November 26, 2011
The Prague Cemetery
Tracing The Racial Memory
For what is history but the attempt to remember or reconstruct the racial past and therefore one’s own pre-history. For as the ancients said: The unexamined life is not worth living. Where better to begin than with the origins of life.
The key fact of existence on earth is that the planet is a huge dynamo generating an electro-magnetic field. In other words the core of the planet is moving at a different rate of speed than the outer layers. There could be no life without this fact. The movement of the core also generates a combination of the elements hydrogen and oxygen we humans call water which is extruded to the surface creating the oceans.
Isaac Asimov describes the human body as big sack of water where H2O comprises very nearly the whole body. So, in contradiction to the ignorant Semitic model ‘dirt’ has no part in the composition of the body.
It is said that the early atmosphere was 100% hydrogen. Thus the extrusion of water and its evaporation must have freed oxygen atoms. As air is 21% oxygen, that fixes the origin of life at the time when oxygen displaced hydrogen in the atmosphere to the extent of 21% at which level it remains today. That also means that if the percentage varied by very much life as now constituted could not survive.
All matter can be deconstructed into its constituent chemical atoms, primarily four gases. While hydrogen and oxygen are the bases of life forms, a dozen or so other trace elements are used in the amounts that were in the sea when life began. All were therefore dissolved in water. It therefore follows by a chain of those atoms proto-life was formed. As life is activated by electricity it follows that electricity was imparted from the electro-magnetic field, the sun or possibly activated by an electrical charge from lightning in conjunction with the electro-magnetic field.
Thus life, a single cell, was formed in the ocean waters which as everyone knows is salty. Hence human are salty. From then in some mysterious process not yet discovered the single cell evolved into all the myriad forms of life that have been and are. At some point ocean forms evolved into land forms which became increasingly complex until one has the human form the most evolved and complex of all. Just because the process can’t be described in full as yet doesn’t mean that Evolution isn’t a reality.
The World Island, Pangaea, is said to have to have begun breaking up 250 million years ago. The planet is said to be about four billion years old so in all probability the land mass was not the same for that entire time period. Pangaea was an intermediate period. As the planet is essentially a top spinning freely in space all the rules of physics pertaining to tops apply.
If you have a water filled top with solid bits in it when you spin the top the solid bits will be drawn to the upper hemisphere. This is what happened to the land mass of the earth. The rotational stresses were such that the surface cracked into large plates that began drifting North. Hence today the land mass forms a circle around the North Pole. Above Russia and Siberia long transverse islands have pulled away from the main mass to gravitate further toward the Pole.
Africa occupies the central position of Pangaea so that as the continents moved they were essentially split off from Africa. Asia moved up and curved around the Pole. The Atlantic Rift separated North and South America moving them to the North and West. India split off moving East and North to collide with Asia forcing the great transverse mountain range of the Himalayas up. And of course Indonesia and Australia trailed out across the ocean to their current stations. Antarctica was drawn South to form that Pole.
As the parcels separated whatever life there was must have traveled on their respective parcels. Thus, even though it may be said the life began in Africa the various life forms must have evolved separately on their land masses.
There have been several mass extinctions not least of all that which occurred at the end of the last ice age when, for instance, many life forms including horses, mastodons, saber tooth tigers and possibly humans disappeared from the Americas. Huge death rate. The remains of least tens of thousands of mammoths were killed and in Siberia and the American North frozen quickly enough and permanently enough to preserve their flesh which was still edible, although gamey, when the bodies were unearthed in recent times.
As this disaster occurred as recently as probably ten thousand years ago it must have left a memory trace in the traditions of humans
We are told that Homo Sapiens came into existence about 150- 200 thousand years ago in Africa. This may possibly or probably be true but it cannot be stated positively. What can be known is that the earliest remains of Homo Sapiens have been found in Africa. At any rate at the beginning of the Age Of Leo dawned, Ages are how the ancients kept track of immense reaches of time, every part of the Earth bore some human population. These populations were in different evolutionary states. The least evolved human species was in Africa. The East of Asia was populated by Mongols who are evidently a sterile branch of the human species. Europe had a population but not a large one of Neanderthals and various human races while the population flooded out of the previously exposed Mediterranean Basin gathered around the shores of the sea, most notably at the effluence of the Nile.
Now, the ancestors of the Folk of which Eugene Sue speaks were centered somewhere in Central Asia probably around the Aral Sea. This was the great hive from which the Aryans were to spread across the World.
There are many, many legends of these distant times such as Atlantis, the land of Mu and Shambala., the last of which was located in Central Asia. These legends must have some basis in fact; the imagination of man is incapable of creating anything out of whole cloth; whatever man believes must have been suggested to it by actual circumstances.
While little is known of the actual origins of the Aryans that can be ascertained as fact is that beginning around the year 2000 BC the Aryans began to move out of their hive lands. We know that they moved West into the Middle East and South into India. There is no reason not to believe that bands or hordes didn’t also move East into China.
The first migrations into India and the West did so with a fully developed religious system or world view, a Weltanschauung. This means that the system and view were well developed in the Hivelands before the Aryans began their migrations. Thus the similarities between the Hindu religion and the Homeric religion were probably deviations from the old time Hive religion adapted to their specific new conditions.
It is possible that there was cross fertilization between India and Greece but since the entire North from Greece to Northern Europe to Iran/Persia and India were invaded and dominated by the Aryans I think it is just as likely that the core beliefs were common to all the Aryans shifting forms to adapt to religions established in the occupied areas.
Thus while I can offer no proof, I think it probable that Shambala did exist and that it was the Aryan home citadel. In legend Shambala was on an island in the middle of a lake in what is now the Gobi Desert. At the end of the ice age both the Caspian and Aral seas were much more extensive than they are while the Gobi may have been wet also. It seems more probable that a temple city may have been on an island of either of those two more expansive seas. Still the legend is the legend. Increasing desiccation would in any event have forced population dislocations in Central Asia. In any event about the year –2000 the Aryans began to move. However they were located, whether strung out from the Himalayas to the Caspian or whatever, one branch crossed the Hindu Kush down into India. Wherever the Aryans went they wrote these huge long Weltanschauungs, at least after writing reached them which they don’t seem to have had on their own.
Because the Indian books were written in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit was determined to be the most ancient Aryan language words common to the Aryan languages were said to be derived from Sanskrit. This needn’t be the case. I think it more likely that since all Aryans derive from the same stock the language was their common inheritance from the Hivelands. Thus while there may have been contacts between Greek and Indian the similarity more likely reflects the common religious heritage of both peoples. Thus, the Indian Aryans wrote their huge corpus while at about the same time the Greeks were composing their own version of the national epic in Greece and Troy.
Over the centuries the various hordes descended into Persia and Anatolia while when the Scyths appeared in Southern Russia they were then nomadic rather than settlers. Assuming that the Aryans of the Shambala period were sedentary it follows then that climatic conditions forced the Folk into a different economic niche. That the Scyths were of the same Aryan stock as the Greeks is evident from their metal working.
After the Scyths we have the Celtic migrations many of whom ended up at the End of the World in Ireland. Along the way they caused havoc in Anatolia where they were known as the Galatians, harassed the Greeks, gave the Romans the willies from their settlements on the Po and finally became the Gauls of what would become France then came the German tribes who would establish themselves in Northern Europe.
When the Aryans migrated into more populous areas they lost their identity. Probably mere hordes, those who reached China were completely absorbed just as later Jewish migrants to China being few in relation the Chinese were also absorbed. Depending on the size of the Indian contingent they were able to shape the mores of the India with its huge Black population but were absorbed racially. The caste system came into existence as a result of the Aryan’s desperate attempt to maintain racial purity.
Even in the Middle East the Aryan influence has been diluted and all but extinguished. The Aryans of Iran are now adherents to the alien Semitic religion of the Arabs.
Over several centuries the Aryan tribes were able to conquer the Romans but in the process destroyed the Roman Civilization bringing about the long social reorganization of society known as the Dark or Middle Ages. It is here in the German or Frankish conquest of France that Eugene Sue must begin his novel of The Mysteries Of The Folk.
It’s a pity the novel has never been translated into English because Sue must cover the whole of European history including the period of the Crusades. The Indian and Greek epics had long been written when the now European Aryans began the third great national epic, the story of Chivalry of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. This is one huge story. The Vulgate-Lancelot alone runs to several thousand pages with numerous very long branches.
Now, the roots of the Arthurian epic still date back to the Homeric epic while receiving input from myths and legends from the Aryan Hivelands. There is then continuity from the very beginning, so to speak.
The Arthurian epic is a curious European recreation of the Indian books and the Homeric cycle with a Semitic add layer of course. In addition to curious crises at the intra changeover of the Piscean Age. We are not talking of the personal astrology of the newspapers here. Astrology was once a serious part of astronomy. We are talking of the great Astrological religious system that began development eons ago. If you wish to believe Sumerian mythology or sources it has vague memories of tens of thousands of years previously. I have no reason to question the veracity of these Sumerian sages. An age, of course, is one twelfth segment of the Great Year of 25 thousand something years. Thus after the cycle of twelve ages Pisces will once again return. The symbol of Pisces is of two connected fish swimming in opposite directions, perhaps indicating Dionysian androgyny. Thus halfway through the age the archetype of the age changed from the male domination of Jesus to the female archetype of Mary in Southern Europe and Diana in Northern Europe. This actually happened.
In the South Mariolatry emerged while in the North Diana replaced Merlin in Pagan circles. According to the legend Vivian (Diana, Artemis) The Lady Of The Lake, charmed Merlin into revealing all his magic to her. Once she obtained it she threw a hex on Merlin entombing him either under a rock or in a tree. Thus Diana replaced Merlin as the pagan archetype of the Piscean Age. Artemis in Greek, Diana in Latin and Vivian with the Norse, the Virgin Huntress, Mistress Of the Animals and The Lady Of The Lake who abhorred the company of men, became Northern Europe’s ruling archetype or Anima while the Virgin Mother became that of the South.
Having eliminated Merlin, Vivian then kidnapped Lancelot as a boy (because she was the Virgin Huntress and couldn’t bear her own son) taking him to her enchanted palace beneath the lake where as the Alpha female she taught him to be a preeminent knight or the Alpha male in Arthur’s court. Arthur was a creature of Merlin but lost the use of the latter’s magic when he was entombed. Thus Arthur was unprotected against Vivian’s purloined magic.
As Lancelot was Vivian’s or Diana’s creature there had to be conflict between the two halves of the Piscean Age. That was naturally caused by a woman, Arthur’s flirtatious wife, Guinevere. As a result the golden age of the Round Table came to an end.
The Arthurians were acquainted with some Homeric traditions that I have not found in the mythological sources. Thus the Arthurian cycle was a continuation in the mold of the Homeric cycle. Vivian or Artemis in Greek, was traced back to the Greek Peloponnese or Lacedaemon. Lacedaemon means the Demon or Lady Of The Lake. So Diana, in Roman Myth or The Lady as she appears in Dumas’ Three Musketeers. But, I can’t find any extant record of the myth.
Arthur and his characteristics can be traced back into the Caspian and Aral Hivelands of the Aryans so that the three traditions come together in the Arthurian cycle of Europe. The cycle also combines Gallic legends of Britain bringing in that great Aryan race.
This is the rich stew then that Eugene Sue had to work with in his mysteries of the Folk. My ancestors and yours. The Arthurian cycle was active from c. 1060 to 1300. Malory is a late compilation. When the Crusades ended and the Templars were suppressed the period ended. Thus the second half of the millennium began.
We will skip the intervening history until the great European upheaval of the Enlightenment and French Revolution.
The Jews In Europe
As Eco’s story is centered around the Jews concerning the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus case it will be necessary to say a few words concerning their history to set the stage.
I hope I have demonstrated the persistence of the racial memory in my brief tracing of the movements of the Aryans. Their motif is the scientific explanation of nature which they have pursued with varying success in all their movement from the Hivelands to India and Great Britain and from there to North America and Australia and New Zealand. The scientific goal has never been lost sight of.
There is no other people on Earth with a stronger racial memory and an inflexible but criminal will than the Jews while at the same time, like the Aryans, they have recorded their goals in print. They too persist doggedly in the attempt to realize their plan.
Briefly the place and time the tribe came into existence can be pinpointed if their writings are accurate. That place was Ur of the Chaldees and the time was the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries c. 2000 BC. Their pedigree goes back no further than that. They are an artificial Semitic creation; they have no roots in antiquity.
Challenging the authority of the Chaldean astronomers the Jews were expelled from Ur for their impertinence. Thus they were born of disappointed expectations; their future was cast; they were doomed to disappointed expectations.
However they knew how to push their luck to the limit; call it chutzpah.
Skipping over two thousand years of conflict we find the Jews established throughout the Roman Empire challenging the Romans for supremacy. Defiant of Roman authority even in the capitol Rome, the Jews taxed their fellows sending the gold to Jerusalem which they established as their capitol contra Rome. Hence the famous Rome-Jerusalem dichotomy. While their prophet Jesus counseled them to cede temporal authority to Rome- render unto to Caesar that which is his and unto God his own- open rebellion began which was crushed, the people killed or dispersed, Jerusalem leveled with Jews being forbidden to set foot in the city again. An early version of the final solution.
Briefly, we next find the Jews in Spain. Here the Roman Catholic Church has established itself and for superstitious reasons granted the Jews an invaluable monopoly, that of loaning money at interest. A one of a kind gift. Wheedling their way into another monopoly, that of being royal tax farmers, they did indeed farm their Spanish cattle, not unlike the Greek and Italian situation today. This was an intolerable situation that took a long time to culminate but in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain. This was a crushing blow for them.
Due to the Spanish expulsion and various other expulsions Jews migrated into the sparsely inhabited area of Eastern Poland which then included Byelorussia and the Ukraine, later to be called the Pale Of The Settlement.
Then, the worst catastrophe ever hit the tribe. The Northern Europeans began to assert their birthright of free inquiry while at the same time rejecting the Judaeo-Christian incubus. It was called the Enlightenment. Aryan scientific thought asserted itself against the Semitic stultification throwing the Semitic religions- Christianity, Judaism and Moslemism- into an atavistic status of a prior and lower intellectual state.
The Enlightenment would quickly result in the French Revolution which was to change the course of both Jewish and Aryan history. With the Revolution came the emancipation of the Jews. They were placed on an ‘equal’ footing with the Europeans. Emancipation was more quickly achieved in France while in Central Europe it moved in stages reaching fulfillment after the 1848 revolution.
It was then that Europeans became aware that equality was a one way street; it was not what the Jews were after. In the reaction about 1875 the German Wilhelm Mars invented the term anti-Semitism and the stage was set for the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus Affair.
In the wake of the Revolution Eco’s heroes Eugene Sue and Alexander Dumas were born whose novels filled Eco’s imagination and memories with their fantastic works.
We’ll move in that direction in Part III.
December 23, 2010
Who Is The Mysterious John Carter?
There are nine wise men who control the destiny of the world and I am on a first name basis with each of them. Sworn to secrecy I cannot reveal the names of these Unknown Masters. No Wiki-leaks here. Due to the upcoming movie concerning doings under the moons of Mars first revealed by the adept Edgar Rice Burroughs beginning in 1912 I have been advised that it is thought expedient to reveal who John Carter really is.
Elipsis being the favored mode of action of the Nine rather than just give the info straight out I have been given a list of web sites, articles and books from which Carter’s identity may be deduced leaving some room for error on my part from which Carter’s identity may be deduced. Given the nature of the material, much of which I had already read that I have always thought rather fanciful I can’t guarantee that I have succeeded in determining J.C.’s true identity. If I have failed in this great trust placed in me by the Nine I lay the blame at their feet for having made an erroneus choice but it is possible that, as a result of such a possible failure, I may not be heard from again.
Burroughs, who seems to have known the true identity of Carter, whose books were part of the package given to me, as if I hadn’t already read them many times, gives us a clue in that Carter was at least one thousand years old and had enjoyed many identities over the centuries. Actually with a little invention I may be able to whiff this past the Nine.
Amongst the papers entrusted to me was the web address of the French Wold Newton Universe which I abbreviate FWNU. As this site intelligently summarizes a thousand years of history I found it an invaluable resource but just because I’m relying on the FWNU doesn’t mean I’m lazy; I’ve already read the other stuff: the Greek myths, Homer, Grave’s White Goddess, the Bible, De Santillana, Eco and a host of others, besides which I have to use the sources the Nine supplied.
It will be necessary to begin our search with the Knights Templar and the Crusades. It is quite possible that J.C. by whatever identity he may have been known is co-existent with the First Hominid Predecessor. For all we know he was present at the creation, among the artists who painted the caves at Lascaux or he may even have had an intimate acquaintance with the Via Dolorosa; but, that might merely be relying on the coincidence of initials. We have no reliable or even quasi-reliable records that far back.
We will have to content ourselves with beginning at the Crusades. The historical figure who claims an ancient pedigree is the Count de St. Germain. He makes his appearance under that name in revolutionary France. As the name he uses then is demonstrably French we have to assume that over the centuries he has been known under many, many names, many guises, many roles as the concept French is of fairly recent origin. He was perhaps one of the nine who formed the Knights Templar, a very secretive group. The Crusades changed the course of European society just as the Templars were the first catalysts of that change. While Templar history is in the hands of those sympathetic to them who find them wholly admirable I who should be among those sympathsizers have a lurking suspicion that the Order was wholly sinister. Who else, I ask you, would recruit in taverns haunted by criminals and excommunicants? What building material was this?
The Templars ostensible purpose, good reason as opposed to real reason, for existence was that they were to protect pilgrims to the so-called Holy Land but, once created, they lost interest in such a worthy cause. Perhaps they were created for a much more subversive and less worthy purpose. The Templars are frequently linked with another band of ‘holy’ soldiers, the Assassins of Alamut in Persia. Who were the Assassins? The FWNU: Will There Be Light Tomorrow, Part I:
The word “assassins” is usually linked to hashish, and the name of the group is sometimes spelled “hashishins,” because of their alleged use of the drug to keep their fearsome warriors properly motivated…What is not widely known is that, in fact, the name “Assassins” derives from the word “Assass,” meaning “Guardians,” or “Protectors,” for the Assassins were in reality the Islamic Soldier Monks in charge of the protection of the Holy Land. “Assassins” in Arabic signifies “quardians,” and some commentators have considered this the true origin of the word: “Guardians of the secrets’” – Arkan Daraul, Secret Societies.
If the Assassins had secrets to protect and/or disseminate then they might easily have swayed the minds of a group of simple unsophisticated Nordic warriors. Once swayed then their role would have been to form a fifth column in Europe in alliance with the Assassins to subvert the Church and State which is exactly what the Templars were doing. Thus though the Moslems had been defeated and thrust back by Charles Martel the Templars would be internal allies to achieve the Moslem conquest not unlike the Liberal undermining in favor of the Moslems in the West today. Wheels within wheels, plans within plans. There undoubtedly was constant communication between the two groups for well over a hundred years until the Mongols of Ghengis Khan stormed Alamut putting an end to the Assassins c. +1260. An unforseen event. It was then only a few decades later that Philip Lebel of France terminated the career of the Templars launching Europe on the period of confusion that terminated with the murder of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
From the wreckage of the Templars, for they were only wrecked not destroyed, came great criminal organizations such as the Commora, the Carbonara and the Mafia. All these elements combined to create the revolution in France during which the Compte de St. Germain and the extra sinister Caligliostro, who might have been the same, appeared and who in all possiblility emigrated to America to become…John Carter.
Names and dates in this underworld milieu can never be taken as certain. As the FWNU points out it is clear that Cagliostro left for America after 1795 or at about the same time Edgar Allan Poe was handed the mysterious manuscript detailing the adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym. We’re slipping into the realm of pure fiction here but suppose that Poe did get the story from someone and suppose that someone was merely posing as Cagliostro or St. Germain, probably the same person in two identities. Still fantistic but not impossible.
However contrary to Man’s desire nobody lives forever so at some point Cagliostro has to die but before he does he finds the Virginian John Carter and instructs him in this pious fraud to keep the tradition going. Now, it is clear that whether or not someone gave Burroughs a manuscript which he at least claimed happened in the case of John Clayton he writes of John Carter in the tradition of the Great Conspiracy that had its roots in the Crusades.
Burroughs may very well have been self-indoctrinated in the Traditions as many of us are, however Burroughs was learned in several matters not least of which was psychology by his brothers’ partner, Lew Sweetser.
Sweetser along with the Burroughs Boys was graduated from Yale University which we know is the home of the prominent occult organization the Skull and Bones Club. The Skull and Bones takes its emblem from the pirates of the Caribbean. Their banner was a corruption of the black and white Beauceant banner of the Templars. It is generally thought that the excaping French Templars, or a portion of them, fled to Scotland. After 1492 when the Spanish gold fleets of his Most Catholic Majesty, the Defender of the Faith, the King of Spain began their runs, the Templars set sail for the New World to prey on the treasure fleets to avenge themselves on Church and Throne.
I have seen no record that Lew Sweetser was in the Skull and Bones but if he was or aspired to, if the Skull and Bones have any secrets which they obviously do, Sweetser may have become privy to some and whether intentionally or inadvertantly he probably imparted some to young Burroughs. At the very least, in educating young Burroughs as he obviously did he would have given him his outlook or point of view. Young Burroughs was at an impressionable age.
This point of view was reinforced by all of Burroughs’ reading. That reading was more heavily occult and revolutionary than is usually supposed. By 1912 when he began writing ERB was fully versed in the underground French literature in translation of the day. There doesn’t seem to be a reference to Balzac although he must have read something but maybe not. He did read Eugene Sue, one of the early nineteenth century writers, a veritable mad man. Sue’s The Mysteries Of Paris was in his library while I’m relatively certain he read Sue’s Wandering Jew also. Between
those two books his mind would have been ripped apart and reassembled as was mine for instance. He read Dumas, Three Musketeers and Count Of Monte Cristo for sure and probably The Man In The Iron Mask. He plowed through Victor Hugo’s sewer epic, Les Miserables. He devoured whatever was translated of Jules Verne. Verne’s works were firmly implanted in his mind: From Earth To The Moon and Mysterious Island absolutely filled his mind. Paul Feval and
Emile Gaboriau weren’t translated as yet so these very important crime/revolutionary writers missed him. They write much more directly at what Sue, Dumas, Hugo and Verne imply. But, all four of those guys are powerful writers dealing with life in a very direct way. Edgar Allan Poe, another prime influence of Burroughs, 1808-1849 seems to have been influenced by the early bunch of French writers, probably Balzac and some writers less well known but earlier than Feval and the rest. Poe may be the most astounding writer of all in the French school although its hard to top Sue. I shudder while I write his name. And then it is impossible to know what magazine and newspaer articles about such topics Burroughs may have read. His age was a magazine and newspaper age.
And, of course, Burroughs read a full slate of English and American writers not least the detective stories of Conan Doyle and many others. One should not overlook George W.M. Reynolds incredible ten volume novel The Mysteries Of The Court Of London which is found in ERB’s library. An amazing 5000 page novel.
All of this reading seemed to come together in the John Carter Martian Trilogy. Burroughs never again wrote anything quite like it. One could remember that one doesn’t have to be fully conscious of what one is writing. One is caught up in the sweep of intellectual currents developing themes whose antecedents began long before so that one is merely developing the themes.
Thus Burroughs was part of the breaking up of the Semito-Aryan mythology of say -2000 to +1000 which was accentuated by the first of the three major blows to Man’s self-confidence picked out by Freud- the place of the Earth in the Universe. Once it was understood that Earth was merely one lone planet spinning in a Universe that if not thought boundless in his time was understood to be more extensive than mythological heaven. The old mythology crubled to the ground, the old gods of the Semitic religions had their teeth pulled, their knees crushed, in other words, they lost their power to command.
Now, it is often asserted that there is no mythology to replace the old mythology, that science has destroyed the concept. This is not true. The Templars began a new mythology, while Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler forwarded it when they discovered or revealed that the Earth was a point in a surrounding universe. Thus, if the Earth is not the center of the universe with God in his heaven above it then Man can penetrate this boundless space. This is where John Carter enters the mythology of the Scientific Era.
The idea of traveling in space according to the FWNU was almost immediately written in a story by Kepler himself. While this is a sort of change of venue travel in the upper spheres has a long history predating Kepler. To cite only two examples there is Jacob’s Ladder on which Jacob was said to ascend to the heavens or, in other words, space. Mohammed is said to have mounted his horse and risen to the Seventh Heaven, way up there in the ideas of the time, where he conversed face to face with God, or in Moslem terms, Allah. So, now that space became open it isn’t unusual that Kepler immediately translated the old mythology into scientific terms. So while a magic carpet may have served Gullivar Jones if fails as science.
Thus from Kepler to Burroughs the tales of space travel and the complexity of methods increases.
With the development of astronomy, that is space, the concept of Time developed apace. The Earthly year had already been adequately measured so now the conquest of the Earth day, hour, minute and seconds- eventually nanoseconds- began. Thus Time and Space became one word, timeandspace. Along with rocketry came the fantasy of the Time Machine, the time traveler. As we know Burroughs was an expert on both, having some very well developed ideas about Time. Rather than being a merely frivolous romanticist then it can be seen that Burroughs was trying to work out the central problems of his times. to a very large extent, he did. In a literary sense, then, Burroughs is the equal of Freud and Einstein. Hence his writing style is odd. He is trying to convey ideas he is struggling to understand, not unlike Freud and Einstein. While Freud is considered a literary stylist I find him barely comprehensible, not at all clear.
As the FWNU points out, while John Carter takes his place in space travel in the 1860s his amanuensis, Burroughs, only published Carter’s exploits from 1912 to 1914.
Burroughs himself completely distorts the facts as he claims he himself was born c. 1855 in the Trilogy while we know he was actually born twenty years later in 1875. He could not possibly have known Carter as a child and been his ‘favorite nephew.’ Why he would tell such a transparent falsehood isn’t clear. Even when Carter made his second vanishing in 1888 Burroughs would have been entering his teen years while being in Illinois rather than living on the Hudson in the State of New York. Does he think we’re stupid? Perhaps he is concealing his real sources.
Even though the issue is somewhat clouded because of the lapse of time between the historical events and Burroughs’ publication of them only in 1912, one thing is clear, John Carter is the Lord Of Time And Space. As Burroughs recounts Carter’s words claimed to be to him in the prologue to the Gods Of Mars:
I have learned the secret, nephew, and I may traverse the trackless void at my will, coming and going between the countless planets as I list…
Carter’s achievement is of great import because it means that he has become one with the gods. he has joined the heavenly pantheon with the added advantage that he can move equally freely between the spiritual and the temporal. Not even the Great Gods can do that. Although he has the secret he doesn’t choose to divulge it to his ‘favorite nephew’ who we know did not possess this occult secret.
It is interesting in light of Carter’s achievement to pay some attention to the Urania Book that was received by another Chicagoan. Why Chicago was selected to be the center of revelation at this time isn’t known. The book of Urania is a massive volume giving the details of the celestial organization of the gods dispersed throughout the universe of which Carter must have been familiar although he didn’t impart that knowledge to his nephew. Fortunately that vast organization was related by the Uranians.
As Burroughs was left more or less on his own on that score by Carter it is evident that Burroughs must have fleshed out Carter’s bare announcement of having discovered the ‘secret’ of traversing interstellar space by hints from the famed French explorer of space Camille Flammarion. That author discusses outer space in several profound works chief of which are The Plurality Of Inhabited Worlds, The Inhabitants Of Other Worlds, Imaginary And Real Worlds and Lands In The Sky. It is to be noted also that rather than taking his information on the nature of Mars from the American Percival Lowell Burroughs took it from the Frenchman, Camille Flammarion. Lowell and Flammarion were in close communication so it is probable that Lowell’s inspiration was taken from Flammarion. Burroughs speaks of Flammarion many times even going so far as to say he formed his early ideas on him but he never mentions Lowell. Unfortunately Flammarion’s information on Mars turned out to be more inspired than factual. Let us hope his ideas on interplanetary space are more sound. But then he is a pioneer and the lay of the land always looks different to the first comers than the settlers who become familiar with it. Cartographers so to speak. Geographers, that sort of thing.
At any rate the transition from the old astrology to the new astronomy, from myth to science, was achieved through the medium of Edgar Rice Burroughs. There should a BB and AB, before and after Burroughs. Thus with the publication of A Princess of Mars in 1912 world history entered a new phase. The centuries after Keplers’ space epic culminated with Burroughs in 1912 when he more or less perfected the new mythology as far as the heavens were concerned.
Nor was Burroughs finished when Carter using the ‘secret’ transported himself to Mars the second time. One is inclined to believe that Carter stumbled on the secret before the cave in Arizona or else was selected by the Celestial Organization to receive it. The latter would have been impossible for a naive earthling like Burroughs to understand so Carter probably chose to say he discovered the secret.
Burroughs himself who was undoubtedly chosen as the conduit to the New Mythology was immediately recognized as the avatar of the New Mythology as nearly all other mythographers began to develop the ideas in Burroughs framework. His knowledge which was itself almost miraculous seems as though it must have been divinely imparted. Perhaps the two concusssions he received before 1900 rearranged his synapses so that he could intellectually go where no man had gone before. He celebrates the memory of these two concussions by beating a steady tattoo on the skull of Tarzan.
Having organized the way in which inter-stellar planetary travel was to be perceived Burroughs set out to create the man-god of the New Age on earth, the second aspect of the trinity, John Clayton otherwise known as Tarzan Of The Apes. Burroughs retained the JC initials linking Jesus Christ, John Carter and John Clayton as so many have noted although those three are not the Trinity in question- the three in one, one in three. One must beware of the so-called revolutionaries who with their inability to understand common sense deride the triple aspect of mankind as faulty arithmetic. In the course of evolution it would seem that they failed to acquire the advanced intelligence gene.
Three of Burroughs’ most formative years were spent at Harvard Latin School in Chicago where he developed his classical knowledge and fell in love with classical mythology.
Thus, as the mythological god of heaven was Zeus to whom John Carter corresponds, John Clayton, or Tarzan corresponds to the terrestrial god, Poseidon or, perhaps more accurately to the son of Zeus, the great man-god Heracles. Burroughs often refers to Tarzan as the Heracles of the jungle so perhaps he shoved Poseidon aside in favor of the son of Zeus. This leaves only the realm of the underworld ruled by Pluto or Hades in Classical Mythology which Burroughs renamed Pelucidar and placed at the center of the Earth. He doesn’t seem to have felt the need for a ruler of that particular realm. Thus while the three realms exist in his mythology the trinity seems to be curiously truncated by one but perhaps I’m missing something.
Thus Burroughs updated the Trinity. It might be coincidence or maybe it was destiny but Burroughs was chosen to transit the bases of the New Mythology at the first glimmer of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Was he conscious of his role as the Man of Destiny? While he could never be sure he undoubtedly hoped the Light was shining on him.
Although obscure this move shows a very astute religious understanding. If one wishes to supplant a religion the wise idea is to appropriate the forms of symbols, shrines and ideas and replace their content with your own. Catholicism did this with Greek and German sites and Jewish and Moslem religions are attempting the same with Christian and or Western sites, symbols and ideas now. There is an eternal religious war. For instance Jews have instituted the new Jewish holiday Hannukah in opposition to the Western Christmas which in itself contains the superposition of the Christian religion on pagan sites. While shining the light on their Hannukah they make vicious attacks on Christmas trying to have it outlawed. Christmas celebrants are thus being nudged to embrace Hannukah at which time they will be left in peace to celebrate their Christmas under the guise of Hannukah. In the time honored manner Christianity will have been superseded, in this case by a lesser religious faith. Undoubtedly they will be happy with an eight day celebration rather than a one. A little bribery works well.
Thus Burroughs makes John Carter the Master of Time and Space in place of Jahweh or Allah. When the scientific British conquered India and scoffed at the Hindu notion that the world rested on the back of the elephant as an impossibility the Hindu priests withdrew, worked it over in their minds and countered: OK. The world rests on the back of the tortoise. The Hindus could not accept the negation of their religious beliefs.
So science made clear to Christians, Jews and and Moslems that there was no god and that instead of the earth nestling in an egg of seven heavens with god in the seventh and highest balanced by seven layers of hell beneath the flat earth and that space was in fact boundless and the earth occupied an infinitessimally small space in the universe, the Christians, Jews and Moslems retired to consider the problem then each gave a new solution based on God in heaven much as the Hindus switched from an elephant to a tortoise. It is impossible to just switch the human mind from one system to another. As Voltaire said: No one ever willed himself an athiest.
Science is abstract while religion is visceral. so even those working in science retain their religious views. The Christians said: Alright then, if God didn’t create mankind what happened is that a comet brought life to Earth. You see, Evolution or Creation must come from outside. It is more comfortable to think that. Thus nothing changed, life came from ‘above.’ As the space idea developed one had the spectacular Uranian religion develop where the entire universe becomes one huge revival camp while ‘visitors’ from outer space landed handing knowledge to dumb ox earthlings. Knowledge wasn’t acquired bit by bit by humble earthlings but was given by superior aliens, i.e. God. The Aliens then began to hover over Earth in flying saucers to monitor our activities until we were ‘ready’ to enter the congress of planets in a peaceful manner. Like God they don’t interfere in our affairs.
Thus John Carter the man-god can replace both God in his heaven and space aliens and God will still be in his heaven and all right with the world. Only the symbols will change which is as it must be. As above, so below. Following that religious formula Burroughs placed the avatar of primitiveness and sophistication, Tarzan, as overlord of Africa. Tarzan remains a savage but is sometimes dressed in a tuxedo, even in the jungle.
How aware is this? Currently certain groups are going into the very heart of darkness to haul Negroes out of the jungle, put them on airplanes which they may only have seen flying high above them and transporting them to the United States where these groups expect these primitives to get a job, eat frozen food, and flush the toilet none of which the primitives have any knowledge. As is well known feral humans are incapable of transiting to human society. The brain can only absorb so much and at such a rate. This inability cannot be accelerated or changed. Even well educated, supposedly sophisticated humans can’t make the transition from a magical religious mindset to a rational scientific one so what is to become of primitives? Scientific thought has had no part in Chinese or Asian thought until very recently so how can these peoples be expected to abandon their essentially mythopoeic thought processes for a scientific one?
So, while Burroughs was attempting to lead the way to an Aquarian scientific conception of the coming New Age he was wisely attempting to do the impossibhle: Putting new wine in old bottles without bursting the bottles. It may be impossible yet it has to be done. The issue has now been complicated, probably irreparably, by the introduction of hundreds of millions of people into Western society for which the transition is a complete impossibility. The enlightened Westerner will be swamped by those incapable of understanding whether it be their natural limitations or not.
In this global society the Aquarian religion must displace several antiquated thought systems. The truth is obvious. A palatable religion has to be packaged for the masses that will make them psychologically comfortable and an elite and priesthood who hopefully understand the issues who can keep society moving forward on an even keel. Is this possible? Even Burroughs could solve the problem only by continuing the institution of slavery. Slavery permeates his entire work.
In our situation it is important to keep the religious warfare confined to the warring elites and away from the masses.
That means of course that the egalitarian character of the last two hundred years has come to an end. Of course, the Semites put a period to that on 9/11.
The question then is who will wear the crown? Burroughsian religious ideas must triumph. The Carter-Clayton ideas must be put into action driving the three Semitic religions off the field as well as conquering the minds of the Asians and Africans.
Not as difficult as it may seem but it takes a steely determination so far shown only by the Jews and Moslems. You have to know who you are, what you want and be prepared to deal with any obstacles as these two groups obviously are an do. Know who you are and the superiority of your beliefs. There is no longer any room for tolerance as with them. Everything else out there is inferior, nothing can successfully slander our beliefs unless we permit it.
November 21, 2010
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 Tarzan The Invincible
Religion: Standing On The Promises
Even though at the beginning of the novel Burroughs says he does not consider Politics and Religion suitable topics for fiction- unless highly fictionalized- the two topics seem to constitute a major portion of his work.
The Great One does not feel called upon to exhibit a foolish consistency. In Invincible the first sentence is: I am no historian. In Tarzan Triumphant he says: ‘Being merely a simple historian and no prophet…’ So in the few months between Invincible and Triumphant he has gone from no historian to a mere simple one while hinting that while he is no prophet he may become one. We can’t be certain what the future holds in store for him. I’ve already sensed that he is a prophet. Tarzan is the god and Edgar Rice Burroughs is his prophet. So much for Mohammed being the end of the prophetic line.
Under cover of fiction Triumphant will deal extensively with the Jewish and Christian religions so this might be an appropriate place to review some aspects of the history and nature of religion.
Evolution occurs on many levels other than the biological. The biological naturally controls all other forms of evolution. The species has developed from a time of pre-hominid ancestors that must at some time have diverged from that of the other anthropoids as unpleasant as that may be for a certain type of mind although, for the life of me, I can’t imagine why. One of the more significant areas of evolution has been that of the brain. Nothing should be clearer than that the brain of HSIII is superior to the brain of the first Homo Sapiens and species which evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor. I mean gorillas must have a relatively primitive brain.
There is no reason for this not to be so. The brain of the infant Homo Sapiens continues to develop outside the womb until at least the early twenties. At each stage the ability of the brain to function increases. As above, so below; as in the macro so in the micro.
Thus as in each stage of evolution from the first Homo Sapiens to the present most highly evolved specimen Homo Sapiens III, abilities to think and function have increased. Thus HS’s understanding of the world and universe are immeasurably different from the first Homo Sapiens model. I can’t imagine anyone who would dissent from that conclusion.
Now, except for the intermingling of human species certain human species would still be unacquainted with the approximately true nature of the world and universe that we have attained. I don’t see how this can be disputed. Without European influence the rest of the world would still think the earth was flat. These are facts whether one likes them or not. Indeed, even among the most advanced human species there are very large numbers who resist the scientific explanation of nature. These people still prefer the atavistic, antiquated religious Semitic explanation of natural phenomena. These people can barely accept the notion of a heliocentric solar system, many don’t. Why should anyone pay attention to them?
If one accepts that Homo Sapiens is 150K to 200K years old then it seems to me impossible that all human intellectual development has occurred in the last ten thousand years. Weapons of some sort have been in existence for many tens of thousands of years if not from the beginning of Homo Sapiens having been evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor. It seems evident to me that a highly developed civilization existed in the Med Basin beginning c. 100K years ago. That doesn’t mean they had advanced Science it merely means that they had an organized society with relatively sophisticated thought processes and tools. Religion is basically an attempt to understand and make order of the world. All interpretations of the natural order must be based on that order.
Hence the North Polar stars which never set are the basis of religion. The Polar stars rotate about the Pole over a period of some 25K odd years forming what is called a Great Year. The Great year was made to conform to the terrestrial year of twelve months therefore being divided into twelve periods called Ages.
The Great Year with it twelve Ages formed the basis of religion. We will call that religion the Astrological Religion. Thus the religion goes back for tens of thousands of years as Sumerian records indicate. These Ancients did not make up their lives or talk through the backs of their necks.
Each Age of the Astrological Religion had its male and female religious archetypes. These are, perhaps most easily traced as far back as four ages, possibly five, in the Greco-Cretan mythology. The historical ages are the Taurian, Arien, Piscean and the next, the Aquarian. I am not a New Ager although I see no reason to disparage them and I am in sympathy with the outlook. One may say that I am of the Astrological religious tradition as we will see, I think, was Edgar Rice Burroughs.
In ancient days the Hom Sapiens species were separated each having distinct territories so that in the Darwinian sense they were not yet in conflict. When the last Ice Age came to an end flooding the Med Basin- this is not speculation, but fact- the civilization of the Basin was forced to higher ground bringing them into contact with the highland savages from West to East. Thus civilization as we now know it began.
The first settlers of Mesopotamia brought the Astrological Religion with them or, according to Mesopotamian mythology a man-god named Oannes- the name Oannes evolved into Johannes or John- appeared from the sea to teach them the rudiments of civilization and the Astrological Religion. Immense amounts of lore must have been lost, that is forgotten, so perhaps that is where the legend of the Lost Word comes in.
Now, off to the East on the Arabian Peninsula a different species lived. These were called the Semites or would be after the later Hebrews so named them after their mythical ancestor, Shem. Mere desert dwellers the Semites were attracted to the glitter of the Astrological Religion. There is no evidence that the Semites had a civilization or anything that could be called an actual culture of their own. They merely mimicked the existing culture infiltrating it much as Europe and America are being infiltrated today by their descendants. Eventually they will succeed the European civilization just as their ancestors did the Sumerian.
The evidence is that they had no religious forms of their own so that they attempted to take over both the physical and cultural edifices of their predecessor civilization, the Sumerian.
The Semites did not have the same mental organization or capabilities as their predecessors so they could maintain neither the civilization nor the religion. The major conflict came at the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries. Here is where the real conflict between the Semites and Indo-Europeans or the Semites and HSII & III begins to take its historical form.
When the Astrological Age changes the religious archetypes change. For instance Cronus had been succeeded by Zeus at the transition from Taurus to Aries. Zeus himself was succeeded by Jesus the Christ at the transition from Aries to Pisces. Zeus would have been succeeded by Dionysus but the Semites either had to be accommodated or they forced Jesus of Nazareth on the Age which was later combined with the Kyrios Christos to form the composite deity the Semitic Jesus and Hellenic Christ. The role of Paul was very important in forcing Jesus of Nazareth on the goyim as Burroughs attests in Triumphant.
As we are now about to transit from Pisces to Aquarius a new set of archetypes will emerge representing the current intellectual and psychological development of Homo Sapiens.
This raises the question of whether Burroughs was merely a simple historian or was he also a prophet. Is Tarzan his offering for the role of the male archetype for the Aquarian Age? I think he is. For those who scoff at such an idea it would be wise to examine Burroughs relation to Mormonism during his stay in Salt Lake City. If it was possible for Joseph Smith to befuddle the minds of intelligent Westerners with his nonsense in the middle of the nineteenth century, or Mohammed to impose his twaddle even in the seventh, then I see no reson to be amazed that Burroughs would attempt the same thing in the twentieth century. I mean, look at this stuff for what it is.
Also, believe it or not, I read recently where someone thinks Oprah Winfrey could be the female archetype for the Aquarian Age. Get out of here. I don’t whether to laugh or barf. So, the notion of religious archetypes for the new age is a fairly active one. Any such discussions are in conflict with Semitism. So, we’re back to that problem.
Semitism took identifiable form at the transit from Taurus to Aries.
The record of such happenings is, of course, much more recent than the transition from Taurus to Aries. It could have been made up during the Babylonian captivity. The Old Testament record was only recorded, perhaps even formulated, after the Captivity which began in 586 BC lasting for only fifty years although rather than return to the pleasure of the temple most Jews remained behind by the waters of Babylon just as their ancestors yearned for the fleshpots of Egypt.
To clarify the nature of human species according to Jewish sources: The Jews argue that all mankind is derived from Jewish or Hebrew stock. The only survivors of the great flood were Jews- Noah and his family. The ancient Hebrews while knowing many cultures knew of only three species or stocks. They acccordingly named them Hamites, Shemites and Japhetites after sons of Noah. In their conversations with De Great Lawd which were frequently carried on in public He apparently dispensed information on a need to know basis so he withheld the info on the Mongolids and West African Negroes as no account of them is taken in the descendants of Noah. A little gap in the perfect knowledge of the Old Testament.
Thus the Old Testament acknowledges the differences between the Semites, the Europeans or Japhetites and the Hamites are more than merely racial, which is to say Cosmetic. Such an idea is of course in line with genetic learning.
The Med People or HSII devised a fluid religious system that allowed for the development or evolution of the human mind. In other words they not only accepted but embraced change. This is a quality of mind not shared by HSI, the Semites or the Mongolids.
Depending on what time period the Semites began the infiltration of Mesopotamia which may have overlapped the Geminian and Taurian Ages or perhaps fell completely within the Taurian Age there would have been no conflict with the Semitic need for stasis and the Astrological allowance for development, evolution or growth. However, by the time of the transit from Taurus to Aries the Semites had gained political control of Mesopotamia while the religious control was still in the hands of the Aryan priesthood.
Following Astrological precedents the ancient Aryan priesthood wanted to change to the Arien archetypes. In European Greece where the Semitic influence was lower the transit from Cronus to Zeus was made with only the usual warfare hence the legends of the Cronian Titans and the Olympians.
In Mesopotamia where the Semites were in the ascendant, according to Jewish myhthology, the Terahites, under the tutelage of Abram, disputed the succession with the ancient priesthood. According to Jewish mythology Abram and the Terahites argued that the religious archetypes were eternal and there was no Astrological tradition. Thus in the ancient world the Jews were believed to worship Saturn. If Saturn were the Taurian archetype then this was very likely true as Saturn would then be the basis for the Eternal which the Jews do acknowledge worshipping.
In the Semitic manner, then, the Semitic mind being incapable of accepting change, having been fully developed before they emerged from the desert, went into opposition to the Astrological Religion. Thus the conflict changed from a termporal one to a ‘spiritual’ one. At that point then diaspora was possible without the laws of national identity. As a spiritual entity, Judaism was born. The notion of Semitism developed along with its opposite anti-Semitism. Christ = Anti-Christ. Thus the explanation of the origin of this so-called anti-Semitism is simply explained. In reality Semitism was in conflict with the Astrological Religion and hence was anti-Astrological. Any other religion must perforce be anti-Semitism. The struggle then became a struggle for the souls of men as well as their bodies.
Once again in direct conflict Europe and Asia began a long theological dispute. As the Piscean transition progressed the Semites began their attempt to convert the Astrological religion to Semitism. They were effective in shutting down intellectual inquiry which is the motive force for change. We will see this again in the nineteenth century efforts of Marx, Freud and Einstein.
As the ancient world ended, its religious legatees were the Catholic Church and Judaism. All other ancient religions disappeared from the face of the earth except in ineffective remnants or underground movements.
It is interesting that fourteen hundred years after being forbidden the Arien Age worship of Zeus has been made lawful again in Greece. There’s really no place in the Aquarian Age for the Olympian pantheon but it is an interesting atavistic attempt reviving as it were the struggle between the Arien Age religions of Olympia and Israel.
Gradually the Egyptian and Anatolian elements of the Christian manifestation of the Piscean archetypes have been displaced in favor of the Semitic models. The Catholic Church was able to contain the Semitic influence in Europe from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the Age of the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Enlightenment let Simitism loose on the world again.
While the Roman Empire militarily defeated the political entity of Jerusalem from 66 AD to 135 AD the battle weakened the Empire allowing in Asiatic influences like the Emperor Heliogabalus. Then in the seventh century AD the present form of the struggle between Europe and Asia took form when the prophet Mohammed formed the Moslem Religion based largely on its predecessor religion, Judaism.
The Moslems stormed across North Africa into Spain and France where they were stopped at Tours by Charles The Hammer. It took nearly one thousand years to drive the Moslems from France and Spain which result was finally obtained in 1492.
As the Moors were driven from Europe by Ferdinand and Isabella they also expelled the Semitic Jews. In the evolutionary sense this was the other correct response to an invasion of a competing species. The other, of course, would have been extermination. Thus at this stage of European history they were responding in an evolutionarily correct manner. England had expelled the Jews in 1190 and France in 1307. The various small German States fluctuated in their attitude sometimes expelling sometimes readmitting. There were always German States that allowed Semites. Otherwise the great mass of European Semites lived in the no-mans land between Russia and Germany that would after Russian annexation be called the Pale of the Settlement meaning this area was roped off for Jewish residence.
While these actions may have been evolutionarily correct and probably even politically correct the defensive party seldom thinks in such grand terms as evolutionary inevitability. So, really, in evolutionary terms the only correct response is extermination. The Shona of Zimbabwe fully understand this principle. I say this to show I am not springing anything new or unusual on you. These natural responses are going on today in Zimbabawe, South Africa, South and West Sudan, Indonesia, in former Yugoslavia where Moslems are exterminating non-Moslems. If you don’t believe these things, open your eyes, open your eyes.
Now, wars do not end after seeming victory. The expelled Moslems of Spain continued the war establishing the Barbary Pirates who then preyed on Europe for the next three hundred years plundering and enslaving Europeans. The actual invasion of North Africa first by Spain and then by France was an attempt to end this savage warfare.
Burroughs would have been brought up on the legend of millions for defense but not one cent for tribute as was my generation. Until recently I believed that Americans had ended Barbary piracy. This was just something we were told in the fourth grade. Actually the Barbary pirates were put down only in 1830 when France conquered and annexed Algeria.
France at that time ought to have either exterminated or driven out the Moslems. Having once expelled them, if they had had the power, they should have swept across North Africa, as the Moslems had done, driving the Moslems before them until they had reached Suez.
Thus Africa would have been reclaimed for Europe. First it was held by the HSII survivors of the Med Basin flooding, then the Semitic-Carthaginians, then HSII Romans and back again to the Semitic Arabs. So such a preemption was certainly historically justified. The Moslems make a great noise about the Crusades but the modern problem was their offense of the Eruption From The Desert. Get straight.
At the same time the Jewish and Arab Semitic struggles were going on the yeast of the suppressed religions of the Middle East and philosophies of Greece were converting the Europeans from Semitic stasis to Aryan intellectual activity. The Eastern Roman Empire fell at the time of the expulsion of the Jews and Moslems from Spain. Scholars flooded out of the East. These Egyptian, Greek and Syrian influences burst forth in the seventeenth and eighteenth century as the Enlightenment. Previously the discussion had been between the Semitic reigions of Judaism, Moslemism and Christianity. The level of human consciousness between the three was nearly equal although still retaining some measure of the Astrological Religion. This is a very serious subject for study. Christianity, such as it was, was intellectually superior. Remember, however, that Catholicism was so imbued with the limited Semitic intellect that the Pope made Galileo deny the notion of a heliocentric system.
The release of the Scientific Consciousness after the long suppression of several hundreds of years put the inferior religious consciousnesses on the defensive. The Semitic counterattack going on today is the culmination of the Jewish response to the Enlightenment. It is imperative that a Scientific offensive be made against this anterior and surpassed form of the evolution of human consciousness. As in the past a victory cannot be achieved without a perhaps bloody and costly struggle. Such as is going on now.
We, you readers, Burroughs and I, are concerned with the middle of the Englightenment period here, say from 1890 to 1935. I think we will see that Edgar Rice Burroughs is deeply and constructively involved in this struggle between the Religious and Scientific Consciousnesses.
As I’ve noted before, the Christian response to the scientific challenge was to declare either the Pope or the Bible infallible. Protestants didn’t have a Pope so they declared the Bible infallible. Same thing. American Liberals who evolved from the Puritan/Abolitionist nexus essentially became secular religionists. It is to be remembered that the Puritans the Liberals evolved from considered themselves neo-Hebrews hence the new Chosen People. According to John Adams as Neo-Hebrews they even rejected the celebration of Christmas. Thus Liberals tend to give science a religious spin rejecting Christianity.
The Jews on the other hand confronted by a hard edged Science that could not be bent to Semitic ideas decided to co-opt Science perverting it so that it resembles their religion. All these responses have been taking place since the French Revolution of 1789 which emancipated the Jews removing them from Roman Catholic control.
As I pointed out in an earlier essay there was a brilliant episode on the TV show Twilight Zone in which monks had captured and imprisoned Satan. They made the mistake of allowing a lost traveler to stay the night in the monestery. The monks warned the visitor to pay no attention to the entreaties of the prisoner to release him. The traveler did not heed the warning and prisoner who was Satan was released again in the world. A little allegory.
Thus the Revolution and Napoleon emancipated the Jews who immediately began the conquest of Europe. France was the first to fall. Karl Marx then hi-jacked Socialism in the name of Communism. Communism negates change in favor of stasis. Its story is all regulation and control, no different than Judaism. An elite administers to the ‘masses’ as the Chosen People administers to the goys.
Just as the Moslems are called to prayer five times a day and the Jews are expected to apply their 613 commands to every action before they take it, so Communism coopts the individual into the collectivity and regulates his every action.
Using Socialism as its cutting edge the way was paved for Communism in Europe.
Burroughs first encountered Socialism on the streets of Chicago as Socialists marched along under their waving red banners. The scene made an indelible impression on the young boy resulting after the Russian Revolution in his book, Under The Red Flag. Thus the Semites coopted the political ideology of the next one hundred years.
Science unfolded very quickly in the years following Darwin’s Origin Of Species. Particularly great progress was made in the scientific understanding of the mind. Psychology then was coopted by the Jew, Sigmund Freud. It is rather difficult to understand why all research seems to have been channeled through Freudianism. A rather fecund area of research seems to have been enveloped into one train of thought.
Freud quickly established his version of the static ‘unconscious’ as the sole vision of the mind. He demoted the conscious mnd to a position of irrelvance. His intention is quite clear. The conscious mind is the engine of change. By emphasizing the static unconscious combined with is vision of sex, which is to say only sexual intercourse, he was attempting to disarm the conscious mind and hence stop change or in other words establish stasis. Success in such a course is not instantaneous so naturally science continues to progress as the pall of the unconscious spreads. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why scientists are male and white. Once you have established the fact that scientists will be male and white it becomes necessary to stultify and emasculate white males, thereby establishing stasis. One would have to be blind not to see that that is exactly what is happening.
In point of fact the unconscious does not have an objective existence. Its apparent existence is merely a mind in an arrested state of development. The stasis is caused by fixations from challenges too stressful for the conscious mind to handle. Once the fixations are dealt with and disappear, which is included in Freud’s understanding of the mind, the mind or personality is allowed to integrate, the Freudian unconscious disappearing.
Freud never integrated his personality remaining under the influence of his ‘unconscious’ so it is possible he didn’t understand the integration of the personality although his disciple, Jung, did.
However in Freud’s hands the unconscious became a weapon in the Semitic attempt to subjugate mankind. This subjugation is not religious or moral but a matter of one species seeking dominance over the others. Thus as Marx perverted the science of politics so Freud perverted the science of the mind. The third perversion of Science was the conquest of physics by Einstein. As Marx and Freud had interjected Semitic religious concepts into Politics and Psychology so Einstein did the same in Physics. It matters little that there is some scientific content in the the theories of these men. Their intent is to subordinate science to religion just as they had done vis-a-vis the Astrological Religion to the Semitic Religion when the Religious Consciousness was supreme.
That Einsten has been able to befog the minds of very intelligent men with his nonsense about the ‘fabric’ of space and time is nothing short of incredible. Yet, by the second decade of the twentieth century the perverted notions of these three men were directing the course of research in these three essential disciplines.
Thus cored from within the Aryans were made susceptible to the rising time of Wahabi Moslemism that Lothrop Stoddard noted and warned against but which warning was defused due to the machinations of Jewish Semites within Western Civilization.
Running concurrently in the background contra to the Semitic stream was the evolving Astrological Religion. Just as the evolution of the Dionysiac Archetype of the Age of Pisces developed for hundreds of years within the Arien dispensation of Zeus so the formation of the Aquarian has been taking place in the Age of Pisces.
The Enlightenment with its advance in the development of scientific consciousness was undoubtedly the opening salvo. Unlike Semitic development the Astrological evolution was not institutionalized. It is an idea that once set in motion is maintained by volunteers who get the idea and keep it perpetuating.
The principle is known. For instance the notion that America is a land of immigrants has been allowed to develop to the point of self-destruction. Of course that notion is constantly forwarded by the Liberal Coalition. Even though it is obvious to the feeblest intelligence that the land is capable of supporting only a finite number of humans the madness has now reached the point where it is beleived that the whole world can be imported ‘to share what we have.’ One of the most, if not the most, bizarre notions in all history. Such insanity is difficult to understand.
If one assumes, as one must, that human consciousness has been developing over the 150K years since humans evolved from the Last Hominid Predecessor then this transition to the Aquarian Age is the most dramatic development of history. All previous stages of evolution have involved the progression from one stage of supernatural religion to another. In this transition, for the first time, it has been proclaimed that ‘God is dead.’ That is to say a supernatural being who guide’s our destiny.
With the age of Science mankind realizes the true nature of appearances or Nature itself. The concept of Evolution destroyed the basis of the Semitic religion. There is no God, no Yahweh, no Allah, no stasis. Oh, Lord, crikey Massa, don’t put me jail for saying that! People who still believe in such non-existent deities have not been relegated to the dustbin of history.
Burroughs, and I consider this fairly remarkable, seems to have accepted the New Order of Science upon his first contact with Darwin and Evolution. To say that ‘God is dead’ creates a vacuum in human consciousness such as the integration of the personality changes one’s mental structure leaving an aching vacancy between the vacation of the old personality and its replacement by the new. Thus for the last hundred years or so mankind has been seaching for a metaphysical sucessor to the supernatural concept of God.
Just as the Enlightenment may have opened the way to the transition to the new consciousness so men have appeared to direct consciousness into constructive channels. One of these writing as Burroughs writhed through the years between his marriage and the epiphany that produced his writing career and Tarzan was a man called Levi Dowling writing under the name of Levi. His effort, I’m certain what he considered his gift to the world, was a work called The Aquarian Gospel Of Jesus The Christ.
I doubt Burroughs read this book although one never knows. Chicago in the period before Los Angeles was the American hotbed of religious speculation. One should never overlook that. Burroughs lived in a welter of religious speculation. Added to that Burroughs was heavily influenced by Lew Sweetser who was particularly interested and well informed on such topics. Plus Burroughs lived in Mormonland for a decent period of time making a special visit ot the Mormon capital in 1898, while living in Salt Lake City for several months in 1903-04. It would be hard to believe that he wasn’t learning of the Mormon doctrines especially how a noodle brain like Joseph Smith was able in the nineteenth century to impose his religious will on thousands of people.
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, came from an area highly influenced by the fantastic religious notions of the Rhineland Pietistic Germans who became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch in America. Magazines would have been full of this stuff while the Chicago papers must have covered these religious speculations in detail. There is no reason to believe that Burroughs’ mind wasn’t filled with these speculations. Such ideas spill out all over the pages of his books.
Many writers have noted that the initials of John Carter and John Clayton are JC the same as Jesus the Christ. No Freudian believes in coincidence so there must be an intellectual connection. Burroughs repeatedly says that the next deity must be a man-god and that is explicitly what Tarzan is.
There is nothing supernatural about Tarzan. He is completely a man of science. The most highly involved specimen of humanity ever. If like Jesus the Christ he doesn’t have a magical birth he certainly has a miraculous upbringing from the age of one. Unlike Sargon and Moses who were fished from rivers in baskets thus breaking continuity with human predecessors Tarzan was taken from the cradle by an ape thus breaking continuity with human predecessors while establishing a new human paradigm. He in fact unites nature with civilization or, at least, a thin veneer of it. Now, this is completely in keeping with the Dionysiac paradigm.
Dionysus has two sides. The soft feminine side which has characterized the Piscean Age and the wild natural side which is meant to characterize the Aquarian Age. The undisciplined natural side of human consciousness that the Patriarachy tried to suppress in favor of the strictly rational as characterized by Apollo wouldn’t be suppressed. As mythology relates it, women could not be rational thus they embraced the Dionysiac religion imposing its ecstasies on society. The Dionysiac ethos was so strong that it forced itself on the Delphic Oracle in partnership with Apollo. Thus Delphi came to represent both the rational and irrational sides of consciousness. The conscious and unconscious if you will.
Thus as the Piscean Age dawned and the religious archetypes changed from Zeus and Hera to Dionysus and Isis the struggle was to keep consciousness or the rational uppermost. Of course, Dionysus and Isis were supplanted by the Semitic ideals Jesus and his mother, Mary who later became the Mother of God. Later the Dionysiac Kyrios Christos was grafted onto Jesus of Nazareth and he became Jesus the Christ as Levi Dowling correctly notes.
One can’t be certain how learned Burroughs was in this lore. He most probably was somewhat read in it while brilliantly intuiting the direction the evolution of consciousness must take. One can never be sure although there is little in the surviving library to indicate he read deeply in such lore. But then, so much of his knowledge he does evidence can’t be found in the library either. Suffice it to say that such knowledge seems to be apparent in his stories.
Needless to say the idea of Tarzan expanded and developed over his career. The Tarzan of the teens is quite different from the Tarzan of the thirties. There are a couple of passages in Tarzan Triumphant that make you do a double take. To wit: p. 12
…Tarzan with knitted brows, looked down upon the black kneeling at his feet.
“Rise!” he commanded, and then; “Who are you and why have you sought Tarzan Of The Apes?”
“I am Kabarega, O Great Bwana,” replied the black. “I am chief of the Bangalo people of Bungalo. I come to the Great Bwana because my people suffer much sorrow and great fear and our neighbors, who are related to the Gallas, have told us that you are the friend of those who suffer wrongs at the hands of bad men.”
So here Tarzan as become a Sultan, a King, an Emperor, a great judge and dispenser of justice; shall we say a god? Certainly the Lord Of The Jungle. He also seems to have lost perspective but then, perhaps a god must keep up appearances. We do have a new imperious Tarzan here who was not in any books before Invincible.
And then in Chapter 13, p. 98 in the Bowlderized Ballantine edition:
The “Gunner” was waiting for him upon the summit of the cliff directly behind the village, and for the second time these strangely dissimilar men met- dissimilar and yet, in some respects alike. Each was ordinarily quiet to taciturnity, each was self-reliant, each was a law unto himself in his own environment; but there their similarity ceased for the extremes of environment had produced psychological extremes (opposites) as remotely separated as the poles.
The ape-man had been reared amidst scenes of eternal beauty and grandeur, his associates the beast of the jungle, savage perhaps, but devoid of avarice, petty jealousy, treachery, meanness, and intentional cruelty; while the “Gunner” had known naught but the squalid aspects of scenery defiled by man, of horizons grotesque with screaming atrocities of architecture, of an earth hidden by concrete and asphaltum and littered with tin cans and garbage, his associates, in all walks of life activated by grand and petty meannesses unknown to any but mankind.
“A machine gun has its possibilities,” said the ape-man, with the flicker of a smile.
The last near hundred years has been characterized by the attempt to overturn the Scientific Consciousness in the name of two Arien Age Semitic religions, Judaism and Moslemism. Indeed the ‘hand of God’ moves in mysterious ways. Let’s look at one called ‘The Iron Law Of Wages.’ When you read in the Old Testament that ‘the poor shall be always with us’ you probably didn’t notice the arrogance of the remark nor that it is an actual ‘eternal’ tenet of Semitic religious belief. The remark put into academic terms might be that the price of labor is the lowest price that a man can be gotten to do a job and that they may be worked to death like slaves thereby insuring that the poor shall always be with us.
The religious theory was formulated in scientific terms by David Ricardo in 1817. Described as a British economist Ricardo was actually a Sephardic Jew. That is to say his people fled Spain c.1492 in this case first to Holland and then to England which was undoubtedly done illegally after a period of Dutch acculturation. It will be easily seen that Ricardo is adapting the ancient Semitic belief that the poor will always be with us to British conditions. Indeed, as his formulation became the bedrock of employment practices it may be said he created poverty as the industrial age took shape until Henry Ford disproved this ancient historical bunk in 1914. At that time he ‘unilaterally’ doubled the wages of unskilled labor to begin to create the prosperity that characterized American society until the reemergence of Semitic beliefs in the twenty-first century.
I personally deplore unionism but I also see its necessity. Ford’s action raised the price of labor across the board. Unionism was successfully fought by managers until unionism gained the backing of the government under FDR. Backed by the government support unions made excessive and ridiculous demands until their momentum was stopped when Ronald Reagan sent the Air Controllers back to work which put unionism on the defensive.
Ricardo’s Iron Law Of Wages was not re-instituted at that time. Fordism still prevailed. Then jobs were exported wholesale to ‘multi-cultural’ areas of low wages. This was a crucial mistake for the world. Even this did not break the back of labor.
The next strategic move was simply to open the borders allowing millions of immigrants who would work for lower wages under distressing conditions. While immigration makes no sense on any other level it does put the Biblical managers in control of labor once again. President Bush himself was a primitive religionist unacquainted even with the twentieth century who had surrounded himself with even more primitive Jewish religionists. The war of religion against Science goes on.
Thus the Semitic counterattack against Science goes on. Both major races of Semites, the Jews and Arabs, are waging war on the most primitive basis. The issue is not the issue. Immigration, the ostensible issue, is simply a Red Herring to disguise the true issue which is to defeat Fordism and re-institute Ricardo’s Iron Law Of Wages to ensure that the poor will always be with us. The streets are now filled with the homeless.
This is the real reason Ford is called an anti-Semite and on that basis he certainly was. God bless his memory.
So, the unsuspecting young Burroughs thrust himself into this melee. Just as Ford was in actuality a religious prophet with a new industrial dispensation so Burroughs, judging from results set himself the task of creating an archetype for the Aquarian Age. Something of value for one to aspire to. One can trace the development of Tarzan from the miraculous babe to the finished archetype as the man-god.
As H.G. Wells noted in his First And Last Things there is a necessity for metaphysics. Man does not live by bread alone. While Science reduced everything to its material basis it destroyed the means of ‘spiritual’ or psychological comfort. With God dead mankind lost its identity and sense of direction. As the old psychological projection of its identity had failed a new one was required that would be based on scientific material realities.
Levi Dowling’s vision of an Aquarian Jesus is unsatisfactory. Burroughs vision of the competent Tarzan satisfies on several different levels. Burroughs seems to have caught the essence of the Astrological Religion although there is difficulty in understanding how he came by his knowledge. The rudiments can be clearly seen so the answer must be in his personal digestion of the ideas. Lew Sweetser is obvious while perhaps Burroughs loyalty to a medical charlatan like Dr. Stace may possibly be explained by the man’s esoteric knowledge. Such knowledge frequently goes hand in hand with special diets and medical nostrums. There is no reason to believe that Stace didn’t sincerly believe in his nostums just because science couldn’t find a reason for them to be effective. Men have misled themselves to a much greater degree than that. Nevertheless I am convinced that Burroughs acquired his New Age beliefs as evidenced by Tarzan more from his associates’ conversation than reading.
The idea of Tarzan as the man-god culminates in Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant. With these two novels he is a fully functioning psychological projection of the Aquarian Age. The ‘spritual’ basis for Western man to regain its psychological balance destroyed by the ‘death’ of God.
He is what stands between the immolation of Euroamerican men on the altars of Semitism and the triumph of the scientific Aquarian Age.
Mankind, or at least Euroamerican mankind, must make the great leap for mankind into the Scientific Consciousness, into evolution to the next level. The old Religious Consciousness must be rejected. One cannot tolerate primitive belief systems any more than there can be no tolerance of the intolerant whatever that may mean.
Burroughs has given us an avatar of the future. It is up to us only to accept him and make use of the gifts he brought us.
October 31, 2010
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Red, White And Black
Now we get to the ostensible story which is the Red assault on Italian Somaliland. If few people today understand the partition of Africa by the European powers it might be well to recap the situation a little. The two big players were France and England with Spain and Portugal picking up some early real estate to be later joined by the bit players, Germany and Italy. The German possessions were stripped from them after the Great War and given to England.
This novel takes place in the Horn Of Africa or the Northeast corner facing the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean. The area contained Ethiopia otherwise known as Abyssinia, the only independent State in Africa save Liberia whose independence was guaranteed by the United States.
Ethiopia was bordered by Italian Eritrea and French and British Somaliland on the North, Italian Somaliland on the East, Kenya and Uganda on the South and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan on the West.
The Galla tribe with whom ERB became fascinated had been driven about by the Somals occupying lands mostly in the interior of Ethiopia after the manner of the Middle Eastern Kurds, where they were constantly in conflict with the Ethiopians and the Somals on the border. ERB deals with the Ethiopian-Galla situation in Tarzan And The Mad Man.
The Red camp is located in Ethiopia several days march from the border of Italian Somaliland. Opar which is nearby must now be located in Ethiopia.
The Reds have assembled an international cast of characters or in other words a multi-cultural outfit. Their multi-cultural nature will prove to be a liability rather than an asset as indeed it must in real life.
The organizers are Russian or Soviet Communists of whom there are four, Peter Zveri, the leader, Zora Drinov, Paul Ivitch and Michael Dorsky. They are joined by an American agent acting as a double agent, Wayne Colt.
Burroughs casually mentions that the expedition was put together in the United States by Zveri operating on both coasts. As Burroughs is writing a novel he wisely declines to preach or analyze, he is, as he says, an entertainer. As I who do function as an analyst pointed out in Marcia Of The Doorstep that the US had been used as a safe haven by every conspiratiorial revolutionary group on the planet. Burroughs is noting the same thing but only in passing as part of the story. If one is not attuned to such details they slip right by without significance as do the dots and dashes of the Morse code to the uninitiated.
The group is also composed of a Filipino Red, Antonio Mori and a Mexican revolutionary Miguel Romero. These people form the core group. Affiliated with them are the Moslem Arabs of Abu Batn who appear to have been recruited from the Mahgreb, perhaps Algeria, where some of Tarzan’s early adventures occurred. They do not appear to be Black Arabs of the Horn. While appearing to be Communists they remain Moslem Arabs whose real motive is to drive the Christians or Nasrany as they call them out of Africa. This means Whites of no or any religious affiliation.
Zveri has also patched on the Bantu tribe of Kitembo, the Basembos. This is because Kitembo has actually been to Opar, the only member of their party who has. Kitembo doesn’t appear to be a true Communist but is a former powerful chief from Kenya who had been displaced by the British. He comes from a place on Lake Victoria which should make him a Luo but for reasons perhaps not pertinent I tend to think of him as Kikiyu probably partly based on someone like Jomo Kenyatta who already had notoriety by 1930 although Kitembo’s history is close that that of the Unyoro Chief Kaba Rega whose story Burroughs was definitely familiar with from the memoirs of Samuel Baker.
Kitembo is interested only in recovering his past dignity augmented ten fold. All that becomes irrelevant when he deigns to lay his hands on Zora.
We should remember that Burroughs is writing in 1930 not 2010, so many things that are more or less clear to us now were undetermined at that time while understandings and motivations were quite different then from today and as those of today will be fifty years hence.
For one thing Africa was still a land of mystery where one wouldn’t have been too surprised if someone had discovered a lost civilization, a strange anthropoid- perhaps the so-called Missing Link, very real to the imagination at the time- and any number of things. One of the great losses of my childhood was the recognition that Africa was known; that nothing truly wonderful would be discovered in the world again. All was now cataloguing.
Abercrombie and Fitch who had built a very lucrative business outfitting ‘explorers’ or safaries, having not yet turned to teen porn, lost its raison d’etre as did all the ‘Explorer’ clubs where grown men sat around in khaki Safari gear drinking and dreaming. All that was left for me and my generation was Trader Vic’s and he’s gone now. The miracle is that the National Geographic found a way to survive when they could no longer portray exotic, naked, painted savages with necks supported by copper rings, plates in the upper lip and that. Now of course they don’t have to go as far for such exotica as Whites imitating the Africans sport massive tattooing suported by all kinds of nose rings and body piercings.
So, in 1930 Burroughs’ story still had a degree of probability. Especially in the way he joined contemporary politics to nineteenth century Africa. In one reads closely this is quite a story, a true tour de force.
Not only do the Arabs and the Bantus have their personal motivations apart from Communism, so we learn does Peter Zveri. The streak of individualism is not extinct in his collective mind, he sees the opportunity to make himself Emperor of Africa in Tarzan’s stead. Apparently Soviet intelligence has been keeping close tabs on the doings of the Big Ape Man because Zveri knows of Tarzan’s ‘fool dirigible trip’ believing him absent from Africa and possibly dead as no one has heard from him for the past year. This was before Google Alerts too.
Indeed Tarzan drops as from the clouds into a clearing filled with great apes as the story begins. Just coincidentally Jad-Bal-Ja and Nkima happen to be in this exact part of Tarzan’s estate of Africa at the same time. Zveri then is very disappointed to learn that his nemesis is back. As well he might because he has engaged himself mano a mano with the Big Bwana and Africa, believe it or not, is not big enough for both of them.
In his examination of Communism, multi-culturalism and human nature Burroughs is at his incisive best. Remember few of these stories go over a hundred ninety-two paperback pages. These are tremendously condensed stories. They’re somewhat like a zipped file with megabytes compressed into kilobytes. To really get the stories you have to unzip them and let them expand in y9ur mind. Don’t be deceived by their seeming simplicity.
The various cultures involved in this plot are only loosely held together by Communist ideology. The plot eventually falls apart because the cultures see through the phoniness of the Communist ideal. Zveri himself isn’t even that sincere a Communist as he intends to use the gold of Opar to make himself a third world power as Emperor of Africa. In the end Communism is a fatuous dream,whether utopian or dystopian is up to you.
Burroughs does not emphasize his opinions, he merely tells his story. My conclusions as to his intent are derived from the result of the story. In the end Communism fails because of internal contradictions while the big Bwana is invincible retaining his position as Guardian or Emperor of Africa. Not one world of preachment.
Wayne Colt in his rather absurd trek across Africa arrives too late for the first assault on Opar. He does happen into camp in time to spot the shaking tent and rescue Zora from Jafar, the Indian Communist, with Tarzan’s help. After killing Jafar Tarzan turns his steps to Opar traveling in a bee-line through the Middle Terraces he handily arrives before the first expedition which had left some time before him.
Let me take a moment to discuss Burroughs’ Africa. In the first place these stories are combination dreamscape, fairy tale and mythmaking. His Africa bears no more relation to this planet than Arthur’s Camelot bore to Medieval England. I find it tiresome for scholars to try to find the ‘real’ history of Arthur’s career. Arthur may have a loose connection to real historical events but the story, a great one, is a projection of psychological needs. There isn’t any such thing as a Holy Grail. No knights ever went in search of it.
In the same way Burroughs’ Africa is a psychological projection hopefully leading to his Holy Grail. There are no lower, middle or upper terraces in a nearly uniform jungle in the real Africa. Anyone who tries to find them will be severely disappointed. Such things are merely inventions of Burroughs’ dream world. I am glad he shared it with me, you and the millions.
The frequency with which the characters run into each other way out there is also impossible but in Burroughs’ dreamscape, his fairy tale, his myth, it happens all the time. There is no sense in arguing the impossibility. If you find it too offensive to your sensibilities then the oeuvre is not for you. One just accepts that these are fairy tales and in fairy tales things like this happen all the time. It’s a fantasy, fantastic things go on.
I try to fathom the psychological intent so while I may smile and jest at some impossible details it is only at the naive dream details and not the serious intent of the story. In our time these stories would have been taken at warp speed to another galaxy where in that context all things would be possible. But, that would be pure fiction hence unbelievable. I never did take Star Trek seriously, in fact, I refused to voluntarily watch it. Burroughs’ Africa can still be located on a map of the world connecting psychological reality with temporal reality in a very satisfying blend.
So, as this series is a roman a fleuve or River Story, Tarzan ruminates on his previous visits to Opar as he strides across the hot dusty desert, where the rain never falls, toward the fabled gold and red domes and turrets in the distance.
La’s love for him which began in Return Of Tarzan has caused dissension between her and her people. She has retained her position only through the active intervention of Tarzan. Defeating the revolution that had ousted her in Tarzan And The Golden Lion the big Bwana had replaced her on the throne guarded by the Bolgani of the Valley of Diamonds and the semi-human Gomangani. It is interesting to not that the Oparian revolution occurred after the Russian. Might be a connection.
As he approaches the city he believes that the Oparians appreciated his defeat of Cadj and that they love and respect him so that his reunion with them will be joyous. Not so. In the interim the Oparians who hate and resent Tarzan have deposed La putting her in a foul prison in the vast underground maze of dungeons of Opar. Passing back through the narrow cleft, bounding up the stairs, Tarzan is surprised to find himself attacked by the howling Frightful Men. The Man of the Steel Pate receives another frightful blow which lays him out.
He wakes to find himself the captive of Oah and Dooth. He is placed in a cell the details of which I have already related above.
I haven’t plumbed the signficance of Tarzan and La being imprisoned together while the city is attacked by the Communists unless the dreamworld of Opar represents a sanctuary that is now invaded in the attempt to destroy Burroughs’s literary career. In that event it might be necessary for the Anima and Animus to be together. This story also harks back to the invasion of the Emerald City in Baum’s story The Emerald City Of Oz.
In any event the various strange screams and noises from within Opar unsettle the superstitious Blacks and Arabs who lose their nerve refusing to enter Opar. The Blacks believe in spirits and the Arabs in jinns both of which they fear more than living men. Thus Burroughs is contemptuous of both cultures.
Zveri and his Russians are too cowardly to enter themselves. The only one with the nerve is the Mexican Miguel Romero who gets very good reviews from ERB. Miguel retreats in the the face of the horde of Frightful Men but he is very cool about it.
Returning to camp the Arabs are now disaffected having words with Zveri. The arrival of Colt and Mori puts a little heart into Zveri so that a second attempt on Opar is determined leaving the Arabs to guard the camp.
Tarzan and La escape from Opar between the two assaults becoming subsequently separated. Zveri takes the Blacks and Communists with him. Being left behind dissolves the Arab affinity with the Cause. Never good Communists, being interested only in ejecting the Nasrani from Africa, they decide to disappear into the desert.
About this time La wanders into camp. Sacking the camp, Abu Batn and his Arabs leave with the two women whose value in the North he knows full well. The Arabs are out of the story. The Communist coalition is breaking up. As Burroughs points out the goals of the two are not the same.
Back in Opar Zveri finds it impossible to force his Africans into service while he and his Russians remain cowards. Colt behaving bravely, as only an American can, along with Miguel Romero penetrates to the sanctuary where they are faced by the Frightful Men. Perhaps in a comment on American tactics Colt fires over the heads of the Oparians while the Mexican, Romero, fires directly into the mob.
Why when Americans go to war they are reluctant to do the dirty work of killing is beyond me. The reluctance to engage the enemy in Viet Nam cost us that war. The reluctance to do what we have to do in Iraq is costing us that war. Perhaps we think we can hide behind a wall of steel as our technology wars for us while we imagine we can remain safe. Our punishment of our own soldiers for merely humiliating the enemy must be unique in the annals of warfare. And they wonder why no one wants to join the Army.
Romero who shoots to kill is able to escape while the pussy footing Colt is downed by a thrown club and captured. A thrown club! Once again a Burroughs’ surrogate takes a blow to the head, but how does one survive a thrown club?
Just as Colt and Zora exchange partners in the jungle so now Colt takes Tarzan’s place in jail. Here, he is befriended by a nubile beauty, Nao, rather than as La did Tarzan and, pephaps as Florence was doing for ERB. Afer killing to free him Nao is left behind as Colt disappears into the dusty desert. Not a very thoughtful thing to do as Nao would certainly be discovered.
Zveri returns to his devastated camp to be handed a letter notifying him that Colt is a double agent. Abandoning any thoughts of Opar the Communists concentrate on their mission which is the simulated invasion of Italian Somaliland.
As they are about to leave Tarzan returns Zora to camp. Coldly dropping her off without a word he climbs onto a branch to spy on the conspirators. His leopard skin shorts are mistaken for the real thing. Here we go again. the shot at the imagined leopard grazes the Big Guy’s skull putting him out of commission for a full day. So that is at least two knockouts for Burroughs’ surrogates plus this concussion. Tarzan’s frequent lapses of attention become more intelligible.
Zveri wants to take advantage of his opportunity and kill Tarzan but Zora intervenes so Tarzan is bound which leads to next day’s episode when Dorsky threatens him only to be annihilated by Tantor.
The charming fairy tale between Nkima, Tantor, Tarzan and the Hyena then takes place which is a repeat of the same scene in Jewels Of Opar.
Nkima then goes in search of the Faithful Waziri to aid Tarzan while the Big Fella begins his campaign of terror against the Communist conspirators.
His strategy is to separate Kitembo and his Basembos from Zveri and his Communists. To do this he plays on their superstitious natures. A mysterious voice comes down from the trees, in other words, the sky, telling them to go back. In the meantime Little Nkima has recruited the Faithful Waziri who arrive to help out not with spears and bows and arrows but modern repeating rifles. Arranging themselves in front of the advancing Communists hidden in the tall grass -this stuff grows six feet high- they give the appearance of being many more than they are. Burroughs doesn’t make it clear how they can see the Communists through the grass while the Communists can’t see them but as Tarzan usually navigates pretty well even in total darkness I’m probably making a bigger problem out of it than it is.
Zveri does a rapid advance to the rear which act of cowardice completely destroys his credibility. Dorsky is dead while Romera and Mori renounce their Communism. Zora reveals she’s only in it for the revenge because Zveri had murdered her family twelve years earlier in the Revolution while, as we are aware, Colt is an American agent. This leaves only Zweri and Ivitch who I believe represent Frank Martin and R. H. Patchin, ERB’s old nemeses in Chicago.
Returning to camp Zveri spots Wayne Colt. Calling him a traitor he fires point blank missing while the bullet grazes Colt’s side without breaking the skin. That was a close one. Before Zveri can fire again he is brought down from behind by Zora. Burroughs replays scenes like this over and over with different variations. Just as the constant bashings on the head his surrogates take reflect his own experience in 1899 so must all these conflicts between his surrogates and another man and his surrogate woman reflect his situation with Frank Martin and Emma. In each instance in one way or another the woman rejects the other man. Thus Burroughs ‘fictionizes’ his own situation.
So now Zora kills Zveri so that she and Colt can bridge that gap.
As a sidekick Ivitch/Patchin is allowed to leave Africa. In point of fact Martin died some time before Burroughs although not until after 1934 while Patchin survived both.
Tarzan in the meantime escorts La back to Opar where he reinstalls her on the throne this time doing the sensible thing of eliminating Oah, Dooth and all their sympathizers. One must believe there will be no more trouble in Opar. In any event Opar disappears from the oeuvre.
Tarzan then returns to the camp to dispense justice as becomes the Lord Of The Jungle.
As the story ends the ‘invincible’ Tarzan seems to have solved all the problems confronting he and Burroughs in 1930. The Big Fella has not only thwarted Zveri but defeated Stalin and the whole Soviet empire.
As the exchange between Zveri and Romero explains it: pp. 183-84:
“Which proves,” declared Zveri, “what I have suspected for a long time; that there is more than one traitor among us,” and he looked meaningly at Romero.
“What it means,” said Romero’ “is that crazy, harebrained theories always fail when they are put to the test. You thought that all the blacks in Africa would rush to our standard and drive all the foreigners into th ocean. In theory, perhaps, you were right, but in practice one man, with a knowledge of native psychology, which you did not have, burst your entire dream like a bubble, and for every other harebrained theory in the world there is always the stumbling block of fact.”
Thus Tarzan not only defeats Zveri, Stalin and the Soviets but he disproves the whole Communist ideology as a harebrained theory.
On top of that the Invincible One restored order in Opar while putting his personal life to rights by separating out Colt and Zora or Burroughs and Emma and Tarzan and La or Burroughs and Florence.
The succeeding novel Tarzan The Triumphant- Invincible, Triumphant- will rescue the Russian situation while its successor Tarzan And The City Of Gold disposes of Emma/Jane/Zora/Nemone by her self-immolation while its successor Tarzan And the Leopard Men bring Kali/Florence and Old Timer/Burroughs together. The series climaxes with Tarzan And the Lion Man when Burroughs 2 kills off his early self, Stanley Obroski, or Burroughs 1 to come into his own, or so Burroughs supposes. The rest of the series is playing out the aftermath of the divorce from Emma and the marriage to Florence.
As could have been predicted the marriage to Florence was less than satisfying.
So, perhaps, Burroughs’ solution to his personal dilemma is based on a harebrained theory itself which fell to earth on ‘the stumbling block of fact.’
For the moment however Tarzan has saved Africa from the Communist menace and perhaps the World.
May 26, 2010
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs #23
Tarzan And The Madman
Tarzan novels seem more complex after repeated readings and just sitting and thinking about them. When I first read Tarzan And The Madman I Thought it was a throwaway. In the interim between that first reading and present I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Tarzan oeuvre and the Burroughs corpus while having written several hundred pages. One would think it would get easier but it doesn’t.
This novel was written by Burroughs in exile in Hawaii. He’d been run out of LA a couple years previously. Once the possessor of a magnificent collection of cars and planes and a vast estate begetting the creator of Tarzan he was now living on 250.00 a month in the island paradise. He had returned to his poverty days at Sears, Roebuck in Chicago. Life’s like that.
On one level then Madman can be interpreted as a record of his feud with MGM and subsequent exile. Just look at the disdain on his and Florence’s faces as they board the plane for the last outpost of America. Tells a story in itself.
The MGM feud began with the release of Trader Horn. The book Trader Horn itself can be traced back to the Cave Girl. The movie led to MGM’s first sound Tarzan. Thus Rand, the false Tarzan of the novel, can be seen as the Weissmuller portrayal of Tarzan in the MGM films. ERB was greatly offended by MGM’s notion of Tarzan hence Rand is The-Man-Who-Thought-He-Was-Tarzan, a false god made to seem insignficant by the real literary Tarzan.
One should note that the real Tarzan is an intruder of the make believe Tarzanic world of MGM. The Mutia Escarpment on which the action takes place first came into existence in Trader Horn then was perpetuated through five MGM Tarzan films. The sixth MGM movie took place in New York City, of course. That one hadn’t been released as yet.
The opening sequence is even a parody of MGM’s Tarzan, The Ape Man in which the old coot shows up in Africa with his beauteous daughter who is then abducted by Tarzan who doesn’t know any better. There’s a certain amount of humor then when the real Tarzan of Mad Men wants to know who’s been abducting women in his name besmirching his reputation.
The false Tarzan who we may as well designate as Rand to make things easier, after a false start abducts the White woman, Sandra Pickerall, of the Scots Ale fortune taking her to the Mutia Escarpment. The ascent to the Escarpment is nearly identical to the ascent in both Trader Horn and Tarzan, The Ape Man. Burroughs adds his usual lion hoopla having a menagerie of them at the base of the Escarpment who are fed human flesh.
Once on the Escarpment Burroughs fleshes out his story with the usual Lost Civilization theme. In this instance the civilization is derived from Medieval Portuguese invaders of Moslem lands who were defeated in battle retreating to the Escarpment where they built their castle and established their life while becoming a milk chocolate hue. At one point Burroughs says they were part of a seventh century contingent, again Crusaders and yet again having been there four hundred years. So take your pick.
Rand has been there believing himself Tarzan for two years. He, of course, is suffering from amnesia caused when he was parachuting into the castle having been slammed against a wall causing his trauma. He and friend Bolton-Chilton were flying into Africa when in a replication of the MGM movies they entered a clowd bank to find themselves face to face with a mountain wall. In the ascent the plane malfunctioned so having cleared the Escarpment the men were compelled to bail out. Bolton-Chilton was captured by the Moslem/Galla rivals of the men of the Portuguese city of Alemtejo and enslaved. So, is this novel all roads lead to Alemtejo.
Since Rand descended from the sky Christoforo Da Gama, the king of Alemtejo, takes him for a god. I will deal with the religious aspect in the next section. If Rand is a god then Da Gama insists that Rand must have a goddess sending him forth to find one. Hence Rand abducts a number of Black women who prove unsatisfactory to Da Gama who insists on a White Goddess leading Rand to abduct the only possible candidate, Sandra thus besmirching Tarzan’s hitherto unsullied reputation.
After a series of adventures Tarzan arrives before the gates of Alemtejo. Both he and Rand are of the same general build and resemble each other enough to cause confusion but on closer examination their faces were not alike. As it chances when Tarzan arrives Rand and Sandra have absented themselves in the pursuit of freedom.
Interestingly Tarzan’s entrance into Alemtejo parodies the arrival of the Greek hero, Theseus into Athens. As Burroughs thought he invented the name Numa for lion, not realizing he had retrieved from memory the name of the Roman king, in all likelihood he didn’t realize that he was basing the entry of Tarzan on the entry of Theseus.
In the Greek myth Theseus dressed as a woman, don’t ask me, the scene is reminsicent of the Gilgamesh epic of Sumer in which a temple prostitute entices the wild man Enkidu into joining civilization who tears her garment in half giving half to the man, anyway as a transvestite, Theseus draws the jeers of observing workmen. To put them in their place Theseus picks up a bull and throws it over his shoulder. Like I say, I’m working on it but without the semblance of a clue.
Tarzan by replicating the feat wins the admiration of the Alemtejo general who proclaims Tarzan the true god, they overthrow the old order, march on the Moslem Gallas using new tactics devised by the new god and overthrow the Moslems.
The victory scatters all the protagonists who then have to come together.
As with the MGM movies there is a huge gold mine involved. In the movies there is a great seam of gold with huge nuggets lying on the surface so that all you have to do is pick them up. So in Mad Man the two villains Crump and Minsky in company with Rand discover the mine.
Here Burroughs depicts the worthlessness of gold in the manner in which he disparaged the Father of Diamonds in Tarzan And The Forbidden City. Overcome by their greed the starving and dehydrated Crump and Minsky gather more gold than they can carry killing themselves in the process.
Tarzan, Rand, Sandra and Bolton-Chilton as surviving Europeans come together. Sandra convinces Tarzan, who had vowed to kill Rand on sight, that he is merely deluded having lost his memory. Bolton-Chilton turns out to be the buddy who having parachuted from the same plane as Rand had been enslaved by the Gallas.
It turns out that Rand was so entranced by the story of Tarzan that he bet Bolton-Chilton he could live as Tarzan in the wilds of Africa for a month. He was on the way to do so when the two had to bail.
In their seach for the easy way down from the Escarpment the foursome come across Rand’s plane that had landed and coasted to a stop rather than crashing. Rand pumps up the the tires, fixes the carburetor and all four of them fly away. Thus Burroughs rewrites the MGM movie in a more plausible and entertaining way retrieving Tarzan from MGM in a sense.
As in real life Burroughs was exiled from LA so Rand, Sandra and Tarzan are exiled from Africa. Tarzan’s African adventures cease. Just as the Communists had driven Tarzan from Opar so now MGM drives Tarzan from Africa. The next adventure would take place on a mysterious island in the Indian Ocean while the last Tarzan adventure takes place in Indonesia during WWII. A sad ending for the Big Bwana.
Of course the Africa of Livingstone and Stanley on which the Tarzan series was based was also a thing of the past. The Tarzan stories couldn’t have continued to have been wirtten without becoming retrospective. Even the Lesser Tarzan films that succeeded MGM became exotic fantasies rather than African adventure. It was the end of an era.
Beginning in 1932 with the first MGM talkie the Big Ape man began to slip away from ERB’s control. Mad Man records the sad fact that the pale MGM imitation of the ape man had supplanted the real thing. It must have been a bitter moment for ERB writing in Hawaii.
We don’t know why he didn’t publish Mad Man. He placed the story in his safe where it remained until the early sixties when it was discovered and published. It seems likely that as of this date but few have even read it. Of those who have, most probably discuss it as a tired rehash of the themes of doppelganger, amnesia and perhaps the last of terrestrial lost civilizations.
I found it the culmination of those themes. ERB’s long examination of the nature of psychological doubles was drawn to a satisfying conclusion as the false Tarzan awoke from a long sleep to realization. Perhaps the same was true of Burroughs as he viewed his lost hero in the lost land of LA from his place of exile in Hawaii just beforfe the bombs from those airplanes began to fall.
Next an examination of the religious aspects of this amazing novel.
Four Crucial Years
In The Life Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
…presumptuous attempts to conquer the outer world of appearances by the inner world of wishful thinking.
–S. Freud, Letter To Arnold Zweig 5/8/32.
Quoted by Schur: Freud: Living and Dying
Now back in Chicago he had to consider what direction his life was to take. At least secure working for his Dad, ERB made a tentative move in the direction of an artistic career. During the summer he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute.
Chicago is billed as America’s Second City but in many ways it is or was, America’s First, certainly West of the Appalachians. The city was much more important to the Southern States than New York City, while its importance to the West is shown by the fact that the Outfit- the Chicago Mafia- considers the whole West as its province. The Outfit ruled everything west of the Appalachians by the end of the fifties
At the time in question when Chicago’s population was a mill six the population of the country was about 75 million so Chicago represented over 2% of the total. West of the towers rising from the mud there was virtually no one and those that existed were rubes and hicks or living on the reservation. During Burroughs entire youth this most modern of American capitals stood a beacon of civilization, such as it was, on what was then known as the great American desert.
Burroughs was to approach this metropolis from the West several times so is it any wonder that when John Carter emerged from the deserts of the Green Men- read Indians- the towers of Helium rose from nowhere much like Chicago. The twin of Chicago was probably New York City in ERB’s mind.
As the capital of the Empire, Helium, like Chicago, reflected the racial and ethnic makeup of Mars.
Chicago was polyglot and the mix was troubling. Bruce Grant who wrote the history of the Union Club of Chicago entitled characteristically ‘Fight For A City’ in 1955 characterized the situation during Burroughs’ time in this manner, page 96:
The thousands of laborers and adventurers who were attracted to Chicago during the rebuilding era following the fire of 1871 were for the most part uneducated newcomers. Ignorant of the underlying spirit of American institutions. Chicago was the Western distributing point for a vast European immigration. With the good came the bad, and borne along with the stream were the scum and dregs of countries where despotism had made paupers and tyranny had bred conspirators. From Russia came the Nihilists, described by one newspaper as ‘the gift of centuries of Slavic slavery and cruelty.’ From the German states came the Socialists, the offspring of military exactions and autocratic government. And from Europe generally, including Great Britain and Ireland, Chicago drained the feverish spirit of human resentment against laws and life; of property and of conduct which it had no hand in making or enforcing.
This was the environment Burroughs was growing up in. I suppose he was getting his Russian and Jewish information from the newspapers. Therefore it was heavily slanted in favor of the Jews. But as he walked around Chicago he must have thought himself a Stranger In A Strange Land. I do today. No more than 10% of Chicago’s population could be considered native. The city had a larger Irish population than Dublin, was the most populous German city in the world, The Polish population could compete with Warsaw and on down the line.
The Socialists paraded shouting and screaming Revolution under the Red banner which may have made sense in Germany but made no sense to the native born. Anarchists unfurled the Black Flag with their preposterous social conceptions.
The remarkable thing about America is the extent that the Anglos went to accommodate the immigrants. Of course there were movements such as the APA- American Protective Association- and later the Ku Klux Klan, but these were scorned and ineffective in any event, regardless of how seriously some paranoid immigrant writers like Gustavus Myers might take them.
Then as now Liberals controlled the country. More typical of the reaction was this querulous little poem gleaned from the pages of ‘Chicago’s Public Wits: a Chapter In The American Comic Spirit,’ Edited by Kenny J. Williams and Bernard Duffy. LSU Press, 1983:
I Wish I Was A Foreigner
I wish I was a foreigner, I really, really do.
A right down foreign foreigner; pure foreigner through and through;
Because I find Americans, with all of native worth,
Don’t stand one half the chances here with men of foreign birth.
It seems to be unpopular for us to hold a place,
For we are made to give it up to men of foreign race.
The question of necessity and fitness to possess
Must never be considered- who cares for our distress.
Perhaps it is not wicked to be of foreign birth,
Or to mutter a mild protest when an alien wants the earth;
But the latest importation is sure to strike a job,
And be the sooner qualified to strike and lead a mob.
A Dutchman (German) or an Irishman, a Frenchman or a Turk
Comes here to be a voter, and is always given work;
A native born American is here, and here he must stay;
So it matters little how he lives, he cannot get away.
The Spaniard and Bohemian, the Russian and the Pole,
Are looking toward America with longings in the soul,
Because the politicians will receive them with open arms,
And the goddess of our freedom bid them welcome to her charms.
But the law abiding Chinaman from the Celestial shore,
Because he has no franchise, is driven from our shore;
Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand,
The one remains neglected while the other is barred the land.
So I wish I was a Dutchman, or some other foreign cuss
I’d lord it over the natives- who don’t dare to make a fuss,
But my blushes tell the story, I am native to the soil’
So the aliens hold the places- visitors must never toil.
With the real American response as above, the retiring Bill Moyer doesn’t have to worry much about ‘the thunder on the Right’ caused by a few radio announcers. The real threat to them is that the Liberal ideology will be shown to be false and ridiculous not that the ‘danger from the Right’ is pernicious.
One believes that if Burroughs were alive today Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly would find him an ardent supporter. One wouldn’t want to be called ‘an unapologetic Conservative.’ The Liberal oppression is that strong.
The resignation is fairly bitter in the above poem. The Chinese, the only nationality ever excluded, had been denied entry in 1882, which was shortly before the above poem was written; thus the writer laments that ‘Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand’ comparing natives with the excluded Chinese.
By the nineties the Irish had seized control of many municipal administrations, including Chicago’s, so that they were in control of political patronage. The boodle as it was known. All the sinecures, city and county, were theirs to distribute to friends and cronies. The Irish effectively controlled Chicago. As the poem indicates this privilege was obtained by the vote and votes were obtained by corruption thus the Irish and the Democrats, then as today, were the party of corruption. All Irish city administrations were corrupt.
The failure of the potato, of course, sent the Irish fleeing Ireland for more emerald pastures, but the Scottish emigration to the US and Canada caused by the Highland Clearances is virtually unknown. There were two clearances, one in the eighteenth century which sent the Highlanders to the colonies or US and second , 1800-1860 which populated Canada.
After the Union when the Scottish Lairds no longer had need of armed retainers they simply cleared the natives off the land in about as brutal a manner as the Americans cleared the Indians to make room for sheep. All these people who had lived in the highlands for centuries discovered they were mere squatters on land which legally belonged to the Laird. Past services were forgotten; they were literally thrown off the land. How do you like that? Matches any hardluck story you’ve ever heard, doesn’t it?
The Lairds then invoked the law to kick their former retainers not only off the land but out of the country. Dig that, and take heed for the future. Sheriffs burned down their houses around their ears. There was then no place for them in their homeland. They were ordered to emigrate. What was that Walter Scott said:
Breathes there a man
With Soul so dead,
Who to himself hath not said,
This is my home,
My native land…
Well, with a mere change of place you can that about Canada, too. That’s how the Scots came to the US and Canada.
The Irish supremacy in the US lasted until the thirties when the massive immigration of the nineties through 1914 wrested power from them. Fiorello LaGuardia, the Jewish-Italian politician, replaced Jimmy Walker in New york ending the long Celtic rule of that city. James T. O’Farrell in his Studs Lonigan trilogy has the Irish lamenting that the Slavs are swamping the Irish causing them to lose control of the boodle. The Irish of Chicago must have rallied because Mayor Daley put the Irish back on top but because of the huge Negro influx into Chicago the Irish have to share power with the Blacks.
If one makes an analogy of the present with the past it won’t be long before Mexicans and Moslems are directing the affairs of municipalities and States. A vote is a vote.
Be that as it may, in 1897 I believe ERB would have been in sympathy with the author of I Wish I Was A Foreigner. The Irish certainly figure largely in both his personal and political images of the time. David Adams writing in the ERBzine has come up with several possible origins for the name of the Mahars of Pellucidar. I think the most obvious is that the Mahars are intended to be a parody of the Irish administration of Chicago. Mahar is an Irish name.
Earlier in the century the city of Chicago which was built on slightly different gradients so that sidewalks had a lot of up and down stairs had been literally jacked up to one level making the sidewalks even. Entire huge buildings and city blocks were raised several feet above ground to make a level city. The resulting cavity produced an underground city which the indigent occupied.
This might suggest the image of the occupants as slimy reptiles into an imaginative mind. Putting the images together one comes up with an Irish administration of slimy reptiles. I haven’t figured out why they’re deaf and female yet unless ERB was unhappy with Emma who may have been deaf to his entreaties. For the present I’ll leave that one up to you.
I shall permit myself to send you a small book which is sure to be unknown to you. Group Psychoogy And The Analysis Of The Ego, published in 1921. Not that I consider this work to be particularly successful, but it shows a way from the analysis of the individual to an understanding of society.
– S. Freud to Romain Rolland.
Quoted by Max Schur: Freud Living And Dying
Working at the Battery Company, starting from the ground up, his father must still have allowed ERB flexible hours because Our Man found time to attend classes at the Chicago Art Institute. He was not a very cooperative student, refusing to accept any discipline. According to Porges he only wanted to draw horses and that without acquiring the fundamentals of drawing. As he couldn’t find anyone willing to drop some hints on the fine points of equine deliniation he lost interest dropping out of school
I for one would be very much interested in learning exaclty how he passed his time during this halcyon period. If he and Emma went to the theatre as Porges suggests I would like to know what shows or lecture they attended. Lecturers were a much more important adjunct to entertainment than they are today. Robert Ingersoll had a huge reputation and of course Mark Twain. There was also the Chautauqua Circuit.
In the much discussed issue of Theosophy in Burroughs’ life it is quite possible that he attended a lecture or series of lectures either in their own building or some other place. There undoubtedly would have been reviews of lecture in the papers. Chicago had at least a dozen, in which the tenets or beliefs would be discussed. In the crowd in which Burroughs associated I’m sure the fairly amazing doctrines would be discussed.
When the US government places its 30 million pages of newspapers on the internet by 2006 dating back to the earlyh nineteenth century we will be able to examine this pertinent period in detail.
At the theatre he and Emma would most likely have seen an actor by the name of John McCulloch who was a fixture of the Chicago stage. This would have struck ERB as quite a coincidence as his mother had a John McCulloch as an ancestor. If I am right in my surmise John the Bully was surnamed McCulloch.
Nor would this be such a far fetched coincidence. There must have been a couple dozen John McCullochs in Chicago at the time, probably hundreds in the United States. As I write, my phone book lists a half dozen John McCullochs in this area.
If Emma introduced ERB to the theatre at this time, there seem to be no reference3s to the theatre earlier, it held an attraction for him he never lost. The old actor in Marcia Of The Doorstep is probably based on John McCulloch while ERB wrote his play You Lucky Girl at about the same time for his daughter Joan.
Then at the beginning of the thirties ERB wrote his novelette Pirate Blood using the pseudonym John T. McCulloch which united the McCulloch references in his life. It is said that ERB capitalized too much in his writing on improbable coincidences which on the one hand may be true but on the other, life is just like that, isn’t it?
A near contermporary of ERB, Vachel Lindsay, who was born in 1879 in Springfield, Illinois, catalogs the influences to which he and his generation were subject. It might not hurt to look through the poem here to try to capture some of the essence of what it meant to be young during this period. The piece is entitled: John L. Sullivan, The Strong Boy Of Boston.
The poem may be especially relevant to Burroughs as it centers on boxing which was a special interest of his. During the period from 1892 to 1897 Burroughs’ idol, Gentleman Jim Corbett, was the heavyweight champion. Corbett had defeated the incredible hulk, John L. Sullivan, in 1892 by landing one on the solar plexus making that piece of anatomy a topic of conversation down to when I was a kid. In 1897 Bob Fitzsimmons took the title from Corbett.
In the poem, Lindsay lists the many influences on his young life centered around 1889. Pervading and overriding all is the ominous figure of Sullivan and the Irish. Both Lindsay and Burroughs were Anglos. The refrain ‘East side, West side’ refers to the Irish domination of New York City while the capitalized LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN of the last stanza implies that the Irish were conquering the Anglos.
When I was nine years old in 1889,
I sent my love a lacy valentine.
Suffering boys were dressed like Fauntleroys,
While Puck and Judge in quiet humor vied.
The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride
To spoil Tennyson’s Elaine.
Louisa Alcott was my gentle guide….
I heard a battle trumpet sound.
Nigh New Orleans
Upon an emerald plain
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Fought seventy-five red round with Jake Kilrain.
In simple sheltered 1889
Nick Carter I would piously deride.
Over the Elsie books I moped and sighed.
St. Nicholas magazine was all my pride;
While coarser boys on cellar doors would slide.
The grownups bought refinement by the pound.
Rogers groups had not been told to hide.
E.P. Roe had just begun to wane.
Howells was rising, surely to attain!
The nation for a jamboree was gowned.
The hundreth year of roaring freedom crowned.
The British Lion ran and hid from Blaine
The razzle-dazzle hip-hoorah from Maine.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie-
‘London Bridge is falling down.’
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Broke every single rib of Jake Kilrain.
In dear provincial 1889
Barnum’s bears and tigers could astound
Ingersoll was called a most vile hound,
And named with Satan, Judas, Thomas Paine!
Phillips Brooks for heresy was fried.
Boston Brahmins patronized Mark Twain.
The baseball rules were changed. That was a gain!
Pop Anson was our darling pet and pride.
Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.
Tammany once more escaped it chain.
Once more each raw slaoon was raising Cain.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town
The tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie’
‘London Bridge is falling down.’”
John L. Sullivan
The strong boy
Finished the ring career of Jake Kilrain.
In mystic, ancient 1889
Wilson with pure learning was allied.
Roosevelt gave forth a chriping sound.
Stanley found old Emin and and his train.
Stout explorers sought the pole in vain.
To dream of flying proved a man insane.
The newly rich were bathing in champagne.
Van Bibber Davis, at a single bound
Displayed himself and a simpering glory found.
John J. Ingalls, like a lonely crane
Swore and swore and stalked the Kansas plain.
The Cronin murder was the ages’ stain.
Johnstown was flooded, and the whole world cried.
We heard of Louvain and Lorraine,
Of a million heroes for their freedom slain.
Of Armageddon and the world’s birth-pain,
The League of nations, the new world allied,
With Wilson crucified, then justified.
We thought the world would loaf and sprawl and mosey,
The gods of Yap and Swat were sweetly dozy,
We thought the far off gods of Chow had died.
The mocking bird was singing in the lane….
“East side, west side, all around the town
the tots sang: ‘Ring a rosie’
‘LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN.’”
John L. Sullivan knocked out Jake Kilrain.
So many of the references which had an influence on Vachel Lindsay have lost their relevance but there are two which are important for our story. One is that: The Gibson Girl came shining like a bride to spoil the cult of Tennyson’s Elaine. Elaine came from Tennyson’s Arthurian poem ‘Idylls Of The King.’ She was sort of pale and wan. The Gibson Girl was created by the illustrator, Charles Gibson. The latter girl was a robust saucy temptation of the All American Girl. Emma made the choice between the two the Gibson Girl her role model which is why I find her so entrancing. In that sense Emma was forward looking heading into the twentieth century. The Gibson Girl may be said to epitomize the woman of the myth of the twentieth century. From the Gibson Girl the ideal progressed to the Vargas pinup girl of the heyday of Esquire Magazine and from there she degenerated to the sex fantasies of Hugh Hefner and on down to Larry Flynt’s Hustler. The story could have had a happy ending but didn’t. It’s gotten worse. I don’t want to go into that.
The second key point is the general regretful tone concerning the Irish. Just as in the poem I Wish I Was A Foreigner where the American complains …’the foreigner comes here to be a voter,’ so Lindsay notes ‘Native sons in Irish votes were drowned.’ This is serious. This was a major problem with the ‘democracy’ when its intended fairness was turned against itself. In a homogeneous society votes are used to determine an issue regarding the welfare of the whole people. In a heterogeneous society votes are used to advance the interests of one segment against the others. Thus the whole democratic process is subverted.
Thus while the Anglos were concerned with regulating the country and immigration for the benefit of all, the Irish put themselves forward as the benefactors of the immigrants against the Anglos taking moral shortcuts which undermined the integrity of the State. Immigrants then were brought in on the Irish side condemning the Anglos who were their true benefactors.
Hence the baffling undercurrent of condemnation and complaint that runs thorugh American historical writing.
Vachel Lindsay would also run afoul of the Diversity with his poem of the Congo which the Left portrayed as anti-Negro while it merely was an expression of Lindsay’s understanding of the culture of the Negro Group within the Diversity. The Negro deserves to have his own psychology and he does. We should value and honor that.
Such censoring of opinion will have its consequences. Burroughs himself was and is charged with racism merely for having prescient views. The man was a deep thinker. Viewing the world around him at this time he came to a remarkably accurate conclusion. I can’t tell what his thought processes were but analyzing history he came to this conclusion.
In his prophetic futuristic novel ‘Beyond Thirty’ of 1915, just after the Great War began, he has a post-war Europe ruled, as I thought improbably by Black Africans. In light of recent events this now seems not so improbable.
Life is not what we would have it: The world is not run on any principles we can cheerfully accept. The twentieth century was one of unprecedented disasters in their scope. Shiva and Kali rule whether we will or not. The twenty-first century will be even more destructive. Now, beginning in the fifteenth century Europe, in essence, began the invasion of the world. Scientifically far in advance of the rest of the world its success was dazzling. However, somewhere in these years, we are considering, perhaps specifically 1893, the Euroamericans, the West, lost its will to dominate. This lack of will was presciently picked up by a number of writers including Burroughs.
The way of the world is that one either conquers or one is conquered. Having begun to impose its will on the world there was no turning back for the West. However it has attempted to do so. The result is that instead of invading and conquering the West is now being invaded and conquered.
Any Freudian analysis of the ego of the various peoples or, Groups, will provide a record of their mental processes, objectives and desires, not mention, capabilities. The myth of the twentieth century was destroyed on 9/11/01 when the Moslems destroyed the religious symbol of the World Trade Center.
The West at the height of their confidence moved peoples about the world to satisfy their needs. East Indians were taken to all corners of the world while Chinese were moved into areas in the Pacific where their skills were in advance of the native populations. During the two wars Africans were recruited to fight from Europe to the Far East. A great deal of the consequences have been suppressed. Having set the peoples of the world in motion, the West withdrew from its conquests, the conquered peoples began to assert their Group egos realizing that it was either conquer or be destroyed. Then they began their invasions.
The Japanese attempt to expel the West from Asia was successful although costly for themselves. Nevertheless by the 50s the West had been expelled from Asia while the enclave in Hong Kong was allowed to live out the terms of their lease.
By the early sixtes the Africans had expelled the West except in South Africa. that fearful drama is not yet finished.
Africans had been dispersed throughout the Americas during gthe 16th through 19th centuries. Beginning recently they have begun to invade Europe from the North African ports especially from Libya.
At the same time the world’s population has grown so large that there are areas that can no longer support their populations. Whether by design or natural increase the Semitic States were so productive that they began exporting people throughout th world beginning in the seventies while their populations at home continue to grow.
As the Moslems invaded the world in this second Eruption From The Desert this narrow, bigoted, antiquated religious faith came into conflict with Western Scientific knowledge.
To accept scientific knowledge would destroy the Moslem faith in much the same way that the Christian and Jewish faiths in the West have been affected. There can be no compromise between the two; this is an either-or situation.
While Moslem proselytizing has never ceased since the seventh century there was now a renewed burst of activity combined with an all out assault on the West, well conducted within Moslem military limitations.
On 9/11/01 they were successful in destroying the symbol of scientific achievement, the World Trade Center in New York City. They aimed directly at the strength of the West- its economic system.
It is a mistake to think that anything can be achieved by fair minded discussion or concessions, otherwise known as appeasement. Appeasement didn’t work out so well in the thirties when another determined ideology asserted its will. This is a war to the knife; only one side will be left standing.
More remarkable still, having disturbed the Africans in their nest, the Africans are on the move having begun an invsion of Euorpe which is already over populated there being no room for vast numbers of either Africans or Moslems, unless…. Religious and racial intolerance began to take a vicious turn in the twentieth centgury when racial clashes began almost simultaneoulsy in Europe and Asia.
Since then genocidal wars of either a racial or religious nature have proliferated. The Moslems have opened a guerilla war on the world. In areas where resources are insufficient to support an Arab or Semitic population against other races the Semites or Arabs are conducting genocidal wars as in the Sudan where they are wiping out the Negroes or driving them beyond the borders.
As Moslems and Negroes flood into Europe this must result in a terrific struggle for survival of the Europeans, probably breaking out within the next ten or twenty years.
The resultant war must be genocidal in nature. If the European struggle is successful it must result in the death of alien populations or their being driven out of Europe the same as the long struggle to drive the Moslems out of Spain. Or the Europeans will be annihilated.
This is an unpleasant but inevitable prospect.
If the Europeans fail as I am sure they will then Burroughs remarkable prophecy of a Black Europe in ‘Beyond Thirty’ is almost certain to become a reality. Life does not give you any easy choices. Here in America you’re not even supposed to talk about this problem in a realistic manner so there is no hope of avoiding destruction.
ERB’s head must have been aswirl with all these thoughts that society forbade him to express directly.
Probably wrestling with all these macro thoughts he had the really important micro thoughts to deal with. Really, what to do with Emma who he wanted but didn’t want to marry, while still not losing her to Frank Martin.
In February of ’98 he once again for some reason decided to seek an officer’s appointment. He wrote to a former commandant at the MMA, Capt. Fred A. Smith, seeking his assistance. Smith, of course, replied that there was nothing he could do. ERB still didn’t understand the consequences of abandoning his post in 1896.
Shortly thereafter ERB pulled up stakes to return to Idaho abruptly abandoning Emma again. Why he should have done so is not clear although perhaps there is a clue in the Return Of Tarzan. Remember that dream displacement and disfiguration are in operation so that one cannot expect a literal representation of the incident. One has to demythologize it.l In the Return W.C. Clayton, Tarzan’s rival for Jane, and Jane have been stranded in the jungle.
Tarzan has chanced upon their camp. As he watched an aged, toothless lion was about to spring on a cringing W.E. Clayton as Jane watches. Tarzan transfixes the lion with his spear. He then sees Clayton get up to embrace and kiss Jane. Mistaking the import of the embrace and kiss, Tarzan turns sorowfully back to disappear into the jungle.
Burroughs himself may have seen Frank Martin kissing Emma. Perhaps he thought that a pauper like himself had lost out to a prince like Martin. Thinking himself cut out might have been the reason for his departure to Idaho much as Tarzan melted back into the jungle.. With no more thought for his Dad at the Battery Company than he had for Col. Rogers at the MMA ERB just up and left. Poor old Emma must have been wondering what she had done. Couldn’t have been anything she said.
Continue to Part III.
October 5, 2009
A Contribution To The
ERBzine ERB Library Project
The Beau Ideal Trilogy Of
Beau Geste~Beau Sabreur~Beau Ideal
Review by R.E. Prindle
Part I. Introduction
Part II. Review of Beau Geste
Part III. Review of Beau Sabreur
Part IV. Review of Beau Ideal
The first novel of the trilogy signifies a good, beautiful or noble deed. The deed being the Geste brothers taking the odium of the theft of the sapphire on themselves. The second, Beau Sabreur, meaning the Noble Warrior or Fighter. The story then centers on its Lancelot like character, De Beaujolais with attention to the noble actions of subsidiary characters. Hank and Buddy fit in as noble warriors also. Beau Ideal then centers on the noble ideals that activate the characters and are part of Western Culture as against that the the others.
I will put the dramatic first chapter second begin with the second section called The History of Otis Van Brugh, perhaps meant to be a Gawaine type. Beau Ideal is Otis’ book as the first was that of Michael Geste and his brothers and the second that of De Beaujolais.
Otis, Hank and Mary are brothers and sister with a last sister who remained at home in Texas. Their father was a brute of a fellow who drove all his children from home except the last sister. Wren himself must have had a wretched father because all the fathers in the trilogy are failed men, fellows who don’t have a grip on the meaning of really being a man.
Neal, or Hank Vanbrugh, refused to put up with it taking to a wandering life. On the road he met Buddy where they became pals ending up in the Legion.
Otis and mary being younger subsequently left Texas to lead a peripatetic ex-patriot life of the well to do. The history of Mary, Hank and Buddy has been given in Beau Sabreur.
When Otis left De Beaujolais he tried to reach the French contingent in the fort. Along the way he ran into Redon who filled him in. Otis was to try to reach the fort to request them to assist a detached unit fighting their way to the fort. He succeeds.
In the process Redon diverting the attack away from the fort is shot by friendly fire. Both he and Otis were dressed as Moslems. Otis attempts to reach Redon but is shot falling unconscious outside the fort. Thus when the French are massacred he is the sole survivor.
He returns to England where psychologically shattered he is stopped by a policeman. While being interviewed he is conveniently rescued by the leading ‘alienist’ of England. Given refuge in his asylum Otis discovers Isobel whose mental health is destabilized because her husband John Geste is in the penal battalion of the FFL. She implores Otis to find John and bring him back alive. Here’s a beau ideal. Ever loving Isobel Otis agrees to sacrifice his happiness to go back to Africa to find John.
What a guy! Otis joins the Foreign Legion with the intent of being sent to the penal battalion called the Zephyrs. He joins and succeeds in being sent to the Zephyrs. Now we return to the opening chapter.
Anyone who ever fancied joining the Legion, and the notion was discussed a lot down to the sixties of the last century when I was launching my bark upon the waters, should have read Erwin Rosen’s In The Legion first. The Legion was unconcionably cruel to its soldiers in everyday life let alone the penal battalion. As an example, the Legionnaires complained of excessive marching. They were required to do thirty miles a day carrying 50 lbs. or more with pack and rifle. One really has to read Rosen’s description to realize the horror. Those who dropped out were left where they fell. Arab women found them subjecting them to horrid tortures.
This became so common that the Legionnaires were given leave to slaughter the Arab women as a lesson. This they did with a vengeance. Rosen was shown a purse by a fellow soldier made from the severed breast of a woman. Rosen said they were common at one time; an example of what can happen when civilization meets savagery. Civilization is lowered but savagery isn’t raised. The Beau Ideal is lost.
One of the punishments Rosen mention was called the Silo. As he describes it these were holes dug into the ground with a funnel put where the victim had to stand exposed to the blazing sun during the day and freezing cold at night.
Wren converts the idea of these silos into an actual underground grain storage unit capable of holding several men. In his version the funnel was closed off admitting no light. As the story opens several men are sweltering in the pit. A Taureg raid was made on the penal colony building a road near the pit that killed the whole contingent so that no new supplies were lowered. The men are dying one by one.
Otis is in the silo the next to last survivor. He discovers that the other survivor is none other than John Geste. On the point of expiring a scout from Hank and Otis’ tribe, or headquarters, discovers the silo and hauls the two out. Coincidences and miracles just naturally go with the desert.
The scout take them to a member tribe of the federation. Both are now wanted men by the FFL with no hope of salvation. They have no alternative but to get out of Africa hopefully avoiding France.
I can’t ask you to guess who was in the camp because you wouldn’t. Remember the Arab dancing girl Otis met in Beau Sabreur? She’s the one and she’s still in love with Otis. Wren names her the Death Angel. Wren was heavily influenced by E.M. Hull’s The Sheik. Maud in Beau Sabreur was mad about sheiks, overjoyed when she won one in the person of Hank. Of couse Hank was an American sheik and not an Arab one, much as Hull’s sheik was in reality half English and half Spanish.
So, perhaps Otis and the Death Angel are revenants of the Sheik and Diana from Hull’s novel. In this case the woman has power over the man but the sexual roles remain the same as the king trumps the queen every time as Larry Hosford sings. If you don’t lose track of who you are it’s true too. Otis doesn’t lose track of who he is. Revisit the story of Circe and Ulysses.
The tribe that rescues Otis and Geste is a rival of Hank Sheik’s but a subordinate member of the confederation. Hank has organized a sort of United Emirates of the Sahara of which he serves as President for life but without any democratic trimmings. In a parody of the Sheik then the Death Angel demands ‘kiss me’ of Otis. He’s not so easy to deal with as Diana. Even with the Death Angel’s knife at his breast he refuses.
In the meantime the Zephyrs reclaim Geste and he goes back to his old job of building roads. Rosen’s account of the FFL compares with Burroughs’ account of his army days. ERB too was put to work building roads, complaining of moving or perhaps breaking huge boulders. Both his experience and that of the penal colony of the FFL are quite similar to the chain gangs of the old South of the United States.
Even when not of the Zephyrs the Legionnaires were given detestable tasks unbefitting the dignity of soldiers. According to Rosen the men were required to clean out sewers in the Arab quarter of Sidi Bel Abbes. That’s enough to make anybody desert. And then get sent to the penal battalion. Crazy, crazy world. Rosen’s In The Legion is well worth reading if you like this sort of thing. Download it from the inernet. Only a hundred pages or so.
Geste then has to be re-rescued. This forms the central part of the story along with Otis’ struggles with the Death Angel. Hank and Buddy get windof the two FFL captives coming to investigate. Otis then discovers his long lost brother. It is settled then that Hank and Buddy will give up their Sheikdom to return to pappy’s farm, or ranch.
Even though Hank and Buddy are powerful sheiks they are still deserters from the Legion so getting out of Algeria is a problem. Rosen tells a story of a deserter who made it back to Austria where he became a rich and successful manufacturer. He made the mistake of exhibiting his manufactures in Paris in person. There he was recognized by his old officer who arrested him sending him back to Africa. There he died. So Hank and Buddy run the risk of being recognized and arested on the way out of Africa as well as Otis and Geste.
Geste’s rescue is effected. The quartet successfully exit Africa arriving safely back in Texas. However the Death Angel’s help was necessary. To obtain that help Otis promises to marry her. He doesn’t want to but a Beau Ideal is a Beau Ideal and so he is going to honor his commitment. On the eve of departure the Angel gives Otis a locket she wears as a good luck charm. Very bad move. The locket contains pictures of her mother and father. Otis examines the mother with some interest then turns his attention to the father….
Should I ruin a perfectly good ERB ending for you? Sure, why not? I’ve got a little sadistic streak too. Everyone was using this one. No fooling now, the Death Angel was Otis’ sister because dear old Dad was her mother’s wife; he was known as Omar out there on the burning sands. Well, there’s a revelation, not that keen sighted readers like you and I didn’t see it coming from miles away. You can see a long way out there in the desert.
Hank, Buddy and Otis’ excellent African adventure is over. The whole episode was like watching a movie except real. But, back in Texas it may as well have been a dream. The old codger is still living as the troop of Mary and De Beaujolais, Hank and Buddy and Otis assemble at the ranch, John and Isobel are there too. Sister Janey is still waiting on her father.
Well, Hank has Maud, De Beaujolais has Mary, Geste has Isobel but Buddy’s staring at the moon alone. Still there’s Janey and that’s a match made in heaven but Dad won’t let her go and Janey waon’t leave without his consent. Otis intervenes pushing Janey toward Buddy then turning to face down his Dad for the first time in his life.
Pop doubles his fist moving to deck Otis. Otis holds up the locket like a cross before Dracula stopping the old man in his tracks. Confronted with the truth the old fellow buckles giving his son the triumph. So the Beau Ideal triumphs.
That’s all there is, no more verses left.
August 19, 2009
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#5: Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar
On The Road To Opar
I have put off reviewing this Tarzan several times. I like it but I find it difficult. This may have been the first Tarzan book I read, probably in 1950. While I have always liked Tarzan And The Ant Men and Tarzan The Terrible Opar was always my favorite.
Of course in 1950 one’s choice was limited to eight or ten, not including the first, so I read the later novels only recently. Tarzan And The Lion Man is my current favorite. Opar was written in 1915 about a year after the commencement of The Great War, the occupation of Haiti and war scares with Mexico. This was also after ERB’s first spurt that ran from 1911-1914. The latter year emptied the pent up reservoir containing the residue of his early reading and experiences. That period may be described as ERB’s ‘amateur period.’ The latter part of 1914 began what may be described as his professional life as a writer. The spontaneous automatic period was over; he had to think out his stories. That meant he had to do some new reading. Opar coincided with his completion of reading Gibbon’s Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire. What effect that may have had on Opar I’m not sure.
At the foundation of ERB’s approach to his stories are the three titles of Twain’s Prince And The Pauper, Burnett’s Little Lord Fauntleroy and Wister’s The Virginian. After 1914 he would refer to Jack London and write a series based on the style of Booth Tarkington. While he continued to produce during the twenties, the period was also one of intense reading that produced the magnificent stories of the early thirties. That need not concern us here.
While his favorite three books were the rock on which he built his church, the Oz stories of Baum contribute to the superstructure as they do so prominently in Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar. The second chapter is even titled: On The Road To Opar. ERB only left out the yellow brick and changed the Emerald City to Opar. It is clearly indicated that Opar is based on the Emerald City.
Rather than being emerald Opar is red and gold. La, the high priestess of Opar can be considered a combination of Baum’s Ozma and Rider Haggard’s She.
The Baum connection is strengthened by the fact that, as I believe but can only conjecture at this point, Burroughs visited Baum at his Hollywood home during ERB’s residence in Southern California in 1913. One guesses but it is probable that ERB got some pointers from Baum on how to keep the Tarzan series going as Baum was producing volume after volume of Oz stories. In point of fact Baum had run out of ideas in 1910 attempting to close off the series. He was compelled to restart the series in 1913 at the insistence of his fans.
Burroughs had effectively closed the Tarzan series with The Son Of Tarzan. Son is a favorite of a lot of people but for me it’s pretty much a rehash of the first three stories; I call the four The Russian Quartet after the villains of the series. Tarzan was already old in Beasts Of Tarzan but by Son he had to come out of retirement. There was no future then, so the Big Bwana had to be reborn. The old Tarzan ended with Son; the new Tarzan began with Jewels Of Opar. A fine new beginning it was.
The Ballantine edition of 1963 prefaces the story with a quote titled: ‘In Quest Of A Lost Identity’, that might easily be changed to ‘A Search For A New Identity’, for in fact, Burroughs old identity had been lost when he gained success and riches. ERB wanted to go forward not back:
Tarzan staggered to his feet and groped his way about among the underground ways of Opar. What was he? Where was he? His head ached, but otherwise he felt no ill effects from the blow that had felled him. He did not recall the accident, nor aught of what had led up to it.
At last he found the doorway leading inward beneath the city and temple. Nothing spurred his hurt memory to a recollection of past familiarity with his surroundings. He blundered on through the darkness as though he were traversing an open plain under a noonday sun.
Suddenly he reached the brink of a well, stepped outward into space, lunged forward, and shot downward into the inky depths below. Still clutching his spear, he struck the water and sank beneath its surface…
Tarzan loses his memory at great stress points in Burroughs’ life. They take place at Opar in underground caverns surr9unded by a wealth of gold. One might think then that they are related to Burroughs’ financial success and through La to his sex life.
One must bear in mind that ERB came into the beginnings of his success just as he was edging into the mid-life crisis. Given a reasonable amount of money in 1913 he reacted in a nouveau riche manner. Remembering back to 1899 and his private railcar trip to NYC and back he tried to relive it with Emma. His trip with Frank Martin troubled his memory. He recalled it 1914 when he took the job on the railroad in Salt Lake City. In 1913 he packed the family aboard with all his belongings and rode out to Los Angeles and San Diego. He may very well have rented a whole Pullman car for himself and family that would be equivalent to a private car but we don’t know for sure at this time. We only know that he was fixated on a private car and that he rode first class.
We can be sure that he was realizing all his dreams as fast as he could earn the money to pay for them or perhaps before he had the money.
He was moving through uncharted territory thus ‘he blundered on through the darkness as though he were traversing an open plain under a noonday sun.’
ERB has his eyes wide open but the unfamiliar demands being placed on him were equivalent to darkness: he couldn’t be sure whether he was making the right decisions. ‘What was he? Where was he.’ This is a dilemma of the newly successful. And then by late 1914, early 1915 he realized that he was in over his head.
Suddenly he reached the brink of a well, stepped outward into space, lunged forward, and shot downward into the inky depths below. Still clutching his spear, he struck the water and sank beneath the surface…
What? Of course. McClurg’s released the first Tarzan as a book in 1914 treating the release in what seems a peculiar way. The contract had been signed, apparently perpetual and unbreakable, ERB, Inc. only bought it out in the fifties, so he must have realized that he had been had. He committed the same error in 1931 when he signed his contract with MGM so he didn’t learn much over the years.
His contract would certainly have been a contributing factor but there may have been other sources that put him in over his head. It is significant that Tarzan didn’t drop his spear; he was still capable fo defending himself.
Now, one would have to believe that Burroughs was at least famous in Chicago. By 1917-18 Tarzan was a household word recognized it seems by everyone. It would be odd indeed if sexual temptations weren’t placed before him. Literary groupies surrounded authors then as groupies did musicians in the ’60s.
La herself is a repressed sexual image while the novel abounds in sexual images. Perhaps signficantly when the rutting elephants charge the priests of Opar Tarzan takes refuge in a tree high above the ruckus. Even then the rutting elephants try to uproot his tree to bring the Big Bwana to earth but do not succeed. One may infer that while temptation was strong ERB remained faithful to Emma.
However by 1918′s Tarzan The Untamed, note the title, Jane is killed while Tarzan’s eye immediately wanders forming a near dalliance with another woman. It was also at this period that ERB walked out on Emma. As told in Tarzan The Terrible, note the title, and Tarzan And The Golden Lion Tarzan and Emma were separated through those two novels and Tarzan The Untamed.
So, Jewels of Opar may be describing the dark side of success when the master tempter attacks you at your most vulnerable plus Burroughs was in full blown mid-life crisis by 1914-15.
The forces of change were shaking him like a terrier shaking a rat. His situation was terrible and wonderful at the same time. So, with Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar he launched himself on his career as a professional writer.
The novels of Burroughs previous to Opar had flowed from his experience and early reading. The reading had provided the framework that ERB fleshed out with his interests, ideas and experience in essentially an allegorical form. David Adams quite justly points out that Burroughs relies quite heavily on a fairy tale format although it took me a long time to recognize it. ERB’s wonderlands are lands of enchantment as much as that of Mallory’s and Pyles Arthurian England. That is certainly clear in this book.
Now Burroughs has to actually invent and construct a story from scratch. Once again he relies on his reading. The first chapter titled The Belgian And The Arab encapsulates his reading and perhaps watercooler discussions of the Belgian administration of the Congo with the depredations of the Arab slaver Tippu Tib as gleaned from Stanley’s two tremendous adventures, Through The Dark Continent and In Darkest Africa.
In the first Stanley encountered Tib on the upper Congo, Lualaba he calls it, when Tib was just beginning to extract the Congo tribes for slaves. A few years later Stanley encountered Tib on his way across the Congo from the West to East. By that time Tib was halfway across the Congo basin toward the West depopulating it on his way. In this story Achmet Zek is based on Tippu Tib while Albert Werper, the Belgian, meets him well into the Congo moving up river as in Stanley’s In Darkest Africa.
Werper, as a Belgian, epitomizes King Leopold of Belgium’s administration of the Congo. For a few decades the entire Congo Free State as it was then known was his personal possession Tippu Tib or no. As such he had to make it pay and make it pay he did. Rubber was the engine of that prosperity. As the tree was not yet cultivated as Firestone would in Malaya, the Africans were required to collect balls of rubber from the wild. Not naturally inclined to collect rubber some harsh disciplinary measures were required to give them incentive. One method if they failed to bring in their quota was to cut off their right hand. Seemingly counter-productive it was nevertheless effective although there were a lot of Africans walking around with only a left hand. In Leopold’s defense the method was suggested by Africans themselves.
Leopold made money but incurred the hatred of Africans while giving himself an atrocious reputation in Europe and America. The Belgians removed the Free State from his administration after which it became known as the Belgian Congo. Thus Burroughs unites two men of evil reputation in the Belgian Albert Werper and the Arab Achmet Zek. They naturally conspire evil.
ERB also leans on Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness for his opening episode. Heart Of Darkness was Conrad’s most famous work and it may be said his reputation has been founded on it. A sensation when published it is or was still widely read today.
The opening scene takes place at the Stanley Pool where the Congo begins its descent from the plateau. Perhaps the post was the nascent Stanleyville. Werper commits his crime then flees into the jungle where he is captured by the Arab Achmet Zek/Tippu Tib.
The Belgian and the Arab are two of a kind forming a natural partnership with Zek being the senior partner. Zek may have been able to carry on his depredations without hindrance except for the Great White Lord of the jungle, Tarzan. Thus Burroughs rectifies the situation in his imagination. Prior to Werper Zek had no way to reach the Big Bwana but with the European Werper he has an entree.
Jane, of course, will be captured to be taken to the North to Algiers or Tunis to be sold into a Moslem harem. That would have been a nifty trick from the Congo to the Mediterranean. The walk alone might have taken a year or more.
So, as the chapter ends the plan is to kill Tarzan giving Zek a free hand and capture Jane.
Chapter two ‘On The Road To Opar’ introduces what will be a recurrent theme in Tarzan’s life- insolvency. In this case the Big Fella has made a bad investment, not unlike Burroughs’ habit, and been wiped out. Being now impoverished he has to recruit a new fortune by taking several hundred pounds of gold from the vaults of Opar.
Tarzan justifies himself:
…the chances are that they inhabitants of Opar will never know that I have been there again and despoiled them of another portion of the treasure, the very existence of which they are as ignorant of as they would be of its value.
Thus, the Zen question, are you stealing from someone if you take what they don’t know they have or its value somewhere else? I would be interested in ERBs justification of what seems to be a felony. After all Tarzan isn’t going to show up with a brassband and waving banners; he’s going to sneak in and out hopefully unnoticed. It’s too late to ask now.
The raid on Opar may have reflected ERB’s financial condition after 1913-14′s stay in San Diego. He had to write another Tarzan novel to recoup his finances.
As Tarzan is about to leave, Zek and Werper have concocted their plan. Werper is to gain admittance to the household under guise of being a lost great white hunter and prepare the way for Zek. Werper posing as the Frenchman Frecoult overhears Tarzan and Jane discussing Opar quickly realizing there is more at stake here than killing Tarzan and selling a White woman into a Sheik’s harem in the North.
He warns Zek while following Tarzan on the road to Opar.
Chapter 3 is titled The Call Of The Jungle. As On The Road To Opar reflects Baum’s Oz stories so the Call Of The Jungle resonates rather well with Jack London’s Call Of The Wild. the jungle that Tarzan inhabits is a wonderful place, no bugs, no mosquitoes. In Africa the land of fevers that would still be unknown if Europeans had not invaded the continent Tarzan never has one. We know that ERB read Stanley. That explorer speaks of no romance of the jungle. For him it was a dark dank horrible place he couldn’t get out of fast enough. He not only suffered terrible fevers but so did everyone else. Yet in Burroughs’ imagination the jungle becomes a paradise.
Perhaps that might reflect thte lost paradise of America conquered by industrialism and cities. Perhaps in its way it represents the White City of the Columbian Exposition as opposed to the Black City of industrial Chicago. Idaho vs. Chicago; something of that order.
Now hungry Tarzan kills a deer with his favored bare hands method plunging Dad’s knife deep into its heart. Dad’s knife and plunging it into the heart of its victim. There’s an image. ERB had a terrible relationship with his father. Perhaps he visualized the relationship as his father killing him with heartaches. Haven’t actually worked out the meaning yet. Interrupted by a lion he retreats to a tree with a haunch between his strong white teeth. Another sexual image. Now, here we have another psychological problem. Tarzan is a very unforgiving guy, petty even. Having been disturbed in his dinner which surely must have been a frequent occurrence in the jungle, he is not going to let the lion eat his kill in peace. Up in his convenient tree he finds another tree nearby bearing hard fruit. Not the soft mushy kind but hard. He bombards the lion until it leaves the kill.
The lion slinks off after his own game, a lone African witch doctor. Tarzan doesn’t care if the lion kills the African but just as his dinner was disrupted he wants to punish the lion by depriving him of his. So just as the lion mauls the African Tarzan jumps on the lion’s back and kills him merely for interrupting the Big Guy’s dinner. You know, that’s capital punishment for a very minor offence. This is a little excessive to my mind.
What does it say about ERB’s own state of mind? Was he also unforgiving and draconian in his revenges? ERB himself mostly stood in his relationships as the African to the lion. There is a certain irony in the symbol of MGM being Leo The Lion. In his last major confrontation with MGM, Leo mauled ERB pretty badly. There was no room left for revenge in that struggle.
The mauled witch doctor had appeared in Tarzan Of The Apes. He recognized Tarzan but was unrecognized by the latter.
In his youth he would slain the witch-doctor without the slightest compuncition, but civilization had had its softening effect on him even as it does upon the natives and races which it touches though it had not gone far enough with Tarzan to render him either cowardly or effeminate.
From this we may infer that ERB believed Europeans and Americans to have become effeminate and cowardly. Perhaps so.
The witch doctor reminds him of Mbonga’s village of the old days when they made Tarzan the god Munango-Keewati and now he makes a prophecy:
…I shall reward you. I am a great witch-doctor. Listen to me, white man! I see bad days ahead of you…A god greater than you wil rise up and strike you down. Turn back, Munango-Keewati! Turn back before it is too late. Danger lurks ahead of you and danger lurks behind; but greater is the danger before. I see…
And then characteristically he croaks. Werper was behind and Opar ahead. But what was danger to the Big Bwana; danger was his life. Of course ERB could have been talking about himself as well. Certainly by this time ERB must have realized that success and fame was going to be no bed of roses. He needed more money to continue his new life style. Could he get it now that his first spurt was finished. He had been warned by his editor Metcalf that most pulp writers had success for a couple years but then exhausted their sources. He must have feared that he was already there.
A new period of anxiety loomed before him, probably debt behind. As Tarzan is about to lose his memory, stress may have been addling ERB’s brain. Nevertheless impelled by necessity- onward.
Part II in another post.
August 1, 2009
Note: I mistakenly placed the review of Beau Geste on another of my blogs: reprindle.wordpress.com. The review may be found there.
A Contribution To The
Erbzine Library Project
The Beau Ideal Trilogy Of
Beau Geste~Beau Sabreur~Beau Ideal
Review Of Beau Sabreur
Part I: Introduction
Part II: A Review Of Beau Geste
Part III: A Review Of Beau Sabreur
Part IV: A Review Of Beau Ideal
Bibliographial Entry: Welland, James: ‘The Merchandise Was Human’, Horizon Magazine, Vol. VII, No. 1, Winter 1965. PP. 111-117
Beau Sabreur shifts from the classic literary style of the mid-nineteenth century to the vernacular of pulp or, perhaps, Wold Newton era. The pulp writers seem to have all read each other and Wren has certainly done his share of reading.
This novel begins at a pre-Zinderneuf time when Charles De Beaujolais was a mere cadet entering the service. If Beau Geste began in c. 1888 Beau Sabreur is set back at the beginning to perhaps 1875. De Beaujolais’ circumstances quite parallel those of the hero of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness. Conrad has maintained a very respectable readership down to the present even though stoutly anti-Communist and a colonial writer. Both Communists and Africans are working hard to bury his reputation. It’s amazing how guys like Conrad manage to hang on, but that may not be for long as Western influence in society declines.
So it is that De Beaujolais is a sort of lounger applying himself to nothing in particular when his uncle recruits him for the French secret service as an agent to be attached to the African Spahis, an army corps. His uncle says that he will severely try him and should he fail in any particular he will be immediately dismissed. This essentially means that if De Beaujolais lets a woman come between him and his duty it is all over for him. So we are forewarned that there will a choice between love and duty.
The book was written after 1917 so Wren introduces a subversive Communist or anarchist character. In this book he assumes the name of Becque at the beginning. In Beau Geste he went by Rastignac and late in the novel he will be recognized as Rastignac although he appears to be going by another name. Wren has a good idea of the type describing him thusly under the name Becque:
He was clearly a monomaniac whose whole mental content was hate- hate of France; hate of all who had what he had not; hate of control, discipline and government; hate of whatsoever and whomever did not meet his approval. I put him down as one of those sane lunatics, afflicted with a destructive complex; a diseased egoist, and a treacherous, dangerous mad dog. Also a very clever man indeed, an eloquent, plausible and forceful personality…The perfect agent-provacteur, in fact.
Thus Becque in his various incarnations is always subversive, whether of army morale or working the Moslems up against the French. This will be a major theme of the novel. the same theme will appear in Tarzan The Invincible developed for his own needs.
Having been recruited by his uncle, De Beaujolais is sent to a sort of boot camp to learn the hard way. His ordeal is very convincingly described by Wren. It seems authentic enough to make one believe that Wren himself actually experienced such an indoctrination but there is no record that he did. He is just a consummate artist.
While learning to be a soldier Becque attempts to recruit him as a Communist agent. This leads to a sword fight in which De Beajuolais injures Becque but does not kill him.
Having completed his boot camp De Beaujolais takes his station with the secret service and the Spahis in Africa. Spahis are not FFL but a different corps.
When the French conquered Algeria in 1830 they disrupted a thousand year old social system. The North African Moslems had an insatiable need for slaves. Not only did they raid European shores to abduct Whites but an immense system for deliviering Negro slaves had been in existence since the Moslem conquest. This system had been run by the Tuaregs. This people was descended from Whites dating back to at least the Phoenician conquest of North Africa. Their alphabet probably precedes that of the Phoenicians. Undoubtedly they were the descendants of the former inhabitants of Mediterranean Valley known as Libyans in Egypt flushed out by the melting of the ice age.
What they did before the arrival of the Moslems isn’t known but with the African conquest of the Moslems they became the middle men between Africans of the Sahel and the Moslems of the North. Every year for a thousand years the Tuaregs had collected convoys of Negroes from the South driving them North across the Sahara. This was necessarily done with great loss of life as the Tuaregs were not that tender toward the Negroes.
With the advent of the Atlantic Slave Trade in the sixteenth century the Tuaregs also captured Negroes and drove them to St. Louis in Senegal for sale and transshipment to the Americas. According to James Welland the depredations on the Blacks was so great that the area around Lake Tchad had been cleared of inhabitants. This age old life style was disrupted in 1830 by the French. By that time Europeans had discontinued the slave trade so that the French disrupted the trans-Sahara trade causing a disruption in the Tuareg economy from which there was no recovery. Welland explains:
In short, the official abolition of the slave trade, the desert tribes, the desert itself for that matter began to play a diminished part in human affairs, and the Tuareg, who had been the only link for two and a half thousand years between Central Africa and the Mediterranean- in other words, between the Negro and the White world- began to pass from the stage of history. They were left unemployed and purposeless, with the result that they turned to intertribal war and oasis raiding to keep some semblance of their nationhood. Then again, as the supply of black labor dried up, the palmeries were increasingly neglected and often, as the consequence of a razzia, comepletely destroyed. The size and number of oases decreased, sand filled the wells and cisterns- many of which had been maintained since Roman times- and the age old trails became more hazardous and finally were hardly used at all.
In the secret service in Africa De Beaujolais becomes involved in the maelstrom of change, racial conflict and bad memories which were now exacerbated by the arrival of the non-Moslem, or Christian, French. The novel beomes then a sort of proto-thriller. De Beaujolais is on a mission to a town called Zaguig when he is caught up in a Moslem revolt. In Zaguig he meets the touring Mary and Otis Vanbrugh. Otis, you will remember returns from Beau Geste.
Mary is the love interest in the story and she will conflict De Beaujolais between his love for her and his duty as imposed by his uncle. Frankie Laine or Tex Ritter and songwriters Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington (I tried to work Trad. in there somewhere but couldn’t do it) expressed the balance well in the song High Noon:
Oh to be torn ‘betwixt’ love and duty
Supposin’ I lose my fair haired beauty…
De Beaujolais relates the story of another agent who chose his beauty over duty and was drummed out of the service ultimately being killed. De Beaujolais has a premonition. Wren cleverly resolves the choice so that De Beaujolais gets his beauty while fulfilling his duty.
At the same time Otis Vanbrugh meets the apparent Arab dancing girl, who yet retains European features, who will figure largely in the sequel.
As the revolt erupts these conflicts emerge. As is usual in thrillers things are not what they seem. Raoul D’Auray De Redon, a close friend of De Beaujolais’ remains behind disguised as an Arab to confuse their attack on a small French garrison destined to be wiped out. De Beaujolais has important dispatches which must be delivered. Thus duty makes him appear to be an ingrate and coward humiliating him before Mary. His job is to locate the latest Arab Mahdi and suborn him the the French side.
De Beaujolais thinks little of Otis Vanbrugh and we are meant to accept his opinion. His true story will appear in the sequel.
Mary was one of those women who flirt by taunting or ridiculing her guy. In her case when De Beaujolais was within hearing she mockingly whistled a tune De Beaujolais couldn’t quite place but was called Abdullah Bulbul Amir. This was a very popular song and poem of the time that can be found at http://wiki.answers.com/Q/lyrics_of_bhulbhuliya. A couple of verses of its 19 will suffice to give its tenor but the poem is one you should be familiar with.
The sons of the Prophet are hardy and bold,
And quite unaccustomed to fear,
But the most reckless of life or of limb
Was Abdullah Bulbul Amir.
When they wanted a man to encourage the van
Or harass a foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, they had only to shout
For Abdullah Bulbul Amir.
Apparently the poem was so well known that Wren felt no need to name it and he doesn’t.
The time to leave Zaguig comes, so taking his entourage of faithful soldiers, Mary and her maid Maud, he sets out into the desert toward Oran.
Soon Tuareg or Arab raiders pick his party up and they are forced to fight a pitched battle although from an advantageous position. Here De Beaujolais has to make a very difficult choice between between loyalty to his men and his duty to get his dispatches through. Getting his men into position he is compelled to abandon them to their fate and push on.
This puts a strain on his relationship with Mary who cannot understand the concept of duty or necessity- the necessity to get the dispatches through. After a long flight the party falls into the hands of a desert tribe. But this is a strange desert tribe. Rather than the usual unorganized tactics these fellows seem to have the scientific training of the French. Another mystery.
As luck would have it De Beaujolais and the women were captured by the Mahdi’s troops. By way of explanation the Moslem Mahdi is equivalent to the Jewish Messiah but not the Christian Messiah. There’s only one Christ but Jewish Messiahs and Moslem Mahdis pop up everywhere.
So now, going back to the ending of Beau Geste, the two Americans Hank and Buddy were out there somewhere trodding the burning sands. Hank was discovered and rescued on the point of death by a kind hearted Sheik while Buddy was captured by hard hearted Tuaregs being saved from death when Hank Sheik’s tribe defeated his captors. Buddy was out there somewhere for a long time because Hank had been rescued years before.
Having been rescued at the point of death Hank was aware of the necessity to pass as a Moslem so he pretends to be dumb until he has learned the language so well he can pass. He then cleverly becomes the tribe’s sheik. The tribe is then threatened by a razzia of Tuaregs. As this takes place in the North Tuaregs no longer having Negroes to convoy have taken to raiding the oases. Normally the tribe would have run and hid leaving their goods and a few token members as slaves for the Tuaregs. Hank has a better idea and using his superior scientific French training the tribe rather than waiting to be attacked unexpectedly attack the Tuareg camp handily defeating them. Buddy is thus rescued. Coincidences are dime dozen out on the burning sands.
Teaching Buddy the language while he too plays dumb, Buddy becomes Hank’s vizier. With Buddy as military commander the tribe is trained in scientific methods in earnest. They then begin to organize the tribes into a confederation thus earning Hank the title of Mahdi in French eyes. De Beaujolais was thus on a mission to co-opt the new Mahdi.
As luck, or coincidence, would have, at the same time De Beaujolais and the girls arrive so does Becque/Rastignac. Becque is now employed one supposes by the Soviet Union to arouse the Moslems to a jihad. He comes bearing gifts not realizing that Hank and Buddy are his old Legion comrades. He doesn’t recognize them but Hank recognizes him. Becque and De Beaujolais have that old unsettled score to settle. De Beaujolais now settles his hash removing that source of irritation.
I’ve pointed out before that Burroughs very likely drew inspiration for his series of political Tarzan novels from 1930 to 1933 after reading this trilogy from 1924 to 1928. The Sahara had fascinated him long before he read Wren. David Innes of Pelucidar even surfaces in the Sahara returning from the Inner World. The great desert and the Sahel is not quite as we Westerners have imagined it. The thousand year long history of amazing suffering boggles the imagination. A thousand years of thousand mile treks from South to North, untold millions of Africans were trekked across the burning sands with equally untold millions falling along the way. This is not all. This is a horror story. Welland again, p. 116:
Even after the slave trade had been suppressed, the old life of the desert survived for a while for one simple reason…the absence of salt in the Sudan. Nearly all the salt in Central Africa had always come from the north across the Sahara on the backs of camels, donkeys, horses and men. The salt mines in the middle of the most terrible wastelands of the desert- at Taghaza, at Taodeni, and at Bilma- had always been worked all the year round by Negro slaves, who died within a few years of their arrival at the mines and were immediately replaced by new workers. The salt they mined was worth its weight in gold in Timbuktu, and its transport across the desert was a considerable enterprise of unbelievable size, involving the assembling of as many as 40,000 camels to make the quick dash from Bilma to Kano.
Think of it. For a thousand years Negroes were dropped down a funnel in a steady stream to live the most miserable of lives for a very few years. Over a millennium! Think of it. I should think those Negroes who travelled the Middle Passage in the Atlantic Slave Trade ending up in the paradise of the Caribbean and the Americas should bless their deliverers from that African hell.
Africans should bless the French for delivering them from total servitude and degradation. When one digs for facts beneath the surfice, the things one finds.
Thus without giving any historical background Wren is telling the story of how Europe saved the Africans from themselves. Indeed, Hank and Buddy singlehandely rearrange North Africa on livable lines. The two, in the story, break the power of the Tuaregs while establishing an African paradise in a hundred square mile oasis. Their people are delivered into prospeirty by a million franc subsidy from France that Hank and Buddy use for the betterment of their people rather than sequestering it in a numbered Swiss bank account. A new day for Africa indeed courtesy of Western enlightenment.
Thus De Beaujolais accomplishes his mission to align the new Mahdi, Hank, with France while winning his fair heared beauty and pleasing his uncle.
Hank marries Maud the maid leaving Buddy hanging out but not for long. We still have the last of the trilogy, Beau Ideal to go. Let’s go.
June 23, 2009
A Contribution To The Erbzine Library Project
The Beau Ideal Trilogy Of
Beau Geste, Beau Sabreur, Beau Ideal
Review by R.E. Prindle
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Review of Beau Geste
Part III: Review Of Beau Sabreur
Part IV: Review Of Beau Ideal
For hundreds of years after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain the Moslems raided the European c0asts of the Mediterranean abducting men, women and children as slaves while also preying on shipping. The newly formed United States sought unsuccessfully to suppress this Moslem piracy. ‘Millions for defense but not one penny for tribute.’ If you remember that one from school.
Finally in 1830 France invaded, conquered and occupied what is now known as Algeria ending the Barbary Pirates.
An army corps was formed and named the Legion Etrangere in French, French Foreign Legion in English to pacify Algeria. Over the next hundred years the Legion was used for peaceful penetration into the Sahara and Sahel to form the French West African Empire.
In an astonishing turn around the Moslem power evaporated while the French easily became the masters of the bulge of Africa. The military superiority was to last until post-WWII when exhausted by two world wars accompanied by a moral collapse as the best and brightest died on the battlefields leaving nothing but singers and dancers to live off the fat of the land. The French were militarily capable but morally bankrupt. The Moslems reasserted themselves in the fifties forcing the French out of Algeria while beginning the invasion of France by peaceful penetration. A neat reversal of fortunes. Thus the conquest of Europe interrupted by the Spanish expulsion began again.
Immediately after the French invasion of Algeria the deserts of Africa beame a playground of Europeans. The lure of the desert held a strange appeal for them. Perahaps devoid of romance in their homelands the desert with its now no longer dangerous but exotic inhabitants replaced the fairies and elves displaced by the scientific revolution. The Euroamerican romance with ‘noble savages’ and ‘inferior races’ may very well be caused by the void created by the scientific revolution. Euroamericans hoped to find or create those emotional or psychological needs lost in the advance of civilization. This may explain to some extent the White worship of people of color whose ‘natural’ uninhibited behavior they profess to admire and imitate. Witness the tatooing and body piercing in imitation of the Africans who themselves appear to have to given it up.
The French having conquered Algeria had to establish an army corps dedicated to perpetual warfare. That unit was the Legion Etrangere or French Foreign Legion. The duty in the Sahara amid an enemy population was so execrable that only men without hope, that is criminals and outcasts with no other options need have applied.
In 1831 then, a year after the conquest and annexation of Algeria as an actual Department of France the French Foreign Legion was created by Louis Philippe the new Bourgeois King of France.
The Legend of the Legion apparently grew very quickly. the first legion novel is thought to be that of the English writer Ouida. She published her novel Under Two Flags in the 1860s. It was a great success ultimately being made into a movie. Alongside the Legion novels were a number of novels that dealt with the desert in a very romantic way.
The genre of novel could only have developed after the French conquest of Algeria after 1830 and a little later with the pacification of the Moslems. If not pacification at least intimidation. Astonishingly the centuries intervening between Roman Africa and the conquest of Algeria vanished from the consciousness of Europeans. In only a hundred years (well, a hundred twenty-five years) a brief interlude, Europeans were in turn expelled from North Africa with their tremendous superiority shattered and in ruins. That brief century now appears like a fairy story without real substance. A hundred years of struggle and dieing ant then- poof! But the stories were great.
Fans of Jules Verne have a very good story- The Barsac Mission- that undoubteldy was an influence of P.C. Wren. The work has only been translated recently issued in two volumes as Into The Niger Bend and The City Of The Sahara by Americor. Some consider the novel science fiction.
The publishers are escapist types who have retreated to Mattituck N.Y. at the most extreme end of Long Island. Unfortunately, as with many of Verne’s books the Barsac has been bowlderized to reflect current Liberal tastes. The translator I.O. Evans coyly expresses it this way: I have also taken the liberty, found necessary by most of Verne’s other translators, of abbreviating or omitting a few passage of minor interest. (cough, cough)
Another wonderful Sahara novel written at the same time as the Barsac is Robert Hichens’ The Garden Of Allah. Hichens was an influence on Burroughs. The novel was very well known at least through my youth. I knew people with whom Hichens’ reputation was very great although I imagine there are few who would recognize his name today.
And then ERB himself devoted a number of pages to the romance of the desert. In The Return Of Tarzan it will be remembered that Tarzan was despatched to Algeria as a French secret agent just along the lines of Wren’s De Beaujolais. The Lad And The Lion is of course a complete Sahara novel that appears to have had an influence on Wren. Korak the Killer of The Son Of Tarzan operated on the margins of the desert while the Sahara plays a frequent part in a lot of the Tarzan novels.
There is no question that E.M. Hull’s The Sheik was a major influence on Wren as he actually parodies Mrs. Hull’s novel virutally by name.
With Wren the myth of the Sahara and the Legion comes into full bloom.
If one has read only Beau Geste one has read an amazingly good story but to understand Wren’s intent it is necessary to read Beau Geste, Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal in sequence. By the time Wren wrote, the handwriting was on the wall. The Western will had already been sapped. The beau ideals that had inspired Western men since the days of the Arthurian epics was fading from the Western consciousness being replaced by the effete homosexual ‘ideals’ of today. The strength and confidence that allowed Western man to subjugate the world was becoming just a memory. Wren in his way is either commemorating the ideals or seeking to reverse the decline.
The three novels are concerned with the fortunes of two families, one English, the other American. Wren has a wonderful feel for the difference between the English and the American characters, not to mention the French. His command of American dialect and hobo slang is virtually alone worth reading the trilogy.
The first volume, Beau Geste based on Wilkie Collins The Moonstone (a so-so read) concerns the early history of the Geste brothers, Beau, Digby and John and the story of Fort Zinderneuf away out there almost beyond a hobo’s imagination.
The novel does introduce the two American hoboes, Hank and Buddy, serving in the Legion. Wren kills off Michael and Digby Geste in this first novel putting the load on John.
In the second novel of the trilogy, Beau Sabreur (The good sword or swordsman) John returns to Africa to try to locate Hank and Buddy who were lost in the drifting sands after saving his life.
In this manner Wren introduces the American family of which Hank is a member. Hank and his friend Buddy were the two men lost in the desert that John Geste is seeking. Both men lying in the desert near death in different locations were rescued by the Bedouins. As luck would have it Hank managed to work his way up to Sheik acquiring Buddy as his vizier. They introduce superior Western discipline and tactics into their tribe giving them dominance in the desert. Hank then comes to the attention of the French as the new Mahdi. De Beaujolais is sent to coopt the new Mahdi. Through a series of adventures De Beaujolais meets and falls in love with Hank’s sister Mary who is traveling with her other brother Otis Vanbrugh. They as well as Hank are fleeing from a brutish father.
At stories end the whole cast Henri De Beaujolais who had wed Mary, Otis, Hank, Buddy, John Geste and his wife Isobel, who plays a large part, are back at the ranch in Texas facing the old brute of a father down while trying to free Hank’s other sister from thralldom to the old brute so she can marry Buddy and begin a life of her own. Hold on, now, Wren must have been studying Burroughs because he’s got a number of twists up his sleeve, or perhaps, tricks.
While Otis was in Algeria an Arab dancing girl had fallen in love with him who was apparently the queen of the desert. Otis tried to escape her but in exchange for help in recovering John from the penal battalion of the FFL he promised to marry her. Aw shucks, that’s right, you guessed it. Nakhla was in reality his sister. The old brute had fathered her on another dancing girl when he was out making deals in the desert. So we have Nakhla, the same name as the heroine of Burroughs’ The Lad And The Lion, pretty much following the plot line of The Girl From Farris’s. So maybe Wren should also be included in the Farmerian Wold Newton Universe.
So that is the broad overview of the story line that holds the three volumes together. Before I go on to the individula reviews there is one other problem I wrestle with that I would like to to discuss and that is the
Western fascination with primitive life styles.
For a convenient starting point we’ll use H. Rider Haggard, no, cancel that. I’ll go back a little further to the French Wold Newton. I’m reading the Paul Feval Black Coats series and they have some earlier antecedents. Balzac, Dumas, Eugene Sue and Feval all deal with organized crime groups. A Dumas title that I haven’t been able to get is titled The Mohicans Of Paris while Feval makes several reference to crime organizations adopting a sort of ‘red indian’ mentality. What Dumas called Mohicans evolved into the Apaches of late nineteenth century Paris. Anyone who watched TV in the fifties is familiar with French Apache dancing.
Thus while the French were becoming fascinated with the North American Indians and their primitive mentality Haggard was celebrating the primitive African mentality. And then along comes Ouida, Verne, Hichens, Burroughs, Hull and Wren celebrating the ‘free and wild’ life of the desert.
As of the beginning of the nineteenth century, if not before, the Euroamericans evolved into the Scientific Consciousness leaving the rest of the world behind in the mythopoeic or Religious Consciousness. However the transition from one consciousness to the other is not a clean break. Haggard, for instance, never really made the transition while Burroughs did. That may be why Burroughs reads as modern if a trifle old fashioned while Haggard is purely of an anterior psychology- good but just a little stodgy.
Thus, as the White Man spread over the globe, the, what I shall I call it, White Man’s Burden, White Man’s novel appeared. A whole genre of either stated or implied White superiority appeared of which Haggard and Burroughs are the most promient. From these writers the genre went on to the Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle stuff to imitative White Jungle god stories. Conrad sang the colonial era in lyric tones. Kipling told of the Raj of India while inventing the White Man’s Burden which was very real.
Ouida is usually credited with the first FFL novel, Under Two Flags, while Burroughs contributed The Return of Tarzan in which Tarzan goes to Algeria as a French secret agent although not as FFL.
In 1924 P.C. Wren wrought the glamor of the French Foreign Legion with the first novel of his trilogy, Beau Geste, followed by Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal. These novels are also scientific demonstrating the superiority of Euroamerican intelligence over the mythopoeic mentality of the desert tribes. Merely by introducing European military discipline into the tribe Hank and Buddy enable the tribe to defeat all others and dominate the desert. This while Abd El Krim and the Riff dominated Western news instilling admiration for the primitive desert tribes over Western Civilization. I had a tearcher in high school who would get sexually aroused just talking about El Krim.
Thus while the transition from mythopoeic and scientific thinking was not complete if even half evolved the West was presented with various mythopoeic cultures that drew them back from the transition to the Scientific Consciousness. At present, then, the West has a split personality in which they admire the Negro and Arab mentality so much that they denigrate their own scientific side. It doesn’t seem likely that Euroamericans in sufficient numbers will make the transition to Scientific Consciousness quickly enough to preserve Western civilization hence the present bizarre worship of primitive races in North America and Europe. On the other hand the rest of the world seeks to imitate the West in matters that they cannot understand or sustain on their own. If the West is in trouble imagine the actual psychological state of things in China and India.
Now it is time to move on the first of the reviews- Beau Geste.