both Tarzan and himself as a centerpiece of American and World culture.
The automobile became a reality in the first decade of the twentieth century. Ford was not the first, but he was the most influential depending on how you view William Durant first of Buick and then General Motors.
From 1900 to 1913 the impoverished Edgar Rice Burroughs walked around Chicago with his tongue hanging out watching the machines roll by. Perhaps he even saw the future heavyweight champion of the world, Jack Johnson, tool by in one of the first automobiles seen in the Big Windy. Certainly he must have seen his old rival Frank Martin passing by in any one of a number of cars Martin probably owned. Certain amount of humiliation there. Perhaps Martin was still trying to impress Emma, maybe even parking his machine at the curb intruding his presence into their marriage.
Americans have universally been in love with the automobile but there still seems something almost pathological in Burroughs’ fixation on them. Among the first things he did with his money in his anno mirabilis of 1913 was to buy a second hand car- a Velie, whatever they were. One assumes he got a real good deal. Never an astute financial man ERB paid rail fare to cart this thing to San Diego. As a spendthrift he may have been nearly as broke as he was in Idaho so he sold the vehicle in San Diego rather than pay to haul it back to Chicago. One of the first smart things he ever did other than marrying Emma.
From then on ERB had a succession of cars and none of them were the most economical models available. When he came back from San Diego he bought a Hudson in emulation of his hero Frank Baum. ERB sneered at the poor man’s car, the Ford.
I don’t have a list of the various cars ERB owned between 1913 and his demise but his car buying ways in the thirties were spectacular. We are all familiar with the story of his buying five Packards at one time from the proceeds of the sale of Tarzan to MGM.
For those unfamiliar with the Packard it used to be on a par with the Cadillac and Lincoln. This was well before the Mercedes was introduced into America. Packard never recovered from the War, going out of buisness, I think, in 1956. None but an eccentric few ever favored the Lincoln, so any comparison must be between Packard and Cadillac. As a boy at the time I favored the looks of the Packard. The Cadillac even at the time had the reputation of being a pimpmobile. Anyway, Packard didn’t make it past 1956.
Frank Puncer of ERBzine in his fascinating article reporting his interview with Lee Chase-Burroughs has a revealing passage:
He (Burroughs) was adventurous and, of course, had all the toys. A Cord automobile, a Packard sedan, also a “woodie” for running errands. The one I liked was the Pierce Arrow roadster with a rumble seat.
All those cars were in addition to his airplane. By the time he married Florence he had already taken his financial bath with the airport and Apache engine investments.
Owning all those cars at one time seems an excessive indulgence to me. However I have never been interested in fancy cars enough to buy one. I often thought I wanted a red car but having rented one I find I much prefer basic black. So I may not be the best judge on this matter.
Sill a guy who is willing to spend to take his car along him possibly to China seems to have a fixation. Puncer records a detail from Chase that is most tantalizing.
Lee: I suspected they went to China but I never knew for sure. There are some artefacts, in fact, two of them are in our dining room, that came from China. I had a great picture of Ebby standing in front of the Packard on a pier. Behind him was a ship called the Empress of Japan. They did take a voyage on that ship and they took the Packard with them. Where exactly they went I don’t know. There were some trips that the children were not part of. I think the Empress of Japan cruise went through the Panama Canal. I do know they ended up in New York. The Packard was a new 1937 model and they drove it home.
Thus ERB replicated his trips with Emma if part of the cruise went through the Panama Canal. One imagines the cross-country drive in 1937-38 was considerably easier than the 1916 trip twenty-two years earlier. Here’s a side of ERB that hasn’t been explained by his biographers.
The expense of the trip would have been enormous. The extra cost of unloading and loading the Packard at each port must have been substantial. The vanity of such a thing throws a new light on ERB’s character. Especially as photos of him at this time show him to be a real dandy in fitted suits. One wonders how he could possibly have been so affluent in 1937-38 and so broke two years later that he was reduced to living on $250 a month in Hawaii. I hope the inconsistency is clear.
Of course WWII terminated ERB’s love affair with the automobile. When he returned to the US after the War the wonder of the pre-war years was gone. There were no post-war Cords or Pierce Arrows while by the time cars would have been readily agailable again age and disease had rendered driving impossible for ERB.
One does admire ERB’s taste in automobiles though, doesn’t one?
Finally, for this essay, let us turn to ERB’s sexual and marriage problems. He may very well have been blithe and carefree in his handling of them but they look like problems to me.
It seems quite clear that ERB had a serious emotional problem with women. Bearing in mind this is a quote from a novel and may not necessarily reflect Burroughs’ most deeply held feeling yet the Tarzan series is so autobiographical of what was happening in his life or going through his mind at the moment that I believe it does. On p.51 of Tarzan And The Leopard Man Burroughs in his persona of Old Timer has him ruminate:
What had women ever done for him? “Made a bum of me,” he soliloquized; “ruined my life. This girl would have been lost but for me. She owes me something. All women owe me something for what that one woman did to me. This girl is going to pay that debt.
“God, but she’s beautiful!” And she belongs to me. I found her, and I am going to keep her until I am tired of her. Then I’ll throw her over the way I was thrown over. See how the woman will like it! God, what lips! Tonight they will be all mine, and I’ll make her like it. It’s only fair. I’ve got something coming to me in this world. I’m entitled to a little happiness; and by God, I’m going to have it.”
Now, that’s a fairly psychotic statement. How does it correlate to ERB’s life? So far as we know he had serious relationships with three women: Emma, Florence and Dorothy. In point of fact he threw each over as he had been thrown over. There is no doubt that he meant to hurt them as severely as he could cherishing their pain.
As these are his three women and none of them threw him over then one must ask, who was the woman who threw him over? There is no actual living woman involved. The only possible candidate can be his Anima. So that his attitude toward women, wich is actually fairly extreme, can be traced back only to his disastrous encounter with John the Bully as an eight or nine year old. I know, but it has to be true.
One can’t be certain but I surmise that he was walking to shool with Emma and possibly another person or two which would be normal when John glowered threateningly over him demanding he fight. At that point, as he panicked, he must have associated his Anima with Emma, thus as he ran he left his Anima behind which was then attached to John. Thus in the intensely autobiographical The Outlaw Of Torn De Vac/John murders his Anima figure Maud and then assumes her role dressed in drag.
Thus, as ERB expresses it in Leopard Men, his Anima threw him over.
Now, Burroughs would have been able to portray this situation endlessly without being able to associate his stories with the event. He was able to remember John all his life even apparently idolizing him without realizing how much he hated or feared him. He was unable to counter the psychological suggestion that John was a greater than he, hence he was emasculated.
If one asked ERB who was the woman who threw him over he would probably have been able only to make a few confused utterances and then turn away.
In my experience this sort of reaction occurs even below the level of fixation. It occurs as though transfixed by a lightning bolt separating the mind from reality. I don’t mean to bore you with my own experiences but they are illustrative. My own relationship with women, for instance, was conditioned by my mother when she lied to me and dropped me off at the children’s home or orphanage.
Of course I was consciously shattered even being able to associate the situation with immense electrical discharges or lightning bolts but more importantly in unreachable areas of the mind certain notions were formed. I didn’t reach this understanding by analysis although I did prepare the psychological ground. The attitude only surfaced in a certain situation which might never have occurred in my life but did twice. That situation was when a woman I was associated with left me when I expected her to be with me. My reaction was not conscious, which isn’t to say I wasn’t aware of what I was doing but I wasn’t aware of why I was doing it although I naturally had my reasons.
The first manifestation occurred when I was fifteen with my first girl friend. She said she loved me and demanded I love her with the same intensity. I agreed to reciprocate. Then as Christmas vacation came around and I planned on spending those pleasant two weeks with her she said she had to go visit relatives in a distant city. A feeling of terror gripped my soul as I insisted that she not go. Reason has nothing to do with this. It didn’t matter to me then that perhaps she couldn’t refuse to go and it doesn’t matter to me now. She went. In doing so she replicated the original event with my mother. It broke my heart but on the succeeding Valentines Day I broke a date and without any explanation whatsoever never saw her again. It wasn’t her fault but neither was I responsible for my action although guilty of it.
I recovered the memory in a novel I was writing when I named the cross streets of the orphanage after her two names. When writing it is best not to correct yourself so rather than change the street names which seemed silly to me I left them as they were. Then I asked myself why I would associate this girl, who I really loved, with the children’s home with which she had no connection. The lightning bolt backed out of my mind and I was able to make the association between my mother leaving me and this girl leaving me. So I lost my psychosis.
The situation recurred when I was courting my wife. I came very close to walking away at that time. Why I didn’t I don’t know. Somewhere deep inside I resent the fact that I didn’t.
So, the woman who threw ERB over couldn’t have been real as there is no record of her. She must have been his Anima.
He attempted to get even using Emma by stringing her along indefinitely probably with the intention of ruining her life by turning her into a frustrated spinster. This plan was ruined when Frank Martin made his pitch for Emma forcing ERB to marry her. Thus Burroughs had to devise a new plan to ruin her life. Of course there was conflict between his conscious and unconscious minds.
There must have contending emotions in his mind that kept him with her for thirty-four years. Or perhaps, as a one man woman, she put up with anything from him rather than lose him. That is certainly the implication in Herb Weston’s letters when he says that no other woman would have tolerated his antics. In the end he certainly treated her like a cad and a heel.
I suppose no life is lived without causing injury or destress to other individuals some intentional, some not. In relation to women in ERB’s life the injuries were intentional and perhaps even planned but ultimately ERB was in the meshes of psychological forces he apparently neither understood nor could control. He was ultimately not responsible for his actions but guilty of them. This is one of the great quandaries of life, even though one may commit heinous acts such as in the case of John Wayne Gacy, at bottom one is compelled by psychological forces and are truly not responsible but still, of course, guilty. Thus when Gacy said of himself that John Wayne Gacy would never have committed such crimes I believe he was speaking the truth. John Wayne Gacy I could never have killed those boys. But John Wayne Gacy II could. So Gacy must have had a split personality in the manner of Dr. Jekyll nad Mr. Hyde. Jekyll wouldn’t but Hyde was compelled to. Thus we have Tarzan I, a blow to the head and we have Tarzan II. Did this split also occur in Burroughs’ real life?
Now, ERB in his Tarzan novels on several occasions attributes a split personality to Tarzan usually caused by a blow to the head. It seems probable that Burroughs who did receive such a blow knows whereof he speaks.
So with this trauma caused by his confrontation with John and blow to the head in Toronto one begins to get a picture of a man with a brilliant intellect much as Dr. Jekyll, as evidenced by his writing, in a confused state of mind that resulted in Hyde like actions. It is quite possible that H.G. Wells, perhaps on his own, perhaps in consultation with others, evaluation of Burroughs as insane in his Mr. Blettsworthy On Rampole Island, may have some substance while not being completely justified.
At any rate ERB was extremely emotionally violent to his women. One recalls the image of the dead Alalus woman used for target practice in Ant Men. Whether ERB was true to Emma throughout her life or not. I used to believe so but now have my doubts, he certainly tortured her for seven long years before he brutally threw her over after thirty-four year long ties.
He enjoyed; he relished her pain. When she died he even danced on her grave.
The period from 1930 to 1934 was crucial to ERB’s psychological sexual stress. Leopard Men of mid ’31 must have been written in a period of deep and disturbed emotional distress. Once again Tarzan’s personality splits. Before it splits Old Timer/Burroughs has his confrontatin with Kali Bwana/Florence in which they appear to hate each other. When Tarzan regains his memory Old Timer/Burroughs and Kali Bwana/Florence have reconciled and become a pair.
Thus it appears that this was the crucial moment when ERB made up his mind to leave Emma and unite with Florence.
Did he have honorable intentions toward Florence? I don’t think so. Let us review the quote of Old Timer from Leopard Men:
God, she’s beautiful. And she belongs to me. I found her and I am going to keep her until I am tired of her. Then I will throw her over…I’ve got something coming to me in this world. I’m entitled to a little happiness; and by God I’m going to have it,
It would appear that his relationship with Florence was expedient. He from the first intended to ruin her life by dumping her, see how she liked it. Thus the denouement of the marriage in Hawaii was understood by ERB from the beginning.
At one time I believed that Florence calculatedly used ERB to get a trophy husband for status in Hollywood. As the story evolves I am now realizing that ERB was no innocent party. He had been long enough in Hollywood to be seduced by its standards. He was on the edge of sixty and if he was to salvage a little happiness, by God, than this was the time to do it before it was too late. While I haven’t seen any photographs that would make me think Florence was beautiful she apparently was better looking than her photographs while being young and an actual movie star of some fame one presumes. I am not up on silent pictures but the attraction to an aging Burroughs is obvious.
According to Puncer’s Lee Chase interview in ERBzine 1632 ERB became a party animal compared to his life with Emma. While Chase doesn’t have any definite proof it is possible that ERB began to travel to foreign climes with perhaps a tour of the Orient. When that life palled and he began to tire of Florence in other words, she had served her purpose, as Old Timer said he would, ERB threw her over to she how the woman liked it.
As with a psychosis, not yet sexually satisfied he took up with the third woman in his life, Dorothy. When ERB married Emma he actually took her from Frank Martin who would have been a good catch for Emma. In the over thirty-four years he proceeded to ruin her life in which he absolutely succeeded when he walked out on her. When he married Florence he took her from Dearholt. Florence proved more resilient when he threw her over quickly remarrying. Dorothy, who seems to have been a rather ordinary woman, was also married. In this case when ERB had destroyed her marriage he just left her standing. In that manner he threw her over and let the woman see how she liked it.
At that time age and disease caight up with him so that he was unable to make a fourth attempt which he very likely would have done. He was sort of a serial psychological destroyer of women. Once again, he was guilty but not responsible.
His sexual problems then were caused by a damaged or even murdered Anima. Sexual information of this sort is not taught in those ridiculous coeducational sex courses in high school or college where the ideas are only concerned with the varieties of sexual intercourse. As the song says: Put it where you want it. These sex courses are a bigger crime than any actual sex crime- they are a sex crime. I can’t believe the big brains don’t know what they’re doing so I have to conclude that they are knowingly betraying mankind.
This concludes my review of Tarzan The Invincible, the first of the mature novels of ERB. I think now I will examine what many consider the worst of the series, Tarzan And The Leopard Men. I’ve always considered it a difficult story but I think I have enough of a handle on it to at least open the exploration.
November 13, 2011
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#16 TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD MEN
Edgar Rice Burroughs In His Milieu
An age’s habits of thought and feeling
Are shared by all who live and work in that age-
From the journeyman up to the genius.
–Aldous Huxley, After Many A Summer Dies The Swan
From 1930′s Tarzan The Invincible to 1934-35′s Tarzan’s Quest is perhaps the most critical of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ adult life. For a man who said he led a humdrum life it seems to me that his life was exciting from beginning to end. The period in question seems to be fraught with dangers of various kinds. My intent in this section which may be thought to bridge the two novels Leopard Men and Lion Man is to give some continuity to ERB’s poltical and emothional development during this critical period. Really, I think ERB failed in the temporal area of his life.
ERB ran afoul of the Judaeo-Communist conspiracy shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. On the one hand he faced the antagonism of the Soviet apparatus while on the other he was opposed by the Jewish religion which meshed with Soviet Communism. To take the former first.
As the Soviet State consolidated and became organized it could devote itself to the infiltration of other States and control of their institutions, especially the media which at that time was limited to the press and the movies. By the thirties radio also could be added. this meant that the control of who was published became paramount. There was no desire for freedom of the press.
While the membership of the Communist Party in the United States was small in itself it could control the allegiance of a huge number of Liberals, Fellow Travelers, Parlor Pinks and whatever name they were known by in every branch of activity. Combined together Burroughs represented them as the Leopard Men. Their council always favored the Soviet Union as Sobito’s did the Leopard Men of Africa, against the interests of Europe and America.
The Soviets formed any number of writer’s collectives to manage who could and couldn’t be published. Direction of these organizations was always under Party control. Thus one adhered to the Party line or one didn’t get published.
It is clear that Burroughs understood this. He formed his publishing house at this time while the first book he published was the stridently anti-Communist Tarzan The Invincible followed by the equally anti-Communist Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan And The Leopard Men.
A key international writer’s collective called P.E.N. was either formed under Soviet direction in 1921 or captured by them shortly thereafter. P.E.N. stands for Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors and Novelists. That pretty well covered the opinion makers of the day. The key element is Editors. Since the Editors were sovietized they threw a roadblock across literary access that allowed only Red authors or Red edited books through. Thus when Ballantine published the Burroughs corpus in the sixties they edited the texts to conform to prevailing Party prejudices bringing ERB more into line with the Red ideology.
As I have noted before, H.G. Wells became a Soviet literary hatched man in 1920 or shortly thereafter. By the early thirties he was president of P.E.N.
The Soviet State was of a split personality. On the one hand the Jews wanted an international variant of Communism plunping for revolution throughout the world. This faction was headed by Leon Trotsky. On the other hand Stalin favored a form of National Socialism or socialism in one country. After the death of Lenin Stalin was able to capture the Party and government essentially condemning the international faction to death by the time of the show trials of 1936. Trotsky who had escaped Siberia was finished off in Mexico in 1940.
A strange thing is that Stalin was a fan of the Big Bwana.. It seems clear that he had read at least The Beasts Of Tarzan awhile as a movie buff he ordered showing of the MGM Tarzan series. It appears that he was so affected by the fantasy of Tarzan’s ape auxiliaries in Beasts Of Tarzan , that he was entranced by the idea of an army composed of expendable hybrid ape-men who could be sustained on a cheap rough diet.
Now this is true. In the late twenties Stalin ordered Soviet sceintist to creat a hybrid ape-man. So now we’re edging into the area of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ God of Tarzan And The Lion Man but Uncle Joe Stalin precedes them.
First Burroughs always had been fascinated by the concept of creating life. It is clear that he was inchanted by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. He mentions the book more than once within the corpus. He hiimself makes several attempts to plausibly creat life through his charactersd. the great Martian physcian Ras Thavasd succeeds in creating life and did Dr. Case but they both botch the job.
While ‘God’ from Tarzan And The Lion Man does not create life he succeeds in creating a hybrid ape-man along the lines proposed by Stalin to his scientists. Such creations might consicered more eugenics although on the dysgenic side. Cullular thereapy probably arose out of eugenics. The notion had been around for some time. Another influence on Burroughs at this time was the famous John R. (Goat Glands) Brinkley. I’m indebted to the Indian Bibliophile Vishwas Gaitonde for recalling my attention to the connection.
Let me say first that I take no offense at medical quacks or religious charlatans. I find them the most intriguing people. I am not susceptible to their lures myself while if one is then the fault lies with oneself rather than the quack or charlatan. After all, who dould answer a Nigerian email? Since ERB had an extended association with the quack Dr. Stacey presumable helping him sell his nostrums one might assume that ERB was sympathetic to the type also.
I will reserve an extended account of Dr. Brinkley (the Dr. title is largely assumed) for the body of the Lion Man review. Suffice it to say here that Dr. Brinkley said that he could sexually invigorate a man by injecting him with goat glands. It is to be noted that God intends to use the glands of both a man and woman in his attempt to restore himself to a human appearance. I’m sure the splicing of male YX and female XX chromosomes into the same body would have produced an interesting result. XXXy would restore the original unisex organism.
Here ERB isd blending his evolutionary ideas into this political confrontation with Reds and Stalin’s attempt at hybridization in a very interesting and exciting way. It is also to be noted tht Aldous Huxleyh’s Brave New World was issued about the time Leopard Men was written and published in magazine form so it is possible that ERB could have read it by the time he penned Lion Man. There is a similarity of interest in that Huxley is treating evolution along the same lines as Stalin and Burroughs. Thus it is possible that Stalin and Huxley both had some influence on the God of Lion Man.
It has been said that Brave New World was a parody of Wells’ Men Like Gods. That book did deal with Burroughs although Huxley was yet to make his mark. During the twenties and thirties Wells engaged Burroughs in a literary duel. A couple years before Brave New World he had parodied Huxley in one of his novels so one has Wells versus Huxley and Buroughs. the contest was not unnoted by Huxley while by whatever means he was kept ifnormed of developments, it seems the Burroughs was too.
Thus Brave New World was probably written with an intent by Huxley to avenge himself on Wells. Wells quickly retorted with The Shape Of Things To Come which is his put down of Brave New World, offering a different conception of the shape of things to come. Wells book may also be compared to Orwell’s 1984. In his novel, Wells makes some sharp criticisms of Stalin that the Man of Steel was quick to note.
Stalin had assigned the State prostitute Moura Budberk as Wells’ consort and handler. The fatuous Wells actually fell in love with this fairly well traveled pros. I mean, quit seriously in love, debilitatingly so. Stalin then arranged that Wells should see her in a compromising situation with Maxim Gorky, to whom she had been assigned before Wells of he which he was aware, in revenge for Wells’ criticisms. Wells was absolutely shattered. Digesting the situation, a few years later he wrote a book entitled The Holy Terror. The book advocated the assassination of a a Stalin-like dictator who had outlived his usefulness to the Revolution. The plot used a method that prefugured the actual Doctor’s Plot of 1953 in which Stalin was assassinated. Holy Terror was 1939, a year after Burroughs’ rewrote, rather interleaved alternate chapters to the Lad And The Lion to reflect the situation with Wells and Moscow.
If ind this period of Burroughs career terrifically exciting. It merits much more extensive research which I hope to be allowed to do. In conjunction with the Soviet threat to his career and possible life, ERB also had to deal with the Communist backbone, Militant Judaism.
Communism in the United States was largely a matter of immigration. The Party was divided into language sections of which English was the smallest. As with all national Parties the US Party was fifty-five to sixty percent Jewish. The Jews were perceived as Bolshevistic at the time. The Jewish World Government was run from New York City as a semi-autonomous government of the United States. It’s premier was the financier Jacob Schiff with Louis Marshall as Secretary of State.
As the money manager Schiff had engineered the defeat of Russia in the 1903-05 Russo-Japanese War over Manchuria. Subsequently in conjuction with the international Jewish financiers he had denied the Russian government loans. I have already noted that Woodrow Wilson broke off US relations with Russia in 1913 at Jewish insistance. After 1917 Schiff reversed Jewish policy immediately granting huge loans to the new Soviet regime which he believed to be Jewish.
Wilson took offense at this, summoning Schiff to Washington to discuss his suspected Bolshevism. Probably summoning up anti-Semitic arguments in his defense Schiff was able to deflect Wilson. While all his Bolshevic activity was successfully denied it was nonetheless noticed and disparaged by a large and influential body of writers. These too were described as anti-Semitic while the record of their criticism has been expuned from text books if not virtually erased from history itself. Even then it is forbidden knowledge perilous to investigate.
In 1919 the American Jewish Committee sent ERB a questionnaire titled The Jewish Bill Of Rights to determine his stance on matters Jewish. ERB failed the test by asking some very pointed questions. As an -ism he had some question regarding Judaism.
To keep the perspective before us, after 1789 religions came into conflict with Science. In the evolution of human consciousness, which is to say intelligence, self-realization, the Religious Consciousness is anterior and inferior to Scientific Consciousness. The contest was placed into a context of Spirituality and Materialism, religion being thought spiritual and science material. The Religionists considered Spirituality, which is to say supernaturalism, to be superior to materialism which is to so say knowledge.
For some odd eason it was permitted to disparage Christianity while Judaism and Moslemism remained sacrosanct. The same people who disparaged Christianity as superstition would speak of the even more superstitious Judaism and Moslemism with reverence. Very strange, very irrational.
As an evolutionist of the Scientific Consciousness who appears to have seen through all religion, to judge by his writing, ERB would have had as little use for Moslemism and Judaism as he did for Christianity. Indeed he is unremittingly harsh on the Moslems of Africa while critical of Judaism. He seems to have joined with Ford in Ford’s attempt to solve the Jewish problem during the twenties. Ford has been mis-characterized as an anti-Semite by his enemies. In fact he believed he could resolve the age old warfare between Semits and Europeans by the same techniques he used to mass produce cars. the problem was not a mater of reason so he failed.
For his effort to reselve the age old prlblem he received the enmity of his opponents and the scorn or his own people. If ERB didn’t receive the latter he was at least considered someone to watch by the former. See my revidew of Marcia Of The Doorstep for details.
Thus in a citadel of Judaeo-Communism such as Hollywood ERB had to be considered somewhat of a pariah. The Communists would wish to silence him while the Jews would wish to expel him. the problem was how to do it.l MGM hit on a possible solution in the co-optation of the charactger of Tarzan. I believe the intent was to turn Tarzan into an object of ridicule reducing him to a dismissable joke.
The method would have been similar to that used against Foerd. As Ford published his article William Fox, the Fox of Twentieth Century-Fox, who p[roduced weekly newsreels vowed to show Ford automobiles only in accidents to make them apear unsafe while refusing to use Fords in his movies preferring other makes.
A very effective propaganda method really. So, between the Communists and the Jews in Hollywood ERB was caught between the upper and nether jaws of the vice. Between the two he was fround down as the thirties progressed. that coupled with his own rather serious emotional problems.
End of Review.
November 8, 2011
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#16 TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD MEN
How The Story Is Told
Obscure but persistent workers in these decades of disaster
Pieced together the puzzle bit by bit.
There is a scale of fantastic disproportion
Between the scale of the labourers and the immense consequences
The psychology of association,
Was a side of social biology that had been disregarded
Almost entirely before the time of which we are writing.
People still had only the vaguest ideas
of the social structure in and by which they lived.
They accepted the most arbitrary and simple explanations
Of their accumulated set of relationships
And they were oblivious even to fundamental changes in that set.
Wild hopes, delusions and catastrophes
–H.G. Wells, The Shape Of Things To Come, pp. 245-46
This is actually an interesting story. If you search for references they are there aplenty. I’ve already referred to some but another that might be overlooked is the apparent reference to Edward Bulyer-Lytton’s famous opening sentence to his 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The original goes:
It was a dark and story night, the rain fell in torrents- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for this is in London our scene lies), rattling along the housetops and fiercely agitating the scanty flames of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
There is even an annual contest to see who can write the most successful parody. The line has such a reputation that many writers seek to write a variation on it to open one of their own stories. ERB has successfully replicated the feel as this story opens on a dark and stormy night.
The lurid horror of the story is set in this opening scene in which the headman of Kali Bwana’s safari attempts to rape her. She shoots him but only wounds him in the arm. Her safari then deserts her leaving her alone in the middle of the Ituri Rain Forest where even on a bright sunny day the gloom is never lifted. Now, that was a dark and stormy night.
She is discovered by Old Timer who himself takes it into his mind to rape her. He is prevented from shaming himself by the abduction of Kali Bwana by the Leopard Men in his abscence. The story of Kali Bwana and Old Timer is set in motion then as he sets out to rescue her from the deplorable fate of being Leopard Goddess to the Leopard God.
The complementary story of Tarzan And The Leopard Men is set in motion by A. The murder of an African swain, Nyamwegi by the Leopard Men during the story. B. The felling of Tarzan by a blown down tree with subsequent amnesia and C. his rescue by Nyamwegi’s friend Orando and his assuming the identity of Orando’s guardian angel or muzimo.
We are first introduced to Old Timer as he sits around the campfire with his partner, The Kid. They are ivory poachers, very disreputable. They split up to search for elephant in two different areas which leads to Old Timer’s discovery of Kali Bwana.
The protagonists of the story are the Leopard Men. They are an African clandestine religious cult who terrorize all the tribes over a large but unspecified area although they originated in a far away place, probably the Calabar Coast as in real life. They have been active as far away as among Tarzan’s Kenyan Waziri which has drawn his attention to them. He doesn’t want that kind of trouble on his estate.
The Leopard Men were a real phenomenon although not too much is known about them. Burroughs was apparently working from newspaper or magazine articles about them, National Geographic maybe. If he had a book or two they don’t appear in his library. To accentuate their horrific nature ERB makes them not only murderous but cannibalistic. They probably were both.
Cannibalism is a theme which recurs throughout ERB’s corpus not just in his African novels. Whether he leaned on the ntion for horrific effect or whether it has some deeper psychological meaning for him I have yet to determine. The fate of the Donner Party with its alleged cannibalism has always been discussed in hushed tones in California so he may have picked up the theme from that although the theme was prominent in earlier novels like The Mucker and Marcia Of The Doorstep. Burroughs has a way of working it in.
It becomes necessary for the Old Timer to rescue Kali Bwana from the Leopard Men. The Utengans wish to destroy them while Tarzan’s goal for coming to the Utengan country in the first place was to seach out their ‘fabled village and temple.’ As ERB explains coincidence allowed Tarzan not only to discover them but to destroy them.
Old Timer in his attempt to rescue Kali Bwana is led to the town of Gato Mgungu who is the political leader of the Leopard Men. Old Timer who has traded with Mgungu never knew his connection with the Leopard Cult. Whereas before he was welcomed now he is made captive to become the feast at the Leopard cult orgy. Then to the temple where he discovers Kali Bwana decked out in the regalia of the Leopard cult presiding at the festivities.
Burroughs introduces some wonderful details such as that the high priest is a ventriloquist who has deluded the Leopard Men into believing that the Leopard God actually speaks in their dialect. Tarzan, watching from the rafters, on behlaf of the Utengans although he has neither heard or seen ventriloquism before applies his mighty intellect, this guy learned to read an unknown language from a picture book, to the problem of divining the secret. Of course Tarzan had been to Paris and was familiar with London music halls so ERB may be laying it on a little thick here. Tarzan was surely sophisticated enough to know of ventriloquism. In his defense, however, he was suffering from amnesia so that while he did know of ventriloquism he had to work it out anew. I do detect a slight inconsistency here nonetheless.
Let us retrace out steps to recover Tarzan’s story after he was released by Oranda the Utengan. Tarzan has absolutely no recollection of who he is or where. Thus when Orando suggests to him that he is his muzimo Tarzan readily accepts the role. His companion, Nkima the monkey, who has not lost his memory can’t understand why Tarzan doesn’t accept the information when he tells Tarzan that Tarzan is Tarzan and Nkima is Nkima and not the spirit of Nyamwegi. Tarzan is unconvinced and even Burroughs refers to Tarzan only as Muzimo until he regains his memory.
Muzimo and Orando then set out on the trail of the Leopard Men to avenge Nyamwegi. Four Leopard Men were involved. Muzimo and Oranda kill three while the fourth escapes.
The next task is lunch. For this Tarzan, who only kills for food, never for sport, dispatches an Okapi described as bigger than a cow. The two hunters cut off a couple pounds for lunch and leave the rest for roving scavengers.
The Okapi would have been unknown to most of Burroughs’ readers. The beast was a native only to the Ituri. Its existence was only confirmed in 1900, so definitely an exotic touch to the story for its time.
The next task is to organize an army to attack the Leopard Men. The Leopard Men were much feared so this was not only difficult but nearly impossible. Only a hundred men showed up for the summons including the secret Leopard Man, Lupingu. Orando also has to counter the influence of the witch-doctor, Sobito, another secret Leopard Man. Even though Sobito’s influence is enormous Muzimo is able to counter it with his own seeming supernatural influence.
Sobito and Lupingu have a conference from which Lupingu is sent to betray Orando’s force to the Leopard Men. While Orando attends to the details of marshalling his force Muzimo acts as the intelligence wing reconnoitering Gato Mgungu’s village. Gazing down from the large lower branch of the ubiquitous tree Tarzan detects Lupingu betraying the force. The Leopard Men arrange a 300 man force within minutes attacking the Utengans while meeting Muzimo on their return.
The Utengan force had been decimated which is to say one in ten had been killed which is what decimated means. As someone interested in military matters one wonders if this is an inside joke of ERB’s.
Reconnoitering further Tarzan attends the installation ceremony of Kali Bwana. He is surprised to find the two white people there, Old Timer was there as a prisoner, but as a Utengan Muzimo, in fact as in name, has no racial interest in Whites.
He returns to Orando to tell him that the Leopard Men will be returning completely hungover so a perfect opportunity has presented itself. Orando takes advantage of the opportunity completely routing the returning Leopard Men while exterminating the men, women and children of Mgungu’s village and appropriating their left over beer. To the victor belongs the spoils.
In the battle Muzimo is knocked unconscious who when he comes to is Tarzan once again. Muzimo disappears from the story. Tarzan informs the awestruck Utengans that he is really the legendary Tarzan of the Apes whose exploits are the stuff of the campfire tales of the Utengans. Yes, friends, even in the depths of the Ituri Rain Forest the legend of Tarzan is a huthold word. The goddess Kali must have been running a close second.
Apparently when amnesia strikes one forgets one’s life prior to the attack but when one regains one’s memory one can remember the amnesicac details because Tarzan now remembers the two White people at the Leopard temple deciding to check up on them because of some faint racial affinity.
In the meantime without the aid of Tarzan Kali Bwana and Old Timer manage to escape with the bumbling aid of the African chief, Bobolo.
They manage to appropriate a gigantic dugout that Old Timer is able to manipulate on his own. Leaving the mysterious and silent river of death they enter the main river, one presumes the Aruwimi. While they are thus engaged the Leopard Men between them and downstream at their village are defeated and the survivors flee back to the temple. Old Timer perceives the first batch of canoes, steering his lumbering craft into the shadows of the bank where he is perceived. Rather than waiting to see if any others are following he immediately heads to center stream where he encounters Bobolo’s contingent. Old Timer is captured while Bobolo captures the glowing white Kali Bwana. Raising a warning cry he is able to detach himself from the little flotilla carrying Kali Bwana back to his own village to be his White wife.
Old Timer is taken back to the Leopard temple to serve the noble function of lunch. All this is convincingly well described by Burroughs with his usual economy. All this takes fewer pages than one might imagine.
Tarzan returning as Tarzan to the Leopard temple sends all the canoes save one downstream. He reenters the temple in the nick of time to save Old Timer who he sends downstream in the single canoe. Apparently all those canoes he released didn’t form a log jam on that narrow nearly stagnant slow moving mysterious and silent river of death.
As Old Timer poles his pirogue laboriously downstream Tarzan demands the Leopard Men give him Sobito who he had recognized behind his mask as a hostage. He then leaves carrying Sobito through the otherwise trackless and impenetrable swamp and jungle. The Leopard Men find all their canoes missing seeing only rows of crocodile eyes facing them. They have no way to escape the temple and…they are all cannibals, if you know what I mean.
So now Tarzan has destroyed this whole Leopard Man contingent. He leaves Sobito with Orando. Sobito contrives to escape himself heading downstream to his old friend Bobolo. So the whole crew is moving toward an assemblage at Bobolo’s village.
Now, when Bobolo showed up with this White wife his Black wives objected especially the Mduze like older wife. Bobolo is compelled to remove Kali Bwana. Rather than giving her up he transfers her to the Betetes, a tribe of Pygmies, for safekeeping intending to visit her on the sly. He promises to send food in recompense for her keep to the hapless Pygmies. Before he can the escaped Sobito shows up placing himself under Bobolo’s protection.
Old Timer who has been treed for several hours notices the canoe of Sobito coming along just behind him while from his tree he hears some native women discussing the fate of Kali Bwana. From them he learns Kali Bwana has been transferred to the Pygmy village. He sets out to the rscue. If you notice, through this whole story there has been nary a lion. Tarzan hasn’t killed his usual half dozen nor has Jad-Bal-Ja made an appearance. Instead Nikima has spent the book complaining about the overwhelming aroma of Sheeta.
Burroughs during his long career has made several errors of fact concerning the fauna of Africa. One of them is placing lions in the jungle. Lions are savanna dwellers. In Invincible Burroughs acknowledged there were no deer in Africa by changing Bara the deer to Bara the antelope. In this volume the antelope is known as Wappi. As there are no lions in the jungle Tarzan finds a savanna in the middle of the Ituri full of lions. While there are no lions in the jungle there are also no savannas in the Ituri but one assumes it will take his critics some time to discover the fact. You always have to be one step ahead.
Apparently Burroughs cannot write a book without a lion kill or two by Tarzan so he gratuitously throws in Chapter XVII: Charging Lions. This is a completely unnecessary episode that adds nothing to the story. It is interesting nonetheless.
Tarzan is hungry. Game is scarce. He reaches a savanna in the forest. The grass is tall, over his head. he spots a herd of herbivores off in the distance. Tarzan has eaten carnivores in the past when necessity dictated it but he much prefers herbivores.
Leaving the cowardly Nkima in a tree quaking because of the smell of Sheeta that pervades the forest Tarzan starts out over the savanna. He hasn’t gone too far when the aroma of lions assails his sensitive nostrils. But, he can smell that they have just fed so he is not worried. Well fed lions never charge. However worse than being unfed he has stumbled upon a mating pair which did escape his sensitive nostrils. Bad news, because a lion disturbed in copulation will always charge. Information like this has prevented me from making reservations for the Serengeti. Now the story actually gets not only improbable but a little bit on the looney side.
Apparently ERB is psychologically compelled to include this episode that adds nothing to the story while being difficult to understand. Tarzan and the lions which include the copulating pair and another four or five males are in tall grass so they can’t see each other. Only the grass waves indicating the seven lions. Tarzan has carefully kept a tree within fifty feet which with his lightning speed he can reach before any lion. However Tarzan is irked at having to run. He doesn’t mind a dignified advance to the rear but he resents having to make a headlong flight. Thus as the great male head appears through the grass the Big Bwana decides to kill him. His giant muscles rolling like molten steel beneath his bronzed skin he launches his heavy war spear at the charging lion. Muscles, weight and charge add up to a skewered lion.
Tarzan hasn’t counted on the female who is right behind her lover so he has to make his undignified pell mell flight anyway.
The female is plenty sore. She won’t go away. Just hangs around, waiting. The other male lions sit in a semi-circle first looking up at Tarzan, over the at the female and then at each other. A very peculiar and incongruous image.
The reluctance to flee and the brutal killing of the male are easy to understand. The male obviously represents John the Bully on the Chicago street corner. Burroughs was ashamed of having run so he stands his ground killing the image of John.
What of the enraged female and other males? Don’t know. Possibly the female represents his failed Anima. The strange image of his Anima and John the Bully copulating is very difficult. The four male lions looking on might easily be imagined as four boys watching ERB’s humiliation on the street corner. As Caz Casadesus points out Tarzan in the tree pelting the lions may represent the story of Kit Carson treed by a bear. The story must have tickled Burroughs so much he often places Tarzan in a tree tormenting the beasts below. Caz is probably correct in making Kit Carson a hero figure to ERB as Carson Napier of Venus is obviously named after him
I will get into this next section but as David Adams points out much of these stories are reported as viewed from above. We may have the reason explained here as John symbolically ran ERB up a tree causing dissociation or a splitting of the personality.
About noon of the next day the female gets tired of waiting, moving off. Tarzan retrieves his spear, which in itself was a great feat of strength withdrawing it from the carcass of the lion, returning to Nkima.
After this strange, irrelevant episode Tarzan is heading for Bobolo’s village because Old Timer had said Bobolo took Kali Bwana there when he passed near, not too near, Betete’s village. In Van Dyke’s Horning Into Africa he mentions that the Pygmies he dealt with had an overwhelming stench. Tarzan is downwind so this stench is wafted by Usha the wind right to him. Amidst this stench he detects a more delicate aroma that reminds him of something. Oh yes, a White Woman. Not bad work even for so sensitive a nose as his. Could there be two White women in the same patch of the Ituri Rain Forest? Not likely. Tarzan will peek in.
Now, Kali Bwana’s situation is getting desperate. No supplies have arrived from Bobolo and these cannibals are pretty darn hungry. You get the idea. Both Tarzan and Old Timer arrive at this particular spot in the Ituri at the same time. Fortunately the Leopard Men had overlooked a jackknife in Old Timer’s pocket so he is able to cut through the hinges of the gate in the nick of time. His daring attempt of rescue is about to fail when a shower of arrows from ye olde overhanging bough cinches his opportunity. Chucking the naked Kali Bwana over one shoulder he hightails out the gate as he hears a crash behind him.
As Tarzan turned to leave the branch he was standing on sheared from the bole. Stunned by the fall, like Lilliputians the Pygmies bound him and tossed him in a hut. ERB uses a device he has fine tuned several times, most recently the previous year in Invincible.
Burroughs always establishes these things. On his way to Bobolo’s Tarzan chanced to run into some great apes he knew who had only recently moved into the Ituri. Zutho and Gayat were old acquaintances for the wide roaming ape man.
Nkima is waiting in a tree trembling in fear of Sheeta. The fear of the feminine is very pronounced in our little monkey. Nevertheless Tarzan gets him to direct Zutho and his fellow tribesmen to the village for his relief. These apes are seven and eight foot giants so when they scramble over the wall the Pygmies move back. Tossing Tarzan over a shoulder they scramble away. An entertaining page or two.
The diabolical Betetes had not only bound the Big Guy with thongs but they had also used copper wire. Nkima could chew through the thongs but neither he nor the apes could manipulate the copper wire.
Tarzan tells Goyat to go find him a Gomangani to unwind the wire.
Back again to Kali Bwana and Old Timer.
Having been gotten safely into the jungle Kali Bwana is surprised that her new abductor is Old Timer. As she wearily says she is getting used to being abducted. As the two tramp through the jungle Old Timer gains his redemption while Kali Bwana falls in love with him. They are busy building a shelter when who shows up but Gayat. His instructions are for a Gomangani but his primitive brain figures a Tarmangani will do just as well. Not only do all the humans in this comedy want the delectable White Woman but Old Timer figures the apes do too. ‘Run, Kali,’ he exlaims, ‘he wants you.’ Old Timer was wrong there as he discovered as Gayat tucks him under his arm.
Old Timer releases Tarzan who hurries back to Kali Bwana. Not only do the humans and apes want Kali but so does a Leopard who now crouches for the leap. Employing a new variation on an old theme as the Leopard leaps Tarzan launches landing on his back in each’s mid leap. Work the geometry out on that one. Although unarmed the Mighty One wrenches the Leopard’s head breaking his neck. Boy, would I have liked to have been there to see that one while sneaking a peek at the voluptuous Kali Bwana at the same time. She doesn’t faze Tarzan though.
OK. We’re almost there. Only a few paragraphs to go but with Burroughs a few paragraphs are always a near lifetime. Tarzan is leading his party through the forest with his unerring nose as a compass when they come upon an army detachment searching for them. The native contingent is led by a couple White French officers. The French are invariably good in Burroughs for some strange reason. With them is the Kid, Jerry Jerome. Old Timer feels out in the cold until Jerry explains that Kali is his sister. ‘Your sister,’ ejaculates the incredulous Old Timer. Why not? Coincidence is coincidence but if Burroughs strains anything in the oeuvre it is coincidence.
Well, you know, it only take another couple paragraphs but everything ends happily. Tarzan takes Sobito back to his just deserts, Bobolo and the remaining Leopard Men are arrested and Old Timer is not only redeemed but gets the girl. What a story, hey? Almost too incredible to believe. Well, it is too incredible to believe. This issue is not the issue though and it’s the other issue that is believable.
Next the sixth and last part.
November 4, 2011
Themes And Variations
The Tazan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#16 TARZAN AND THE LEOPARD MEN
Cast Of Characters
The Shaggy Man
This novel is fairly rich in well conceived and well executed characters. Even though an obvious adventure novel it is certainly at the top of the list of the genre. All novels, even historical novels, reflect the time in which they were written. The novels of ERB are no exception. In addition they always reflect his state of mind at the time. In this first section I will deal with the three big characters- Oldtimer, Kali Bwana and The Kid. This story does not seem to have political connotations but is a pure reflection of ERB’s sexual trauma.
ERB always writes on several diffent levels and this one is a humdinger of the kind. I have already mentioned the concealed jokes in the names of Jerry ‘The Kid’ Jerome- Jerome K. Jerome- and Old Timer’s given name -Hi- probably related to Lewis Carrol’s Hunting Of The Snark. Old Timer’s real last name is never given, he is actually nameless. Kali Bwana is called that by the natives while her name is Jessie Jerome of which I can make nothing. Following the idea of the author Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat this story could be titled Three People In A Boat.
All three characters are based on the Peru, Trader Horn and Nina T. of Ethelreda Lewis’ book Trader Horn and the movie version of W.S. Van Dyke. Thus the scene in Chapter 4 which Burroughs couples with the story of Sobito the witch doctor, replicates the opening scene of Van Dyke’s movie when Peru and a grizzled old timer of a Horn portrayed by Harry Carey, sit around a campfire discussing life.
As Bill Hillman points out there is a certain irony in Old Timer/Burroughs assuming Carey’s role. In the early twenties ERB requested his movie rental agency to never send him Carey movies. Perhaps he had had a run in with Carey upon his arrival in LA where Carey insulted him. According to Van Dyke’s record of the filming of Horn, Horning Into Africa, Carey was an aggressive sort of guy. Ye olde so-called Alpha male. You can read that ‘unspeakable boor.’ Perhaps by this time ERB had made up with Carey or maybe he was satirizing him. At any rate it is interesting to see ERB assume the Carey role, or even to have gone to see Trader Horn.
In keeping with the very dark themes of this novel Old Timer is very despondent. He had met the Kid a year previously teaming up with him. The Kid, who probably is modeled on Ashton Dearholt, plays the minor role of essentially giving Old Timer his sister, Kali Bwana. So Dearholt must have relinquished his wife Florence. If the woman wants to leave what are you going to do about it?
Suspense isn’t really ERB’s long suit so he could have explained why the Kid was on the lam at the beginning but he saved it for the end where the ‘surprise’ which the reader is waiting for is pretty lame.
Back home in Indiana or wherever the Kid came from he thought he had killed a man. In what seems rather cliche Burroughs explains on p.190 of 192, he really saved that surprise for the last, didn’t he? Kali Bwana speaking:
Jerry thought he killed a man. I am going to tell you the whole story because you and he have been such close friends.
Jerry was in love with a girl in our town. He learned one night that an older man, a man with a vile reputation, had enticed her to his apartment. Jerry went there and broke in. The man was furious, and in the fight that followed Jerry shot him. Then he took the girl home, swearing her to secrecy about her part in the affair. That same night he ran away, leaving a note saying he had shot Sam Berger, but giving no reason.
Berger didn’t die and refused to prosecute…
Personally I think Berger was in the right and Jerry in the wrong; he was lucky Berger didn’t want to prosecute. It a man invites a woman up to see his etchings and she goes she obviously is not in love with a feller like Jerry. My sympathies are with Berger. It would be reasonable to think from the name that Sam Berger was Jewish so the sharp eyed boys down at the ADL/AJC would probably take that as an anti-Semitic reference. Names are important. As Kali Bwana says of Old Timer: She loved this nameless man of rages and tatters. (p. 180). It might be interesting to see the ADL/AJC file on Burroughs.
All we know of this nameless man of rags and tatters is that he answered to Old Timer, Hi or any loud cry, and that he has been exiled into the forest far from the haunts of men by ‘what that woman did to him.’ Nor are we allowed to know what that one woman did do to him. Old Timer is a misogynist. And the woman made a ‘bum’ of him. One might also refer to the Shaggy Man Of Oz by Baum as a reference.
We don’t know how long he’s been on the run from society but he’s been poaching ivory for two years and teamed up with the Kid for one. We are advised that it were better for us not to be curious and ask no questions. P. 33:
People who ask questions should be taken gently, but firmly, by the hand, led out behind the barn and shot. It would be a better world to live in.
Alright. I’m not going to ask any questions. I’m just going to form conclusions from the evidence. The world would probably be a better place to live in without me too and someday in the not too distant future it will be. However, like the Dalai Lama, my successor has already been chosen and he’s not going to be as nice as me.
Having settled that let us ask the question of how closely is Old Timer pattered on ERB? I think following ERB’s ‘highly fictionized’ manner the two are identical.
ERB specifically calls his character a ‘nameless man of rags and tatters.’ Since he’s nameless he has a serious identity problem. That means he’s been taught to be ashamed of himself. This is not unusual. A great many people have had their identities destroyed. When the Bibliophiles began publishing my essays I had five identities I hid behind. Over the intervening years I have come to assume my proper identity of R.E. Prindle. In this novel of personal crisis ERB is grasping for his own proper identity, his name. Will he be able to stand tall as the real Edgar Rice Burroughs? The issue still seems unresolved at novel’s end as Old Timer still answers only to ‘Hi!’ or any loud cry as he and Kali Bwana stand looking downstream toward ‘civilization’ which he may or may not be able to join and regain his identity. One can’t be nameless in civilization only out in the jungle.
As ERB is now 57 at novel’s end he has been struggling to resolve this problem for some time.
We are reasonably certain as to the women in ERB’s life. Until the age of 53 there was only Emma and his mother. Those are the only two women who could probably have affected his attitude toward real women. There doesn’t appear to be anything Emma actually did to him to make him a misogynist. I sense a lack of warmth and closeness to his mother but I can’t pick up any references to her and she wouldn’t have ‘done’ any womanly thing to make him a misogynist.
That leaves only the Anima. As I have pointed out, in the bilateral arrangement of the human body the male has an X and y chromosome while the female is XX. This fact is of great significance. It means the female has no male component but still has an active X provided by the male which serves as her Animus while the passive X provided by the female contributor forms her Anima.
Therefore the male always carries within his mind an ideal woman which no living woman can do more than approximate. Freud and Jung picked this up as ‘bisexuality.’ In the sixties we were admonished to ‘get in touch with our feminine side.’ If this is understood outside the notion of sexual intercourse with other males both the psychologists’ notions are approximations of the truth.
Over the course of life the relationship between a male’s Anima and Animus will become estranged and/or perverted. Hence it is indeed necessary to get in touch with your female side or in other words to reconcile your Anima and Animus to form a healthy mind to go with your healthy body, if you have one. One of the reasons why an unhealthy mind means an unhealthy body is the psychosomatic reaction.
Now let us review the definition of rags and tatters from the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols, p. 782:
(rags and tatters) are the symbol of anxiety and lesions of the psyche.
I know from personal experience the above definition is true.
It seems that in this novel ERB is using a volume such as the Penguin as a guide. Perhaps he was studying with the Theosophists or Vedantists or some related esoteric discipline. Let us assume that he had a nearly identical definition of ‘rags and tatters’ to work from so that his understanding is identical to Penguin’s and mine, if not yours.
Thus ERB is admitting to anxiety and psychic lesions.
What could have caused this anxiety and these psychic lesions?
Yes, you’re right, his confronation with John the Bully at the age of eight or nine. ERB’s Anima had failed him making a ‘bum’ of him from age eight or nine. His father from a very early age said the ERB was ‘no good.’ We know very little about his childhood so from the time we know him he has always been a ‘bum’ and ‘no good.’
Therefore if a ‘woman’ did it to him she did it when he was eight or nine. That’s as close an analysis as I can do. If it doesn’t satisfy you it satisfies me.
Being a ‘bum’ is a man’s confession that he can’t deal with life. For whatever reason he would rather voluntarily renounce his mahnood rather than compete and try. ERB learned of bums and hoboes firsthand while working at his father’s office down on the Main Stem of Madison Avenue in his native Chicago. He may have met and talked to a great many of them. He was a ‘bum’ before he married Emma. She had nothing to do with his feelings of inferiority although she may have amplified them over the years.
During the first two decades of the twentieth century ERB was fascinated by hoboes. He writes of them extensively including his hobo trilogy The Mucker, “Out There Somewhere’ or The Return Of The Mucker and Bridge And The Oskaloosa Kid, or The Oakdale Affair. After the last title the hobo recedes or disappears from his corpus to reappear here in Leopard Men at this sexual and psychological crisis in his life. The psychic lesions have split his mind asunder.
He has become the Shaggy Man. The notion of the Shaggy Man had probably been working away in his mind since 1910′s The Emerald City Of Oz by L. Frank Baum. David Adams has gone to pains to point out that Baum was extremely influential on Burroughs. As the two men not only knew each other but were familiar while ERB reverenced Baum it follows that Baum must have imparted some authorly wisdom to Burroughs. The Emerald City Of Oz was the last Oz book Burroughs read before going West in 1913 to meet his hero.
As David points out Baum was an esotericist and Theosophist in particular. Thus Baum’s rather extraordinary character of the Shaggy Man in Emerald City is worth examining in relation to ERB. Leopard Men could be interpreted as an ‘adult’ version of Emerald City.
It would appear that Baum knew what the image of the Shaggy Man, a man of rags and tatters, meant. To give a slightly different reading to Baum’s character, Penguin, p. 782:
(Rags and tatters) denotes as well a disguise by princes, princesses and wizards or cloaks inner riches under an appearance of wretchedness…
The Shaggy Man of Baum is a wizard while under his frightful appearance he disguises his great inner worth. Rather remarkably Baum has him lure the little girl Dorothy away from Aunt Em’s farm down the Road to Anywhere. One wonders how many little girls were led astry by strange bums because of the Emerald City Of Oz?
So in a sense Leopard Men had been gestating in Burroughs’ mind since his 1910 reading of Emerald City. Now, in 1931, he is able to combine it with Trader Horn, book and movie. So in the complex makeup of Old Timer, who is the Shaggy Man, he also has to be seen as Burroughs’ version of Trader Horn.
The Kid and Old Timer go off on their separate ways in search of ivory. Old Timer hears a shot and goes to investigate. He comes upon Kali Bwana who has been abandoned by her safari after she refused to ‘be good’ to her Negro headman, Golato. ERB puts together a strange scenario here in that the safari is composed of ‘low browed’ West African Blacks. That would mean that Kali Bwanan began her trek from somewhere on the West Coast. Congo or Gabon. She must have been out there for months as the safari was now in the heart of the Ituri Rain Forest.
When the Old Timer broke camp after grousing about the horrors of women the Kid joked that he would fall for the first ‘skirt’ he met. Now, here in the middle of the Ituri Rain Forest Old Timer does just that. A little humor. He is stunned at the sight of Kali whose hair is of the platinum blonde variety. As mentioned she is certainly based on Jean Harlow who had recently starred in Howard Hughes’ Hell’s Angels. ERB must have been knocked out by the movie.
Old Timer is gruff and offensive openly insulting to all women. Kali dismisses him as ‘an unspeakable boor.’ This was a major conflict for him as the fires of lust burst into flame in his heart. He immediately conceived the notion of rape. Rape seems to be Kali’s fate although she does manage to avoid it.
As evidence of the lesions of the psyche associated with the Shaggy Man Kali thinks Old Timer is crazy. He himself thinks maybe he is. So, in this period of stress one alter ego, Tarzan, characteristically loses his memory while his other walks around mumbling that maybe he is crazy while he’s making plans to rape a woman. Leopard Men is definitely not a children’s book.
Old Timer leaves a man behind to look after Kali while he goes off in search of ivory. On the way back he has an unusual soliloquy. P. 51:
When he turned back toward camp at the end of his fruitless search for elephant signs a new determination filled him with disquieting thoughts and spurred him rapidly upon the back trail. It had been two years since he had seen a white woman, and then Fate had thrown this lovely creature across his path.
What had women ever done for him? “Made a bum of me,” he soliloquized; “ruined my life. The girl would have been lost but for me. She owes me something. All women owe me something for what that one woman did to me. This girl is going to pay the debt…
Old Timer was saved from this unspeakable crime because in his absence the Leopard Men had abducted Kali Bwana.
From this point to her rescue from the Pygmy village the story of Old Timer and Kali Bwana does not seem to relate to Burroughs’ personal life.
The abduction by the Leopard Men may relate to Dearholt’s decision to take Florence land yachting. Dearholt probably noted with alarm the developing relationship between Florence and Burroughs so he pitted one adage against another: Out of sight, out of mind vs. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. The latter won.
There is no question as to how the romance between ERB and Florence began. On the one hand Joan thought she was used by Florence to inveigle her way into proximity to ERB. After the divorce Joan refused to speak to Florence. On the other hand ERB is said to have fallen in love with Florence at first sight for which the Leopard Men offers some evidence. The question is when was this first sight? Astute ERB researcher Woodrow Nichols believes it may have been as early as 1922 when she made a Western with Ashton Dearholt. If so, Burroughs must have been carrying the torch for her for a few years when chance threw her in his way when Ashton Dearholt, since married to her, asked ERB to finance a movie project. As the saying goes ERB chased Florence until she caught him.
While land yachting Florence may have been so yearning to return that Dearholt just threw in the sponge and came back notifying Burroughs that they had returned. The return was more than Burroughs could bear hence we have this novel redolent of symbols of sexual desire at which Kali Bwana/Florence is the center.
The combination of the Scottsboro Boys, Trader Horn, the MGM contract and the return of Florence evidently made ERB/Old Timer crazy and ran Tarzan off the tracks. One wonders how Emma was taking this other than walking out during the showing of Trader Horn. Actually as her drinking escalated at this period we do know how she took it. Make no mistake on my position, drinking is not a reason to violate the for better or worse clause of the marriage contract especially when you’re the reason for the drinking.
So between Kali’s abduction by the Leopard Men and her abduction from the Pygmys’ by Old Timer was the time Florence was land yachting. The abduction by Old Timer then must represent the serious beginning of the affair which would result in ERB’s walking out on Emma two and a half years later. These two and a half years would be some of the most traumatic of his life.
ERB hoped or thought that Florence would redeem his life even as he was intent on hurting her as he felt he had been hurt. He apparently thought that Florence could cleanse his soul restoring him to princely status from a man of rags and tatters. Thus as he is still harboring evil rape thoughts he seizes Kali roughly forcing a kiss upon her. Having learned to trust this disreputable looking man she is hurt and astonished. Her reaction wakes him from his ‘boorishness’, he becomes contrite and like the frog redeemed by the kiss of the princess in the story, Old Timer is redeemed becoming ‘uncrazed.’
A neat little story with a moral if you follow the symbolism.
The tale then ends with the implication that the two will live happily forever after as they leave the forest of iniquitous desire for the trading posts and civilization down river. Very pretty.
Buy, you know, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Extricating oneself from previous commitments is neither easy nor pretty:
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
To pick up on one and leave the other behind?
It’s not often easy,
And not always kinds,
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
–John Sebastian and Lovin’ Spoonful
The Goddess Kali
There was no science of social processes at all.
People were not trained to remark
The correlations of things.
For the most part they were not aware
That there was any correlation between things;
They imagined this side of life might change
And that remain unaltered.
–H. G. Wells, The Shape Of Things To Come p. 78
One sees ERB as a lone individual without any connection to the world scheme; this vast struggle against the forces of oppression by the forces of freedom. Put another way the struggle of knowledge against the forces if ignorance, the unconscious versus the conscious, fear versus confidence, timidity versus daring.
Will there be a retreat to the cocoon of religion or will mankind dare the metamorphosis to the butterfly? This is the serious question of our times.
Ever since the two species clashed in Ur of the Chaldees and the ignorant Semitic religons overwhelmed the emerging science of the Sumerians the great culture clash has been between science and religion. Europe versus the Semites. The great Greek upsurge toward knowledge and intelligence led by Aristotle had been thwarted by the Semitic takeover of the intellect of Europe, not unlike that of the former takeover of the Sumerian intellect. Slowly all intelligence was crushed in the name of Semitisim. The fertile developing intellectual life of Greek science and the alternate religious speculation of the Middle East and Egypt was outlawed, crushed beneath the Iron Heel of Semitism. The great library of Alexandria was burned to the ground in contempt of all secular learning. Desperate to save any part of learning alternate religious tracts and scientific papers were buried in the sands to be discovered millennia later.
Intelligence was driven underground. Any who dared to challenge the religious orthodoxy of Semitism were murdered, imprisoned or forced to recant, their minds closed by the iron jaws of bigotry, not unlike today.
But resistance to tyranny works forever beneath the surface. Sabotage of Judaeo-Christian systems of repression came from the Moslem world as a result of the Crusaders attempt to impose Judaeo-Christian beliefs on the Middle East.
Outside the reach of Judaeo-Christianity the great Hindu system of mythology waited to fructify Western religious thought.
And so science and esoterica overthrew Judaeo-Christian oppression as the eighteenth century drew to a close. The Judaeo-Christian reaction set in immediately, weakly flickering at first but gaining strength slowly even in the teeth of the rapidly developing scientific knowledge which laid bare the intellectual folly of revealed religion.
By the time Burroughs began writing in 1911 the religious reaction was nearly on a parity with the scientific revolution. The so-called Russian Revolution of 1917 tipped the scales once again in favor of religion. Now the impetus was once again in favor of Judaeo-Communism as the Semites discarded their outworn cover of Christianity.
By 1930 Edgar Rice Burroughs was clearly enmeshed in the coils of his personal struggle in the five thousand year old war between Europeans and Semites now in its new guise of Judaeo-Communism.
A German-Swiss student of mythology, J.J. Bachofen, a former lawyer, was always amazed at how two different lawyers could analyze the same facts to arrive at opposing conclusions. For that reason I hesitate to recommend any books. However as background for the ’30s is necessary may I suggest Eugene Lyons’ The Red Decade. This is a contemporary history written as the decade closed. Up front and personal.
A word about Lyons. Eugene Lyons is of course not his real name. He was born in 1898 into a Jewish household. He found it convenient to assume a goy disguise. He beame an ardent Communist serving as a correspondent in Russia from 1927-34. He claims to have become an apostate to the Communist faith, a sort of proto-neocon. One needn’t take his apostasy at face value. His first loyalty was always to his Jewish Culture while as his later career demonstrates he never gave up his Communist faith.
He probably was only revolted by the goy Stalin who gave up on International Communism, the Jewish version of the faith, for Communism in one country, a version of fascism as Lyons notes, which at this time was almost as successful at purging Jews as Hitler. That may have influenced Lyons while it is also possible that Lyons was merely a paid Stalinist agent posing as a renegade so that he could bore from within. He tells us nothing new. Reading his book is like talking to God; you aren’t going to learn anything you don’t already know or couldn’t surmise. Lyons merely confirms speculations.
However, it is clearly stated while coming from an inside source. A student of his times like Burroughs either was or could have been aware of everything Lyons says so one may assume that ERB was fighting the good fight in awareness. One can hardly believe otherwise when one follows the story from Invincible through Quest.
Lyons was one of a number of so-called apostates or renegades all of whom were well rewarded for their apostasy, probably from both sides. Lyons himself received good paying jobs from ‘conservative’ magazines running the gamut from American Mercury to a plum at Reader’s Digest to his founding of the neocon magazine National Review with William Buckley as an Anglo-Saxon figurehead.
The Digest rewarded a number of renegades such as Lyons and Max Eastman with terrifically good paying jobs that might better have gone to loyal Americans. Thus the reward for Communists came from both sides of the fence. I have no doubt they were all still on the Soviet payroll as Stalin laughed up his sleeve at us.
From the Digest Lyons was intrumental in launching the National Review. Which nation was never made clear. As a complete greehorn of 22 in 1960 it took me about three issues to tear aside the veil of the phony conservatism of the National Review.
But to return to the thirties. A couple of key chapters of the Red Decade are X: The Liberals Invent A Utopia through XVI: The Incredible Revolution Spreads.
If one equates the cult of the Leopard Men with Judaeo-Communism, as I do, then one of the more striking images in the book is that of the Leopard Men leading Kali Bwana as the goddess Kali through the steaming jungle with a rope around her neck. This could be interpreted to symbolize the Semitic capture or supordination of Hindu mythology in the West.
One may argue that Burroughs wouldn’t have been conscious of such an intent which while it may possibly be true is irrelevant. The point is that ERB had the knowledge in his brain to conceive such an idea whether consciously or unconsciously. One cannot get out of a brain what isn’t in it while anything in it will inevitably come out. For instance, I first read Lyon’s book twenty years ago. The info went in but I couldn’t recall the source or even the specific info. On the rereading I recognized a great many facts and ideas that had gone into forming my own opinions. Thus while I couldn’t have acknowledged Lyons as a source he, in fact, was one. So whether consciously or unconsciously Burroughs used what he read or observed to form his images.
In addition Kali Bwana is not only named after the Hindu goddess of birth, death and regeneration but she serves the same functions for Old Timer. At the same time that Judaeo-Communism was taking over Hollywood and LA the great esoteric religious tradition was also firmly seated in LA and the suburbs. This novel is clear evidence that Burroughs was familiar with one or even all of them. He was an open minded and curious kind of guy.
There was plenty to be curious about in the Southland too. There were more esoteric outfits there than you could shake a stick at. There were the Rosicrucians down in Oceanside, Aleister Crowley’s Golden Dawn out in Barstow, Manly Hall was advising the studios on esoteric matters, the Theosophists had their university but perhaps most important were the Vedantists. It will be remembered that the founder of Vedantism, Swami Vivekananda, probably came to the young ERB’s attention during the 1893 Columbian Expo. Vivekananda went back to India to teach after founding the Chicago temple which still exists. In the year of the Fair by coincidence a man was born in India who undoubtedly left his mark on the ERB of the current period. The Swami Prabhavananda was born in the year of the Fair. ( http://www.vedanta.org/vssc/prabhavananda.htm ) He graduated from Calcutta University and then joined the Ramakrishna Order. In 1923 he began his mission in the United States, serving first in San Francisco then migrating North to Portland. In 1929 he established the Vedanta Society of Southern California. There was a monastery in Hollywood.
If we cut to 1936′s Tarzan’s Quest we will find ERB’s character Swami Kavandavanda and his monastery. It would seem that between 1930-31 and 1936 that ERB was involved with the Vedanta Society. In later years Aldous Huxley and Christopher Isherwood would be involved with the Vedantists. One wonders who ERB may have met in his years with the Vedantists. Harry Carey? Wouldn’t that have been a good joke.
With the appearance of the goddess Kali in this book along with the wealth of female symbolism it would seem certain that by sometime in 1930 ERB became interested in Vedantism. This means that the Broadhurst/Adams faction of the Bibliophiles who noted ERB’s esotericism whether Theosophical or not are right.
Once within the temple of the Leopard God Kali Bwana is surrounded by the priestesses who are wearing only the skimpiest of g-strings. They tear at Kali’s clothes until as ERB says she was wearing less than they were. Must be totally naked as Mickey Spillane would say, here’s where we learn whether Kali Bwana is a true platinum blonde or not. I’m betting she was. Throughout most of the rest of the novel Kali Bwana was walking around nude.
Once naked the priestesses dress, or adorn her, in the most barbaric but gorgeous fashion. The goddess Kali is portrayed with a necklace of skulls. ERB doesn’t give Kali Bwana a necklace of skulls but he does give her one of human teeth which is almost the same thing. I don’t think there can be any mistaking that Our Man has been talking to Swami Prabhavananda.
Decked out Kali Bwana is stood beside the Leopard God gazing out over a spectacular image of drunken dancing Africans leaping about. As the Africans fall into a drunken stupor Chief Bobolo offers to help Old Timer and Kali Bwana escape. At this point she becomes the universal White Woman under threat of rape by the Black hordes.
As we clearly saw from Tarzan The Invincible the desirability of the White Woman for the other races or species was a sore point for ERB. The fear of miscegenation apparently occupied his mind. The gang rape of the two White Women by the Scottsboro Boys undoubtledly confirmed his worst fears.
While Kali was undoubtedly influenced by Edwina Booth of the movie Trader Horn in which she was sensational ERB combined her with Jean Harlow to make her the whitest, blondest woman ever seen in the jungles of Africa. She is so white she glows in the dark. She is under threat of rape from the Africans not to mention Old Timer.
Probably this protective attitude toward White Women is a large part of the reason Liberals denounce Leopard Men as Burroughs’ worst book. Their purpose is to eliminate the White species; to wipe Whites off the face of the earth by having White women subjected to ‘coloreds’ bearing colored children. So that Burroughs attitude represents everything they hate.
There are a couple sites on the internet that explain this issue quite bluntly. Though they are ‘hate’ sites I’m not going to obscure the issue in name calling. The facts speak for themselves. One Peoples Project outrightly advocates violence against people who disagree with this viewpoint. This attitude is, of course, sound Liberalism as attested by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The other, more academically inclined site is called Race Traitor. Their motto is- treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity. Such a slogan could be construed as anti-Semtitic. They make no bones about eliminating Whites from the face of the earth. In a paper delivered at UC Berkeley over 4/11-13/97, what I’m quoting must be a condensed version, the founder of Race Traitor, Noel Ignatiev, formerly of Harvard since transferred to the Massachusetts College of Art, explains his position thusly:
Various commentators have stated that their aim is to identify and preserve a white identity. Abolitionists (of the Whites species) deny the existence of a positive white identity. We at Race Traitor, the journal with which I am associated, have asked some of those who think whiteness contains positive elements to indicate what they are. We are still waiting for an answer. (From whom, specifically, Professor Ignatiev does not indicate.) Until we get one, we will take our stand with David Roediger, who has insisted that whiteness is not merely oppressive and false, it is nothing but oppressive and false. As James Baldwin said, “So long as you think you are white, there is no hope for you.”
…Whiteness is not a culture…Whiteness has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with social position. It is nothing but a reflection of privilege, and exists for no other reason than to defend it.
(Here comes the clincher.) Either America is a very democratic country where cab drivers beat up city councilmen with impunity…(or what?
It goes on like that. One doesn’t argue with such logic even if the speaker is a Harvard educated professor and intimate of Rabbi Schneerson. It goes without question that the professor is of the Jewish Culture. He is also associated with Harvard’s W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African-American Research as well as with his own Race Traitor.
The question here is as an abolitionist how does one abolish a human species? Prof. Ignatiev twists logic here, which should surprise no one, from abolishing a thing- slavery- to abolishing a people- genocide. How does an abolitionist go about committing genocide of a billion, never mind six million, people or so? What in his mind makes eliminating a billion more just than eliminating six million. Liberals can talk like this without the least hint of shame.
Very likely he will employ the time honored manner– kill the men, appropriate the women. In this case convincing White Women it is their duty to pair with non-White men. Burroughs’ worst fears realized.
If White women bear colored children ‘whiteness’ disappears. Easy enough. Convincing them isn’t that hard. The males, whether they pair with colored women or not will die out. If they do, more colored children. It’s a dream but not that far fetched. It will be noted that Prof. Ignatiev of Harvard has not paired with a black woman however so as not to dilute his Jewish ‘genes’ per Rabbi Schneerson.
One can plainly see an ideological basis for condemning Tarzan And The Leopard Men as well as Burroughs in general as Prof. Slotkin does. Thus when one reads that Leopard Men is Burroughs’ worst one has to ask on what basis. I’ve read it very carefully and find it certainly no worse than the rest of the oeuvre while on many levels I find it better. People like Prof. Ignatiev aren’t going to say the real reason they don’t like the book is because Burroughs is intent on preserving women of the ‘White race’ because that does sound bad but just that the book is ‘bad’ in general. No reasons needed. But their distaste is because of ‘race’ because this is the most racially conscious novel in the oeuvre.
A main source of tension is whether Kali Bwana will have Black men forced on her. Burroughs was horrified at the prospect. He expects that the reader will share his revulsion also.
While I have not found the reason that Leopard Men was not released in 1932, possibly because the publishing program was already set in Burrough’s mind, City of Gold being next, a probable reason for its being released in 1936 was the continued agitation for the release of the Scottsboro Boys by the Communists. It would be intgeresting to note any changes made in the story between the magazine edition of 1932 and the book version of 1936.
Tarzan, The Utengans And The Leopard Men
Why have historians, sociologists and economists
Nothing to tell us now?
There may indeed be some excuse
For the failure of politicans under democratic conditions
But have our universities
Been doing nothing about it?
Is there indeed no science of these things?
Is there no knowledge?
Has history learnt nothing of causes,
And is there no analysis of the social processes that are destroying us?
–H.G. Wells, The Shape Of Things To Come pp. 122-23
There is little more obvious than that Leopard Men was a spur of the moment inspiration that Burroughs acted on. At the same time hsi mind became marvelously focused. Overall he wrote four books in 1931. And he wrote very quickly. Tarzan Triumphant was written in 82 days. He took 47 to knock out Tarzan And The Leopard Men, 34 days to write Pirates Of Venus and another 47 days to set down Tarzan And The City Of Gold. That’s a lot of material. I’m not here to discuss literary quality; suffice it to say that all four are still being read today.
I have already discussed several probable inspirations for Leopard Men. We will examine religious matters in some detail here. There is a curious dissociation here between the story of Tarzan as Muzimo and the story of Old Timer and Kali Bwana. For most of the book they are two stories running side by side that only begin to blend about halfway through the book and then with very little emotional involvement on the part of Tarzan. In the sort of split personality of Burroughs it is as though Tarzan has no interest in Burroughs extra-marital affairs, perhaps even revolted by them.
That Burroughs himself was struggling with his problems is evident from the fact that Tarzan is bashed once again suffering amnesia yet another time.
If one has read only one or two of the Tarzan books the problem of repetition does not come up but if one has read the complete oeuvre at least once several themes and variations present themselves with enough regularity to be troublesome if one doesn’t try to penetrate their meaning. As is evident from the title of this series of reviews I try to understand this repetition as various themes and variations with meaning that is signficant to ERB’s psychology.
The single most frequently used motif is the bashings that Tarzan suffers from novel to novel while in this novel he takes two incredible blows to the head while being stunned unconscious falling from a tree in the Pygmy viillage.
In a variation of the blows received in Ant Men when a blow to the forehead makes Tarzan smaller and it is facetiously suggested that a blow to the back of the head would make him larger, in Leopard men one blow makes his lose his memory while a second causes him to regain it.
One has to question the consciousness changing nature of these blows to the head. They obviously all refer to the blow to the forehead ERB received in Toronto which caused him so much trouble. The blow was obviously the kind one never forgets. The closest I can come for comparison is when I fell on the back of my head while ice skating during high school. I don’t think I was out but I might have been for a few seconds. I literally saw stars. I can relive the experience today and I can still visualize the stars, so there is every reason to believe that ERB relived the Tornonto incident every day if not every moment of his life. If one counted the bashings in the corpus they would probably number in the thousands. many, many authors have written stories without one such incident.
In this novel Tarzan loses his memory at the very beginning when a tree falls on his head. Yes, a tree. This gives some indication of how the Toronto blow felt. It too was a life changing experience. In this story even though unconscious of the purpose of his visit to the Utenga country Tarzan fulfills his purpose destroying both the village and temple of the Leopard Men. One wonders if that isn’t how Burroughs saw his life, a sort of unconscious realization of his hopes and dreams so that like Tarzan he was thankful for the blow. I think it unlikely but perhaps his literary career did stem from the blow in Toronto.
He does say that he was able to get lost in his storyline for periods of time returning only after having written them. What sort of dual life was the man living while lost in the ozone? I think the problem bears some examination. ERB may be giving clinical details of his own plight after Toronto. Read Girl From Farris’s carefully.
When he awakens he encounters the Utengan Orando who is out hunting. Orando was named afer a dead ancestor. Each Utengan had a a guardian angel called a muzimo who he was named after. So Tarzan who Orando mistakes for his muzimo is actually named Orando in the story although his descendant Orando calls him Muzimo. Probably saves a little confusion. As Tarzan has no other identity he accepts Orando’s evaluation at face value becoming Orando the Muzimo. ERB refers to him only as Muzimo during this part of the story. ERB skillfully blends the natural deeds of Muzimo into a supernatural matrix in Orando’s mind. Thus the natural and supernatural become one. I’m sure we can all see that ERB is heading in the direction of another of his religious analyses.
In a fashion Tarzan returns from the dead. As the ancestor of Orando he has come back. Without committing myself to the notion one still recalls that at this time there was a great interest in spiritualism. A sound intellect like Conan Doyle’s played seriously with notions of communicating with the dead on the ‘other side.’ Seances were a social event. H.G. Wells wrote a novel disparaging the idea a couple years previously so it is possible that ERB is weighing in with his little joke.
Of interest is the fact that Harry Houdini ne Ehrich Weiss died Halloween night of 1926 vowing to return if it was possible. People believed that if anyone could do it this great escape artist was the man. Ever since seances have been held on Halloween night in the hopes of contacting Houdini. It is also interesting to note that Houdini and his then partner performed at the Columbian Expo in 1893 so it is possible that ERB saw Houdini then and may have remembered him. It’s a stretcher I know to even hint that ERB had Houdini in mind for a background for Muzimo but in Orando’s mind Muzimo does break on through from the other side. I would seriously argue that there is a reference to spiritualism. I think it clear that ERB is once again ridiculing supernaturalism.
Let us analyze the scene when Muzimo meets Sobito. As the story opened a Utengan, Nyamwegi, had been murdered by the Leopard Men. He was Orando’s friend. Just as Orando projected the identity of muzimo on Tarzan so he projected the spirit of Nyamwegi on the monkey, Nkima, who was Tarzan’s companion. These identities were accepted by Orando’s fellow tribesmen with the exception of the witch-doctor Sobito who was also a secret Leopard Man hence disloyal to the Utengas.
ERB describes the encounter thusly:
There was one skeptic, however. It was the village witch-doctor, who doubtless felt it was not good business to admit too much credence in a miracle not of his own making. Whatever he felt, and it is quite possible that he was as much in awe as the others, he hid it under a mask of indifference, for he must always impress the laity with his own importance.
The attention bestowed on this stranger irked him; it also pushed him entirely out of the limelight. This nettled him greatly. therefore to call attention to himself, as well as reestablish his importance, he strode boldly up to Muzimo. Whereupon the Spirit of Nyamwegi screamed shrilly and took refuge behind the back of his patron. The attention of the village was now attracted to the witch-doctor, which was precisely what he desired. The chattering ceased. All eyes were on the two. This was the moment the witch-doctor had awaited. He puffed himself to his full height and girth. He swaggered before the spirit of Orando’s ancestor. Then he addressed him in a loud tone.
“You say that you are the muzimo of Orando, the son of Lobongo; but how do we know your words are true words? You say that the little monkey is the ghost of Nyamwegi. How do we know that, either?”
‘Who are you, old man, who asks me these questions?” demanded Muzimo.
“I am Sobito, the witch-doctor.”
“You say you are Sobito, the wtich-doctor, but how do I know that your words are true words?”
“Everyone knows that I am Sobito, the witch-doctor.” The old man was becoming excited. He discovered that he had suddenly been put on the defensive, which was not at all what he had intended, “Ask anyone. they all know me.”
“Very well, then,” said Muzimo: “Ask Orando who I am. He alone knows me. I have not said that I am his muzimo. I have not said that the little monkey is the ghost of Nyamwegi. I have not said who I am. I have not said anything. It does not make any difference to me who you think I am. But if it makes a difference to you, ask Orando,” whereupon he turned about and walked away, leaving Sobito to feel that he had been made to appear ridiculous in the eyes of his clansmen.
Fanatical, egotistical, and unscrupulous, the old witch-doctor was a power in the village of Tumbai. For years he had exerted his influence, sometimes for good, sometimes for evil, upon the village. Even Lobongo, the chief, was not as powerful as Sobito, who played upon the superstitions and fears of his ignorant followers until they dared not disobey his slightest wish.
What we have here is the clash of two religious systems one led by Tarzan and that of the Leopard Men led by Sobito. It should be remembered that Sobito has infiltrated Utengan society and in Communist terminology is ‘boring from within’. His first loyalty is to the Leopard Men so that he advises Lupingu to betray Orando’s expedition against the Leopard Men. Thus he betrays his ostensible people while sabotaging their ends.
Tarzan, or Muzimo, on the other hand works loyally to defeat the enemy of Orando and his Utengans.
As I maintain one cannot separate Burroughs or his writing from the political and religious trends of his time. Nor should his understanding be distorted by today’s religious or political evaluation of his times. ERB acted according to the knowledge and understanding of his time.
Thus the Leopard Men must represent the Judaeo-Communists. There is no accident that Sobito is a religious figure more powerful than the temporal figure, Chief Lobongo. Sobito has been able to conceal his identity as a Leopard Man. Only Muzimo (Tarzan really has no other identity in this part of the story) is able to ferret out the true identity of Sobito.
So in American society Judaeo-Communists preferred disguises to being identified in their true guises. Exposure would have led to discreditization. It was somewhat like the Arthurian romances when knights wore other men’s armor so that they could only be identified by people familiar with their characteristics. Or in contemporary society being exposed as a racist or anti-Semite.
Tarzan, as we learn later, came into this country to discover the Leopard Men’s haunts. Working from within Utengan society in the disguise of Muzimo he is able to destroy them. Very much, one imagines as ERB wanted to do with the Judaeo-Communists in Hollywood.
One can almost envision Rabbi Schneerson in all his magical paraphernalia as the witch-doctor Sobito. Indeed there isn’t much difference between the two and this was probably ERB’s intent. Of course he had his own models as Schneerson came later.
In an effort to ‘expose’ Muzima as a fake, equivalent of anti-Semite, Sobito has performed a number of magical rites, p. 40:
Suddenly he halted and stooping low tossed some powder from his pouch upon the fire and then with the root of the Hyaena tail he drew a rude geometric figure in the dust before the blaze. Stiffening, he closed his eyes and appeared to be listening intently, his face turned partially upward.
In awestruck silence the warriors leaned forward, waiting. It was a tense moment and quite effective. Sobito prolonged it to the utmost. At last he opened his eyes and let them move solemnly about the circle of expectant faces, waiting again before he spoke.
“There are many ghosts about us,” he announced, “They all speak against this war, those who go to battle with the Leopard Men will die. None will return. The ghosts are angry with Orando. The true muzimo of Orando spoke to me, it is angry with Orando. Let Orando beware. That is all; the young men will not go to war against the Leopard Men.”
The warriors gathered behind Orando looked questioningly at him and at Muzimo. Doubt was written plainly on every face. Gradually they began to move, drifting immperceptively away from Orando. Then the son of the chief looked at Muzimo questioningly. “If Sobito has spoken true words,” he said, ‘You are not my muzimo.” the words seemed a challenge.
“What does Sobito know about it?” demanded Muzio. “I could build a fire and wave the tail of Dongo. I culd make marks in the dirt and throw powders on the fire. Then I could tell you whatever I wanted to tell you, just as Sobito has told you what he wanted you to believe; but such things prove nothing. The only way you can know if a war against the Leopard Men will succeed is to send warriors to fight them. Sobito knows nothing of it.”
Surprisingly reason triumphed here. The Utengans did fight the Leopard Men and with the ‘more powerful magic’ or reason of Muzimo they succeeded.
One notices the similarity between the magical methods of Sobito and those of Rabbi Schneerson. They date nearly from the same psychologcial period of evolution as do those of Sobito. Rather than a hyaena’s tail the Rabbi has more attachments than a computer on his body. The box on his head is supposed to put him in direct contact with not only his Muzimo or god, but what he fancies is the universal god. His coat of colors is arranged just so, straps and fringes, all with their special magical meanings abound. In the old pre-scientific days his people were ‘chosen’ by their god; in the light of subsequent scientific knowledge the Rabbi has created out of whole cloth the notion that there is a genetic difference between his people and all others, indeed, that they are a separate and superior species. Thus, by his reckoning there are two species of humans in the world, us and them. Nothing has changed but the justification.
You can hear Burroughs laughing through Tarzan’s mouth. Religious blather is religious blather.
Having thus set up a conflict between the Utengans and the Leopard Men on a religious basis replicating the Judaeo-Communist situation of the West and Hollywood ERB then has Muzimo set about destroying them. The rest of the story of Muzimo among the Utengans is the story of the conflict between the two religions in which, of course, the Leopard Men are destroyed and the Utengas triumph.
Once Tarzan regains his memory the Big Bwana becomes involved in solving the problem of Old Timer and Kali Bwana.
But that can be dealt with in relating that plot in Part V.