November 1, 2010
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14, Tarzan The Invincible
Part 9: Politics
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.
–L.P. Hartley- The Go Between
I would like to take a moment to organize the content and direction of the Tarzan oeuvre within the context of Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant.
It is close onto a century now since Edgar Rice Burroughs burst onto the international literary scene. He was not literarily well regarded by the intelligentsia. In the language of the time he wrote adventure novels. They were thought of as sub-literary. In our times after literature has evolved from Burroughs’ time into its various genres that didn’t exist as such back then he would more properly be designated as a fantasy or sci-fi writer.
Even though very great minds wrote ‘adventure’ stories their efforts are usually classified as sub-literary, relegated to the teen section. There has certainly never been a more profound writer than H. Rider Haggard nor is his literary style inferior in any way to the pretensions of literary fiction. Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs all had a great deal to offer. If it is necessary to say so their work has remained popular while most literary heavyweights of the past are unknown and unread in non-specialist circles today.
Edgar Rice Burroughs is not usually accorded the dignity of being ranked with even the above adventure writers. It pains me to say it but I think the literary consensus is that Burroughs is a semi-literate lightweight trash writer with no other value than ‘entertainment’ or a diversion for men and women who haven’t quite grown up yet. I receive sniggers and raised eyebrows whenever I am forced to admit I write what I hope are scholarly essays on Edgar Rice Burroughs. I have to scramble to find any scrap that will give me a little dignity. But that’s not the way I see it myself. The way I see it is that there are two groups of people who do take Burroughs seriously. The small group of which I am a member that sees something of value lying like a huge diamond in the tall grass and a much larger group of Left-Liberals who quite correctly see Burroughs as a threat to everything they wish to believe.
Burroughs’ publishing career has not been well researched or examined. The research I have done leads me to believe that ERB was exploited while his career was sabotaged by McClurg’s from the start. Although MClurg’s seem to have had no intent to promote his work from the beginning they nevertheless tied him up with a contract that went on forever. Compare it with MGM’s contract twenty years later.
Ten years after ERB’s death with the firm of McClurg’s on the edge of bankruptcy ERB, Inc. had to buy out the contract. This is all so contradictory it boggles the mind. Rather than attempting to maximize sales and therefore profits McClurg’s took the opposite approach of minimizing sales while reducing profits both for themselves and ERB to the lowest possible level. If it hadn’t been for the movies Burroughs’ benefits from his efforts would have been minimal, a fraction of what they should have been.
From 1914 to 1919 politics do not seem to have been involved; there is some other reason for McClurg’s behavior. Then from 1919 to 1924 ERB’s relationship to the Liberal Coalition took form. His Under The Red Flag of 1919 let the Reds know where he stood politically. Also in 1919 he was felt out by the American Jewish Committee for his stance on Semitism. He failed this test by taking an insubordinate stance. So from 1919 to 1924 he seems to have been under attack from the Left. He remained defiant through his Marcia Of The Doorstep with its very reasonable criticism of Semitism but then he seems to have been ovewhelmed by economic pressures that were exacerbated by his own poor decisions.
While McClurg’s should have been supportive of their, or what should have been their walking gold mine, they strangely continued to get in his way.
Burroughs wanted his reissues to be sold at a dollar but G&D and McClurg’s adamantly insisted on 50 cents which gave ERB a very small return. Why McClurg’s should have resisted higher prices that would have doubled their own income must remain a mystery. A dollar doesn’t seem unreasonable to me but there seems to have been the intent to restrict Burroughs’ income as far as possible.
By the late twenties the Liberal Coalition was also actively interfering in Burroughs’ career. There seems to have been a blacklist against making Tarzan movies from 1922 to 1928. As Hollywood was controlled by the Coalition it was possible to restrict Burroughs’ income from movies to zero.
The blacklist was broken in 1927 when Joseph Kennedy’s FBO Studios made a Tarzan film. ERB also began searching for another publishing arrangement. Not finding anything satisfactory he took the last ditch recourse of self-publishing. He established the Burroughs imprint. As this act was taken just as the stock market crash took place the move was fraught with dangers.
Now freed from publishing restraints does it seem like a coincidence that the first title under the Burroughs imprint was Tarzan The Invincible? Or, with its success it was followed by Tarzan Triumphant? Perhaps taking vengeance for 1919′s snub of Under The Red Flag, Tarzan The Invincible is a full scale attack on the Communism in general and Uncle Joe Stalin in particular.
Perhaps also responding to 1924′s rejection of Marcia Of The Doorstep the succeeding novel, Tarzan Triumphant parodies the Jewish religion while making some not so subtle comments about big noses and receding chins. Either book would be difficult for the Liberal Coalition to misunderstand.
While Burroughs would publicly proclaim that he undertook self-publication because he was too greedy for high royalties, certainly tongue in cheek, privately he complained that McClurg’s refused to promote his books, turning them over immediately to reissue houses depriving him of his just royalties. I’m sure the industry understood the irony of his first reason while the second is true.
Tarzan The Invincible is both a defense and a counterattack. Burroughs himself said that defensive wars could never be won. One must take the offensive. With Invincible he was doing just that in what was in fact a literary and cultural war.
The power arrayed against him was terrifying. The Reds could prevent the publication of his books through regular channels. I believe they did. ERB publicly said he took up self-publication in the relentless pursuit of the dollar. What else could he say? One doesn’t go around saying people are out to get you. That’s giving your enemies ammunition.
Ask, is it a coincidence that the first novel under the Burroughs imprint is a direct attack on Liberal Communism? A work that almost certainly would not have been published by any mainstream publisher, including McClurg’s. There isn’t a Freudian in the world who believes in coincidence. I sure don’t. Burroughs launched his publishing effort in 1930 the year after the depression began in 1929. The guy was either crazy or knew something other publishers didn’t wish to acknowledge.
When he met his former publisher, Joe Bray, of McClurg’s afer the crash he sneeringly told Bray who was complaining about business that he was doing very well with the Burroughs imprint and he was. In the height of the depression Burroughs’ books turned a profit. That was a profit no publisher seemed to want. McClurg’s certainly never exploited this literary gold mine.
Was it political? Well, Burroughs’ first publishing venture certainly was. And remember that Tarzan The Invicincible must have caused a reaction. The Reds had to say among themselves omething like ‘Don’t worry we’ll get that bastard yet.’ It had to be, nor did his even more sneering Tarzan Triumphant smooth anything over. Think about this for a moment; let it sink in, this is open warfare. There must have been a retaliation. What was it? The Reds did not cease their campaign of vilification during his lifetime nor have they ceased to this very day nor will they cease until either the Reds or Tarzan is triumphant.
I have discussed Richard Slotkin’s Gunfighter Nation several times previously. Slotkin in his book tries to pin responsibility for the My Lai massacre in Viet Nam on Burroughs. He uses nearly seven hundred pages of fine print to try to prove that My Lai was the inevitable result of Burroughs’ writing. The guy’s got a job at a prestigious university too.
While one can discount the hysteria of Liberal academics heavily no one necessarily attacks someone they do not consider a threat. So what Bibliophiles have to ask themselves is whether there is a basis for the Liberal reaction or not?
I think my analyses of Tarzan books so far shows that Burroughs had a much more serious political intent than is commonly thought. Underneath the buck and wing, the old soft shoe of the entertainer is some very serious thought and reflection. Also his means of expression itself is the very antithesis of Liberalism.
Burroughs’ writing does reflect the sea change in world history noted by such academic analysts as Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. Whether ERB ever read these thinkers or not there is no conflict between their conclusions and his own. ERB is of the same mindset so on that basis Slotkin is correct. None of the three writers is eiher wrong or evil it’s just that Liberals think any opinion but their own is inherently evil in intent and ought to be censored. I say censor the censors.
Liberalism is a religious reaction to the Scientific Consciousness. Their core constituent, Judaism’s sole purpose is to defeat Science and reimpose the religious yoke of absolute conformity to its religious ideal. As I’ve noted, American Liberalism which evolved from the quasi-Hebrew sect of Puritanism is in complete accord. Combined of fundamentalist Christians, who pursue an Old Testament program not much different from the Liberal agenda and the insurgent Moslem fundamentalists, the challenge to Science and all that Burroughs represented is formidable.
The determined effort to plow the concept of Evolution under is a supreme threat to the whole Scientific Consciousness. Of course, the Liberals talk peace, while as the Old Testament proclaims, peace, peace, everyone talks peace but there is no peace. There is no peace anywhere on earth and there never will be.
Burroughs realized that war was inevitable. He decried the disarmement movement and applauded preparedness. In Triumphant he makes the wry comment that the Chicago underworld gunner, Danny Patrick, and his fellow criminals believed in pareparedness, always having a gun with them.
Burroughs was brought into a world of conflict, nor so far has the world disappointed his expectations. As he says the only good defense is a terrific offense. Defensive wars cannot be won. I believe he has been proven right there too. Whether you’re looking at John Carter, Tarzan or any of his protagonists you will see that they never barricade themselves. They are always on the offensive, nor do they hesitate to kill as part of that offense. My god, Tarzan ripped a man’s head off in Ant Men. His Beyond The Farthest Star posits a world of never-ending war. Prefigures the Cold War in its way. Any concept of ‘peace’ is merely a temporary cessation of hostilities; war by other means. The Liberal, Slotkin, may lament such a reality but being a man of ‘peace’ making endless appeasements and concessions to belligerents can end only in disaster to oneself. There aren’t any Americas left to bail civilization out; that possiblility ended with WWII.
I think it fair to say that in today’s war situation versus the Moslem and Mexican invasions ERB would take the aggressive position of throwing them out. As the Shona state explicitly, and believe me the Mexicans and Moslems are no different from them, if you need to hear it from an African there are those who dominate and those who are dominated, which is another way of saying perpetual conflict. Either Americans will dominate Mexicans and Moslems or they will be subservient to them. Need anyone go further than to look at the condition of both Matabele and European in Shonaland? It is a given that Burroughs would rather dominate as Tarzan does at the end of Invincible. If you’ve got to fight you might as well win.
Let us never forget that Burroughs participated in the opening of the frontier and he saw its closing. He lived through the two most devastating wars in history. One must fight or die was the lesson he learned. Tarzan still lives.
And then we must deal with the persistent charge of racism brought against ERB. One finds it difficult to understand what Liberals mean by the term ‘racism.’ There is nothing more inherent in human nature than pride in one’s own kind. In that sense all peoples are racist. What then? Racism is the natural state of affairs. Certainly Liberal heroes like Robert Mugabe and the Shona are as racist as could possibly be, yet, he and they are Liberal heroes. There must be something else going on.
Liberals themselves are responsible for passing racial laws that would have staggered the imagination of Adolf Hitler. Someone who they say they despise. Whereas Hitler called his laws what they were, Liberals are more adept at disguising their intent, still they appropriately call their laws ‘hate’ laws which is exactly what they are. The unspoken assumption behind them is that ‘White’ males ‘hate’ everyone who is neither White nor male, excluding homosexuals, and that they therefore have to be socially isolated and denied.
The apparent belief is that only White males are capable of ‘hating’ while the rest of the world is a loving brother and sisterhood. Of course such a notion leaves the Moslem attack on the Twin Towers unexplainable as well as the Shona extermination of Black brothers like the Matabele.
Hey fellas, it’s the exception, even multiple exception that proves the rule, isn’t it?
I have no doubt that ERB would have been opposed to such ridiculous racial laws no matter what language was used to disguise them. He does seem to have been aware of the dangers of the evolutionary collision of the human species. ERB was an evolutionist. His novels explore evolutionary possiblities in enormous variety and detail. While much of his speculations and jokes seem ridiculous in the light of current knowledge, at the time of composition most if not all of the speculations would have appeared to be not that far fetched, even possible.
At the least Burroughs was on the side of Science at that time when the controversy really raged, while even today over fifty percent of Americans reject evolution in favor of religious explanations, that’s one hundred fifty years after Darwin, while the Moslem invasion of the world is rapidly spreading the slime of superstition over scientific knowledge. As I understand it, it has progressed so far that I could be put in jail in France, Germany or Austria for blaspheming the prophet and Allah by referring to their atavistic religion as ‘the slime of superstition.’
Within just a very few years since 9/11 an intolerant superstition like Moslemsism has overturned the scientific attitude of the Enlightenment. May Georges Chirac burn in hell forever and a day. If President Obama doesn’t back off, him too. Don’t any of these guys listen to what people are saying about them?
As I have noted, by the second decade of the twentieth century more sensitive minds perceived the sea change in the relationship of the various human species. Among these, in fiction, were Sax Rohmer with his Fu Manchu stories and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Prominent in non-fiction were Madison Grant with his Passing Of The Great Race and Lothrop Stoddard ‘s Rising Tide Of Color.
At the risk of repeating myself, I flatter myself that at least some Bibliophiles have been reading my stuff for the last few years, let me place a quote from Darwin here that clearly explains what happens when similar species compete for the same territory on the same economic basis. Darwin: On The Origin Of Species, Chap. III, Para. Struggle For Existence- Struggle for life most severe between individuals and varieties of the same species:
As species of the same genus have usually, but by no means invariably, some similarity in habits and constitution and always in structure, the struggle will generally be more severe between species of the same genus, when they come into competition with each other, than between species of distinct genera. We see this in the recent extension over parts of the United States of one species of swallow having caused the decrease of another species. The recent increase of the missal thrush in parts of Scotland has caused the decrease of the song-thrush. How frequently we hear of one species of rat taking the place of another species under the most different climates! In Russia the small Asiatic cockroach has everywhere driven before it itx great congenor. One species of Charlock will supplant another, and so in other cases. We can dimly see why the competition should be most severe between allied forms, which fill nearly the same place in the economy of nature; but probably in no one case could we precisely say why one species has been victorious over another in the great battle of life.
As we are certain that Burroughs read the Origin Of Species we can be sure that he read the above passage. If it struck him as forcibly as it strikes me then we share the same basic outlook on life and the passage shaped his way of looking at the intra-genus conflict between Homo Sapiens species.
As most agree that Homo Sapiens has an African history of 150K to 200K years, most assume, and this is only an assumption, that the First Born of Homo Sapiens were black because the indigenes of Africa today are black. This may or may not be true, we have no way of knowing, but let us assume it is. There are no people in Africa today who can absolutely trace their descent unbroken from the Last Hominid Predecessor or the first specimen of Homo Sapiens. No one knows what the individual looked like or what his mental constitution was compared to the various African races of today.
It therefore follows that over that course of a very long history peoples have been exterminated to make way for others innumerable times. One wave of rats, one wave of cockroaches after another have succeeded for a moment only to be replaced by another in due time. This is how evolution and nature work. Homo Sapiens is not outside either history or nature and it is foolish to act as though it were. One must understand the natural process and adjust one’s actions to it.
To use the Shona example. The Shona are not indigenous to the soil. At one time they must have exterminated and displaced a predecessor people in what they now consider ‘their’ territory. Beginning about 1830 the Ndebele Zulu as an incoming wave of new people began to exterminate and displace them. There is no difference between this Ndebele invasion of Shonaland and the Moslem and Mexican invasion of the United States. Nature is red in tooth and claw. What can one say?
Had the Matabele, to use the Ndebele’s other name, not been interrupted by another wave of incoming people, the Europeans, (color and race have no real bearing on this issue of Nature and evolution) the Zulus, (the Matabele were Zulus) would have completed the process and today the Shona would be at best a memory. But the succeeding wave of Europeans did come crowding after the Matabele. So far Darwin’s thesis is correct. One species of rat drives out another. Had the Europeans behaved normally they would have exterminated their predecessors and driven them before them.
But then evolution throws in a clinker. The Europeans were evolutionarily more advanced than the Blacks. While the fact that the evolution of the human species is continuing is clear from the visual physical evidence, scientific research has proven it beyond any quibble. So, even though those at the turn of the century lacked the evidence to prove their case they were right. The most obvious evolution is taking place in the brain and it is not taking place in all human species. Only one species is evolving while the others are now sterile. Hard thing to accept but it’s true. Thus Europeans had developed consciences that prevented them from doing what Nature commanded them to do. Instead they set themselves up as a parasite class believing they could control the Blacks without special intermixture forever.
As Burroughs would have noted this put them on the defensive and no defense outlasts a good offense as the Shona have proven. Thus the Shona having been given a breathing space reorganized, regained the initiative and won the dominant position. They are now doing the natural thing exterminating or driving out both the Ndebele Zulu and the Europeans. If you won’t fight or can’t, you lose everything.
So, you have the Darwinian struggle for existence presented to you in plain terms in a human context that cannot be misunderstood. No rats or cockroaches as necessary examples. One must be intolerant of other species. One must be a ‘bigot’ as the Shona are or go under.
Now, not having the will and perhaps no longer having the power to do as Nature commands Europeans attempted to retreat, to withdraw within their own territories. As anyone knows they all come out at the first sign of weakness. One would have to be stupid or utopian not to realize that. As a sonsequence Europe and America are being invaded by the other human species in the Darwinian sense. I mean, folks, they call evolution science. Science means knowing. Anyone who does not act on certain knowledge is foolish or, perhaps, too religious.
However in the first two decades of the twentieth century the Liberal ideology was formed by the weakest and lamest members of Western civilization. Not understanding actual differences between the human species, even denying them on religious grounds, they used conscience as a weapon to first emasculate themselves, and I mean this in the literal sense, and then they shamed those who knew better into silence.
Among those silenced were Grant, Stoddard and Burroughs. Although all these men were initially very influential telling Americans the nature of evolution and its consequences their reputations were dismantled. By the beginning of WWII Grant and Stoddard were regarded as mere ‘racist’ cranks.
It is time to debunk the debunkers. The wheel has turned. Bunk is bunk and shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone.
Burroughs who hadn’t left himself quite so open was provoked into acts of defiance so that sanctions could be applied against him as much as had been done to Henry Ford. Ford is another whose reputation should be rehabilitated much as Khruschev rehabilitated the reputations of various Communists after the death of Stalin. The tool preferred by the Liberal Coalition to discredit someone was the charge of ‘anti-Semitism’, a religious charge be it noted.
The most potent weapon in the Liberal religious armament is the term ‘anti-Semite.’ It is used liberally usually combined with Fascist to defame and control an opponent. Oddly enough they couldn ‘t make it stick on Burroughs. Even Slotkin in Gunfighter Nation only hints that ERB might have anti-Semitic tendencies.
I know it is unpleasant to discuss the Semitic issue but I think the time has come to discuss the issue head on especially as Burroughs was and is involved to a much more serious degree than might be apparent at first blush. The problem of Asia, from whence the Semites come, and Europe has roots in prehistory. Indeed it is a tale of two species. This is one of those eternal conflicts that will not be settled until one side annihilates the other much as the Shona are doing in Zimbabwe to their competitors.
In ancient days both the European Greeks and the Mediterranean Egyptians were in a constant conflict with what the Egyptians referred to as ‘vile Asiatics’, the Greeks as ‘barbarians.’ The Asiatics were vile not on the basis of race but because of the differing view of life of the two species. As regards the Egyptians and the Semites one or the other had to be exterminated. If you know anything of Egyptian history you will know that few true Egyptians still survive. The Semites have exterminated the true Egyptians.
Thus the related species of HSII, the Egyptians and HSIII, the Europeans found the Semitic species unassimilable. We are back to Darwin’s competing species of rats and cockroaches. In the religious terms in which the problem is usually stated one says the animosity is racial or in other words, moral; in scientific terms one says that it is genetic or special. In other words, the problem is much deeper than mere surface appearances. It extends to the genetic development of the brain. The Semite cannot understand as any other human species understands and vice versa.
Thus the current problem in the Sudan between Negroes and Semites which is genetic or biological can only be resolved by the extermination or expulsion of the other. The whole course of this new African conflict can be projected historically and scientifically. It may be delayed but it cannot be stopped. Compare it with the Shona in Zimbabwe. There is no question as to what course the conflict will take.
Why Liberals choose to make an issue of Darfur while they ignore the South Sudan and Zimbabwe and South Africa where genocide is also going on is known only to themselves. It is absolutely necessary to analyze the matter in scientific rather than emotional or religious terms. These are not matters of race but species. The mental capabilities of the Negro, the Semite and the European are different and irreconcilable. An unpleasant fact, perhaps, but true.
The conflict between Europe and Asia or the Semites and Indo-Europeans began according to legend with the Semitic abduction of the European woman Io from Argos. The history of the Mediterranean in ancient times was the perpetual warfare between Europeans and Asiatics or Semites. At one time the Semites seemed to be besting Europeans and then turn about. For the long Hellenic and Roman period the Europeans seemed to have won. But, and this is a big but, they failed to exterminate or drive the Semites out. A very bad mistake.
Two things happened. The Jewish Semites began a peaceful infiltration into Europe which came to a head in the long Jewish Wars that lasted from 66 AD to 135 AD. The Jewish Semites were militarily defeated in their homeland but came to spiritually dominate Europeans through the Judaeo-Catholic religion.
None of this struggle went unobserved by the Semitic peoples of the Arabian penenisula. In the seventh century the Arab or Ishamelite, to use the Jewish term, branch of the Semitic peoples led by Moslem ideology which had its base in Jewish ideology overran North Africa, large parts of the Eastern Mediterranean into the steppes of Asia and over the Hindu Kush into India. More or less following the path of Alexander. The Indo-European Persians, now known as Iranians, were Islamized or Semitized which they remain today. They were stultified hence their ridiculous position today.
The southerly Egyptians, the native Copts, are on the verge of extinction or what the modern world fondly describes as genocide. There are few surviving true Egyptians today.
Thus the Hellenic-Roman hegemony was reversed.
The Semitic Arab incursion into Europe which was a continuation of the multi-thousand year conflict between Europeans and Semites was defeated by Charles the Hammer at Tours in the heart of Europe. Over the next nearly thousand years the Moslems were expelled from Western Europe but they advanced in Eastern Europe.
From the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492 the southern Med if not the Med itself was controlled by the Barbary pirates. During that period Europeans supinely submitted to a slave trade that greatly resembled that of sub-Saharan Africa. Even as Negroes were being transported to the Americas countless Europeans were captured on European soil, transported to Africa and enslaved. So, the Africans have no cause to complain of Europeans. Some people whine some people don’t.
No one European State was strong enough or determined enough to clear the seas of the Moslems while they were unable to concert a united attack. The piracy and enslavement continued until France annexed Algeria in 1830. Rightfully so.
In Darwinian terms it is quite clear that the struggle was one of the replacement of one population by another. Thus when France conquered Algeria it behove them to either exterminate or drive out the existing population replacing it with Europeans. They ought to have relentlessly warred on every North African people until North Africa was once again European.
The attempt to coexist was a defensive war that could only end in defeat. The defeat was adjudicated by General De Gaulle in the nineteen sixties. The French stupidly and erroneously thought the war was over, but in reality the momentum shifted once again to the Semites.
As noted by Lothrop Stoddard the Wahabi Moslems went onto the offensive. No longer able to comptete militarily with Europeans they resorted to guerilla warfare, something the West now chooses to call terrorism, combined with an infiltration of Europe using their reproductive capabilities as a weapon. The situation now is a replica of the 3000 BC infiltration of Sumer. Hence the balance of power of the age old war between the Semites of Asia and Europeans has once again shifted toward the Asiatics.
As the Libyan, Moamar Qadaffi gloated in May 2006 there are fifty million Moslems in Europe. Europeans have the option of fighting or submitting. He knows whereof he speaks. As the war will now be conducted on European soil with the certain loss of the entire cultural superstructure of the last two thousand years there seems little chance of any European resistance. Notre Dame will be renamed and become a mosque.
If there is resistance then Burroughs’ prophecy of a flattened Europe turned Black over the centuries is a distinct, nay, certain probability. In addition to their submission to the Wahabi Arabs, Europeans seem incapable of resisting the Black Moselm invasion from sub-Saharan Africa. Thus once Blacks and Moslems have the strength they will undoubtedly follow the ancient plan of killing the men and keeping the women. Need I point to Haiti after the slave rebellion as an example? Within three or four generations both Arabs and Europeans will be absorbed into Black Africa.
Any discussion of the problem is now impossible in Europe as the blackest censorship has been imposed on dissent. Astonishing that the enlightenment could disappear just like that, isn’t it? Anyone who dissents from the Semitic program is liable to imporisonment, heavy fines or both. The term Semite includes both the Jewish and Arab branches.
Once the Moslem are powerful enough to direct the European military it will mean the end of Israel as that State will be completely encircled by Moslem powers with irresistable might and control of all land, sea, air and satellite communications.
With European technological war materiel at their disposal the Moslems will be able to isolate the United States by depriving it of oil or with the huge and growing population in the US sabotage any war effort if threatened. Let’s have a round of applause for the brilliant leadership of Chirac, Blair, Bush and Obama not to mention the morons of the US Senate.
Burroughs foresaw the results of the West’s waffling before the Communists, the Moslems and perhaps the Africans but he was prevented from examining the problems too openly for fear of bringing the Liberal Coalition with its charges of anti-Semitism down on his head. Both he and Henry Ford were having a tough fight for survival. W.R. Hearst.
Burroughs had already called attention to himself by questioning a survey sent him by the American Jewish Committee in 1919. It seems apparent the survey drew his attention to Jewish matters which he had ignored up till that time. This resulted in the character of Bluber in Tarzan And The Golden Lion as well as several characters in 1924′s Marcia Of The Doorstep. As the AJC would have considered these characterizations ‘anti-Semitic’ the publication of the book was prohibited. Censored as it were.
Probably as a result of questioning the AJC survey he was put under surveillance. While a number of movies had been made from his books, in 1921 movie making from his novels ceased reducing his income potential drastically at a very critical time in his finances. For whatever reason there was a hiatus in the production of Tarzan films that lasted until 1928. It is only fair to assume that Tarzan had not lost his box office appeal which is the usual Hollywood cover for blacklisting. One also imagines that Burroughs would have leapt at any movie money. Indeed, in 1922 the Stern Bros. and Louis Jacobs, a trio of Jewish movie makers, tied up the rights to Jungle Tales Of Tarzan and Jewels of Opar for $40,000. This was a very decent sum to spend yet the movie makers made no effort make the movies, they were content to tie up the titles. Whether Burroughs was being disciplined for being ‘anti-Semitic’ or not can’t be determined for certain at this time.
Hollywood was notorious for being a Jewish industry. W.R. Hearst was one of the few goys making movies. D.W. Griffith was being increasingly marginalized. In the interim then, the noted ‘anti-Semite’ Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of the future president John F. Kennedy, formed or bought FBO Studios. The story of this multi-cultural struggle for dominance has never been adequately researched for obvious reasons, but what with the Ford conflict with the Semitic Jewish culture flaring in the foreground it is not unlikely that there was a great deal of maneuvering in the background. It will be noted that when RKO was formed which incorporated FBO Studios the R for Radio came from RCA and KO for Keith Orpheum were retained while FBO was deleted. The R and KO were Jewish concerns while FBO had been a great goyish disrupter.
Nevertheless, as Burroughs was blacklisted by Hollywood which the Hollywood historian Neal Gabler describes as a Jewish empire, it is noteworthy that an ‘anti-Semite’ broke the blacklist making Tarzan movies again. It would have been the equivalent of Dalton Trumbo being allowed to script movies under his own name again in the 1960s.
The blacklist broken, the Stern Bros. and Jacobs then decided in 1928 to exercise their rights to the two Tarzan novels to release Tarzan The Tiger and Tarzan The Mighty. Calling Tarzan a tiger may have been a slam at Burroughs who erroneously introduced tigers into Africa in the magazine version of Tarzan Of The Apes.
The silent era of movies over, MGM produced the first talkie of Tarzan in 1932. Watch the dates.
Now, in both Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant Burroughs takes undisguised hits at Communism, pointing fingers and naming names; in Triumphant he continues his open attack on Communism and covertly ridicules the Jews in his portrayal of Midians with their enormous noses and receding chins. Both attributes are well known caricatures of Jews. Was this a gratuitous insult or was he responding to insults to himself?
If he had been given courage by the presence of Joseph Kennedy and FBO Studios then he might have relaxed his vigilance a little. However his open and blatant attack would not have been unresented by Judaeo-Communists. While Hollywood had always been run by Jews, by 1930 Communists had also made much more serious inroads than is usually admitted. In other words, ERB’s well being in this multi-cultural war zone depended on his sworn enemies. As both a goy and counter-revolutionary ERB was an odd man out. It could not possibly be any other way.
There can be no question that he would have to be gotten for what could only be seen as egregious insults to both Communists and Jews. In fact, the two were nearly one. The question then was how best to get Burroughs short of outright assassination. The blacklist had already been broken by Kennedy but possible a movie could be made to make ERB’s great creation ridiculous. Destroy him in that way, you see.
Thanks to technological marvels like DVDs it is now possible to study old movies at will. I have a sets of most of the films. I have viewed Tarzan Of The Apes a number of times.
Bearing in mind that Burroughs was in a struggle with both Communists and Semites as exemplified in 1930′s Tarzan The Invincible and 1931′s Tarzan Triumphant while being surreptitiously listed as an anti-Semite by the American Jewish Committee, I think it worthwhile to speculate on the intent of Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg’s productions.
Having watched the movie a number of times while bearing books Invincible and Triumphant in mind I have come to the conclusion that the movie’s ulterior motive was an attempt to ridicule the Big Bwana into oblivion. We all know that ridicule is a most effective weapon, especially when it can’t be answered. It was undoubtedly thought Tarzan could be destroyed in this manner.
MGM did not negotiate to obtain rights to any particular story but, and this is important, they bought the right to use the characters as they thought fit. Thus as the movie poster picture in Bibliophile David Fury’s book Kings Of The Jungle on p.63 published by McFarland, it is stated that the movie is ‘based on the characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.’ In other words, this is not the Tarzan of Invincible and Triumphant. Oh no, no. This is Tarzan The Defeated, Tarzan The Buffoon.
The vision is no longer Tarzan Of The Apes but Tarzan, The Ape Man. A subtle but important shift in emphasis. Tarzan is no longer a man raised among apes he is a man who is an ape. The fabulous brain of Tarzan which allowed him to master reading and writing with the aid of only a picture book, that allowed him to learn new languages instantly has now been replaced by an inarticulate moron who does five minutes of ’me Tarzan, you Jane.’
This was free love in the jungle between a hunk and a babe. Apparently it slipped by unnoticed at the time until it was picked up thirty years later by an astute librarian. Tarzan and Jane are no longer married in the movies, Jane just began cohabiting with Tarzan because he was such a handsome hunk. Fortunately she, he, or both were infertile. Thus Tarzan was subtly defamed, his universality removed. His audience constricted by that much.
Having slipped this bit past the censors, as incredible as it may seem, in the next movie, Tarzan And His Mate, not wife but mate, you know, a live in, MGM included the famous nude swimming scene that did not get past the censors.
Both these items would have had the effect of defaming Tarzan and constricting his audience. A certain type of viewer would be offended by these items and refuse to see the movies while another type would gratified by such items and drawn to the movies but lower the quality of the audience moving Tarzan toward porn. Thus by degrees Tarzan movies would gain the reputation as porn flicks. Porn is porn even if it is Tarzan so you aren’t going to let your kids eat popcorn in front of dirty movies nor are legitimate first run theatres going to show them. At least, not then.
Thus MGM was well on their way to making Tarzan porn before the censors forced a change in plan. There was nothing Burroughs could have done about this as he, or rather his office manager signed away all his rights to his character.
The MGM poster then portrays Tarzan as a criminal freak:
Mothered by an ape- He knew only the law of the jungle- to seize what he wanted.
The ‘to seize’ is in attention grabbing italics.
Mothered by an ape is ambiguous and meant to be repulsive. It could mean that Tarzan was fathered by a human on an ape or it could be so obscure as to be meaningless. If you were familiar with the books you could probably guess what was intended but if you weren’t who knows what it could mean to you. Remember the first volume, Tarzan Of The Apes, was no longer in print even in 1930 so the original story couldn’t even be bought. The later volumes don’t recapitulate his birth and raising so there may have been actually few who knew the whole story. We are led to believe that the MGM Tarzan is completely lacking in morality. If he wants something he just steals it. Not the Tarzan I would want to emulate.
The director was W.S. Van Dyke who had just had a major success with his Trader Horn, another African picture. That one had been phenomenally successful and Tarzan is billed as “Another Miracle Picture directed by W.S. Van Dyke, Creator Of “Trader Horn.” Van Dyke was certainly not the creator of Trader Horn as the movie was adapted from the book by Trader horn, there was such a man, thus in a way Tarzan, The Ape Man is subordinated to W.S. Van Dyke and Trader Horn.
What is called ‘the adaptation’ is done by someone called Cyril Hume. As the dialogue was written by Ivor Novello I presume that both the storyline and the alterations to Tarzan’s character can possibly be attributed to Hume.
There is little on Hume on the internet but a New York Times review that was cribbed from All Movie Guide. It says ‘…During the 1920s, Hume proved a worthy rival of Fitzgerald with such lost generation novels as Wife Of The Centaur and Cruel Fellowship.’ An interesting couple of titles in relation to this Tarzan movie. The review then goes on to say ‘…During the 1930s , he was the principal writer of MGM’s “Tarzan ” films, bringing prestige to these escapist exercises by treating them with dignity and respect…’ That’s one man’s opinion anyway.
As we all know the attributed movie writer frequently has very little to do with the finished script so we will assume that Hume’s script went through many revisions by many minds with perhaps different agendas than his. One wonders why Ivor Novello, who was a well known playwright of the time was broght in to do dialogue. Apart from the Tarzan yell, with which Novello is given no connection, that seems to be the major portion of the dialogue along with the famous ‘Tarzan-Jane’ sequence, there seems to be little dialog that an amateur couldn’t have written.
The net result is a movie that seriously demeans Tarzan as conceived and portrayed over fifteen novels. In order for their ridicule to be successful MGM did have to produce a movie that someone would go see. They were apparently successful beyond their wildest hopes or fears as the movie was described as a ‘surprise’ hit and an enormous grosser. Now MGM was stuck with the character.
If it was a surprise hit then one can discount the publicity that the movie cost a million dollars to produce. There are no well-known stars in the movie, while much of it is footage left over from Trader Horn which had already been amortized with the rest being shot on lot. If the movie cost MGM a quarter million I would still be astonished.
In their attempt to ridicule Tarzan they were too clever by half. The character of Tarzan may not have that of the books but audiences still found it satisfying, especially the yell.
Those of us who have read the books have always been uneasy with those MGM movies although Johnny Weismuller was perfectly cast in the role of the Ape Man.
So, while the NYT reviewer may believe Cyril Hume brought ‘prestige to these escapist exercises by treating them with dignity and respect’ there are dissenting opinions other than mine.
Another interpretation was that of the first movie Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln, who commented to ERB “the house seemed to think it was a comedy. Why do they portray Tarzan without dignity?…with the right treatment and portrayal, Tarzan could a romantic, thrilling character, and still have the sympathy of his audience…I don’t like to see him treated as a clown…”
Elmo Lincoln and I both see the MGM version in the same light, while I have to question the interpretation of the NYTimes writer. I think Lincoln was right, the movie was a comedic effort meant to defame the persona of ERB’s great creation and thus destroy Edgar Rice Burroughs. After all ERB, Inc.’s publishing arm was dependent on sales of Tarzan’s.
By 1932 the troublesome ERB had learned which side his bread was buttered on so he publicly endorsed the MGM movies, after all this was big money, bigger than any other souces of income combined. It may be said then that just as Henry Ford recanted and apologized for offending the Jewish Cultural entity in the ongoing culture wars so Burroughs bent the knee to Liberal suzerainty.
As ERBzine reports, privately Burroughs had other thoughts:
Daughter Joan Burroughs revealed: “Dad found it hard to reconcile himself to the movie versions of the Tarzan stories and never did understand the movie Tarzan. He wanted Tarzan to speak like an educated Englishman instead of grunting. One time we saw a movie together and after it was over, although the audience seemed enthusiastic, my father remained in his seat and kept shaking his head sadly.”
So Burroughs and Lincoln both resented the screen adaptation based on the Tarzan ERB had created.
There was nothing Burroughs could do about it. His rights had been signed away by his agent Ralph Rothmund. Rothmund must have been aware of the tension between Burroughs, Communists and Jews, yet he essentially gave the courthouse away. He placed Burroughs in the hands of his enemies. He gave Tarzan to MGM stripping Burroughs of his only weapon and asset. Why? Did he contact MGM or did MGM contact him? Why did he negotiate behind Burroughs’ back presenting him with a fait accompli? Why not tell his employer, ‘I’ve got this deal worked out with MGM. Do you want to take it?’
Presented instead with a check, Our Man seduced by vain desires went out and bought five Packard automobiles. Ah, ERB…
Did he repent of this deal? I believe so. Trapped by the contract his only way of retaliation was a futile one through his novels.
Can it be a coincidence that Tarzan And The Lion Man written over February to May of 1933, published by ERB, Inc. in book form on September 1, 1934 (Septimus Favonius BB#55 p. 34) ridiculed MGM, Irving Thalberg and Trader Horn. The second MGM movie Tarzan And His Mate was released on April 16, 1934. Bear these two dates in mind, the movie was released five months before the book leaving time for a revision of the book text.
Certainly severely wounded by the MGM adaptation of Tarzan Burroughs had been beaten. He had lost the culture war between himself, the Communists and the Jews. Having lost control of his character in the vital field of movies his only recourse was to lampoon MGM in a book which he did in Tarzan And The Lion Man. Strangely his illustrator St. John chose this book to experiment with an unrepresentative cover that was believed to have killed sales. Thus this magnficent achievement was undersold.
Lion Man recounts W.S. Van Dyke’s movie making in Africa, telling it in a ridiculing manner. MGM’s version of Tarzan is portrayed by a character named Stanley Obroski, perhaps a takeoff on Johnny Weismuller, who is a pale imitation of the real Tarzan. Burroughs makes a careful comparison showing what a joke the MGM Tarzan was. In a fit of pique he kills the fake Lion Man off.
One of the more interesting characters is Balza- The Golden Girl. After escaping from the Valley of Diamonds she joins the movie company where she cavorts about in the nude. This scene has baffled me but if one remembers that in Tarzan And His Mate Maureen O’ Sullivan is stripped by Tarzan followed by the nude swimming scene, the novel makes sense. ERB had seen the movie in April of 1934 possibly an earlier studio screening and incorporated the changes in his text for the 9/1/34 release date.
So his retort against MGM while ineffective made for what must rank as one of his very best efforts.
Just as an aside note that while this struggle was going on in Hollywood Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933; Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States in March of ’33.
One of FDR’s first deeds was to recogtnize the USSR regime of Joseph Stalin. In late 1933 a chubby little ex-draper’s assistant acted as a go-between for Stalin and Roosevelt. Having first visited Stalin, H.G. Wells carried his messages to Roosevelt. Thus under the very eyes of the world some very important communications were passed back and forth. Nineteen thirty-three was also the year the former draper’s assistant wrote his Shape Of Things To Come.
These things can’t be stated with absolute certainty but the character of God– the formerly handsome Englishman in Lion Man, is certainly based on the pompous little H.G. Wells.
Thus while I at first objected to Slotkin’s accusations against ERB, barring the My Lai stuff, I think I am beginning to see ERB’s relation to the cultural wars between Communists, Jews, Liberals and Conservatives. there is more going on here than meets the eye.
But let us look at some of the religous aspects of this interesting situation. The religious war between Semitism and the Astrological Religion as represented by Tarzan Of The Apes.
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 Tarzan The Invincible
Part V of X
First Published On The Ezine, ERBzine
Six White Men In Search Of An African Empire
If one believes that Burroughs is merely on a rant against Communism in Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant then there is nothing more to say. Still, it is remarkable that ERB specifically names Stalin as a persecutor of Tarzan in both books. As Burroughs says he doesn’t mind fictionizing political and religious realities the question is , is he fictionizing a real life situation where Stalin, or the Communists are giving him a hard time?
Seems really improbable doesn’t it? People are used to thinking of Burroughs as a barely literate fantasy writer better ignored by the literati. But more insignificant men than ERB have been the victims of hate campaigns.
Who now, for instance, remembers Harvey Springer? Harvey Springer? Never heard of him? I don’t wonder. Oddly enough when I was in San Diego in 1957-58 Harvey Springer, who was some kind of evangelicalist, was going to appear at some church out where no sailor ever went. He was kind of a cowboy evangelical from Denver. His most dramatic stunt was placing one of size fourteens, he was a tall rangy man, on one chair and the other on another to harangue the crowd.
I hadn’t heard of him, you know, nor had anyone I knew, but Harvey Springer was reputed to be an arch anti-Semite. Could have been for all I knew, but I’m not going to take anyone’s word for it. The point is the Jews sent all kinds of people into the streets to tell people not to go see Harvey. I don’t how many times they must have heard- Who’s Harvey Springer?- in reply. Rather than say he’s an anti-Semite, of which I had even less knowledge at the time never having heard the term, all that was necessary was to say the two words, church and evangelical to cool my ardor, if I had any, to find where he was speaking and go see him.
In addition the AJC and ADL published books in which they denounced Harvey Springer as a very dangerous anti-Semite. Now, if certain people would go to such extremes to persuade someone not to do something he had no intention of doing what would they do to defame someone with an international reputation? The only one who didn’t realize the extent of ERB’s fame seems to have been ERB himself. He was no self promoter, he thought it best to keep his head down.
In that sense, judging from the unpublished Under The Red Flag and the published Moon Maid, Invincible and Triumphant Burroughs was actually a leading anti-Communist voice. I mean, people read this stuff. They read it in America , they read it in England, they read it in numerous translations and they read it in the Soviet Union. Here’s the kicker, Stalin read it. Not only that, Stalin was a movie buff. And he requested Tarzan films (reported in a recent UK Telegraph story and the book of Simon Sebag Montefiori: Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar.)
History is not a mystery, it’s just schoolyard bullies bigger than life.
We also know that Stalin ordered his scientists in the 1920s to attempt to cross an ape and a human to create a super warrior. It’s clear to me that Stalin had read Beasts Of Tarzan. The Man of Steel may have had a difficult time distinguishing between fact and fiction as many another. Besides, remember eugenics was a hot topic of conversation in Red circles then as it is today. Not knowing what we know now about genetics crossing an ape and human may not have seemed that far fetched. It doesn’t to a lot of people now. Heck, the Old Testament enjoins one to destroy the results of an animal-human union so the ancient Hebrews thought it was not only possible but a regular occurrence.
There is very clear evidence that the Reds were conducting a campaign of vilification against Burroughs. I’ve mentioned it before but the clearst evidence is H.G. Wells’ novel Mr. Blettsworthy On Rampole Island.
May we take a moment to look more closely at Wells? Don’t think I’m antagonistic toward Wells. I dearly love Wells just as I do Burroughs. I have a complete collection of Burroughs while I’m looking for the odd volume of the more obscure Wells. I’m not boasting, I’m just saying this in the way of credentials. I’ve read all of Burroughs more than once and I’ve read all the Wells’ titles I have, many of them more than once. In point of fact I love all the literature from say, Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines to 1930 and perhaps an odd year or so beyond. I love. I mean, I love it. I love Edgar Wallace who, if you can believe it, is claimed to have sold one out of four books sold in England during this period. If you don’t know him he was one of the co-writers of the movie King Kong and then he died. All this stuff of this period is wonderful. Robert Hitchens, P.C. Wren.
So, you know, it’s like this: H.G. Wells was a Soviet literary hatchet man.
The man had a wonderful career. You know his most famous novels, The War Of The Worlds, First Men In The Moon, The Island Of Dr. Moreau, In The Days Of The Comet. If you like Wells, and I do, those are the tip of the iceberg. A few of his short stories and he wrote many are as good as short stories get.
He was always a socialist and perhaps a terrorist conspiritor, but he was a child of the nineteenth century until his mind broke at the end of the Great War. At that time he lost faith, in god, transferring his faith to the Revolution, becoming a Soviet dupe. His literary career may be divided into two halves, pre-God- The Invisible King and post-God. That was one of his books.
He was not taken seriously as a fiction writer after the war. During the twenties and thirties he turned out an unending stream of novels that were ignored. It’s not difficult to see why, but I find them a little more tolerable. I like Wells. His reputation and career were saved by his 1922 effort An Outline Of History. It was a massive volume and it sold massively for twenty years or more while being hugely influential in literature. Put him on easy street for the rest of his long life. As much as any artist who is skilled at spending money can be on Easy Street.
As a novelist however, he was pretty much a has been. While none of his post-1920 novels take off he hits the spot with me.
From 1920 on his soul belonged to the Revolution, which is to say the Socialist homeland, which is to say the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics. That means he was more loyal to Russia than he was to England. In short, a traitor in intent if not in deed. While no Liberal ever deals in realities hence are in constant denial, The Man of Steel, Josef Stalin, was his boss. Wells naturally would have denied this.
The Soviets had a pretty comprehensive system which once again is denied. There were a number of State prostitutes who were assigned to the various important Red writers to service them as mistresses, while reporting back to the Kremlin. This is, of course, denied by the Liberals. I don’t understand living a life that has to be denied, where everything you do has to be represented as something else, but such duplicity is apparently congenial to the Liberal mind. They must seek it.
Wells was assigned a woman named Moura Budberg. She must have known how to turn on the charm as she was able to make a number of men she was assigned to sincerely love her, including the British diplomat Bruce Lockhart, the Russian writer Maxim Gorky and H.G. Wells. She wasn’t that good looking either. All of these people led double, triple or quadruple lives. They must have been really able to compartmentalize their minds. Freud didn’t touch that type.
After Wells’ visit to Lenin in 1921 he was signed on. He began his career as literary hatchet man. In his writing he portrayed recognizable people, sometimes under their real names, in negative or positive lights. As a skilled writer, whether you like his later stuff or not, he was more than competent to do this. It appears that he first targeted Burroughs in his 1923 novel Men Like Gods. Among his science fiction novels this one should rank more highly than it does. Burroughs’ 1926 Moon Maid reads like a reply to Wells. Especially the first part of the trilogy where Burroughs dances imaginative rings around the First Men In The Moon. From there Wells took up the challenge with Mr. Blettsworthy On Rampole Island of 1928 which unmistakably is a parody of Burroughs in which he portrays Burroughs as insane, but not a bad analysis.
Burroughs responded possibly with At The Earth’s Core but definitely with Tarzan The Invincible. At the same time one interprets Stalin’s interest in crossing apes with humans as being derived from Beasts Of Tarzan and other Tarzan novels there may have been more direct Soviet interest in ERB. One notes that Tarzan The Invincible was the first title published under the Burroughs imprint. I think it highly probable that his publishing was being interfered with by the Reds in addition to whatever other grievances against his publishers Burroughs may have had.
One may say that Burroughs was too insignificant for Stalin to bother with, yet according to Simon Sebag Montefiori Stalin put out a contract on John Wayne because he was such an ardent anti-Communist. Khruschev is said to have told Wayne that he concelled the contract after Stalin’s death. Edgar Rice Burroughs was at least as significant in 1930 as Wayne in the 1940s and 50s.
At any rate in 1930 Burroughs has Stalin and the Reds invading his dream world of Opar to steal his gold, i.e. put him out of the publishing business. Invincible and Triumphant, notice the titles, both deal with Stalin and the Soviets then the topic disappears from the oeuvre. Was Burroughs given incentive to counter-attack the Reds? I think there is enough evidence to warrant the opinion while time will tell even more. Research is just beginning.
It is signficant that Burroughs introduces the story in his own voice, not a framing device. He may be simply talking to the reader or he may be addressing Wells and, dare I say say it, The Man Of Steel himself. Perhaps a subtitle could be ‘The Big Bwana Meets The Man Of Steel.’ Now, it should also be remembered that this is the fourteenth novel of the series. the first title had been written eighteen years earlier. At that time the surprise of the character had knocked the socks off the reading public. In 1930 Tarzan was in danger of becoming old hat. Burroughs had to think up new and interesting devices to keep his readers coming back. As with most series of this type the readership was limited. Maximum sales could be predicted so that success meant not falling below a certain level of interest or letting interest diminish below unsupportable levels. As his own publisher Burroughs was now taking all the risks financial as well as literary. He had to turn out a successful book.
I think he did a superb job. Since the series continued to flourish his readers must have thought so too. I do wish ERB, Inc. would release some sales figures though.
For the premiss of his story Burroughs postulates that Stalin and the Soviets wish to instigate a new world war which will allow them to pick up the pieces establishing a complete European dictatorship. Not at all farfetched. Burroughs postulates that Mussolini and his Fascists are aiming at a European hegemony. This is 1930 so Hitler and the Nazis are not on anyone’s radar as a threat to world peace except for a few fringe elements. At the time Hitler and the NSDAP were in hand to hand combat with the Communists for control of Germany. They would not assume power until three years hence.
The Reds then wish to create an incident that would cause the Italians to attack France. The indirect approach is usually more effective than the direct approach so they wish to create an incident in Africa where French colonial troops appear to invade Italian Somaliland.
At that instant expendable confederates in Italy would reveal a bogus French plan to Mussolini. It is assumed that Italy would then declare war on France and the holocaust would begin. As we all know Italy did not declare war on France in 1930 so the plan must have misfired somewhere along the way. Tarzan was the reason. Burroughs gives these little known details that would have been lost to…well… if not history, remembrance. So, uh, really ERB is providing a valuable service here.
There may be two sides to every story, but usually one is on one side or the other. We don’t have to be reminded ERB is not on the side of the Reds. In fact, ERB is exposing their plans and weaknesses. He displays a fairly profound understanding of the goals and workings of the Communists. He is read up on the subject, He has studied. He is not shooting from the hip. He knows whereof he speaks. If not an authority on the subject he is pretty darn close.
ERB has his eyes on how ‘American’ manufacturers are relating to Moscow. He has Zora Drinov analyze the situation this way, p. 12
“But what do the puny resources of this single American (Wayne Colt) mean to us?” demanded Zora. “A mere nothing compared to what America is already pouring into Soviet Russia. What is his treason compared with the treason of those others who are already doing more to hasten the day of world communism than the Third Internationale itself- it is nothing, not a drop in the bucket.’
“What do you mean Zora?” asked Miguel.
“I mean the bankers, and manufacturers, and engineers of America, who are selling their own country and the world to us in the hope of adding more gold to their already bursting coffers. One of their most pious and lauded citizens is building great factories for us in Russia, where we may turn out tractors and tanks; their manufacturers are vying with each other to furnish us with engines for countless thousands of airplanes; their engineers are selling us their brains and their skill to build a grreat modern manufacturing city, in which ammunitions and engines of war may be produced. These are the traitors, these are the men who are hastening the day when Moscow shall dictate the policies of our world.”
“…their government is a capitalistic government that is so opposed to our beliefs that it has never recognized our government; yet in their greed, these swine are selling out their own kind and their own country for a few more rotten dollars.”
Sound anything like the US and China today? That was a mouthful. The first thing FDR did upon taking the reins of government was to recognize Soviet Russia. Tell you anything about FDR? That was a mouthful that should have eraned ERB the hatred of the Liberal Coalition.
You can see why they wanted to stop his mouth. Passages such as this are probably the reason Richard Slotkin and his crowd, John Taliaferro, group ERB with Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. A charge of racism is usually a cover for a multitude of offences that have nothing to do with race. One is merely opposing the Liberal program. If they were to say- the fellow opposes the Liberal program they would get no rise- they might even have to explain the Liberal program- so the charge of racism is used as a red herring. One should always suspect such an accusation and disregard it.
Liberals however, never answer such charges. They merely deny them. In 1953-54 they were even denying themselves as Communists or taking the Fifth, which is the euivalent of saying, yes I am, but I’m not going to admit it.
The Revolution was only twelve years old in 1930. The CPUSA had been briefly outlawed in the early twenties but ‘disinterested parties’ believing in the time honored notion of ‘free speech’ had the ban lifted. Over in Russia their free speech loving comrades were filling cattle cars with dissenters destined for the Gulag or else they were murdered outright. Today, of course, these freedom loving people are throwing dissenters in prison on the basis of trumped up laws. The Program is moving right along isn’t it?
Even William Z. Foster denied he was a Communist as he was running for President on the Communist ticket. Today a tenured Law Professor at Harvard actually denies that AIPAC, which is a registered lobby group, exists. They ought to throw such people into cells next to David Irving. Denial of themselves is what Liberalism is all about. You couldn’t find anyone to admit to being a Communist. They all denied it. The hypocrisy of Liberals throwing men as decent or moreso than themselves into jail for denying the holocaust is mind boggling. Well, it would be, if you didn’t already know what’s going on.
So ERB would have been roundly denounced as a paranoid delusive for the above passage.
Men like Armand Hammer, Bernard Baruch, essentially the whole Jewish government in exile here in the US were working furiously to make the Revolution a global reality. They really had no idea of Hitler’s intentions at the time, yet they attempted assassination while through the German Communist Party they were waging street warfare against the National Socialists. The word National is what they objected to not so much the man Hitler. Burroughs mentions the Third International. The Comintern- short for Communist International as it was known- was essentially a beta model for what is now multi-culturalism. It was the Jewish cultural vision of the world. Thus industrialists like Armand Hammer and Bernard Baruch using their Jewish identity as a shield from criticism, any criticism would be characterized as anti-Semitism, were directing huge sums of money into the development of Soviet Russia.
In addition a well-meaning industrialist, Henry Ford, who would later be denounced as a Nazi, was doing the
same thing. The mention of tractor factories refers to Henry Ford- the Jewish bete noir- who was trying to relieve the Communist induced famine by selling or even giving tractors to the Russians to increase food production. He was also building the factories for them. I mean, you know, gratis; altruism run rampant. The great industrial city probably refers to Stalingrad.
Even Burroughs biographers Porges and Taliaferro disparage Burroughs for his rational stance against Communism. Burroughs doesn’t stop his analysis with the multi-cultural contradiction within American society, p. 35:
“The general plan, of course, is no secret to any of us here,” said Zora, “and I shall betray no confidence in explaining it to you. It is part of a larger plan to embroil the capitalistic powers in wars and revolutions to such an extent that they will be helpless to unite against us.”
“Our emissaries have been laboring a long time toward the culmination of the revolution in India that will distract the attention and armed forces of Great Britain. We are not succeeding so well in Mexico as we had planned, but there is still hope, while our prospects in the Philippines are very bright. The conditions in China you well know. She is absolutely helpless, and we have hope that with our assistance she will eventually constitute a real menace to Japan. Italy is a very dangerous enemy, and it is largely for the purpose of embroiling her in war with France that we are here.”
Once again you will note that there is no reference to a threat from Germany. No one could have seen it but the Communists who were opposed not merely to Hitler but any Volkish attempt to govern. The Volkish movement was inherently anti-Communist. To be anti-Communist was equivalent to being anti-Semitic, so that Hitler was automatically an enemy to be destroyed. When he and the Nazis assumed power in 1933 an automatic boycott of Germany and things German was instituted by the Jews. One might say that WWII began in January of 1933 at the instance of the Jews. The obvious conclusion is that if Hitler’s actions against the Jews were not self-defense, they were acts of war in which the first offensives had been begun by the Jews. Needless to say any such opinion is and will be denied. Any such discussion of such matters will be ridiculed and suppressed. But there you have it. At any rate ERB was not one of those far-sighted individuals who foresaw the rise of Hitler. Italy turned out to be a not so dangerous enemy.
In his story Italy was merely to be a dupe of the Soviets.
In order to present his analysis ERB had to be especially well informed. What he read or where isn’t clear as there is nothing in the existing library that even deals with the Communists per se. ERB does have a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf but that could only have been obtained after 1940 when the war was in progress.
As the story opens then, the Reds are assembling their forces for the march on Italian Somaliland.
Things aren’t to be quite so simple as the leader of the expedition, Peter Sveri, develops delusions of grandeur hoping to establish his own Empire in Africa with himself as Emperor. On the one hand Communism breaks down on the rocks of the interests of the various cultures, while in seeking to establish himself in Africa Zveri is infringing on the domain of its current Emperor, Tarzan.
Tarzan handily frustrates Zveri’s designs, while at the same time beating Stalin and the Reds, hence the title Tarzan The Invincible. One imagines though that there may be something more behind it. Originally titled Tarzan, Guardian Of Africa the change of title indicates something deeper.
In order to finance his operations Zveri intends to loot the fabled treasure vaults of Opar of which, one assumes, he has read about in The Return Of Tarzan, Jewels Of Opar and Tarzan And The Golden Lion. This makes him somewhat a fan of the amanuensis of the Big Bwana.
This is the fourth and last of Burroughs’ Opar stories. In section six let’s review Opar and its significance to this story.
November 13, 2009
A Contribution To The
ERBzine ERB Library Project
King Solomon’s Mines
H. Rider Haggard
Review by R.E. Prindle
Three volumes made Rider Haggard’s reputation then and maintain it today. Classics of the B genre. The first of these is the subject of this review, King Solomon’s Mines. The other two are She and Allan Quatermain. The novels were written between 1885 and 1888. These were very interesting years in the exploration of Africa. Speke had identified the source of the White Nile twenty some years earlier. Robert Livingstone had been found and sensationally recounted by the great Henry Morton Stanley.
Subsequently Stanley had navigated the course of the Nile from the plateau down to the sea, a stunning accomplishment. His rescue of the Emin Pasha in 1886 was on everyone’s lips. The white spaces on the maps were rapidly disappearing. In the midst of this excitement Rider Haggard’s great African trilogy made a propitious appearance. No better timeing could have been devised. And the novels were sensational, plausible too, at that time. Who knew what additional wonders Africa concealed. There was room in that gigantic continent for a lot of lost cities and civilizations. Haggard and his disciple, Edgar Rice Burroughs rapidly populated Africa with a host of them.
Haggard would continue to write exciting African tales until the day he died in 1925 after a lifetime of putting out two or three novels a year. They usually followed the same format, a long trip out taking up at least half the novel, the intense situation on arrival and a return home. The same format Edgar Rice Burroughs would use. The novels were packed with esoteric lore and authentic African details.
It is said that Haggard wrote the Mines on a bet after being told he couldn’t write the equal of Stevenson’s Treasure Island. He did do that but Mines is written tongue in cheek with a lot of jokes. Haggard makes this clear when Quatermain says that his two literary mainstays are the Bible and the Ingoldsby Legends. The Legends written in the 1830s and 1840s are a collection of humorous parodies of Folklore themes and poems by Richard Harris Barham writing anonymously as Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappingham Manor. The book was very popular with, it seems, all the the authors till the turn of the century at least. One finds it mentioned frequently. Taking the hint I read a copy. Thus, Haggard is protecting his rear in case of failure by saying his story is just a put on or joke.
King Solomon’s Mines is told in the first person by the old knockabout hunter, Allan Quatermain. He has a bumbling self-effacing manner not unlike Inspector Columbo of the TV series. You don’t think he can do it but he’s spot on every time.
As was common with this sort of adventure story the point is to make the reader think the story is true. Burroughs probably picked up his habit of framing from Haggard. Many of the details of Mines are true to Haggard’s own life while his study of the Zulus and other tribes accurately portray their customs. Haggard is very sympathetic to African customs and mentality actually seeming to envy them. He genuinely can see little difference between Black and White while adopting a fairly critical attitude towards Whites and a sympathetic one toward Blacks. Very modern. Indeed, in this novel the White heroes join a Zulu Impi or regiment and fight with the Zulus as White Zulus. Naturally they comport themselves heroically, Curtis excelling the Blacks at their own game.
As the novel begins Haggard sets up the story. The Englishmen, Curtis and Good, are out in search of a lost brother. The meeting with Quatermain on shipboard is fortuitous leading to his subsequent employment as their guide. Haggard describes a boat journey from Capetown to Durban that is obviously authentic; Haggard himself has taken the same trip. Thus unlike Burroughs’ imaginary Africa this is authentic, the Real Thing. On the journey Quatermain meets Sir henry Curtis and his friend John Good, who need a guide to take them in search of Curtis’ lost brother.
The search will take them to a hidden Zulu enclave behind a burning desert and a towering mountain range. The trip out is filled with interesting authentic details but no need to dwell on them here.
Crossing the burning sands not known to have been successfully navigated before, they are confronted by the towering twin peaks of Sheba’s Breasts topped with four thousand foot nipples. Who can’t see the humor there. Pretty racy for what are thought of as stodgy old Victorian times. Bear in mind the Ingoldsby Legends while reading the story as probably most of Haggard’s readers would have been familiar with them. They are of this sort of tongue in cheek humor. The ancient map they are following indicated the route to follow.
Behind the Breasts lies Kukuanaland. Undoubtledly Kuku should be read coo-coo. The Kukuanas are the Zulu tribe in possession of King Solomon’s Mines. Kukuanaland is somewhere near the ruins of Zimbabwe, although Haggard doesn’t allude directly to the site. I’m sure everyone has heard of the ruins of Zimbabwe. The old Zimbabwe I mean.
There has always been a dispute as to who built Zimbabwe. Africans claim it was built by Africans while the thought in Haggard’s time was that Zimbabwe was built by Phoenicians hence a few mentions of them. The notion was that these were the ruins through the Queen of Sheba of King Solomon, hence the title King Solomon’s Mines. Zimbabwe is either in or next to lands of the Shona people. The Shona arrived in the area from the North possibly from 300 to 800 AD. There is no record of stone work among the Shona before or after. The structures of Zimbabwe are of shale like stone merely piled on top of each other being very thick and very high. Instead of piled up stones it is customary to say the construction is without mortar as though that is a great skill. Without mortar = piled up stones, doesn’t it?
It seems unlikely the Shona would have built them while it is also a remote possibility that the Phoenicians did. It is true however that Greeks traded on these shores but they didn’t build them. A more probable builder is the Malagasy people. I don’t think the Malagasy arrival is commonly known yet, it wasn’t to me until a few years ago. The Malgasies made the long sea journey from Indonesia to arrive in Madagascar and East Africa sometime between 500 and 1000 AD. As they would have been invaders into a recently and sparsely settled territory any groups landing on the continent would have been automatically at war with the Shona thus needing a fort for protection. Being much more technologically advanced than the Africans they would likely be familiar with stonework.
As it is said that Zimbabwe was a mining and trading community, as the Malagasy were seafarers it is likely they would be the more obvious candidate otherwise one has to explain where the traders of what is described as an extensive trade come from as the the Africans couldn’t possibly have gone to the buyers or known what to trade. Interestingly the Malagasies introduced the banana and an improved yam to Africa thus they had to land on African shores.
Zimbabwe had only been discovered by Europeans a few years before Haggard arrived in Durban. Very likely he was eager to see the ruins and did as he does have at least three stories in which Zimbabwe figures. Here he combines Zimbabwe, King Solomon and the Phoenicians.
As the party approaches Kukuanaland they are faced by a huge mountain range towering perhaps 15,000 to 18,000 feet into the sky. Facing them are two huge mountains named Queen Sheba’s Breasts, the Grand Tetons of Africa.
Here I have to mention a blogger (feministbookworm.wordpress.com) who pointed out the female arrangement of Kukuanaland. This escaped me in my previous readings but is of some interest. Haggard in a cryptic way has written a fairly pornographic story, especially for Victorian times. I’m sure most people didn’t get it even though Haggard provides a fairly obvious map although turned upside down. This is along the coy lines of various pop songs such as ‘Baby, let me bang your box.’ After shouting out this line several times allowing the average guy to think a woman is being propositioned the singer reveals he’s actually referring to a piano- box in musician’s slang equals piano. Box = a woman’s pudenda in sexual slang.
If one looks at Haggard’s map Sheba’s Breast’s are to the South while there is a triangle of mountains to the North. The triangle of three mountains forms a female Delta or box. In the middle between the Breasts and Delta is the Kukuana capitol called Loo. Loo is British slang for toilet or ‘shitter’ so we some scatology going on here.
This gets better. I jump ahead to the ending. The Englishmen are promised diamonds from King Solomon’s Mines. The mines are located within the Delta or pudenda. British slang of times for the female pudenda was Treasure Box. Thus the Englishmen are going to descend through the vagina into the womb of the mines where the diamonds are stored in actual treasure boxes. Humor, remember. Bear in mind that in Burroughs diamonds are of the female, actually Anima, treasure. Same here. This is going to get better.
Apart from Mother Earth, represented by Sheba’s pudenda, there are only two women in the story which Haggard smirkingly points out: One is a Bantu beauty who becomes attached to Good, the other is an old hag named Gagool. The latter forms the model for Burroughs’ old Black crone in Gods of Mars and Nemone’s guardian in Tarzan And The City Of Gold.
Both accompany the three White men to King Solomon’s mines. At whatever age Burroughs first read this the impressions stuck. This stuff was current literature to him while Classics to us. One must imagine the excitement with which these novels were read. Readers of Opar Tarzan novels (Return, Jewels, Golden Lion and Invincible) will immediately recognize the setup although there are differences.
Always one to employ horror effects Haggard is at his best in this early novel. The group descended as it were through the vagina into the depths of the womb. Along the way are giant stalactites. (Penises?) Then they enter a chamber in which the dead kings of Kukuana are preserved. Rather than Egyptian mummification they are set beneath a drip being turned into stalactites or, in other words, big pricks. Seems to me like an obvious joke. A huge figure of death presides over the immortal enclave.
Proceeding further they come upon a door set in the wall blocking the way. The door is a huge slab several feet thick operated by a hidden mechanism that lifts the slab vertically into the ceiling. Gagool with a hidden movement releases the door which slowly and efficiently retracts into the ceiling. The party can now enter the treasure room or womb. The door stands for men’s sexual desire for the female. As with the hymen without equal desire on the part of the woman entrance is barred but with woman’s compliance the way opens easily.
Inside the room or womb are the treasure chests containing unlimited value in diamonds.
After taunting the men Gagool makes a break for the door having released the lever that closes it. She is held back by Foulata who worshipped Good. Stabbed by Gagool she falls to the ground but has successfully delayed Gagool. In attempting to roll under the descending slab the tardy witch is crushed flatter than a piece of paper. The men are now trapped in the womb but they have a candle for light. Quatermain stuffs his pockets with stones while filling a basket Foulata brought.
Here’s the classic B movie part: While waiting for death they notice that the air remains fresh. Good discovers a trap door in a corner. Opening this they descend as it were into the bowels of this elogated represention of a woman who might represent Mother Earth or the Great Mother thus forming a collective Anima for the three White men. Anticipating She a little. A bizarre Anima for Haggard also. OK, I’ve got a weird sense of humor. I’ve always known it but that doesn’t make it less funny. No longer having a light they are forced to feel their way through the tunnels. The tunnels eerily represent the intestines. Haggard is getting really scatological here as you know what emerges from intestines.
As they pick their way along Good falls into a stream that greatly resembles the urethra. Fortunately Quatermain has some matches. One is used to locate Good clinging to a rock in midstream, possibly meant as a kidney stone as a joke. Hauled ashore they backtrack and resume their way. Curtis spots a dim light toward which they move. The opening narrows down to the point that the men have to squeeze through tumbling out into the diamond shaft like so many turds. Haggard must have been gleeful at what he was getting away with.
Climbing out of the pit they discover they have returned to the entrance. Thus vagina and rectum are only a short distance apart. Anatomically correct as it were. Haggard had a fine sense of humor.
While adapting the topography for his own needs one can easily see how Burroughs replicates Haggards’ design in Opar. Burroughs designed a long straight corridor but broken by a fifteen foot or so gap. In Jewels of Opar Tarzan falls through the gap dropping into a pool of water or river much as in Mines. Proceeding further he enters he jewel room of Opar filling his pouch as he had neither pockets or basket.
Opar itself replicates the Treasure House of Kukuanaland. The gold vaults represent the head of the female figure or perhaps only one of Sheba’s breasts. Proceeding down the corridor, or Great Road of Kukuanaland one comes to the sacrificial chamber situated much as the city of Loo. Proceeding from the chamber one comes to the exit. This is described by Burroughs as a narrow crack or cleft in the wall to pass through which Tarzan had to turn his shoulders sideways. So, Opar and Kukuanaland are built according to the same scheme.
Obviously the memory popped into Burroughs’ mind in The Return Of Tarzan, developed in Jewels of Opar and Golden Lion and came to perfection in Tarzan The Invincible. It would seem clear that ERB understood the sexual structure of King Solomon’s Mines.
If we go back to the other end of Kukuanaland we have the two towering mountains known as Queen Sheba’s Breasts. In order to prevent anyone taking a low level route between the Breasts there is a perpendicular barrier running between the breasts rising several thousand feet. Odd geological formation. Rising 4000 feeet above the breasts themselves are the nipples. That should be enough to make anyone laugh.
A recurrent theme in the stories is a juxtaposition of ice with summer weather, often associated with a woman as here. Perhaps Haggard had a cold, cold mother.
While the party is both starving and thirsting they find neither game nor water until Umbopo discovers some melon patches providing food and water until they reach the snow line. Soon they come to the nipple rising sheer from the breast. At the base of the nipple is a cave. This cave may possibly have been appropriated as the entrance to Opar’s gold vaults in Burroughs. In the cave is the frozen body of Da Silvestre who made the map they have been following. The bushman servant freezes to death during the night so they set him over by Da Silvestre. There’s a joke here but I don’t get.
Continuing down Sheba’s left breast they reach below the snow line. The boys spot an antelope way off there, long shot, but Quatermain makes it, cleanly knocking out a vertebrae in the neck. While cleaning up in an adjacent stream and eating they are surprised by a band of Kukuana and taken.
Umbopo who signed on back in Durban always had this mysterious royal air about him and now we’re going to find out why. For those contemporaries who insist that no book should violate their enlightened prejudices whether the book be as old as Homer or not they may feel uncomfortable reading this book. By and large Haggard shares the attitudes toward race, gender and whatever of his times rather than Liberal notions of today. Can be painful for certain types.
Nevertheless Haggard has a deep admiration for the Zulu tribes and a kind of understanding one toward the lesser Bushman and Hottentots. The Zulus are uniformly tall and well built while Quatermain and Good are smaller and more comical in appearance. Only Sir Henry Curtis is of the same stature, slightly larger, as the Zulus. He seems to stand in for what is otherwise a race of inferior stature.
There is a great fifty foot wide road that runs from the barrier of Sheba’s Breasts to Sheba’s Delta. The road is over a hundred miles long with Loo in the center.
The city of Loo is modeled after the encampment of the Zulu chief, Chaka. The details Haggard describes are undoubtedly accurate. Chaka flourished 1830-40 while the last of his line, Cetywayo, ruled during Haggard’s tenure in Africa. His fictional king is called Twala. We now discover that Twala is Umbopo’s brother. The latter was rightful heir but Gagool who is represented as being hundreds of years old favored Twala expelling Umbopo and his mother which is why he was in Durban. His identity is assured because of an Uroboros that encircles his waist. This snake appears to be a birth mark rather than a tatoo.
After accepting a rifle from Curtis as a gift Twala sends three chain mail shirts of medieval manufacture which proves that Zimbabwe was formerly occupied by another race, I suppose.
We have a civil war brewing here as Umbopa asserts his rights. Before the war develops Twala holds a ceremony I find really interesting, the smelling out of witches. The regiments were assembled. In this case Gagool runs up and down the ranks smelling out the witches. Anyone she indicates is removed from the ranks and immediately killed. This was an actual Zulu custom. Haggard portrays them more than once in what is his pretty decent historyof the Zulus in the novels.
Interestingly under the African president of the United States we have the same situation occurring. Obama denounces those in opposition to him essentially as witches. While currently we are put under surveillance the time may shortly arrive when we are merely arrested and despatched. Thus the innate African soul reasserts itself hundreds of years out of Africa. Of course, Obama was born in Kenya but he didn’t live there.
After the smelling out the regiments align themselves according to their allegiance. The three White men suit up on the side of the pretender, Umbopo. In his admiration of the Impi battle plan Haggard has the Whites disdain to use firearms preferring to show Whites returned to primitive savagery. Of course he normalizes the British and Zulu societies so that any difference is perceived but not real.
If you want to how this attitude was digested by the British public rent a copy of the movie If c. 1965. A British public school story that viewed better the first time around for me but still of interest. I might rent it again, though.
It is at this point of the story that the ‘White giant’ Sir Henry Curtis took his place in the Zulu ranks to show White supremacy that is when the actual basis of Tarzan took place in Burroughs’ mind.
The three Whites are the only ones wearing chain mail so that they come through bruised but alive. Without the chain mail, of course, all three would have been killed many times over. Perhaps the chain mail is symbolic of the science of the Maxim.
My feeling is that Haggard was so enamored of primitive Zulu warfare as organized by Chaka that he thrilled himself by placing the three in their ranks. Haggard had his peculiarities. As I say, he seemed to reject science.
Umbopo’s troops triumph over greater odds while King Twala is captured. Sentenced to die he demands the right to hand to hand combat selecting Curtis as his adversary.
Thus a duel ensues providing two or three pages of excitement in which a very hard battle is fought. Curtis decapitates Twala proving I suppose that on their own turf, evenly matched, the White Man is the greater.
Morally, however, Haggard gives the nod to Umbopo and the Zulus. Umbopo apparently feels a bond has been vilolated between the trio and himself. He offers them wifes, land and honors if they choose to stay in Kukuanaland. They instead choose to gather diamonds from Sheba’s treasure box. Umbopo is disgusted that White men care about nothing but money. Haggard sheepishly agrees with Umbopo but the trio nevertheless collect their diamonds and scoot, setting themselves up splendidly in England where money matters. Regardless of Haggard’s moral it is clear that the Kukuanas have no use for money in their primitive society while being broke in London is a sort of hell.
One wonders whether when Umbopo sent Gagool with them he knew that he was sending them to their deaths. Their return was after all rather miraculous. Leaving Kukuanaland the three arrive safely and rich in England.
Burroughs read not only King Solomon’s Mines, She and Allan Quatermain but probably the whole corpus. What he read before 1911 was obviously the most influential on him through the twenties. So an an investigator, Haggard’s novels before 1911 are the one to familiarize oneself with first. The very late Treasure Of The Lake however did influence Tarzan Triumphant.
Sir Henry Curtis was a key element in the formation of the idea of Tarzan and a role model. I suspect that Treasure Island by Stevenson provided he means to get the Claytons to Africa. Evolution provided the background of Kala and Tarzan’s life with the apes.
Whether Good or Quatermain had any influence on the character of Paul D’Arnot or not I’m not sure. He may have evolved from Dupin of Poe’s Murders In The Rue Morgue forming a double for Tarzan not unlike the narrator and Dupin of Murders.
I have explained the probable relationship of Opar to Sheba’s treasure box. That seems pretty secure to me.
Haggard developed the story line of the preamble and journey to the scene of action, a flurry of action in the crisis and the return home. Burroughs seems to follow this format although he can introduce picaresque elements.
The landscape and terrain of Burroughs is quite similar to Haggard’s. Over the years as Haggard read Burroughs’ novels there are Burroughsian elements that creep into Haggard’s work. Treasure Of The Lake bears a number of similarities to Burroughs especially the elephant dum dum. That also owes a great deal to Kipling and Mowgli. A stunning scene in Haggard. I would really start with Treasure Of The lake and then begin with King Solomon’s Mines, She and Allan Quatermain.
La, of course, is derived from the next novel, She.
November 13, 2009
Review by R.E. Prindle
Vernon, Alex: On Tarzan, 2008, UGeorgia Press
This book reads almost like the cover of The Doors LP Strange Days. You’ve entered into some kind of literary twilight zone. This is perhaps the most eccentric book I’ve ever read. I can’t believe it was actually published- and by a University press!
Alex Vernon has a PhD and is an Associate Professor at Hendrix College. Must have been founded by Jimi before he OD’d. I’m flabbergasted that the guy has a job. Average looking Joe from the back cover. Happy, smiling. Doesn’t look like he’d be sex obsessed but it could be a problem for him.
The phallus on the cover dismayed me but prepared me for the sex driven content. Zany, zany, zany. A large phallus rises out of what might be the swamp, symbol of the female, or perhaps jungle growth meant to represent pubic hair.
When Vernon says On Tarzan he doesn’t mean Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs he means Tarzan as a ‘living’ entity to which history Burroughs is only one contributor albeit an important one, Philip Jose Farmer almost eclipses Burroughs as a contributor to the Tarzan ethos in Vernon’s mind. Mainly for Farmer’s outrageous sex episodes.
Tarzan ethos is about it. Everything is thrown indiscriminately into the stew pot. Books, movies, TV shows, articles, even artefacts, Tarzan underwear. Vernons says he interviewed Bill Hillman at ERBzine although it is difficult to find what he gleaned from the conversation, wait a minute, maybe the reference to the 1893 Columbian Expo. Bill was probably hot on that topic.
As literary critic Vernon doesn’t so much analyze as create. He uses Tarzan body parts from various books and films to create his own monster, and his Tarzan is monstrous.
As I say he uses his sources as though making a stew; mixing them up to creat a sex driven Tarzan that no twelve year would recognize as his hero.
Vernon doesn’t seem able to distinguish the motives, the agendas of the various sources who are projecting their own inner world on Tarzan such as Bo and John Derek in their vision of The Big Bwana. I didn’t say Banana; I said Bwana. Melding these sources doesn’t create a ‘biographical composite’ of Tarzan that all can agree on; it is merely the projection of Vernon’s own inner psyche.
Apparently Vernon’s approach is a valid historical literary criticism technique in today’s academic environment. It’s not what you say but who you say it about. As I say it goes beyond interpretation or revisionism into creating an alternate universe.
The approach intrigued me. In that spirit I offer my own creation of Tarzan and a revisionist/creation of history. In the view of facts as they might be construed by a fanatic with an agenda I offer Tarzan as an agent of Globalism serving as the first viceroy of Africa.
Mr. Vernon keeps talking about a colonial period as if such a thing has ever existed. His professors must have been from the stone age. As advanced thinkers know what these prehistoric monsters refer to as colonialism was in reality the early stages of what is now recoginized as Globalism. This how Globalism began. In the very early stages all cultures were relatively distinct, living in separate well defined areas. The Chinese were in China, Africans were in Africa, Europeans were in Europe. Further relatively internal distinct sub-divisions can be made on all continents. It was clear to the most primitive minds, well, actually European primitive minds, that what was needed to…well for whatever reason they had…to make the world a more secure place was Globalism. Wars were anathema but one couldn’t create Globalism without some really destructive wars so they forged fearlessly ahead secure in the purity of their intentions. This posited the problem of bringing together in most cases people who didn’t know other cultures even existed, those ‘lesser races outside the law.’
As I say Europeans were then and are now the promoters of the cause of Globalism. It’s good for people and it’s good for the Global Money Trust. Initially Europe sent out ships and explorers to the four corners of the Earth. In that far off, almost once upon a, time unlike today local populations were hostile to what they mistakenly called invaders. Sometimes their resistance involved military force, in other words war; so in self-defense it was necessary to mow the heathens down. We had screw guns and maxims and they didn’t. Rather foolish on their part while causing Globalists a great deal of emotional distress. Almost had a nervous breakdown. It could have been avoided. Globalists only wanted peace if they had understood.
Gradually the peoples of the world learned that they going to have to peacefully interact if even at gunpoint. But then there was disagreement in Europe. the Global barriers were being lowered as this beneficent ideology of Globalism was slowly accepted. As expected there were reactionary elements. In both cases the criminal Germans were the hard nuts. They insisted on the right to be themselves rather than submerging their identity into what the Globalists wanted. Their resistance was futile; Globalists got what they wanted anyway, the Globe be damned. After the second German petulance Globalists crushed them. Some wanted to exterminate the whole lot, raze Germany to the ground and turn it into pasture land. I don’t have to tell you that gentler and more loving heads prevailed. Globalists gave the African troops leave to loot Strasbourg and rape the German women and let it go at that. You see, there are some sacrifices we all have to make.
It is best not to oppose Globalist wishes. Globalism will be had on their terms or they’ll get rid of ya. As another example, the Kulaks of Russia opposed Globalist wishes and it was necessary to exterminate them to the man, woman and child. I won’t tell you the intense emotional pain that incident cost the Globalists, those were not crocodile tears as often alleged. People won’t be happy unless the blessings of globalism are universal. That’s what Globalism means, universal.
Now, one of the great advocates of Globalism was the progressive American ‘fantasy’ writer, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Fantasy, humph. As Edgar’s avatar of Globalism he created the character of Tarzan the Ape Man. The brilliance of the ape man is almost incomprehensible. As Mr. Vernon points out Tarzan united the fauna being man and beast at one and the same time. His being encompassed all evolution, unlike the rest of us who are products of only a few of the commoner genes, as he passed through the stages of Beast, Negro and European. How fitting that Edgar Rice Burroughs should make him the very first Commissar, even Czar, of Africa. Yes, he was White. But only we Liberal White people have understood our manifest destiny to bring all peoples together in Globalism. Well, yes, there were mistakes and, quite frankly, genocides, but they were necessary and not arbitrary. They were decided on only after long and careful deliberation. It was like pruning a tree to make it more beautiful. When Chairman Mao finished pruning the recalcitrant Chinese there were 50 million branches on the ground, but, what of it? As Mao himself benignly and poetically, he was a poet you know, intoned: ‘So? Will the flowers not blossom in spring and cool breezes not blow across waving fields of grain.’ Of course they would and as proof they have and will continue to do so. How ridiculous! There’s always new babies to replace those gone. Come on!
Edgar very cleverly has that man we now know as a villain, Stalin, seek to replace Tarzan as Commissar because he was in fact too just and too gentle with his charges. Rather than compelling Africans to hew to the Party line Edgar portrays Tarzan letting the Africans do as they please so long as they didn’t kill each other. That was in his brilliant history he called Tarzan the Invincible, and he wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t unreasonable to send a replacement from Moscow but Edgar perversely has Tarzan defeat his replacement. You can read about it in Edgar’s history yourself.
So, Mr. Vernon has expended a great deal of effort to prove the unprovable. He completely mistakes the reason for the US presence in Viet Nam. This was not nation building as he has been induced by his professors to believe. This was a necessary stage in the creation of Globalism. Today the two halves of Viet Nam have been reunited because of their efforts and Globalism is progressing nicely there, thank you very much.
A larger problem was to bring China into the Globalist empire.. But that was cleverly done by inducing them to manufacture big screen TVs for not only the province of the United States but the world. Today they are the Globe’s largest manufacturer of flat screen TVs and tennis shoes and are assisting in the Globalism of Africa sending their tens of millions of excess personnel to help the Africans enter the Global economy.
I certainly appreciate the effort Mr. Vernon has put into his project; it is regretable he has been so ill informed about the difference between Globalism and colonialism. Colonialism is when you occupy a country for selfish reasons; Globalism is when you subject or exterminate a people for the right reasons.
The Global Cabal is sorry people had to die. As the old saw says: You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Its better to be the hammer than the nail.
I’m sorry Mr. Vernon but I can’t recommend your book.
May 8, 2009
The Novels Of George Du Maurier
Peter Ibbetson, Trilby, The Martian
Singers and Dancers and Fine Romancers
What do they know?
What do they know?
Review by R.E. Prindle
Table of Contents
II Review of Trilby
III. Review of The Martian
IV. Review of Peter Ibbetson
Peter Ibbetson is the first of the three novels of George Du Maurier. As elements of the later two novels are contained in embryo in Ibbetson it would seem that Du Maurier had the three novels at least crudely plotted while a fourth dealing with politics but never realized is hinted at. Actually Du Maurier has Ibbetson who writes this ‘autobiography’ write several world changing novels from inside the insane asylum to which he had been committed. In the Martian Barty Josselin wrote several world changing books while ‘possessed’ by an alien intelligence, in a way, not too dissimilar to the situation of Ibbetson. Du Maurier himself comes across, as I have said, as either a half demented lunatic or a stone genius.
He has Ibbetson and the heroine, The Duchess of Towers write in code while they read encrypted books. Du Maurier says that Ibbetson and hence the two following books deal with weighty subjects but in a coded manner that requires attention to understand.
On page 362 of the Modern Library edition he says:
…but more expecially in order to impress you, oh reader, with the full significance of this apocalyptic and somewhat minatory utterance (that may haunt your fever sense during your midnight hours of introspective self-communion), I have done my best, my very best to couch it in the obscurest and most unitelligible phraseology, I could invent. If I have failed to do this, if I have unintentionally made any part of my meaning clear, if I have once deviated by mistake into what might almost appear like sense, mere common-sense- it is the fault of my half French and wholly imperfect education.
So, as Bob Dylan said of the audiences of his Christian tour: Those who were meant to get it, got it, for all others the story is merely a pretty story or perhaps fairy tale. The fairy tale motif is prominent in the form of the fee Tarapatapoum and Prince Charming of the story. Mary, the Duchess of Towers is Tarapatapoum and Peter is Prince Charming. It might be appropriate here to mention that Du Maurier was highly influenced by Charles Nodier the teller of fairy tales of the Romantic period. Interestingly Nodier wrote a story called Trilby. Du Maurier borrowed the name for his novel Trilby while he took the name Little Billee from a poem by Thackeray. A little background that makes that story a little more intelligible.
Those that watch for certain phobias such as anti-Semitism and Eugenics will find this story of Du Maurier’s spolied for them as was Trilby and probably The Martian. One is forced to concede that Du Maurier deals with those problems in a coded way. Whether his meaning is derogatory or not lies with your perception of the problems not with his.
Thus on page 361 just above the previous quote Du Maurier steps from concealment to deliver a fairly open mention of Eugenics. After warning those with qualities and attributes to perpetuate those qualities by marrying wisely, i.e. eugenically, he breaks out with this:
Wherefore, also, beware and be warned in time, ye tenth transmitters of a foolish face, ye reckless begetters of diseased or puny bodies, with hearts and brains to match! Far down the corridors of time shall clubfooted retribution follow in your footsteps, and overtake you at every turn.
Here we have a premonition of Lothrop Stoddards Overman and Underman. The best multiply slowly while the worst rear large families. Why anyone would find fault with the natural inclination to marry well if one’s handsome and intelligent with a similar person is beyond me. Not only is this natural it has little to do with the Eugenics Movement. Where Eugenics falls foul, and rightly so, is in the laws passed to castrate those someone/whoever deemed unworthy to reproduce. This is where the fault of the Eugenics Movement lies. Who is worthy to pass such judgment? Certainly there are obvious cases where neutering would be appropriate and beneficial for society but in my home town, for instance, no different than yours I’m sure, the elite given the opportunity would have had people neutered out of enmity and vindictiveness. that is where the danger lies. There is nothing wrong with handsome and intelligent marrying handsome and intelligent. How may people want a stupid, ugly partner?
Du Maurier had other opinions that have proved more dangerous to society. One was his belief in the virtues of Bohemians, that is say, singers and dancers and fine romancers. On page 284 he says:
There is another society in London and elsewhere, a freemasonry of intellect and culture and hard work- la haute Ashene du talent- men and women whose names are or ought to be household words all over the world; many of them are good friends of ine, both here and abroad; and that society, which was good enough for my mother and father, is quite good enough for me.
Of course, the upper Bohemia of proven talent. But still singers and dancers and fine romancers. And what do they know? Trilby was of the upper Bohemia as was Svengali but Trilby was hypnotized and Svengali but a talented criminal. What can a painter contribute but a pretty picture, what can a singer do but sing his song, I can’t think of the dancing Isadora Duncan or the woman without breaking into laughter. And as for fine romancers, what evil hath Jack Kerouac wrought.
I passed part of my younger years in Bohemia, Beat or Hippie circles, and sincerely regret that Bohemian attitudes have been accepted as the norm for society. Bohemia is fine for Bohemians but fatal for society which requires more discipline and stability. Singers and dancers and fine romancers, wonderful people in their own way, but not builders of empires.
In that sense, the promotion of Bohemianism, Du Maurier was subversive.
But the rules of romancing are in the romance and we’re talking about Du Maurier’s romance of Peter Ibbetson.
Many of the reasons for criticizing Du Maurier are political. The man whether opposed to C0mmunist doctrine or not adimired the Bourgeois State. He admired Louis-Philippe as the Beourgeois king of France. This may sound odd as he also considered himself a Bohemian but then Bohemians are called into existence by a reaction to the Bourgeoisie. Perhaps not so odd. He was able to reconcile such contradictions. Indeed he is accused of having a split personality although I think this is false. Having grown up in both France and England he developed a dual national identity and his problem seems to be reconciling his French identity with his English identity thus his concentration on memory.
In this novel he carefully builds up a set of sacred memories of his childhood. He very carefully introduces us to the people of his childhood. Mimsy Seraskier his little childhood sweetheart. All the sights and sounds and smells. In light of the quote I used telling how he disguises his deeper meaning one has to believe that he is giving us serious theories he has worked out from science and philosophy.
Having recreated his French life for us Peter’s parents die and Ibbetson’s Uncle Ibbetson from England adopts him and takes him back to the Sceptered Isle. Thus he ceases to be the French child Pasquier and becomes the English child Peter Ibbetson. A rather clean and complete break. From this point on his childhood expectations are disappointed with the usual psychological results. He develops a depressed psychology. The cultural displacement prevents him from making friends easily or at all. His Uncle who has a difficult boorish personality is unable to relate to a sensitive boy with a Bohemian artistic temperament. Hence he constantly demeans the boy for not being like himself and has no use for him.
This is all very skillfully handled. We have intimations that bode no good for Peter. The spectre is prison. The hint of a crime enters into the story without anything actually being said. But the sense of foreboding enters Peter’s mind and hence the reader’s. This is done extremely well. It’s a shame the Communists are in control of the media so that they can successfully denigrate any work of art that contradicts or ignores their beliefs. For instance the term bourgeois itself. The word is used universally as a contemptuous epithet even though the Bourgeois State was one of the finest created. Why then contempt? Simply because the Communists must destroy or denigrate any success that they canot hope to surpass. I was raised believing that what was Bourgeois was contemptible without ever knowing what Bourgeois actually meant. It is only through Du Maurier at this late stage in life that I begin to realize what the argument really was and how I came to accept the Communist characterization. I’m ashamed of myself.
Hence all Du Maurier criticism is unjust being simply because it is the antithesis of Communist beliefs. The man as a writer is very skillful, as I have said, a genius. If I were read these novels another couple of times who knows what riches might float up from the pages.
Colonel Ibbetson apprentices Peter to an architect, a Mr Lintot, which, while not unhappy, is well below Peter’s expectations for his fairy Prince Charming self. As a lowly architect he is placed in a position of designing huts for the workers of the very wealthy. The contrast depresses him even further. He has been disappointed in love and friendship and then he is compelled by business exigencies to attend a ball given by a wealthy client. He definitely feels out of place. Psychologically incapable of mixing he stands in a corner.
At this ball the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, The Duchess of Towers, is in attendance. From across the room she seems to give him an interested glance. Peter can only hope, hopelessly. As a reader we have an intimation that something will happen but we can’t be sure how. I couldn’t see. Then he sees her in her carriage parading Rotten Row in Hyde Park. She sees him and once again it seems that she gives him a questioning look.
Then he takes a vacation in France where he encounter her again. After talking for a while he discovers that she is a grown up Mimsey Seraskier, his childhood sweetheart. Thus his French childhood and English adulthood are reunited in her. Wow! There was a surprise the reader should have seen coming. I didn’t. I had no trouble recognizing her from childhood in France but Du Maurier has handled this so skillfully that I am as surprised as was Peter. I tipped my imaginary hat to Du Maurier here.
Perhaps I entered into Du Maurier’s dream world here but now I began to have flashbacks, a notion that I had read this long ago, most likely in high school or some other phantasy existence. I can’t shake the notion but I can’t remember reading the book then at all. Don’t know where I might have come across it. Of course that doesn’t mean an awful lot. If asked if I had ever read a Charles King novel I would have said no but when George McWhorter loaned me a couple to read that he had in Louisville I realized I had read one of them before. Eighth grade. I could put a handle on that but not Peter Ibbetson. Perhaps Du Marurier has hypnotized me. Anyway certain images seem to stick in my mind from a distant past.
It was at this time that Mary, the Duchess if Towers, formerly Mimsy, enters Peter’s dream, in an actual real life way. This is all well done, Peter dreamt he was walking toward an arch when two gnomish people tried to herd him into prison. Mary appears and orders the gnomes to vanish which they do. ‘That’s how you have to handle that.’ She says. And that is very good advice for dreams that Du Maurier gives. As we’ll see Du Maurier has some pretensions to be a psychologist.
She then instructs Peter in the process of ‘dreaming true.’ In such a manner they can actually be together for real in a shared dream. Now, Trilby, while seemingly frivolous, actually displays a good knowledge of hypnotism. More than that it puts Du Maurier in the van of certain psychological knowledge. Hypnotism and psychology go together. Without an understanding of hypnotism one can’t be a good psychologist. If he wasn’t ahead of Freud at this time he was certainly even with him. Remember this is 1891 while Freud didnt’ surface until 1895 and then few would have learned of him. He wrote in German anyway.
Freud was never too developed on auto-suggestion. Emile Coue is usually attributed to be the originator of auto-suggestion yet the technique that Mary gives to Peter is the exact idea of auto-suggestion that Coue is said to have developed twenty or twenty-five years on.
Du Maurier speaks of the sub-conscious which is more correct than the unconscious. He misunderstands the nature of the subconscious giving it almost divine powers but in many ways he is ahead of the game. Now, Ibbetson was published in 1891 which means that Du Maurier was in possession of his knowledge no later than say 1889 while working on it from perhaps 1880 or so on. It will be remembered that Lou Sweetser, Edgar Rice Burroughs mentor in Idaho, was also knowledgable in psychology in 1891 but having just graduated a couple of years earlier from Yale. So Freud is very probably given too much credit for originating what was actually going around. This earlier development of which Du Maurier was part has either been suppressed in Freud’s favor or has been passed over by all psychological historians.
So, Mary gives Peter psychologically accurate information on auto-suggestion so that he can ‘dream true.’ I don’t mean to say that anyone can share another’s dreams which is just about a step too far but by auto-suggestion one can direct and control one’s dreams. Auto-suggestion goes way back anyway. The Poimandre of Hermes c. 300 AD is an actual course in auto-suggestion.
Peter is becoming more mentally disturbed now that his denied expectations have returned to haunt him in the person of Tarapatapoum/Mimsey/Mary. Once again this is masterfully done. The clouding of his mind is almost visible. Over the years he has generated a deep seated hatred for Colonel Ibbetson even though the Colonel, given his lights, has done relatively well by him. Much of Peter’s discontent is internally generated by his disappointed expectations. The Colonel has hinted that he might be Peter’s father rather than his Uncle. This completely outrages Peter’s cherished understanding of his mother and father. The Colonel according to Peter was one of those guys who claimed to have made every woman he’d ever met. One must bear in mind that Peter is telling the story while the reader is seeing him become increasingly unstable.
While Peter doesn’t admit it to himself he confronts the Colonel with the intention of murdering him. He claims self-defense but the court doesn’t believe it nor does the reader. It’s quite clear the guy was psycho but, once again, Du Maurier handles this so skillfully that one still wonders. Given the death penalty his friends and supporters, the influential Duchess of Towers, get the sentence commuted to life imprisonment.
Then begins Peter’s double life in prison that goes on for twenty years. By day a convict, at night Peter projects hemself into a luxurious dream existence with his love, Mary, the Duchess of Towers. Quite insane but he has now realized his expections if only in fantasy. Now, this novel as well as Du Maurier’s other novels is textually rich. The style is dense while as Du Maurier tells us it is written in more than one key, has encoded messages, so I’m concentrating on only the main thread here. That concerns memory.
While it is possible to subconsciously manage one’s dreams, I do it to a minor extent, of course it is impossible for two people to dream toether and share that dream. This is to venture into the supernatural. Spiritualism and Theosophy both dealing with the supernatural as does all religion including Christianity, were at their peak at this time. Du Maurier has obviously studied them. Just because one utilizes one’s knowledge in certain ways to tell a story doesn’t mean one believes what one writes. Ibbetson is written so well that the writer seems to have fused himself with the character. If I say Du Maurier believes that may not be true but as the same themes are carried through all his novels without a demurrer it seems likely.
Du Maurier seems to be pleading a certain understanding of the subconscious giving it as many or more supernatural powers as Freud himself will later. This might be the appropriate place to speculate on Du Maurier’s influence on Mark Twain. We know Twain was an influence on Burroughs so perhaps both were.
Before he died Twain wrote a book titled the Mysterious Stranger. This was twenty-five years after Peter Ibbetson. Operator 44, the Mysterious Stranger, is a time time traveler who has some sort of backstair connecting years as a sort of memory monitor. Peter and Mary over the years work out a system that allows them to travel back through times even to prehistoric times. Thus Peter is able to sketch from life stone age man hunting mastodons, or Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. They are present at these events but as sort of ghost presences without substance. they have no substance hence cannot affect reality.
This would be a major them in fifties science fiction in which, for instance, a time traveler steps on a grub, then comes back to his present time finding everyone talking a different language. Change one item and you change all others. Du Maurier avoids this problem that he very likely thought of in this clever way.
We can clearly see the future of twentieth century imaginiative writing taking form here. One can probably trace several twentieth century sci-fi themes back to Du Maurier.
Peter and Mary have a magic window through they can call up any scene within their memories. In their dream existence they are dependent on memory they can only re-experience, they cannot generate new experiences. The memory extends back genetically although Du Maurier speaks in terms of reincarnation. Peter hears Mary humming a tune he has never heard before. Mary explains that the tune is a family melody written by an ancestress hundreds of years before. Thus one has this genetic memory persisting through generations. This gives Du Maurier room to expatiate on the persistence of memory through past, present and future.
Du Maurier has worked out an elaborate scheme in which memory unites past, present and future, into a form of immortality. This is actually a religious concept but a very beautiful concept, very attractive in its way.
Peter and Mary had elected to stay at one age- twenty-six to twenty-eight- so for twenty years they retained their youthful form and beauty. Then one night Peter enters the mansion of his dreams through a lumber room to find the way blocked. He knows immediately that Mary has died. He then learns that in attempting to save a child from a train she was herself killed.
Peter goes into an insane rage attacking the prison guards while calling each Colonel Ibbetson. Clearly insane and that’s where the send him. The mad house. Originally he continues to rage so they put him in a straight jacket where he remains until his mind calms enough to allow him to dream. In his dream he returns to a stream in France. Here he believes he can commit suicide in his dream which should be shock enough to stop his heart in real life. Something worth thinking about. Filling his pockets with stones he means to walk in over his head. Then, just ahead he spies the back of a woman sitting on a log. Who else but Mary. She has done what has never been done before, what even Houdini hasn’t been able to do, make it to back to this side.
Now outside their mansion, they are no longer young, but show their age. This is nicely done stuff. Of course I can’t replicate the atmosphere and feel but the Du Maurier feeling is ethereal. As I say I thought he was talking to me and I entered his fantasy without reserve.
Here’s a lot of chat about the happiness on the otherside. When Peter awakes back in the asylum he is calm and sane. He convinces the doctors and is restored to full inmate rights. Once himself again he begins to write those wonderful books that right the world.
One gets the impression that Du Maurier believes he himself is writing those immortal books that will change the world. Time and fashions change. Today he is thought a semi-evil anti- Semite, right wing Bourgeois writer. I don’t know if he’s banned from college reading lists but I’m sure his works are not used in the curriculum. I think he’s probably considered oneof those Dead White Men. Thus a great writer becomes irrelevant.
It’s a pity because from Peter Ibbetson through Trilby to The Martian he has a lot to offer. The Three States of Mind he records are thrilling in themselves, as Burroughs would say, as pure entertainment while on a more thoughtful read there is plenty of nourishment. Taken to another level his psychology is very penetrating. His thought is part of the mind of the times. Rider Haggard shares some of the mystical qualities. The World’s Desire is comparable which can be complemented by his Heart Of The World. The latter may turn out to be prophetic shortly. H.G. Wells’ In The Days Of The Comet fits into this genre also. Another very good book. Of course Burroughs’ The Eternal Lover and Kipling and Haggard’s collaboration of Love Eternal. Kipling’s Finest Story In The World might also fit in as well, I’m sure there are many others of the period of which I’m not aware. I haven’t read Marie Corelli but she is often mentioned in this context. You can actually slip Conan Doyle in their also.
Well, heck, you can slip the whole Wold Newton Universe, French and Farmerian in there. While there is small chance any Wold Newton meteor had anything to do with it yet as Farmer notes at about that time a style of writing arose concerned with a certain outlook that was worked by many writers each contributing his bit while feeding off the others as time went by.
I don’t know that Du Maurier is included in the Wold Newton Universe (actually I know he isn’t) but he should be. He was as influential on the group as any other or more so. He originated many of the themes.
Was Burroughs influenced by him? I think so. There was no way ERB could have missed Trilby. No possible way. If he read Trilby and the other two only once which is probable any influence was probably subliminable. ERB was not of the opinion that a book could change the world, so he disguised his more serious thoughts just as Du Maurier did his. He liked to talk about things though.
Singers and dancers. What do they know? What do they know? In the end does it really matter what they know. Time moves on, generations change, as they change the same ideas come around expressed in a different manner. They have their day then are replaced. The footprint in the concrete does remain. Genius will out.
Thuvia, Maid Of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Review by R.E. Prindle
Civilization And Its Malcontents
Let us say that for the fifty years or so before the 1920s there was a growing sense of societal malaise. This malaise was reflected most notably in the creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs psychological projection, Tarzan Of The Apes. One has to account for the immediate acceptation by society of such an absurdity. Tarzan, in fact, completely rejected civilization for the life of the romantic ‘unrestrained freedom’ of the jungle. The noble savage in fact.
Thus in a metaphor Burroughs reflected the malaise of his time so brilliantly that his creation was accepted as virtually a real person. Writers like Grant and Stoddard put the same theme into more scholarly terms. As noted, contrary to Richard Slotkin’s idea Grant had little or no influence on Burroughs while the slightly later Lothrop Stoddard whose three relevant works appeared only from 1920 to 1922 could have had no influence on Burroughs’ formative years. It seems probable that Burroughs did read Stoddard and was influenced by his work but only after his ideas were fully formed. Even then The Revolt Against Civilization appeared after Burroughs had examined some of the same problems in his rejected manuscript, Under The Red Flag of 1919.
The problem of the malcontents and their war on civilization was examined by a number of writers during the twenties and thirties so why Slotkin singled out Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard isn’t as clear as it might be. Postwar German cinema was intesnely concerned with the matter as why should it not? Germany was under asault by what Stoddard called the Underman. Nor need Slotkin think Stoddard was alone. I’m sure there were dozens of forgotten books prophesying the end of the world by one means or another including the Undermen of Communism.
The Underman, or the Communist, was not even a term unique to Stoddard. Gustave Le Bon, the French scholar on whose work Sigmund Freud based his study Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego wrote prolificly on the pschological foundations of the Underman. Freud based his book on Le Bon’s 1895 study The Psychology Of Crowds. Unless I’m mistaken he based his 1930 study Civilization And Its Discontents on Le Bon’s 1921 book The World In Revolt: A psychological Study Of Our Times.
On the cinematic side the problem eas examined in the great silent films The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari and Fritz Lang’s 1922 film Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler. Lang would follow that ten years later with the sound film The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse.
Even though Buroughs’ Under The Red Flag was rejected in 1919 he persisted, rewriting and extending the text into the 1926 story, The Moon Maid. This story reflects a possible reading of The Revolt Against Civilization but such a reading was much more evident in 1934′s Tarzan And The Lion Man.
The development of the problem was evident to all these writers which it seems to have escaped Slotkin who attributes the recognition of societal evolution to mere ‘racism’ in the writers. One thinks that perhaps Slotkin is too involved in his own agenda.
Rider Haggard enunciated the problem quite clearly in his 1888 novel Allan Quatermain in which Quatermain grouses about the ‘strict limits’ of civilization compared to the ‘natural’ life of the African Zulus. It might almost seem that the idea of Tarzan arose in Burroughs’ mind from that observation. In fact science was undermining all the comforting beliefs that mankind had been settled in for a hundred thousand years. During that long period characterized by the mental mode of what is called mythopoeic thinking man’s mind devoid of true knowledge projected a vision of reality that resulted in the notion of God. Thus reasoning from insufficient knowledge man’s mind came up with an erroneous result. You can’t get out of a mind what isn’t in it; all education is suggestion.
As Freud was to say man’s settled view of reality received its three great shocks when Galileo disproved the geocentric notion of the universe, Darwin disproved the uniqueness of man’s position in the animal kingdom and he, Freud, displaced the conscious mind with his vision of the unconscious mind. Once again Le Bon was there ahead of him.
Thus as the nineteenth century opened and progressed the bases of mankind’s notions of reality were shattered leaving him emotionally and intellectually bereft of foundations of belief. Adrift without an anchor.
As if that were not bad enough the great cataclysm that ushered in the modern era, The French Revolution, was based on the the absolute notion that not only were all men created equal but remained equal in all aspects of their existence. The advance of civilization would toss this certainty into the trash can of history also.
As civilization placed greater and greater demands on the intelligence and self-discipline of men and women the incontestable gap between those less intelligent and those more intelligent became more and more obvious. Thus as the century progressed the notion of the Overman and the Underman began to become clear.
At the same time the first tentative efforts at measuring the intellectual potential of the individual began to become possible. Of course the basic inequality of men and women in its physical aspect had always been apparent. Some men were naturally stronger and better muscled than others. But, even that was changing. The science of physical culture was making it possible for the 98 lb. weakling to develop himself into a man mountain. Thus artifically developed srongmen like the Great Sandow ushered in the golden age of the strong man topped off by Charles Atlas who guaranteed he could turn you into a man mountain if you followed his program.
There ws the promise that you could dethrone that bully and kick sand back in his face. On the other side Francis Galton was originating the first primitive tests to measure intelligence potential. Burroughs would have seen both proponents during his miraculous summer of 1893 at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. I mean to say that both facts entered his mind where they could be digested and emerge later. Nothing can come out of your mind that didn’t go in it.
And then after the turn of the century Binet devised he first actual IQ test. Thus, just as Sandow and Atlas could measure the size of muscles, the psychologists became able to measure the intelligence potential. Those with high IQs were set up; those with low IQs were cooked. The upshot was that all men were not created equal nor could they ever attain intellectual equality.
To a very large extent what became the Communist Party recognized the inequality while demanding equality against reason. Recognizing subconsciously, perhaps, that men could never be intellectual equals rather than try the futile task of raising the less fortunate they sought to destroy education which brings out the inequality but doesn’t create it. No matter what happens there are always going to be the more intelligent just as there will always be the physical stronger. As Le Bon points out, if you needed to hear it, nature don’t know from equality.
Thus the Communist Party devised the well sounding slogan- From each according to his ability; to each according to his need. Good plan for the needy, slavery for the able. The needy were organized beginning their struggle to achieve superiority by collective action. This was accomplished in Russia in 1917. The battle was joined.
Just as individuals are created with different capabilities so are peoples and races. Some can achieve and some can’t. Slotkin who must be a Communist thus takes offence at what he perceives to be, and is, an attitude of White Supremacy in Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard. While I am aware there are those who will disagree with White superiority it is nevertheless not an attitude but an evolutionary fact. That is the reason Communists have Darwin under attack. While Darwin doesn’t say it it is the inevitable result of his studies. Just as it was necessary for the Undermen to destroy education in the hopes of creating intellectual equality so it became necessary to destroy White achievement of the last five hundred years. The whites must be demonized and made to feel evil and inferior morally. That is the import of Slotkin’s Gunfighter Nation.
At that level all three writers are quilty. As has been stated in Canadian courts- Truth is not a defense. So there’s nothing to discuss. Might is right and whoever has the might will prevail.
It is a fact that all three writers were anti-Communists so it may be assumed that whatever Communists believe, they didn’t. And why should they? Might may be right but it can still be nonsense. Communism is a flawed ideology based on a false premiss. It always fails wherever it is introduced. Failure is not evidence of a bad plan in Communist eyes. One just continues to shovel sand against the tide and pray. So succeed or fail they always think they can succeed by the same flawed ideology. The fault for failure lies elsewhere.
In that sense Burroughs was wasting his time assailing this religion of failure with his Under The Red Flag and its successor The Moon Maid. The only people who would applaud his effort would be we non-Communists but he could never convince anyone with Communist leanings. Of course that wasn’t well understood at the time.
If Burroughs were accused of not believing in equality that would be true. Not only are John Carter and Tarzan superior to any contemporaries on two worlds but Burroughs has a whole hierarchy of value. John Carter is the Warlord of Mars ruling from the top city of Mars, Helium. The races of Mars pretty much reflect those of Earth and their relative stations. The main exception is the ruling Red race. As Whites do and have existed on Mars while at one time being the dominant race perhaps the Red race is some sort of amalgam of the various Eropean immigrants of the United States. I believe the Green Men represent the American Indian. Both roam the great plains while being essentially savages.
Tarzan though always spoken of as being White is described as a bronze giant. Bronze is a fairly dark metal so that Tarzan and the Red men of Mars may be more or less identical in color.
Tarzan is the man-god so their are none superior or even equal to him. Below him come the English who are the cream of mankind. Perhaps slightly below the English are the French and then the rest of the Whites. Tarzan himself is psychologically an animal having been raised by the Apes. Not your ordinary gorilla or Chimp but a species intermediate between Gorilla and the Negro. Slotkin hasn’t read enough Burroughs to make an intelligent comment but the undeniable attitude of Burroughs is enough for Slotkin to condemn him as an unregenerate bigot. The reader may believe as he likes. I have stated my opinion eslewhere and that is enough. Whether any of these opinions of Burroughs influenced American soldiers at My Lai is open to question. The burden of proof is on Slotkin and he hasn’t lifted it.
Along with the Undermen however, speaking through Tarzan, Burroughs is heartily discontented with civilization.
The spectacle of Chicago of the 1890s as a dirty unpleasant place haunts Burroughs. In contrast to the great White City of the Columbian Expo was what was after known as the Black City of everyday Chicago. The contrast was so strong and so offensive to the Undermen that within a year of the Expo’s closing the entire White City was burned to the ground with the exception of one building. Hence perhaps the decayed crimson and gold ruins of Opar and the crimson and gold twin cities of Helium. One wonders what effect the sight of the ruin of the White City had on Burroughs when he revisited the site sometime after his miraculous summer of ’93. The mind creates nothing from nothing so there must have been models of the great cities of ERB’s imagination.
There are points at which Burroughs and Communism have quite similar views. It will be remembered that Burroughs only reluctantly married and throughout his life expressed discontent with the institution. To some extent or other ERB must have been an advocate of free love. Communists would have heartily approved of ERB’s women who went nude except for certain ‘adornments.’ Communists of course want women to be accesible to any man who wants them at any time while they have always advocated bare breasts.
In many ways when the Communists appropriated Tarzan for the MGM movies it took but slight changes to make Tarzan conform to their ideals. The MGM Tarzan and Jane were not married. While Burroughs’ Tarzan was a highly educated on-again off-again sophisticate the MGM Tarzan was a stupid illiterate oaf but one who rejected the attributes of civilization high up there in the Cloud CuckooLand of the Mutia Plateau.
On the essentials though Burroughs rejected the demands of the Underman as The Moon Maid clearly shows. There was very little in Stoddard’s The Revolt Against Civilization that Burroughs would have disagreed with. At the same time there was probably very little he didn’t already believe although he had never codified his information as Stoddard had. Slotkin’s contention that Burroughs was influenced by either Grant or Stoddard is surely wrong. ERB had already taken hs positions before either men had begun to write.
Each writer was, in his own way, an advocate of White Supremacy. It now become clear that White Supremacy has nothing to do with a fringe element in Liberal ideology. All Whites are White Supremacists in that ideology unless they reject ‘White skin privilege’ whatever that is. Ayers and Dorhn explain in their recent Race Course In White Supremacy. Interestingly constructed title. Nor as Slotkin would have it is the attitude based on mere racial pride and bigotry but on a solid record of achievement unattained by any other people. The quesiton is not was it right for some people to rule or be supreme because in the nature of things some people will rule and be supreme but which of the peoples are most qualified to be supreme.
All people have had equal opportunity so that one can only conclude that the race has gone to the most qualified participant. In the contest the Whites unified the other peoples against them as must inevitably be the consequence of being the top people. As they say, getting there is the easy part; staying there is the hard part.
Slotkin merely represents the envious losers, the Undermen. who clutch at any firebrand to burn the White House down. Who is most to be admired and emulated? Builders or destroyers?
Finis of Thuvia, Maid Of Mars Review
Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars
Thuvia, Maid Of Mars
ERB was born in 1875 before education had been affected by the ideologies of either the Communists or Dewey. He was given a Classical versus scientific education in his critical Jr. High years. Thus he must have known Latin reasonably well.
The current High School system of the US came to fruition only during the twentieth century. Universal literacy only became realizable a very short time ago. Child labor didn’t disappear until after the Second World War. Thus ERB really had a favored childhood. ERB must have been familiar with memorization and drill; methods of education now highly discouraged. Therefore his education was directed toward a full consciousness than sink into the inherently criminal unconscious which Communist method prevails today. As there was no audio-visual culture at that time his was a print mentality through say 1910 when the movies began to have significance. By 1920, at least, he was fully involved in a print-movie culture hence a more unconscious mode of thinking. Still, his early training led him to a conscious approach to experiencing and analyzing.
One can’t know for sure which year he became aware but it is safe to assume 1888-90. Thus his immediate past extended back to about 1850 just as for me the twenties and thirties form my immediate past. Yours can be computed as about twenty years before you were born. As we grow up these years form the topic of discussion we overhear from our elders.
ERB’s near past then can be calculated as about 1800 so that dying in 1950 as he did his life straddled, as it were, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The nineteenth century was quite stunning in its diversity. As a boy and young man ERB was alive at the time of ‘the winning of the West.’ His early life was lived in the high tide of ‘Western world supremacy.’ His heroes such as Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wister epitomized the high tide. The ‘Scramble For Africa’ of the last quarter of the nineteenth century formed the centerpiece of his literary corpus, that of Tarzan Of The Apes. Also a key to his world outlook was the American Civil War that ended only ten years before he was born. While I have found no direct evidence of the San Domingo Moment that occurred at the very beginning of the nineteenth century it is possible that he conflated San Domingo with the Civil War in the Martian series when the First Born, or Negroes, defeated the White Holy Therns nearly exterminating them. Thus while ERB’s works are ‘pure entertainment’ if you look closely you’ll find some serious historical and social commentary. If it weren’t there you wouldn’t have the Liberal Coalition condemning him as a bigot. They do.
For the purposes of this essay I will use a professor from Case-Western Reserve by the name of Richard Slotkin as a representative of the Liberal Coalition or Communist school. In his essay Gunfighter Nation he lays the blame for everything he dislikes at the feet of Burroughs and two other writers- Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. We will get there soon enough but first lets consider the ‘humanitarian’ record of the Coalition. In one form or another the Coalition and its constituents date back to the French Revolution and hence San Domingo. Thus the Coalition was born in blood and murder. Murder on a grand scale, genocide in fact. The ideology of the Coalition is that of the Communists. The men Slotkin so roundly condemns are all anti-Communists so the ideological differences are clear.
Over the two centuries plus since the Revolution over a hundred million people have been murdered by units of the Coalition with hundreds of millions more projected for the near future. Yet Mr. Slotkin proposes to represent our trio as indescribably evil because he attributes the My Lai Massacre in Viet Nam not to them personally but as a direct result of their writings.
So there we have the basic issues. The hypocrisy of Mr. Slotkin should be self-evident.
What was the opinions of Messers Burroughts, Grant and Stoddard that so inflame Mr. Slotkin?
Quite simply they are conscious, objective scholars as opposed to the unconscious method of Liberal writers. Liberal views are products of the unconscious and cannot stand up to critical analysis. The unconscious is selfish and criminal hence wishful. The attitude is not what is but what I want.
The high tide of Western world supremacy was ending as it was cresting. This was noticeable to more acute intellects as early as 1900 and perhaps a decade earlier. Burroughs hints at this when he describes the Lotharians as an ancient auburn haired White race who ruled a thalassocracy or a maritime empire. Thus in his hierarchy of Martian races there was an earlier White race than the Therns.
The Lotharians sailed forth to win Mars for the city at home much as European mariners won the world for Europe beginning with the Portuguese voyages of the fifteenth century, Columbus and all the sea captains of the glorious age of discovery. The seamen were only defeated by the stay-at-homes who sabotaged their efforts.
Burroughs gives a valid interpretation of the age of European exploration and conquest from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries. Thus the story of the Lotharians, now shadows of their former selves, is a very poetic rendering of that history.
The period ended with the 1899-1900 enunciation of the Open Door Policy in China by the American SecretaryOf State, John Hay. China was in the process of being acquired by the European States at the time which the Open Door prevented thus guaranteeing China’s integrity. This was a sea change in world politics. the conquered peoples now began their counter offensive against the West.
This change was noted by Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard.
Madison Grant was of the earlier generation of TR while Burroughs and Stoddard were near contemporaries. Burroughs born in 1875, Stoddard in 1883. They both died in the same year, 1950.
None of the three applauded the sea change but lamented it, running counter to Liberal ideology which applauded the change and latterly aroused the ire of Prof. Slotkin. Thus he and his Coalition fellows demonize the three.
They were only writers.. Until recently Grant and Stoddard had been all but forgotten. Grant’s two best known works are The Passing Of The Great Race of 1915 and Conquest Of A Continent of 1933. His main offence in the eyes of the coalition is that the Great Race is the Nordic race, which implies superiority, and his use of the term Nordic. There was a tremendous effort at the time to ridicule and deny Nordics and Anglo-Saxons. This is most notable in the vitriolic work of the bigot H.L. Mencken. Nordic is a curse word within the Coalition.
The Great Race is an interesting period piece but seems obsolete in its science. Conquest is still usable as a guide for the Nordic migrations within the US. I think it questionable that Burroughs was influenced by Grant who wrote after ERB had already committed himself although as Great Race made a splash it isn’t improbable that he read it.
Lothrop Stoddard is a different story. Here is a scholar done a great injury by the likes of Slotkin and the Coalition. Stoddard wrote several books that might even be considered prophetic. As noted he was eight years younger than ERB while graduating from Harvard. Unlike Grant I think Slotkin is right that he was an influence on Burroughs but only after 1920 when Burroughs was fully formed. It is possible that ERB accessed his research for his own purposes.
Stoddard’s first book in 1914 was a terrific examination of the San Domingo Moment titled The French Revolution in San Domingo. while the book was issued too late to affect ERB’s knowledge for use in Thuvia in 1914 events were transpiring that would have put Haiti, San Domingo’s later name, in his mind’s eye. Beginning in January of 1914 several US warships landed troops in a very disorderly Haiti. The bankers had precipitated yet another financial crisis by imprudent lending practices. As was to become customary they called on the US government to bail them out. In order to insure their loans the taxpayers were called upon to foot the bill. The occupation of Haiti by the Marines began the next year and that lasted until well into the thirties before the troops were withdrawn. Having gotten Haiti into trouble the bankers than looted the country for a couple decades.
Another interesting sidelight in Haiti and the Caribbean was that 1914 was the year that McClurg’s released Tarzan Of The Apes. Now, Ogden McClurg the ostensible owner of McClurg’s was only a figurehead. The company had become employee owned after the last fire about 1900. Ogden McClurg was living ERB’s fantasy life. He was an officer in the Navy having spent the decade or so previous to 1914 as an operative in the Caribbean during a period when the US was famous for gunboat diplomacy among the Banana Republics. It’s possible that he often worked undercover as a secret agent.
ERB’s contact was Joe Bray who actually ran the day to day operations of the firm. I’ve been told that McClurg had little to or no contact with the authors and indeed, it seems unlikely he could have being out of the country so much, yet ERB seems to have formed a jealous relationship with McClurg speaking of him as though he did know him. That could only have been between 1914 and 1917. Ogden was in Europe for three years or so during the war and after while ERB left for LA in 1919. Deserves investigation.
Back to Stoddard. In 1920, 21 and 22 he issued his three most important books, the ones that so infuriate the volatile Liberal Coalition. The titles were The Rising Tide Of Color Against White World Supremacy of 1920, The New World Of Islam of 1921 and 1922′s The Revolt Against Civilization- The Menace Of The Underman.
All three were prophetic and indeed, as of today, the prophecies have come to pass. The first volume, The Rising Tide Of Color needs no explanation for the violent reaction of the Coalition. By this time their agencies of the ADL, AJC and NAACP operating under the umbrella of the Communist Party were well able to defame anyone they chose with immunity from prosecution.
The mere mention of White Supremacy was enough to make them foam at the mouth. The reasons are clear and they were already formulated by the Revolution of 1792, Now, we do have the problem of slavery which casts a pall over all discussions. There is no justification for slavery although the institution still survives having now spread to America and Europe and it will flower everywhere once again before the century is half over. So, really, the slavery issue is irrelevant. ERB himself accepted the practice as a universal fact of life; the practice exists in all his stories.
Stoddard: This analysis applies to the US of today as aptly as that of San Domingo in 1792. “These men’ are the proto-Communist Jacobins of the French Revolution:
“If you (the San Domingan Whites) are sufficiently united to follow my counsel, I guarantee the salvation of San Domingo. But, in any case, let no one cherish the hope of mercy from these men, let no one be deluded by their sly tricks of policy; the negroes alone find room in their affections, and all the whites without distinction, all the mulattoes as well, are doomed; all whites are dangerous to their projects, all alike will be sacrificed as soon as these men shall have disposed of the officers, gotten rid of the troops of the line, and become at last the undisputed masters.”
As San Domingo in 1792, so Euroamerica in 2010. We were promised change but none has or will ocuur. Two hundred years later same words, same tune. So, Slotkin would have us believe that decent self-respecing scholars and writers such as Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard were responsible for My Lai rather than Robespierre,Danton and Murat. Well, you can fool some of the people all the time….
Just as his first of this trio of books prophesied the coming race wars, so Stoddard’s World Of Islam prophesied the current invasion of Euroamerica and the religious wars, for that is what ‘terrorism’ is. The third book The Revolt Against Civilization has also come to pass as the asault on Western culture, which is to say, civilization continues on an accelerated pace.
It was this book that had the greatest influence on ERB that would surface in 1934s Tarzan And The Lion Man. Stoddard is much influenced by the evolutionary theory of Auguste Weis. Especially the notion of body and germ cells that ERB embraced so enthusiastically in 1934. ERB’s interpretation was certainly pure entertainment but based on current scientific knowledge nonetheless.
As for ERB’s notions he was expressing developed opinions on the social scene under cover of entertainment long before he could have been influenced by either Grant or Stoddard so Richard Slotkin is quite wrong in his prejudicial interpretation of ERB as in ignorant spouter of bigotry based on the other two.
In fact Slotkin ignores the content of all three men to denounce them as ignorant, uninformed bigots who were nevertheless taken so seriously by gunslinging Americans that by Slotkins own words they caused the My Lai Massacre. But enough of Slotkin who sabotages his own thesis by confessing to inadequate research. A much more interesting topic is The Revolt Against Civilization of which it can truly be said that revoltagainst civilization applies to ERB as well as his arch enemies- the Liberal Coalition.
Part III-C will involve civilization and its malcontents.
Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars
Thuvia, Maid Of Mars
What We Have Here Is Change
In the recent American presidential campaign in the US the winner won by promising the inevitable, Change. A very safe promise as the history of the world is one of change. Indeed, the life of the individual is one of unending change from the cradle to the grave. Change is now and forever. The question is, what response is made to the changes.
The times of Edgar Rice Burroughs were a period of the most earth shaking and rapid of all. At the same time most perilous, as the evolution of actual scientific knowledge in all fields was in its infancy and subject to misinterpretation. One might say in Burroughsian imagery that a series of doors stood before mankind, entering the right door would be more beneficial than the wrong doors.
Burroughs and others made tantative moves for the right door but others entered by the wrong door drawing most others through with them. What looked like progress turned into a regression. To shut up criticism the regressives began to demonize all those of different opinions. Burroughs was among those.
Some say he adapted poorly to the flood of change but the peole who do so are so confident in their opinions that to disagree with them is to be accused of being not only wrong but either criminal or insane. One doesn’t take their opinions too seriously as change will certainly demonstrate their opinions as ludicrous if it hasn’t already. Nevertheless as they are quite vocal in their condemnation of Edgar Rice Burroughs we have to consider the accuracy of their accusations as well as that of their own viewpoint. How well do they understand the issues?
ERB has some interesting observations on the changes occurring in the history, society and racial matters of his times as well as the concealed role of hypnotism in the transformation of that society. The basis of hypnotism is suggestion. As ERB say in Thuvia all is based on suggestion and counter-suggestion. If one conciders life and learning from that angle it presents some interesting possibilites.
What is learning? What is suggestion?
When the child is conceived he must of necessity have a mind with a blank slate. Freud, Jung and many others seem to seriously believe that newborns can inherit ancestral memories even though there is no one beyond the womb who has ever recalled any.
In fact without experience or learning that has has been introjected into the mind there is nothing for the mind to consider, hence no cogitation at all. This mind can only begin to form with the ejection from the womb. This occurs with a brain still in the process of formation. The development of the brain can only be considered completed shortly after puberty.
It seems obvious then that you can’t get out of a mind what isn’t in it. It behooves society then to begin loading the mind of a child as soon as the child is capable of handling education. The education of the mind must be built step by step to provide a firm foundation for the intellectual superstructure. Whatever is in the mind must come from or be suggested from outside the mind. There is no internal system of knowledge. Thus all knowledge is suggested to the child’s mind by his caretakers. They may be good or bad, well or ill intentioned. The brain is organized to receive suggestions or, in another word, experience. The reactive structure may already be in place dut to experiences in the womb and the actual birthing process but the actual learning process begins the moment the newborn emerges from the womb and receives a slap on the bottom to get his lungs started.
Thus the mind of the child is extremely malleable during the time until about puberty and shortly thereafter. If education is neglected during this early period and shortly thereafter it is unlikely that the adult can ever make up the lack. For instance if the basics or reading, writing and arithmetic are not loaded into the brain during this malleable period it is very rare that the skills can be acquired at a later time.
Thus, as it was always known that the child is father to the man various doctrinaire organizations such as the Jesuits believed that if they could form the education of the child or, in another word, indoctrinte him, they could shape the future in their own image. In Burroughs’ time the mechanisms of education were more fully understood. Various schemes were proposed to revise educational methods many of which were just odd or crude, but the better thought to change the direction of society toward a higher ideal.
The Communists were well are at the time that suggestion was the basis of education. Lothrop Stoddard writing in his The Revolt Against Civilization of 1922 quotes Eden and Cedar Paul from their book Proletcult of 1921:
“There is no such thing as “scientific” economics or sociology. For these reasons…there should be organized and spread abroad a new kind of education, “Proletcult.” Thus…in a fighting culture aimed at the overthrow of capitalism and at the replacement of democratic culture and bourgeois ideology by ergatocratic culture and proletarian ideology…” The authors warmly endorse the Soviet government’s prostitution of education and all other forms of intellectual activity to Communist propaganda, for we are told that the “new education” is inspired by the “new psychology”, which “provides the philosophical justification of Bolshevism and supplies a theoretical guide for our efforts in the field of proletarian culture…. Education is suggestion. The recognition that suggestion is auto suggestion, and that auto suggestion is the means whereby imagination controls the subconscious self, will enable us to make a right use of the most potent force which has become available to the members of the human herd since the invention of articulate speech.
I’m sure you can find appropriate application of the doctrine since Stoddard wrote in education, movies, TV, books and phonograph records and CDs. While I would disagree with the Pauls’ notion of suggestion and auto suggestion the Freudian influence is quite clear. This would be abetted by John Dewey’s notions on education that deemphasized the educational foundation while directing it more toward ideological considerations, or ‘relatively unstructured, free, student-directed progressive education.’
God only knows what free, progressive education is but this sort of social engineering was the wrong turn being taken in this era of rapid change.
So, loading the brain to deal with life’s exigencies is of necessity a slow process. As the brain continues to develop outside the womb there is plenty of room for malfunction. As man is incapable of creating anything original the education of the child may be compared to the loading of a computer. First the operating system. Whether consciously or unconsciously since all man knows is his own brain he has replicated it in his machine. A computer functions just like a brain, which should astound no one, as man can only devise what he already knows.
Now, human experience dates back about a hundred thousand years. I intentionally leave out the African development as it had nothing to do with the education of mankind. The African contribution is nil. Education began outside Africa. Having painfully and laboriously accumulated the huge fund of knowledge it must be entered into the brain of the new being. This sort of suggestion is called education. There’s not much room for anything called ‘free’ or ‘progressive.’ Getting it ain’t going to be free, the child has to work like a mule. This is a slow, laborious process as extensive foundations must be laid down before any superstructure can rise. Thus years are consumed just to teach the child reading, writing and arithmetic. With these three tools he can learn anything else. Inexplicably this fact seems to have been lost sight of in today’s educational theories unless of course the Pauls’ dictum is being followed.
Once the foundation has been laid, a form of suggestion and actually hypnosis, the child, now a student, must be taught how to manage and interpret what he learns at an increasingly rapid pace. Unfortunately there will be children left behind; any other expectation is fatuous, some are just brighter than others. Managing and interpreting comes from within the experience of the organism. Here’s the real problem because the same data will by analyzed differently and produce different results and opinions.
Along with learning factual matters the child must at the same time develop emotionally and psychologically. Nasty work. This is a difficult part. As the child has little ability to understand and even less ability to accurately analyze it he has to reason from faulty premisses. This ignorance of reality is what forms Freud’s notion of the unconscious or Id. Correcting this unconscious to consciousness is the conversion of Freud’s Id to Ego. A child misinterprets suggestions. Some become fixated in his un- or subconscious. The fixations are what distort consciousness from the subconscious interfering with the integration of the subconscious and the conscious. While the child is made more conscious in his ability to understand and reject harmful suggestions these fixations like post-hypnotic suggestions control his responses. The fixations must be exorcised which is the intended function of the psychoanalysis of Freud and Jung.
Once again, suggestion is everything outside your mind. Your mind cannot function without these suggestions because there will be nothing in the mind to function. Be carefull of what you put into your mind or, at least, that you do put something of value into it. Whether ERB realized this or not, his ideas of hypnosis and suggestion indicate he might have, he pursued a program of continuing education all his adult life. At the time of writing Thuvia he was working through Edward Gibbons’ Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, a vast minefield of amazing and truly educational suggestion.
Part B follows.
November 17, 2008
Exhuming Bob 14:
The LAW And Bob Dylan
Stephen Hazan Arnoff wrote the aove referenced Forward article titled: Jesus, Bob: To Live Outside The LAW You Must Be Honest: Dylan’s Born Again Years Documented.
Mr. Arnoff is very difficult to follow. Kern writing in the comments to Mr. Arnoff’s article puts it succinctly: Mr. Arnoff you have written a lot of words, but after reading them all, I have no idea what you are saying.
I think part of the problem is cross cultural references. By living outside the LAW Mr. Arnoff means Talmudic Law and not the legal code of the United States of America. Mr. Arnoff is what I suppose he would call a ‘secular’ Jew reviewing ‘messianic’ Jews in the Jewish Forward, a ‘secular’ Jewish web magazine.
I have no idea what Kern is but as a goy I have to read standard English words and try to put them into trans-cultural contexts. If I make a mistake or two I hope I may be forgiven.
I perceive the title To Live Outside The Law You Must Be Honest to mean that Dylan is living his life outside the Jewish Law rather than an outlaw to the US legal code. This is a construction of Dylan’s line I hadn’t made but it may very well be accurate. Depending on whether the line from ‘Absolutely Sweet Marie’, read, possibly, Mary, is addressed to his fellow Jews explaining a seeming dalliance with goyish ways or in some sort of general ‘poetic’ license referring to the US legal code or societal mores, Arnoff’s understanding of the line may be correct. As we are coming to realize Dylan’s religious conflicts appear to dominate his work. After all anyone who believes the Bible is the actual word of God is living a religious delusion. After he had established himself by 1966 his mother proudly informed us that Dylan had an open bible on a stand in his living room, of all places to which he hopped up regularly to check for references. There is a C&W connection here in the song, If Jesus Came To Your House. The rhetorical question was would he find a Bible open on the table or a Playboy Magazine. Dylan could answer affirmitively: The Bible. That’s what his mother proudly announced.
While Mr. Arnoff proudly says that Dylan was busy trashing goy, what he calls Christian, culture he fails to note that Dylan was no less disrepectful of traditional Jewish ways. But that brings us to what Mr. Arnoff’s ostensible intent is, that is, to review Joel Gilbert’s film: The Gospel Years.
As I understand it, Mr. Gilbert, who is Jewish trying to be a Dylan clone, made a four hour film entitled Rolling Thunder And The Gospel Years from which he abstracted the final two hours and has reissued it in the two hour version. Acting on that information I obtained the four hour DVD while I haven’t seen the two hour film, if it is different. I’m assuming that it is identical to the four hour version.
As I am not a Jew my sensibilities are different than Mr. Arnoff’s who is ensconced within the Jewish faith, culture, nation or by whatever name it is going by this week. Mr. Arnoff, ignoring Dylan’s early upbringing, see my above referenced essay Fit 4, Bob As Messiah, and psychology assumes that Dylan abandoned Judaism and turned to Christianity because:
…deep pain drives deep “witnessing” in the realm of born again Christian acolytes; that the tumult of drugs, social and political burnout and the failures of the sexual revolution left many people broken in ways that the Jesus movement- rooted in heady Southern California, where Dylan and many other counterculture heroes lived at the time- exploited to attract vulnerable souls.
One assumes that Mr. Arnoff is characterizing Dylan as a ‘vulnerable soul’ rather than a conscious human being. The question in my mind is who was exploiting whom. My notions of Christianity and Judaism and their relationship to each other is obviously culturally opposed to that of Mr. Arnoff. I believe Dylan was much more calculating, or to put it another way, had an agenda, then might appear at first glance. His vision of Christianity and Judaism was also much different than that of the ‘secular’ Mr. Arnoff.
Life is more complex, as are psychologies, than any of us can possibly express but we must try. Gilbert’s full video, Rolling Thunder And The Gospel Years, seems to be such a serious attempt.
Dylan’s life may be characterized as a downward spiral from, say, 1959 when he left home to his encounter with Jesus in 1979 when as Mr. Arnoff suggests, he hit bottom but for different reasons than Mr. Arnoff suggests. Mr. Arnoff seem oblivious to the fact that Dylan was indoctrinated by a Lubavitcher Rebbe for his Bar Mitzvah.
Gilbert picks up Dylan’s life from 1975 to 1981 the last few years before the singer bumped against the lower depths, and examines it closely. Viewed from one perspective Dylan led a disgusting life from 1955 to 1979 as he groped to ind his way out of his self-confessed confusion. A large part of his confusion was the conflict between his Jewish and Christian milieux.
The few years between the abandonment of the first phase of his career when ‘He Threw It All Away’ and the resumption of his profligate ways with 1975′s Rolling Thunder Review after he had given birth to his brood in fulfillment of the Jewish Law to be fruitful and multiply was his only attempt to quiet his confusion. Those few years were also years in which he studied the Bible evidently trying to reconcile his Orthodox Jewish upbringing with his surrounding Christian milieu.
After this relatively quiet period, having fulfilled the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply, Dylan savaged his marriage so brutally that his wife had no choice but to leave him. Incredibly in view of his behavior this astonished him so much that it caused him to reevaluate his conduct somewhat and thus ‘deep pain’ drove him into the realm of born again Christian acolytes.’
On one level this may be true. However it must be borne in mind that at one time, or perhaps many times, his father told him that a son could become so defiled that his parents would reject him but that God could lead him back to virtue again. This notion seems to have dominated his life from that point on so that when he hit the bottom of the divorce fulfilling his father’s prophecy he began to seek God to bring him ‘home.’ A little analysis might have been more fruitful but Dylan is a ‘true believer.’ Thus on another level it is not improbable that Dylan attempted to resolve his confusion by an attempted amalgamation of Christianity and Judaism into one faith. One faith=no more confusion. Not by converting the one to the other but gently leading them to one confession. Of course, since this would obliterate the distinction between Jews and Christians the idea is as much anathema to the Jews as actual conversion to Christianity. At that point then Dylan contravened Judaic LAW and become an outlaw to Judaism.
Thus it appears that Mr. Arnoff accuses Dylan of both living outside the LAW and being dishonest. This seems to be his complaint. That combined with the review of the film being conducted by the ‘messianic’ Jews For Jesus. The mere mention of the word Jesus throws the ‘secular’ Mr. Arnoff into a frenzy. He excuses Gilbert on the grounds that he is merely trying for exposure for his film but can’t conceal his distaste for Mitch Glaser and Al Kashi of Jews For Jesus.
Mr. Arnoff doesn’t seem to understand what Dylan is doing so that he is conflicted between Dylan’s ‘jewish’ work and his Jesus period. Note I do not use the term ‘Christian.’ That is because I don’t think Dylan ever embraced Christianity but approached Jesus as a Jewish persona from a standpoint similar to Jews For Jesus; Dylan was essentially blowing smoke into the eyes of Christians. Mr. Anrnoff complains:
Most of the time, Dylan embodies a multi-layered approach to his subject- with wordplay, rich cultural allusions, insinuations, irony and clusters of unexplained questions. In his writing and perforning, Dylan grasps at defining themes with ferocity and dynamism that allow renowned critics like Milton scholar Christopher Ricks (who dedicated some 500 pages to Dylan in his 2004 book “Dylan’s Vision Of Sin”) to compare his canon without reservation to that of Shakespeare and Milton. With few exceptions including the aforementioned songs, the Christian (Jesus) period of Dylan’s work remains unconvincingly simplistic, overly literal, humorless and blunt.
Well maybe so. I’ve never listened to it having no interest in what I consider an unlistenable singer after Blonde On Blonde. Whatever happened the muse walked away from Dylan after 1966 and never spoke his again. While as Mr. Arnoff approvingly notes of the Jewish Dylan, Christopher Ricks compares Dylan favorably to Shakespeare and Milton, I can only say that Mr. Ricks is bereft of his senses.
Dylan wrote some nice songs, most of them on Another Side, but that’s just about as far as you can take it. Always highly derivative, after 1966 borrowing became so explicit as to narrowly skirt plagiarism. Indeed not a few of his contemporary folk singers openly accuse him of plagiarism. I’m a little more lenient; hell, they’re only popular songs, not even good Country and Western.
The Myth Of The Twentiety Century
Rosenberg, Alfred, The Myth Of The Twentieth Century, Noontide Press, 1982.
It should be borne in mind that The Myth is subtitled: An evaluation of the spiritual-intellectual confrontations of our age. The book then is an attempt to objectively analyze the political situation in those terms. While himself a Nazi this is not a Nazi tract while at the same time it is inevitable that Rosenberg ananlyze the situation from a Nordic or Aryan viewpoint. If Nazi and Aryan are synonomous in your mind you should disassociate the terms.
When Rosenberg says the conflict is one of differing values between Asiatics and Europeans it is necessary to know what he means as his basis of interpretation is accurate. The conflict between Asia, which is to say the Middle East, began fifty-five hundred years ago on the plains of Mesopotamia, todays Iraq; and has slowly spread outward until today the Asiatics, or specifically, Semites, stand on the verge of worldwide victory. Even though the Semites themselves are divided between Jews and Arabs, which is why the Jews support Arab Semites outside the Middle East, the Jewish segment is confident that they will be able to manage the Arab Moslems in the triumph.
The major conflict then in Rosenberg’s mind was the prime conflict between Semitic values and Aryan values. He considered the Roman Catholic Church as auxiliaries. The Church may be said to be a third Semitic religion.
The situation as Rosenberg perceived it, and he was a very perceptive man, was that the German people were surrounded on three sides by Semitic forces alien to Aryan ideals.
He saw a Roman Catholic Semitic Church centered to the South of Germany that had also infiltrated and alienated a large part of his German people.
To the East he saw the Semitized Soviet Empire looming as a threat. He had no doubt, and sincerely believed that Communism was a Jewish political system managed according to Semitic ideology.
Just as the behemoth to the East was controlled by Jews so with the ascension of Franklin D. Roosevelt was the behemoth of the West, the United States of America. Of course, denial is the order of the day but denials are ridiculous in the face of facts.
Just as Jews had managed the hyper inflation of German currency in 1923 so Jews had maneuvered the West into the Great Depression through their control and literal ownership of the Federal Reserve Banking System of the US.
Through the manipulation of credit and currency in the years leading up to the Great Crash of 1929 the Fed, which is to say the Jews, created the speculative stock market bubble. At the same time they created the unsound practice of holding companies of holding companies. Thus shares with no substance behind them collapsed entirely losing all value. Between such failures as these and extended credit for margin speculation the stage was set, as in Germany, for the complete collapse of the US economic system. This was no different than the real estate and credit bubble of today.
While many many volumes on the crash have been written over the decades none of them would deal with the problem as it actually was for fear of being denounced as anti-Semites.
You may be sure that Rosenberg, Hitler and the Nazi think tank understood the situation completely. The question is how the Nazi finance minister Hjalmar Schacht interrelates with his banking counterparts of the West.
That the situation was created that ‘discredited’ the capitalist system, allowing a Judeo-Communist like FDR to assume the the reins of power you may be assured. Roosevelt was a disciple of Woodrow Wilson. Just as the Jews flooded into Washington in 1913 managing Wilson’s presidency so in 1933 they returned to power with FDR. You can see how urgent it was for Roosevelt to stay in office for as many terms as he lived.
The situation of today is a replica of 1929-33 with the hope of putting Barry obama into the role of FDR. Rosenberg and the Nazis predicted this scenario in the 1930s. They also predicted the dissolution of the United States over racial problems. This is bound to and must happen.
In addition to the USSR and the USA the Jews were running France and directing England so that Rosenberg believed the Germans to be beleagured, which they were.
The history of the entire period has been written by Liberals, Communists and Jews, hence you have been conditioned to see the issues soley from their point of view.
If you were to view the times from a slightly different perspective a quite different picture would appear before your eyes as if by magic.
It is true that the Nazis took a direct and brutal route to obtain their objectives. They have been thoroughly castigated for this however they merely did what had already been done during and after the Great War in Russia and Hungary and what the Liberal/Jewish/Negro/Communist coalition is in process of doing today as regards the White species. So in light of current deeds what makes the Nazis so evil?
While we were all astonished in the fifties as the insanity of the Nazi attempt became real to us we should no less condemn the Liberal/Jewish/Negro/Communist coalition for their plan to exterminate the entire White species of a billion plus people. This means you.
I am sure that Rosenberg and Hitler are sitting up in Heaven looking down upon us with wry bemusement.
So, this is the way in which Rosenberg perceived the racial aspect of the spiritual and intellectual confrontation of early twentieth century Europe.
Rosenberg calls it the struggle for freedom rather than submission to a false god, which is to say Semitic intellectual belief systems. He rightly says that the confrontation is between Asia and Europe going back fifty-five hundred years. The Fascist States, that is to say Germany, Italy and Spain placed themselves in battle with the entire semiticized world. The Semites themselves without military might did as the ancient Semite Cadmus did in ancient Boeotia of Greece when he incited the indigenous peoples into a ruinous civil war that allowed his Semitic invaders to take control.
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
Part III will follow in another post.