February 17, 2013
The Sixties: A Comic Book Heaven
Of course, everyone is, and always has been, slightly mad. Still, repressing the unreasonable side of his nature man in the Western world has, since the eighteenth century, built a civilization based on scientific reason and classic Aristotelian logic- the heritage of the Enlightenment. And the result, especially in this country [US] during the past fifty years [article dated 1970], has been a rational society that has made one technological break through after another, from the invention of the pop-up toaster to the ability to land men on the moon. Here, until recently, two plus two had inevitably equaled four, not five, as Eastern mystics suggest, and no one other than J.D. Salinger had been able to imagine the sound of one hand clapping.
–Thomas Meehan- Horizon Magazine, Spring 1970.
Comic books were first sold in 1933-34. Thus the first two comic book generations coincide with those too young to serve in WWII while many of the first generation was obliged to serve in the Korean war while the second generation missed both.
How deeply the mind of the first generation of comic book readers was formed is problematical. Comic books didn’t take their classic form until 1938 when the character of Superman was formed. The number of comic characters proliferated during WWII but as these, i.e. Capt. America, were war specific they fell out of favor after WWII.
The first generation of potential comic book readers, those born from 1933-34 formed the substratum for the sixties when they created rock and roll and the base for 60s pop culture during the 50s. That was Presley, Sanford Clark, Cash, Vincent, Nelson et al.
Following the war those born in 1937-38 and subsequently through about 1943-44 had their minds formed by comic books although not all to the same degree. A significant percentage of them were forbidden to read comics by their parents, perhaps wisely. There were some who indulged themselves indiscriminately. I was one of those. I read them all, avidly. The question is how were we affected?
There was a terrific reaction against comic books. Angry parents fought to have them banned. In perhaps the only, certainly of a very few, successful efforts of censorship, comics were banned in 1954. The survivor, of course, was Mad Magazine published by the worst offender, William C. Gaines. All of the comic book readers plus many of those formerly excluded shifted to Mad thus further polluting our brains. While I never gave up reading the comic books till their banning I did abandon Mad for political reasons after a year or so.
Now, with the exception of Capt. Marvel, and that may only be partial, the comics were exclusively of Jewish origins. Thus we in the US, Britain was excluded, were shown the Jewish point of view without our knowing.
One of the key themes was the all male group of do-gooders. These were some of my favorites. The tops, perhaps, was the very influential Blackhawks comics. The Blackhawks were a group of five ex-WWII pilots who each owned his P-38 fighter and flew around the world, Third World mainly, if I remember correctly, righting wrongs they recognized more quickly and efficiently, that is vigilante style, than organized government could or would. I remember the Blackhawks as terrific, I loved them. The fellowship of the pilots, each with a different character, each loyal to the others was something that I and I suppose every reader wished to emulate, especially the notion of a bonded group of five like minded guys.
Another was called the Daredevil. He had a red and blue set of body tights upper right and lower left red and vice versa for the blue. Weird but that’s the way he was. Daredevil was a surrogate father figure to five orphan boys, same character makeup as the Blackhawks, who righted wrongs in their neighborhood and lived in the same clubhouse. The later musical group The Monkees was probably based on them. The Monkees were short one, being four, which lessened their impact. If they’d had that fifth member I would have been an avid fan although older by then.
Thus in 1954 the origins of Top 40 began on radio. Twenty four hours round the clock seven days a week full time music. An innovation created by the arrival of television. The first generation of rockers were solo artists. Some came attached with a band such Bill Haley And The Comets or Gene Vincent And The Blue Caps who were proto-Blackhawk type groups but mainly they were solo artists with a band not a group. Presley, Sanford Clark and that curious mixture of both, Ricky Nelson.
The societal maturation process was continuing and then in the mid-sixties the Charlatans came down from the hills of Virginia City dressed in movie style cowboy outfits to home base San Francisco and the first group of costumed crusaders a la the Blackhawks burst forth in full flower.
In Britain the situation was somewhat different although coeval with the US. While the US escaped devastation in WWII the South of England was bombarded mercilessly destroying millions of buildings. A good representation of the situation may be found in John Boorman’s I suppose accurate, I wasn’t there, movie, The Hope And The Glory. As Boorman, who was there, portrays it, acres and acres of rubble stretched in every direction. The kids who scavenged and roamed the area are portrayed as little savages. An interesting education for the age cohort that came of age in the fifties.
Those born in the early forties, the core of the second generation of rockers, themselves played in this same although shrinking devastation. But rations were short in hard hit Britain, restrictions were not lifted until 1954. How their psychology was impaired isn’t so clear, although in the mid-sixties a wild party time called Swinging London appeared. Gay abandon one might say.
The group situation there may have been the result of the generation’s discovery of American slave music- Rhythm And Blues. R&B as a new entry to the British music scene met with resistance so that the devotees were possibly forced to form small groups who recognized each other, many wanting to play the music so they naturally formed groups, two guitars, drums, bass and a singer.
At any rate the British invasion of the US consisted of these four and five man groups coinciding with the comic book groups of the US.
Other formative influences other than comics and radio were films and TV. Those all involved a specific point of view repeated ad nauseum or lessons from a know-it-all crusader cum super hero.
Of course we all grew up with Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry among others during the forties but with the fifties came the fantastic science fiction movies. One of the most important was The Day The Earth Stood Still with its famous characters Klaatu and Gort. The premise was preposterous but no one got it. Klaatu is an alien landing a saucer in the US. He is here to vet Earthlings to see if the they are ready to enter the intergalactic community in which peace reigns. Alas, Earthlings, you and me, are hopelessly primitively addicted to violence. Klaatu boards his saucer with a sign of benediction delivering a long sermon about shaping up and saying he’ll be back if we ever sort things out. Alright.
Movie after movie repeated the same message until today people actually believe that extra-terrestrials are all peaceful and Earth is the only rogue planet in the universe. Ask anyone. Flying Saucers were portrayed as hovering out there where the communications satellites would soon be. There they carefully studied mankind for any sign of the diminution of violence. Boy, I bet they think they’ve been wasting their time. Imagine circling Earth for seventy years waiting for indications of peacefulness. Obviously they’ve been sadly disappointed while being joined by the Negro Mother Wheel that appeared some time in the seventies to keep them company Hello, Earth calling Mother Wheel.
These movies established the idea that the whole universe except for Earth is highly developed and pacific along with the idea that Earthlings are worthless, hence most people accepted as fact we were being watched by superior beings and found wanting. We were inferior.
The movies established the notion that there were millions of inhabited worlds out there inhabited by superior beings who could travel billions of light years and get to home base in time for dinner. ‘Honey, I’m home.’
Now, at the same time, pulp magazines existed. Monthly editions of Amazing Stories, Astounding Tales and other poured out endless reams of the most astonishing stuff imaginable. Thus, all three, comics, pulps and movies, sci-fi and movies were rushing through our minds, forming expectations. Of course, the number of us who read sci-fi, almost as despised by parents as the comics, was small, but then as TV developed, Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and Star Trek came along both of which mined the sci-fi stories of the fifties while spreading the notions throughout the entire population. This reduced the intellectual discrimination of the people whose minds were prepared to accept anything.
These years of the fifties were very crowded with the most exciting new developments. TV was perhaps at the top of the list. Bear in mind that cable didn’t exist. There weren’t even three channels in most places including a major market like the San Francisco Bay Area. People didn’t think TV would be profitable. The channels didn’t even broadcast until noon and shut down at ten o’clock prime time. There was no 24/7 TV.
There wasn’t even enough original programming to fill a ten hour day so they ran old movies and almost anything anyone could think up. Arthur Godfrey’s show ran for hours every day.
One of those odd things they chose to fill time was a character called Crusader Rabbit. I don’t know how well remembered the Rabbit is today but he had a profound effect in forming the minds of the 60s generation. Crusader Rabbit was a distant relative of the Blackhawks. While they flew around the world able to determine who were the good guys and who the bad, Crusader Rabbit was a self-righteous little bastard of a vigilante squad who instilled certain little minds with his self-righteousness and made them think they should impose their vision of reality on the world by mounting ‘crusades.’ Hawkeye of the later TV series Mash combined Crusader Rabbit with the Blackhawks.
Now, all this was happening in a short six years from 1950 to 1956. In many ways this was a major intellectual/psychological revolution preceding those revolutions of the sixties.
Equally, if not more important, was what was happening in the classrooms of our schools.
If an astonishing variety of educations was going on outside the classrooms what was going on inside was no less astonishing. I don’t know if everyone saw it the way I did but I had a tough time assimilating what I heard. Of course American superiority and the inferiority of Europeans was standard staple. At the same time we were warned to be humble as bearers of these great gifts and to share them with our inferiors who after all couldn’t help it that they weren’t born Americans. True enough I suppose.
And, because of the success of our own American revolution, barring any negative thoughts caused by the French and Bolshevik revolutions, we were taught, indeed, indoctrinated and conditioned to believe that revolution per se was good, indeed, a blessing. Ignoring whatever may have been going on in the world we were taught to revere the South American George Washington, Simon Bolivar, who flitted from country to country on the whole continent until he came to end of it in Venezuela tossing the Spanish aside like so much chaff. Viva Bolivar, hey? Well, Viva Zapata next.
Well, I came from the orphanage and I had a different idea of right and wrong. Heroes were much scarcer for me than for the kids from normal homes.
By the time we got to high school, 1953-56, teachers were preaching revolution, revolution, revolution full bore. Revolution was everywhere. Minute changes in processed breakfast cereals were described as revolutions. Crusader Rabbit was a revo. Who wasn’t?
The reverence for revolution continued in college too. Another four years of revo, rah, rah, rah followed in college which ended for my class in 1960. Portentous year, what? That was the year our limp President, John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corp. We were eager to share our wonderful achievement so recent college graduates with absolutely no knowledge of the world and inadequate educations sallied forth to tell the world how to do it right. OK? How’s that for arrogance?
Now, there were plenty of revolutions in progress in 1960 and all those graduates from say, 1954 to 1959, were primed for revo. Lived for it, breathed for it. They didn’t even have to be recruited; they went searching for it. Give us revolution, they screamed.
These were years of the magnificent march of progress too. Years of change and hope, revolutions one might say, in all areas of endeavor. The people born from 1938 to 1945 leaped in with both feet and arms flailing. The sixties belonged to us, it was a world that we would make ourselves.
The next age cohort born from ‘46-’53 would be instrumental in forming the seventies, the eighties going to the next age cohort. Of course these cohorts created nothing merely extending the ethic of the 60s’ cohort. The interesting thing is that there was a fairly complete break between us and The Greatest Generation as our fathers have been styled.
Those revolutionary minded teachers of our were mostly born c. 1890 so they were at the tail end of the post-Civil War corps, lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. Our fathers born somewhere around 1918 caught the Depression and WWII while witnessing the Korean War. We younger ones, in the US, avoided that while TV, Top 40 and other assorted wonders made us rather distinct, nothing alike in outlook. Our fathers didn’t really like, couldn’t trust us, and certainly were not going to accord us the dignity of adulthood and the authority that goes with it. So we grew distant from them not really thinking an awful lot of them or giving them our trust. Fuck, they couldn’t even deal with the Mafia.
Politically they kept control during the sixties while culturally and socially we managed affairs. As it was a new beginning of sorts the succeeding age cohorts respected us and what may be called our achievements, sex, drugs and rock and roll, but still maintaining that sense of breakfast cereal revo.
To make the break even sharper, in 1960 the real old guard headed by Eisenhower checked out and an Irish upstart son of a bootlegger, Jack Kennedy, leader of the Celtish Camelot and a guy who could twist the night away even with a bad back, attempted to lead the way.
His best wasn’t very good and he caught a piece of flying lead allowing that pale Texan reincarnation of FDR to see how badly he could muff it. He did a good job of muffing it too.
So, there we were on the brink of 1960 raring to show the world what we could do. Really revo the whole machine? We’ll see.
The psychological background of the sixties as exhibited by the second rock generation from 1938 to 1945 is a major manifestation of an effort begun back in the WWII days. It is the realization of the theologico-metaphysical notion of what Sigmund Freud dubbed the Unconscious. As the quote opening this essay indicates the sixties was the undoing of the several hundred year effort to realize the conscious. We thought we’d seen enough of the unconscious to last much more than a millennium. As the effort was begun before the awareness of the nature of the Un or subconscious the effort was achieved as Mr. Meehan states by the repression of sub-conscious motives not their elimination.
Freud quickly discerned this and he understood the function of dreams that he called the ‘royal road to the unconscious.’ Thus the motto he appended to his volume The Interpretation Of Dreams published appropriately in 1900 is ‘Flectare si nequeo, Superos, Acheronta movebo.” which translated means ‘If I cannot deflect the will of heaven I shall move hell.’
Freud interpreting the conscious mind as heaven chose to deemphasize consciousness in favor of his vision of the unconscious that he interpreted as Hell. Thus, you will find almost nothing in Freudian psychology referring to the conscious mind while he enthrones his Unconscious as the moderator of the human mind. He actually believed that the Unconscious was an agency separate from the body. In theological terms it had a supernatural existence. Thus, he has negated consciousness, or Science, in favor of Religion. As he has rejected God or Heaven then it follows that he embraced Satan and Hell.
As the sixties progressed the generation abandoned consciousness embracing unconsciousness. Time Magazine proclaimed in 1966 ‘God Is Dead’ while Satanism came alive, indeed according to Ira Levin in his novel, Rosemary’s Baby, Satan’s son, Andy, was born in 1966 just as God died. Levin continued his story in 1999’s Son Of Rosemary. Interesting.
It is no coincidence that Freud was both a druggie and a homosexual. Now, the royal road to free the mind of consciousness or Heaven is an obsession with sex and the free indulgence of drugs especially Freud’s favorite, cocaine backed with a pounding jungle beat. Eh voila- the sixties.
Sex, drugs and the hypnotic jungle beat of Rock and Roll. The sex was facilitated by the introduction of the birth control pill and anti-biotics; the amusing Shel Silverstein sang of Penicillin Penny who always had VD. If the girls took the pill both they and their boys were freed from the fear of pregnancies while the ga-ga types had no fear of Venereal disease because the cure was quick and easy by a regimen of anti-biotic pills. Almost paradise here and now and on Earth. For less than a buck you could get a nice big piece of pie too.
Freud had achieved his goal; he had overturned Aryan society.
Freud essentially by fraud allowed us to indulge forbidden appetites and responsibility from forbidden acts, for after all as the conscious mind had no authority and the will of the unconscious was unresistible we had no responsibility for our acts- If it felt good, we did it, as the mantra was. Hence by 1966 we had Richard Speck killing all those nurses in Chicago and Charlie Whitman up his clock tower at UT blowing away his fellow students. Guns aren’t the problem; Freud is the problem.
Hell, Dick and Charlie just wanted to be free. Indeed, freedom in the freest of all societies became a problem to the generation.
Sally Banks in her Greenwich Village 1963, Chapter 5, appropriately titled, Dreaming Freedom, explains her views on what being free actually meant to her and a very large part of the age cohort. She is writing from New York City.
In 1963 freedom was a vital political issue charged with artistic consequences for both the mainstream and avant-garde. Part of the avant-garde’s utopian vision was that liberty could be found within community. But, in fact, the very concept of freedom sets autonomy and the notion of individualism in conflict with the bondedness of community. For social life is a potent source of restraint [suppression of freedom], yet, paradoxically, total freedom would mean the humanly unrealizable (and unbearable) state of complete isolation. Thus there is a deep ambivalence in Western culture toward freedom and social life. The dream of community, itself, may be incompatible with the dream of freedom, a contradiction the avant-garde sought to discover.
The Sixties artists’ constructed an art that re-imagined daily life in terms of achieving both liberation and community. If such a situation proved illusory, in 1963 it seemed necessary- and it still seemed possible given the booming economic infrastructure- to find a model that would make these imaginings concrete.
Yes, people wanted total freedom- that is a disconnect from the reality of having to deal with unpleasant facts- free from all restraints including gravity and mostly free from themselves. The drugs seemed to serve as those releases. Under the influence people could imagine themselves as someone else who ‘really had their shit together‘, miracle men and women able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, move mountains with the wave of a hand, fly through the air like a host of angels but they inevitably came back down where if they were anywhere near a mirror they could watch their bodies disintegrate.
Freedom from reality has its price.
So, the sixties that began with such ‘High Hopes’ to realize ‘The Impossible Dream’ of Camelot began to crash in 1966 just as like a flash of lightning in the sky the realization of those dreams seemed to dawn. As Lewis Carroll said, be careful that your Snark is not a boojum, for you see….
The Truth Is No Defense
The sixties, then, was when the impasse between the Scientific Method came into its latter day conflict with the Theologico-Metaphysical mindset. The T-M system is merely a mental state that not only does not require objective validation but positively rejects it in favor of subjectiveness; what Freud called inner wishful thinking.
While the sciences of sociology and anthropology and biology produced irrefutable, by logical methods, results that ran counter to the inner wishful T-M thinking, as there were no means to refute the scientific results the T-M people merely denied them and forced scientists to suppress their accurate but uncongenial truths.
To ensure that the truths were suppressed and remained suppressed the T-M partisans passed laws making it criminal to express these truths. These laws called ‘hate’ laws were then applied to any who spoke these truths. As the truths were undeniable T-M partisans corrupted the law, common sense, and, one might say, the will of God to declare in a court of law by the judges that ‘the truth is not a defense.’
The truth is not a defense! Think about it. Such a rule of law is the triumph of absolute criminality and ignorance. And this happened during the watch of an age cohort that claimed to love freedom and revolution. Well, it was a revolution, one that enslaves the mind.
Now, in a position to punish those who disagreed with them the beneficiaries of the T-M mentality were able to enshrine their will as the law of the land. As the law was no longer concerned with the judgment of facts as evidence but the religious beliefs of the T-Ms the US at that point turned into a theocracy. The religious left became an established religion running counter to the old dispensation of the Constitution in favor of something not yet codified and something not approved by the former electorate that now became passive and an ineffective annoyance to the new slave masters.
The ruling social ethos in the US when the sixties dawned was the theory of the Melting Pot formulated by the Jewish writer Israel Zangwill c. 1900. According to that theory that had nearly the effect of a law all the disparate social elements forming the population of the US would fuse into one people of uniform American belief.
In 1960 or thereabouts the new theory of multi-culturalism was introduced which stated that each culture should have an autonomous existence. This was the dream, wishful thinking, of the wannabe Jewish Autonomous people. Nothing new, it was their age old dream. Thus the body politic of the US as a matter of principle was fractured into many warring cultures.
While the Melting Pot had always been a fantasy having no real existence in fact multi-culturalism was alive and real and exacerbated in 1965 when the immigration act was reformed allowing unlimited immigration to all the peoples of the world. And if they didn’t come willingly members of the T-M mentality went into the actual jungles of Africa, dragged the natives out, put them on a plane, free fare, and flew them to the US.
What can one say to such zaniness.
The whole notion of freedom advocated by the age cohort was thus negated. Dozens of laws were passed giving these ‘immigrants’ precedence over the rights of the native population, depriving the natives of equal rights. This is a true story. Incredible but true.
And lastly, for this essay we come to the complete overturn of reason in favor of a comic book utopia and the installation of an age of inner wishful thinking caused by the introduction of drugs as a mass phenomenon.
Drugs in the sixties were nothing new. Drugs begin to show up in literature during the nineteenth century Romantic period. Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions Of An English Opium Eater is the first famous confession or novel on the topic. Opium was much used in Victorian England as an ingredient in Laudanum which was given to infants to make them stop crying.
Opium was further reduced to morphine and then heroin. Freud is famous as the promoter of the joys of cocaine, synthesized from the coca plant. As chemistry developed, synthetic chemical drugs such as amphetamine began making their appearance at the end of the century.
Drug labs were busy and soon creating drugs that attacked any area of the brain. LSD was discovered in 1938 and popularized after 1943. Drugs like Miltown and other tranquilizers began filling women’s purses after 1950. Pot and hash had been simmering below the Hot 100 for some time but moved up the charts after 1960. So the whole pharmacopeia was available as the decade began. New formulas would be discovered in the following decades as drugs became part of the entertainment industry.
Drugs of course suppress the conscious mind exposing the raw wiring of the user. They also lower resistance to hypnotic influence. Hypnosis is merely a heightened sensitivity to suggestion. A drugged out population can be swayed by propaganda as no other, which is merely suggestion by another name, in any direction. They can be swayed but you mist control the means to do so. The mass media was the means, namely TV, Movies and records, and it was in the control of Jews with their special agenda.
Thus Movies, TV and Records propagandized a pro Jewish revolution agenda along with its subordinate Negro revolution agenda.
It is strange how all trends worked to favor the Negro/Jewish agenda. Of course, Jews had been instrumental in breaking down Aryan resistance to Negro music. Jewish DJs such as Alan Freed and Cousin Brucie along with Jewish song writers such as the hugely influential Leiber and Stoller and Goffin-King led the assault.
The songs they wrote were performed by Negro artists. While the Jewish song writers were not so familiar with Aryan culture as is supposed it was enough to bridge the Aryan-Negro gap making the Negro performances potable while paving the way for Barry Gordy’s Motown label.
As of 1960 there was virtually no one who listened to or was familiar with Negro Blues. The Blues was brought forward by the British Invasion who apparently listened to that crap. I am always astonished by White Blues artists citing Robert Johnson as a source. There was nothing available by Robert Johnson until 1960 when CBS released its first collection that virtually no one bought. The second collection was released in ‘62 with the same result.
I first heard of Robert Johnson in 1968 when I owned a record store. Many people talked about the Blues but when I started a first rate Blues section the records remained untouched and unsold. I doubt that I ever had a Robert Johnson sale.
I was in a university town and when such Blues artists as Lightning Hopkins were brought to town the ‘séances’ were held in someone’s living room with maybe fifteen people attending, ten of which were girls worshipping blackness. Nevertheless White Blues was popularized by the British, spreading to American performers.
I should point out that White performers of the forties and early fifties such as the Singing Cowboy Gene Autry sang may Blues based songs. Autry’s song The Yellow Rose Of Texas that is of course about a Negro woman.
By decades end the cohort’s fascination with exaggerated notions of freedom and revolution had turned into drug addiction and violence. By the late sixties looney tunes like Bomber Billy Ayers and his female side kick Bernardine Dohrn with their Weatherman organization and the Jewish Defense League and its offshoot the Jewish Defense Organization were killing and bombing at will and furthermore they would get away with it. ‘Free as a bird and guilty as Hell.’ as Bomber Billy Ayers would put it.
So by the end of decade ending with the Caped Crusader, Mick Jagger, at Altamont a comic book vision of reality had triumphed over the real thing. Who can forget Mick Jagger mounted on a giant inflatable cock on stage before sixty thousand people. Now, there was a comic book fantasy. Two and two added up to any number you wanted.
March 14, 2012
Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Accreted Personality
Time may fly but life seems long. Long enough for circumstances to alter your personality more than once. Consider for instance the National Guardsman secure in job, wife and family who is jerked out of his ideal existence to take a tour of duty in Iran or Afghanistan, foreign wars which betray the promises of his enlistment which were to defend his home state. Do you think a personality change didn’t occur when he received his notice? If he was kept in for several tours of duty over a period of years so that his former existence doesn’t appear to him as a dream that took place in a parallel universe? And if he comes home without an arm or a leg or, perhaps, both, that he doesn’t suffer from reminiscences or have a dual or multiple personality. You can bet he does. Nor does your life have to be as hard as the National Guardsman for your own personality to acquire personality accretions over your lifetime, all of which are stored in your mind and may be reassumed at any time.
As I said in the first part, these various existential states don’t disappear, they become part of your reminiscences whether suppressed or remembered and as possible fixations or idees fixe they influence your daily actions.
So now, let’s turn to the life of Edgar Rice Burroughs to illustrate the idea of the accreted personality. Psychology is simple if you don’t make it complex by mystifying it. I hope I can make Burroughs’ story clear without unnecessarily complicating it. I will try to use Occam’s Razor judiciously.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, who would become very famous as a fiction writer, entered this world of pain of pleasure on September 7, 1875 in Chicago, Illinois. He was parented by George T. and Mary Burroughs, he of Anglo-Irish ancestry and she of Pennsylvania Dutch, that is say, German. Eddie always considered himself pure English at a time when being English meant something, a much depreciated coin these days.
George T. was an upright man who had been an officer on the Union side in the Civil War a scant ten years previously. George Custer had not yet gone down at the Little Big Horn nor was Sitting Bull yet starring in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. George T. had two other sons, George and Harry, who were born just after the Civil War.
George T. was a whisky distiller while at this time the Whisky Trust was coming into existence. George T. was an independent sort who needed the Trust less than they wanted him. I don’t say the Trust was responsible but George T. was burned out. Chicago loved a good fire.
The relationship between Ed and his parents was not a warm one. His father made his life difficult, seemingly on purpose, while his mother seems to have been rather cold. Burroughs seldom mentions her nor were any of his characters named Mary, or George for that matter.
Nevertheless, born into a world of creature comforts with high expectations in a fine house on Chicago’s West Side with two Irish maids Ed began life in a happy state of mind walking down the street singing Zippity Do Dah or the equivalent. He stayed that way for about eight years until his first personality changing event occurred.
Eddie attended Brown School in his neighborhood. I haven’t been able to find out much about Brown but the schools stands out as special in Ed’s mind. The school had several prominent graduates one of which was the showman, Flo Ziegfeld. As Ziegfeld was Jewish it is quite possible the school was close to Maxwell St. Maxwell St. would figure prominently in Ed’s later novel, The Mucker.
One day when Ed was eight he found a big twelve year old Irish kid by the name of John belligerently blocking his way. It isn’t known whether he was walking with future wife Emma Hulbert or not but I suspect he was. At any rate John threatened to beat him up. Thoroughly terrorized Ed took to his heels and as he did so several suggestions entered his terrorized mind. To be in terror is to enter a hypnoid state in which all ones psychic defenses are lowered or discarded. Suggestions are easily fixated in your mind. Thus at the age of eight Ed’s original personality was submerged, he assumed his central childhood fixation. Not only was he emasculated on his Animus but, perhaps because he shamed himself in front of Emma, he transferred his Anima to John; he then set up John as his ideal of manhood wishing to be just like him.
The result was that John became his favorite name. In his future novels he named a disproportionate number of characters both good and bad John. His two key characters were both named John- John Clayton, aka Tarzan Of The Apes and John Carter of Mars. Both have the initials JC referring to Jesus Christ, one supposes. Thus on the masculine side their names commemorate John the Bully while on the feminine side Jesus Christ. Ed also wore a book under the assume name of John McCullough.
As Ed was shamed by running, defenses against cowardice are liberally sprinkled throughout his works with justifications for the advance to the rear maneuver, or running.
Particularly troubling to him was the occupation of his Anima by a male. Probably not very usual but given the limited range of responses available to humans, probably not that uncommon. But this result of the fixation was particularly troubling to him appearing in a succession of his initial output of the ‘teens.
The clearest exposition of the results of this fixation was reproduced in the pages of Ed’s second novel, The Outlaw Of Torn. The hero of the novel is a boy of Ed’s age on the street corner, who is the king of England’s son c. 1400 AD. The King has a quarrel with his fencing instructor, De Vac, who then avenges himself by kidnapping the son, Norman.
The scene is that Norman is playing in the garden under the watchful eye of his nurse/Anima when De Vac appears outside the garden gate- I. e. Ed’s mind- luring Norman to him. Norman has passed the gate when his nurse who had been chatting with another woman notices. She rushed through the gate where De Vac struck her dead. Thus his Anima was outside Ed’s mind when she was destroyed.
Now, this is the replication of a dream story. The meaning is that Norman/Ed was safe inside when De Vac/John caught him, as it were, with his pants down, killing and assuming the role of his Anima. The nurse represents his Anima or right brain which was then disabled.
So, as an eight year old boy Eddie has an emasculated Animus, left brain, and destroyed or shattered Anima, right brain. This has to be dealt with in some way so he can carry on and survive.
What Burroughs does then is create a myth to repair the damage as well as he can. De Vac now on the run with his prize who he must conceal takes Norman to a three story house in the slums of London built on stilts out over the water of the River Thames. The two live in this attic/mind for three or four years. During this entire period De Vac is dressed as an old woman. So, here we have the emasculated Animus combined with the dead Anima with the waters of the feminine flowing beneath the house, I.e. Burroughs’ self.
The two live this way for three or four years, Norman never leaving the attic. At the end of this period De Vac dons men’s clothes and takes Norman to a ruined castle in the Shires. The remarkable thing about this castle is that on one side, the right side, the roof has completely fallen in, can’t be used.
The interpretation is that Ed so identified himself with John that he had to put his own life on hold until he turned twelve, the same age John had been. At that point he recovered or began to recover some control of his Animus while his Anima remained destroyed.
De Vac then began to train Norman in the manly arts to be a killing machine to attain physical vengeance for De Vac on the King.
One can’t be sure of what effect the encounter had on his personality but the next year after the confrontation his father took him from Brown transferring him to an all girl’s school. George T.’s reason for this was that there was a fever going around and he wanted to protect Ed from it. How one would be safe from a communicable disease in a girl’s school isn’t clear so perhaps Ed’s father had another reason.
In Ed’s psychological state it is not unlikely that he went into a fairly serious depression while emasculated and crippled he may have become very effeminate. The placement in the girl’s school may have been one of disgust and to teach the boy a lesson to act like a man.
The humiliation on top of the emasculation was difficult for Ed to bear. He pleaded and pleaded to be transferred from the girl’s school. His pleas were heard although his father didn’t send him back to Brown but a couple miles across town to Chicago’s Harvard Latin School where Ed stayed through what would have been his Junior High years. During this period, the date isn’t clear, Ed fell off his bicycle banging his head against the curb; it isn’t known whether it was the right or left side. This left him dizzy and walking round in circles for three or four days, then the obvious effects disappeared. George T. then jerked him out the Latin School and sent him West to his brothers’ cattle ranch in Idaho. He doesn’t seem to have attended any school for the year he was in Idaho. However he learned to be a cowboy and had a great time.
Even without school the period was not without intellectual stimulation. George and Harry Burroughs were graduates of the Sheffield Scientific School attached to Yale University but not yet integrated with it, along with their partner Lew Sweetser. Sweetser was a fairly remarkable guy deeply interested in psychology when the subject was just beginning to assume its modern form.
William James had just published his two volumes on Psychology but I haven’t been able to discover who Sweetser’s teachers may have been at Yale. Departments of Psychology were rare at American Universities in the 1880s. However, as Sweetser apparently studied whatever psychology was available it seems certain that he would have been at least aware of Charcot’s experiments at the Salpetriere that were world famous. It is also clear that he was familiar with the idea of the sub- or unconscious. However much Ed may have retained, as he himself was relatively well informed on psychological matters when he began writing the foundations of his knowledge were probably formed at Sweetser’s knee.
Having left Ed in the wilderness for a year, George T. then moved him to the East Coast to Massachusetts’ Phillips Academy. Ed was now being moved around almost with the frequency of a military brat with its devastating personality consequences. Having consorted with a rough bunch of fellows for a year, Ed was now in an elite school without a great deal of preparation.
He was in Idaho at the end of Wyoming’s Johnson County War when the big ranchers squeezed out the small ranchers. Many of the small ranch soldiers whose shootings were classified as murders had fled to Idaho where Ed knew one or two; from the company of murderers, or killers at any rate, he was now in with a bunch of elitist schoolboys.
When his brothers had attended Yale their father had refused them an allowance that would have allowed them to associate with their richer school fellows as equals. If he continued the practice with Ed at Phillips then an extra burden was placed on the kid that would help explain his behavior. At any rate he assumed the posture of clown to gain acceptance while neglecting his studies. Naturally he was requested to leave.
Certainly he could have expected to return home and attend school in Chicago but this was not his father’s plan. His father enrolled him at the Michigan Military Academy outside Detroit billed as The Paris Of The West which is most laughable. This was the second great psychological trauma in his life adding another major accretion to his personality. Ed rebelled at being sent away again.
This was not merely rejection but also a condemnation of him by his father. As Ed saw the situation, with a great deal of accuracy, the Military Academy was just a holding pen for juvenile delinquents whose parents didn’t know how to handle them so they put them away in what was essentially an asylum or reform school where they could get some ‘discipline.’
Ed was horrified at these suggestions about himself coming from his own father. He rebelled at the rejection and its implications. He left the academy to return home or as his biographer Porges puts it, he ran away. George T. wasn’t going to put up with that. He collared Ed and dragged him back to Detroit, told him to stay put or…who can say or what? At any rate crushed and rejected Ed had no choice but to obey, but his mother and father died for him that day, slain by their own hand. Thus when Ed’s literary alter ego Tarzan came into existence in 1912 his parents had been slain by murderous apes and Tarzan was an orphan as Ed imagined himself.
Ed stayed at the Academy into 1896 when he was between twenty and twenty-one. He took the Commandant of the Academy, Charles King, as his surrogate father and mother. Because King was a captain in the Army, later a general, Ed decided he wanted to be an Army officer too. It is also noteworthy that King was a successful author of novels which Ed may have wanted to emulate when he too chose to become an author. One of King’s first novels was An Apache Princess while Ed’s first commercial effort was titled A Princess Of Mars.
Ed attempted in vain to win an appointment to West Point but failed. Then in 1896 while serving as an instructor at the Michigan Military Academy Ed foolishly abandoned his post choosing to join the Army as an enlisted man before the school term ended.
By now twenty years old his past with its many personality accretions had formed him. His original personality had been destroyed to be replaced by that caused by John. The accretions accumulated as he was shifted from school to school and West to East to MidWest leaving him dazed and confused while the final accretion of that youthful period was the devastating rejection by his parents all of which left him depressed and fatalistic. The high expectations of his childhood had been completely eliminated. The bright young boy had been transformed into a gloomy young man. But no former personality had disappeared; they all lived on in his unconscious where circumstances could revive any or all at the appropriate moment.
But, one is still alive and one must toddle on. Ed was not lazy or adverse to work. His intellectual interests were vast. He was a great wide ranging reader.
In the next part then, let’s turn to his personality forming accretions from reading and his general intellectual , social and political milieu.
November 20, 2011
THE PRAGUE CEMETERY
Review by R.E. Prindle
Eco, Umberto: The Prague Cemetery, A Novel, 2010, Houghton Mifflin, NYC
Part I: Prologue
Little Bags Of Memory
In this novel Eco attacks the dark subconscious mind of nineteenth century Europe. It was the moment when Europeans discovered the difference between their conscious and subconscious minds. As a historical novel Eco mines his fifty thousand volume private library to construct his story. His sources range from Dumas and Eugene Sue at one end to George Du Maurier and J.K. Huysmans at the other. At this point in history, other than Dumas I presume the other authors are virtually unread if not unknown. Fortunately I have read most of Eco’s sources with my more modest five thousand volume library.
Eco seems to have a very fond spot in his heart for George Du Maurier and I found his treatment of the author most interesting.. Du Maurier was a long time contributor to the English humor magazine, Punch in both text and artworks through the heart of the nineteenth century. The illustrations Eco uses in his novel are very reminiscent in style to those of Du Maurier. Indeed, Du Maurier is very seductive both artistically and literarily. When he was turned down for the editorship of Punch he was crushed, turning away to write and illustrate his subtly fantastic three novels Peter Ibbetson, Trilby and The Martian, the last finished just before his death in 1896.
Like Eco Du Maurier lugged a lifetime of memories, literary and personal through his novels. I’m still working my way through his sources, or favorites at least. Du Maurier was a Bohemian artist in Paris at about the same time as Henri Murger who wrote his fabulous description of Bohemian life, The Bohemians Of The Latin Quarter that was turned into Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. DuMaurier found Murger’s description of Bohemian life repellent to his own sensibilities so he romanticized the nearly same story into the lovely fairy tale of his own version, Trilby. Trilby was a sensation of its time and remains a classic.
Eco has read and thoughtfully considered Du Maurier and while Du Maurier tended to romanticize painful or repellant memories into order to create a fairy tale existence for himself all that sunshine seems to cover a bitter undergrowth. Eco who astutely perceives this was led to parody him in Eco’s own fabulous first chapter of Prague that is a hilarious stand up comedy routine worthy of the mordant, sick humor of Lenny Bruce. Eco then makes his character Dr. Du Maurier the chief of an insane asylum parodying Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson while reversing the roles of Ibbetson and the Duchess of Towers in the character of Diana Vaughan. Very nice bit of inside humor on the part of Eco.
While I make it a rule to not recommend books, a rule I often violate, if you’re reading this I presume you’re simpatico. I heartily recommend any of these sources of Eco if you haven’t already read them.
Obviously Du Maurier’s novels holds a special place in Eco’s heart and a well merited place both in his and mine. However, Eco gives precedence to two of the greatest French novelists of the nineteenth century, Alexander Dumas and Eugene Sue. As it happens I revere both authors as much as Eco. Dumas’ most famous titles are still widely read while Sue’s much less so or, perhaps, not at all.
Eco mentions Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Cristo and the French Revolution novels centered around the magician Cagliostro or by his other name, Joseph Balsamo. I first read The Three Musketeers as a youth while I have reread it again along with first time readings of Monte Cristo and the Cagliostro series within the last ten years.
What Eco is doing in the Prague Cemetery is writing his version of a Dumas novel. While a good novel Prague falls far short of Dumas. What Eco lacked that Dumas had was a collaborator of the quality of Auguste Maquet who researched and worked up the material in outline so that Dumas could concentrate on composing the dramatic touches of the story. This allowed Dumas a much wider scope and deeper detail that brought out the fabulous myth of Three Musketeers or the huge scope and depth of Monte Cristo and the Revolution novels.
I’ve read reviews of Prague where Cagliostro is apparently thought of as a Dumas creation. Oh no, Dumas could write historical novels to place alongside his role model, the great Walter Scott, or as a model here for Eco. While novels, Dumas’ Revolution stories are accurate as history. Cagliostro was a real person. Such a collaborator as Maquet might have given Eco room to expand his horizon and widen the scope of his novel to include for instance the rise of psychology and the discovery of the European unconscious while introducing some of the stage hypnotists and magicians such Robert Houdin, the model for the subsequent Houdini who used his name.
Eco’s novel is OK but he could have made it much better. The Simonini dual personality touch is a surface probe of the unconscious that had real potential perhaps bringing in the Society for Psychic Research but I think the execution of Simonini was weak and not properly developed. Still the character was a nice stab at Dumas’ and more especially the unbelievably fantastic Eugene Sue. What a madman. One could think him insane but I choose to believe he was touched by the divine afflatus. Sue, if mad, had the madness of the gods. If Dumas was more than human, Sue far exceeded Dumas. I have never read anything that comes near Sue’s The Wandering Jew or The Mysteries Of Paris, especially the latter which probes the outer limits of sanity.
The unfortunately named Wandering Jew will drive off most American readers who have been conditioned to avoid anything concerning Jews lest they be considered anti-Semitic. Although as Eco points out the hidden hand of the Jesuit priest Rodin that haunts the novel from beginning to end is one of the most terrifying apparitions in all literature and Sue was the master of terrifying images.
Both he and Dumas were obsessed shall we say by the historical memory. Eco himself is obsessed by memory as am I. I have that in common with these writers. I have explored my personal memories in several novels I have post the internet and most of my essays here on I, Dynamo are concerned with ordering the historical memory. Eco sought to recapture the memories of his youth in his previous novel The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana. Both Eco’s and my own efforts are much after the fashion of George Du Maurier. I would recommend Du Maurier highly except that it takes some dedication to understand the luxuriant beauty of his work; his three novels have to be read several times to acquire his intense longing to never lose his memories, taking them with into the Great Beyond. But, if you are of a like mind and feel up to it, have at it.
So, Dumas proposed to novelize the whole of French history, the racial memory and had a magnificent go at it. The guy is really spectacular. Eco mentions also the last novel of Eugene Sue, The Mysteres Du Peuple which is has yet to be translated; as Eco says he labored through the French. Apparently Sue took the task he set for himself quite seriously as Eco says the story is quite complex and I imagine very long. Mysteries Of Paris itself is three volumes or about fifteen hundred pages.
The title translates as I see it, The Mysteries Of The Folk. As Eco says Sue begins his story with the Frankish invasions of the fourth to sixth centuries, then tells his story along two family lines one Frankish, one Gallic. This would be a prodigious feat of historical and racial memory, an explosion of Sue’s past educational imprinting in both society and school. This would be especially important to him as both he and Dumas were of the first post-Revolution generation of which they very likely heard many first hand reminiscences growing up while reading reams of memoirs. As the Revolution was primarily racial in character, Gauls versus Franks, this would give added poignancy to Sue’s search to retrieve the history of the two races.
So, what Eco seems to be doing in the Prague Cemetery is carrying the personal, racial and historical European memory forward from the work of Dumas and Sue. How well I think he did it will be in the concluding part of the review. First we have to take a huge memory detour in order to bring the historical and racial memories from the beginning back up to Dumas, Sue, and Eco and late nineteenth century history. When I say huge detour, let us begin our magical memory tour at the beginning, Pangaea.
Part II will follow.
August 10, 2011
Psychoanalyzing Captain America
From Out Of The Depths
Must we be responsible for our own dreams?
In answer to the above question by Herr Doktor Professor Freud in his dream book, The Interpretation Of Dreams. published in the year 1900 Prof. Freud said that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious. He then proceeded to suppress the conscious will releasing the unconscious will to dominate the personality.
Of course in 1900 movies, TV and comic books were in the future and unforeseen by the Professor. It is through those media that the unconscious visualizes itself. The Dream is manifested, the unconscious becomes realized.
In the case of the movie, Captain America: The First Avenger, first came the dream then came the comic book, then with movie technology undreamed of in 1940 when Joe Simon and Jack Kirby conceived the character, brought to the screen today. Comic books and movies are true projections of the unconscious. As might be seen by anyone with a ticket Capt. America is less a story than a dream, a dream that Sigmund Freud defined as wish fulfillment. So, one must examine the movie as a wish from the subconscious fulfilled as a visualization on the screen. What does the dream-wish fulfill?
First off we have a powerless wimp being knocked about by the big bad bully. We have a brief anti-bully list and then move on. However in this Cain and Abel story the rolls of bully and bullied are clear. The wimp then wishes to join the army to fight Hitler and is rejected on several counts of inferiority. But, never fear, the last shall be first.
Now, in 1940 the US was not at war with anybody while the America First Committee was determined to keep the country that way. But a powerful coalition led by the Jews had determined the European conflict was a ‘just’ war while it was morally compulsory for the US to butt in somewhat like Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and a few other places today. Unlike Viet Nam the usual suspects who opposed that war endorse all the current wars. The voice of dissent is unheard throughout the land.
So, bearing Freud’s Interpretation Of Dreams in mind that demonstrates the connection between dreams and the unconscious, Captain America is a daydream or psychological projection of Jack Kirby’s ne Jacob Kurtzberg and Joe Simon’s of Brooklyn N.Y. The relationship of these comic book writers to Judaism is explained by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein in his book Up, Up, And Oy Vey!: How Jewish History, Culture, And Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero. This quote explains the real life origin of Capt. America:
Growing up in poverty, Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg) dreamed of being an artist but was forced to drop out of Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute after only one day because of financial hardship. Instead Kirby worked on newspaper comic strips under gentile-sounding pseudonyms such as Jack Curtis, Curt Davis, and Lance Kirby until he finally settled on the name Jack Kirby.
Kirby and his partner, Joe Simon, worked at Martin Goodman’s Timely Comics, where the mostly Jewish staff openly despised Hitler. When Goodman saw the preliminary sketches for Captain America, he immediately give Kirby and Simon their own comic book. The character was an instant hit, selling almost one million copies an issue. “The U.S. hadn’t yet entered the war when Jack and I did Captain America, so maybe he was our way of lashing out against the Nazi menace. Evidently, Captain America symbolized the American people’s sentiments. When we were producing Captain America we were outselling Batman, Superman and all the others.” Simon later commented.
Well, not quite all the others, as Whiz Comics Captain Marvel was the best selling comic of both the war years and the later forties. Certainly my favorite.
As in the years before the War The America First Committee enjoyed overwhelming popularity amongst Americans I would question Simon’s notion that Captain America overwhelmingly represented American opinion. As there were six million Jews in the country I might suggest the response from that quarter of ’Americans’ was more overwhelming than elsewhere. Jews might easily have accounted for sixty to eighty percent of sales.
It is also probable that no real American would ever have invented a corny jingoistic persona like Captain American. The image was certainly repulsive to me as a child. My prime comic reading years were from 1947 to 1950 and I and my entire generation rejected Captain America while embracing Captain Marvel. Even then Superman was a distant competitor to Captain Marvel which is why DC comics sued Whiz for copyright violation.
We disliked the hokey repulsive jingoism of Captain America as well as his dumb outfit and the stupid shield. (I’m speaking as a nine year old here.) Of course we knew from nothing about Judaism and almost less about any other religious sects but there was something othery about Capt. America and Superman although we embraced the equally Jewish Batman.
The origins of Captain America then emanated from the Jewish dream subconscious of Jack Kirby which was quite different from ours. He, therefor, as all writers must, made Capt. America in his real existence and from his dream fantasies. Thus, giving his creation the goy name of Steve Rogers he nevertheless gave him a Brooklyn Jewish origin. As Rabbi Weinstein also a Brooklyn Jew explains Jews had a sort of dual identity as powerless Jews posing as goys in a powerful goy world. Thus the sickly ineffective Rogers undergoes a scientific experiment that turns him essentially from a 98 lb. Jewish weakling into an all powerful goy Charles Atlas. I’m sure Kirby saw those ads while growing up.
Rogers having now been turned into a Superman had to have a name. Superman being taken Super Jew was out for obvious reasons or even Super Hebrew, there was no Israel at the time, so Kirby settled on Captain America. Rabbi Weinstein again:
Of course a more literal reading of the costume is that it is the American flag brought to life. Captain America’s star is, after all, five-pointed, not six pointed like the Star of David. The flag-as-costume notion reinforces the ideal of assimilation [Jews 'becoming' Americans]. By literally cloaking their character in patriotism, Kirby and Simon became true Americans.
In 1940 there was a desperate struggle going on between the Jews and America First who the Jews styled as American Fascists, i.e. actual Hitlerites. By that line of reasoning the Jews became the true Americans, creators and protector of genuine American Democracy while Anglo-Americans or Native Americans or America Firsters were out to destroy the great American Dream the Jews had discovered. This is the theme of Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America backdated to this period. The movie Captain America could easily be subtitled The Plot Against America Foiled.
Rabbi Weinstein once again:
Despite the patriotic appearance, Captain America’s costume also denotes deeply rooted [Jewish] tradition. Along with other Jewish-penned superheroes, Captain America was in part an allusion to the golem, the legendary creature said to have been constructed by the sixteenth century mystic Rabbi Judah Loew to defend the Jews of medieval Prague. “The golem was pretty much the precursor of the superhero in that in every society there is a need for mythological chracters, wish fulfillment. And the wish fulfillment in the Jewish case of the hero would be someone who could protect us. This kind of storytelling seems to dominate in Jewish culture,” commented Will Eisner.
According to tradition a golem is sustained by inscribing the Hebrew word emet (truth) upon its forehead. When the first letter is removed, leaving the word met (death) the golem will be destroyed. Emet is spelled with the letters aleph, rem and tav. The first letter, aleph, is also the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the equivalent of the letter A. Captain America wears a mask with a white A on his forehead- the very letter needed to empower the golem.
So, you and I thought the A stood for America but it is actually a symbol of Judaism. Captain America then is an unconscious dream projection of the Jewish subconscious following Freud’s thought in his Interpretation of Dreams. Now we know who and what the Captain America or The First Avenger is.
Like Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America the movie is backdated to 1940 although as the US is already in the war perhaps 1942-43 although in Kirby and Simon’s dream vision they could have already employed the usurped power of America in 1940. However the movie writers, are writing today so assume different interpretations and aspects.
In point of fact Hitler no longer exists except in the Jewish mind so the relevance of the movie is hampered. Goys are not reliving the Hitler experience on a daily basis. To correct this and bring the Nazi threat forward Hitler is relegated to an inept showman while the real brain behind Nazism is the Hydra.
The Hydra in Greek mythology was a matriarchal year deity with seven heads and one neck, Six of the heads prepresented the last six months of the year while the seventh head and neck represented the recurring and indestructible year. Everytime a head was cut off it grew back as time does march on.
When the Patriarchy was displacing the Matriarchy the story changed somewhat. Hercules was sent to fight the Hydra and everytime he cut off a head three grew back. Thus the Hydra is represented in the movie as a Red Octopus with eight arms thus embracing the world. Ils sont partout. Obviously Hydra is a dream projection of anti-Semitism the arch fiend of the Jewish unconscious.
The Jewish Doctor Erskine, Reinstein in the comic, playing God botches his first attempt at creating the superman, Hydra/Cain, but finds perfection in Capt. America/Abel. Thus Cain is blighted while Abel is God’s favorite. While Captain America begins as a song and dance man belittling Hitler on stage, when the fighting starts Hitler is relegated offstage while the super-Hitler, Hydra, steps front and center.
While the Americans that Rogers as Capt. America have nothing like the incredible weapons and organization of Hydra they are nevertheless with their bare hands able to defeat him. He is however immortal like all dream fears so that as Arnold said: He’ll be back.
The action is standard comic book action fare and needs no further comment. You could have written it yourself. Pretty clicheed but if you like this stuff you’ll find it very satisfying.
However Captain America remains a Jewish hero in American drag with a purloined identity.
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.
Yoko Ono And The Men Who Influenced Her
Review by R.E. Prindle
Clayson, Alan: Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono, Chrome Dreams, 2004.
Yoko Ono involved herself with several of the most influential men in the arts during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the twentieth century. She drew her inspiration from them patterning her own efforts after them. At the same time she was one of the leading feminists of the day having her share in shaping and furthering the movement. The mantra was female liberation, equality between men and women. In fact women were equal to men in the West but only by acknowledging the biological differences between men and women. The fact is the differences are real and not social constructs as women would have us believe. The fact is women are women and men are men. So, in seeking ‘female liberation’ feminists were seeking much more than ‘equality’ however the term may be defined.
The fact is that in the Ages old war between the sexes feminists are seeking to restore the Matriarchy and destroy the Patriarchy. That is why many men favor feminism, they prefer the Matriarchy. Thus the feminists are atavistic. Yoko and her cohorts wished, in her words, to restore ‘heart’ as she viewed the Matriarchy and eliminate ‘reason’ as she viewed quite rightly the basis of Patriarchalism. Nevermind that bilogical science has invalidated the concepts of Matriarachy and Patriarchy. This is a post Matriarchy and Patriarchy world.
Circa -2000 in the West men revolted against the mind stifling Matriarchy and the vaginal swamp of the ‘heart’ seeking to establish
the authority of the infinite power of the mind of Zeus on ethereal Olympus. This is the story of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the Greek myths in general recording the struggle.
The Western male was able to impose the ascendency of reason over the heart for 3000 years until the disestablishment of the old order by science about mid-nineteenth century. The center could not hold during this period of extreme change as W.B. Yeats put it as the rearrangement of the intellectual order moved into the twentieth century.
Yoko Ono sought with her feminist fellows to return to the biological innocence of 2000 BC. She herself had no talent. Filled with audacity she pitted her ‘heart’ against the reason of John Cage, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. I’m sure she had a mentor for her so-called performance art but I am as yet unaware of who he may be. Perhaps Maciunas and the Fluxus group.
Thus her first manifestation as an artist was based on the musical ideas of John Cage while her artistic efforts were at least based in the avant garde ideas of the Fluxus group. Her first assault on the NYC art world failed so in 1961 she returned in defeat to Japan. When she returned to NYC in 1964 she found an entirely different art scene. On the musical side the focus was on Bobby Dylan and the Beatles while on the artistic side Andy Warhol and his Factory had destroyed the Abstract Expressionists and the old avant garde. Dylan, the Beatles and Warhol had in fact usurped the avant garde which now had little meaning. From my point of view held at the time the avant garde had ceased to exist. Of course I didn’t understand exactly why or how.
From 1964 when Yoko returned to NYC until 1966 when she left for London I’m sure Yoko was at a loss. She developed her silly
notion of Bagism at this time even having a black bag on a stand in Max’s Kansas City that some one or ones were supposed to slide into. This seems to have been thought a lame idea at the time as it seems now.
At this time while retaining allegiance to John Cage’s musical ideas she was falling under the influence of Andy Warhol’s artistic notions. Warhol’s intent had been to destroy the idea of ‘fine art’. In this he pretty well succeeded. As Yoko expressed it you didn’t need any talent to be an artist. She seems to demonstrate this notion in her own artistic efforts. Warhol had also redefined the notion of film with his static studies. He then sought to combine his film ideas with live music, probably in competition with Bob Dylan who was also attempting to move in that direction. Warhol adopted Lou Reed and his band the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band while creating a multi-media show called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, innovative for its time. Thus a concert at his hall, the Dom, was an ‘experience.’
While Yoko makes no mention about how this, actually, incredible development affected her there can be no doubt that she was well aware of Dylan, the Beatles and the Warhol Experience and was affected by it. Indeed, the first manifestation was the making of her Warhol style films such as Bottoms.
The second manifestation was her removal to London to seduce either Lennon or McCartney of the Beatles, thus in the manner of Warhol’s adoption of the Velvet Underground she sought to co-opt the Beatles, the premier rock group in the world. Real chutzpah and more than one upping Warhol. I think it would be nonsense to think she had any other goal in mind.
She undoubteldy learned that Paul McCartney was actively involved with John Dunbar and his Indica Gallery that opened in 1965.
Some say she first set her sights on McCartney but the more vulnerable Lennon showed up and the Spider Woman spread her web.
She was still married to her second husband, Tony Cox, but, regardless of what she says she very aggressively pursued, or attacked, Lennon. Lennon was emotionally under water unable to handle his success while drugging himself out of his mind. He was unwillingly married to his wife Cynthia. It appears that he married Cynthia out of duty when she became pregnant. He doesn’t seem to have been happy in his virtue. Yoko had no difficulty in capturing his affections.
Now, just as Warhol had adopted the Velvets and imposed his female singer, Nico, on the band Yoko sought to imp[ose herself on the Beatles through Lennon. At this time she was still musically completely in thrall to John Cage understanding nothing about Rock music. She and Lennon had made a ridiculous LP called Two Virgins in 1968. She combined her cagian screechings while using an avant garde 'performance' notion of the couple posing nude on the cover; full frontal on the obverse, full posterior on the reverse. As no store would carry the cover the couple reverted to Yoko's idea of Bagism placing the cover inside a plain manila envelope or bag. While it didn't sell the record this form of Bagism was actually a successful artistic statement. The nude cover given an outer garment so to speak.
Well, the public was prepared to forgive the Beatles anything but the other three Beatles weren't prepared to forgive Yoko for forcing herself on them thus she broke up the most successful act of the sixties. Still, she had succeeded according to her wildest dream. Lennon and his wonderful reputation and fortune were hers. She had gone from a neglected, nondescript 'performance' artist to center stage, not on her own womanly talents but by attaching herself to a talented man. Yoko's 'heart' was useless without the male intellect. Yoko was now the most influencial feminist in the world. She knew what to do with that.
After several 'performance' acts such as the 'Bed In For Peace' the couple left England to return to the place Yoko wished to subjugate artistically, New York City. She had raised herself to a par with Andy Warhol. She now had to meld her musical and artistic goals through Lennon and Warhol.
On the musical side she began to develop her rock n' roll skills under the tutelage of Lennon. While not abandoning the avant garde notions of John Cage she now emasculated her husband. Always semi-delusional or perhaps completely so, she fantasized that she was not only equal to Lennon in skill and popularity but superior to him. She imagined herself more popular than Lennon. Thus one has such travesties as the LP Double Fantasy. It was only after Lennon's death that she was forced to recognize than Lennon's fans did not appreciate her efforts. So she failed as a musician.
She quickly tired of being Mrs. Lennon. Thus she and Lennon separated for eighteen months or so during the years 1973-75. She then realized that her financial well being and musical acceptance depended on Lennon. In 1975 she called him back resuming their relationship until his death in 1980. But, things had changed.
She began to adopt Warhol's life style on her return to NYC. While she propagated the notion that she was some sort of business whiz Iam having difficulties discovering any such skills. It appears that with the enormous income of Lennon she emulated Warhol in
spending her way to prosperity.
She was in a position to not only match Warhol’s spending but exceeding it by many times. Through the seventies and eighties Warhol came into his own as an artist while reaping a fortune doing portraits. There appears to have been no effort on his part to invest in income producing vehicles. Rather he bought stuff. He purchased buildings in NYC and elsewhere while acquring undeveloped acreage in places like Aspen. He shopped nearly every day buying antiques from furniture to objets d’ art by the bushel almost as though he were trying to excel the incredible W.R. Hearst.
He usually didn’t even look at the stuff once he bought it merely filling rooms with his shopping bags. At his death all this junk was auctioned off for 25 million dollars, a nice appreciation in value.
Yoko followed the exact pattern buying apartments and houses as well as an extensive dairy farm with a herd of prize cows. She not only had but has five apartments in her principal dwelling, the Dakota apartment building and many other houses scattered around.
Like Warhol the Dakota apartments are stuffed with junk. Valuable, but, you know, stuff. She bought at good prices. Her extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities was mostly purchased before a steep rise in value.
Like the Rothschilds of old Yoko didn’t do all her own shopping but employed agents to search things out. Chief among these was an associate of Warhol’s, Sam Green, and an Hungarian immigrant by the name of Sam Havadtoy.
There should be no surprise then that she now has an extensive collection of Warhol’s artwork as well as his portraits of Lennon. The Warhols would have been purchased for form 25 to 50K while now being listed on her assets at tens of millions. She also has been said to have a good collection of Magrittes as well as one assumes other artists. So, much of her net worth is tied up in artwork purchased through Sam Green.
Sam Havadtoy was an antiques dealer as well as an interior designer. He appears to have been a somewhat shady character. It is very difficult to find much about him, however there is a sharp portrait available from the notorious A.J. Weberman ( http://www.acid-trip.org/lennon/ )
…(the Lennons) hired a sleazy Eastern European bisexual to renovate the pad. (Dakota) I had heard of this dude, whose name escapes me, from an asswipe named BRUCE KIRSH, who worked for him. KIRSH told me that the dude, who worked for the King of Morocco, would form a dummy renovation company, hire employees like Kirsch who were willing to work under false names, then, when it came time to pay taxes, everyone would disappear. I learned of him long before he was hired by John and Yoko, and I was taken aback when Yoko took up with him after John’s death.
I know that Weberman is not particularly well thought of by fandom but this is because of his harassment of Dylan who did, after all, misrepresent himself to the revolutionaries like Weberman. A.J. himself is an intelligent observer who was wading through it when it was deep. I do believe he knows what he’s talking about although his interpretations of Dylan’s lyrics seem absurd.
I would have to question Yoko’s judgment in taking him in. Both he and Sam Green were candidates as successors to Lennon with
whom she consorted in front of Lennon before he died while Yoko chose Havadtoy as his successor the day he died.
Perhaps she selected Havadtoy over Green because he was more rough trade. With Lennon while managing to reconcile revolution with peace and love with Havadtoy she discarded peace and love in favor of strong arm methods against her former employee Fred Seaman when it was totally unnecessary.
Havadtoy was living in a homosexual arrangement with his business partner when Yoko beckoned him to switch to her. Apparently an able switch hitter he was lured by the money to this much older woman. The arrangement did last for twenty years before Havadtoy removed to his native Hungary taking a nice cash settlement and several of the Warhols.
Thus, just as Warhol had his live-in homosexual arrangement so after Lennon’s death Yoko adopted the exact arrrangement. Today she apparently lives alone, a seventy-eight year old woman.
After Lennon’s death there was an accession of from 30 million to a possible 100 million dollars as their last album, Double Fantasy, sold into the millions while the rest of Lennon’s catalog and one assumes the Beatles’ catalog was reinvigorated while all things Lennon sold. This is, of course, no reflection on Yoko but the inevitable result with intellectual properties when the maker dies.
Post-Lennon, then, Yoko realized that her recording and art careers were nil. Heart without intellect is worthless. She then became the caretaker of the Lennon legacy. His recordings, of course, continued to sell, but even his artwork eclipsed that of Yoko. So she suffered the humiliation of being a mere appendage to a man. The feminine dismal swamp was eclipsed by the Olympian heights of the male intellect. As in ancient times the God had trumped the Goddess. And yet as with Hera and Zeus the Goddess gets her way. Yoko came up with the money and goods while Lennon’s spirit was wafted into the stratosphere.
As any reader of mythology knows Hera ruled the Lernean swamps of Argolis while Zeus ruled the gods on ethereal Olympus. Thus one has the symbolism of the biological difference between the male and female.
In ancient times the female had her share in magic. She knew herbs and plants, was familiar with poisons and cures as with the arch witch of the ancient world, Medea. The reputation of the female witch even as a consort of Satan persisted down through medieval and post-medieval times, indeed, even up to the dawn of the scientific enlightenment. One would have thought that magic and witchery were a thing of the past in the 1960s and yet Yoko embodied the whole female swamp mentality.
She established something called the Spirit Foundation attributing the direction to Lennon who in fact knew nothing of these matters but followed her lead. The Spirit Foundation celebrated the ancient art of the Shaman or witch doctor. Shamanism itself even preceded the Matriarchal swamps of Argolis. It was a rich repository of magical tradition. Further the Foundation was feminist in that it was dedicated to preserving the magical traditions of the women of the Pacific islands still living in such archaic societies. The wealth generated by the male intellect was appropriated by the female vagina or ‘heart.’
In her own life and that of Lennon’s Yoko was addicted to a variety of magical practices- astrology, numerology, Tarot readings, and indeed she traveled to the Caribbean to sell her soul to Satan through the offices of a female curandera. Her Tarot reader, John Green, was a priest in the shamanistic, magical, Yoruban African cult of Santeria.
Her feminism was more a magical effort to restory Matriarchal supremacy over the Patriarchy thus reversing the Patriarchal victory of three thousand years previously. Indeed, what has been called the movement for female equality is nothing more than a covert campaign to restore the Matriarchy.
Thus while Yoko o9riginatd nothing she usurped the abilities of the reason of men- Cage, Warhol, Lennon and male magicians such as John Green. Indeed the Trojan War itself was a war of men in service of women.
In her associations with men she preferrred to deal with emasculated types such as homosexuals like Cage, Warhol, Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy. Lennon claimed to have always been dependent of women for comfort and guidance while Yoko caught him at his most confused and vulnerable.
While she received direction from Cage and Warhol she was able to manipulate Lennon out of his talent somewhat as Vivian did that of Merlin of the Arthurian saga. When Vivian had usurped Merlin’s magical knowledge she buried him deep much as Lennon was put out of the way. Yoko then appropriated his wealth and residual income after his death. It was this constant inflow of cash that allowed her to propagate the notion that she was a financial genius.
Then as the female of the ‘heart’ or vaginal swamp she managed and appropriated the reason of Olympus through Cage, Warhol and Lennon. What she got from Havadtoy other than brute strength is not clear to me.
As such Yoko is Woman. In her case a seeming reversion to the archetypal Shaman of the most ancient times.
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#5 Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar
From Achmet Zek’s Camp To The Recovery Of The Jewels
The nature of the story changes from the departure of Werper and Jane from Achmet Zek’s camp . To that point the story had been developed in a linear fashion. From Zek’s camp on ERB either loses control of his story or changes into an aggregation of scenes between the camp and the Estate leading to the return. Perhaps there is a modification in his psychology.
The struggle for the possession of the jewels and the woman contunues unabated. As always Burroughs tries to construct a story of many surprising twists and turns. This may be an influence of the detective story, Holmes, on him. He may be trying to emulate Doyle.
The problem of who the characters represent in ERB’s life becomes more difficult to determine. Werper continues as ERB’s failed self. I think as relates to Zek and the jewels Zek represents Burroughs’ old sexual competitor, Frank Martin, while Zek, the gold and the Abyssinians represent the deal between McClurg’s and in 1914-15, A. L. Burt. Burt first had the reprint rights to Tarzan Of The Apes, published in the summer of 1914. Those rights shortly passed to Grossett and Dunlap.
In my estimation Martin never ceased interfering with Burroughs’ marriage at least from 1900 to 1919 when Burroughs fled Chicago. We know that Martin tried to murder Burroughs in 1899 and that his pal, R.S. Patchin, looked up Burroughs in LA after the divorse in 1934 and sent a mocking condolence letter in 1950 when Burroughs died and after Martin had died sometime earlier. Patchin would obviously have been directed by Martin to taunt Burroughs in ’34. It’s clear then that Martin carried a lifelong grudge against Burroughs because of Emma.
Martin is thus portrayed as being in competition with Burroughs in 1914-15 and possibly but probably to a lesser extent in LA.
Jane is shown being captured by Zek twice in the story. Thus Emma was courted or captured by Martin when Burroughs was in Arizona and Idaho. In this story Jane is captured while Tarzan is absent in Opar. The second capture or courting by Martin is diffiicult to pinpoint by the inadequate information at our disposal but following the slender lead offered by the novelist, John Dos Passos, in his novel The Big Money I would think it might be in 1908 when ERB left town for a few weeks or months probably with Dr. Stace. It was of that time that the FDA (Federal Food And Drug Administration) was after Stace for peddling his patent medicines. Burroughs was probably more deeply involved with that than is commonly thought. At any rate his being out of town would have provided an opportunity for Martin. Whether something more current was going on I don’t find improbable but I can’t say.
I would also be interested to learn whether there was any connection between McClurg’s and Martin. Martin was Irish, his father being a railroad executive which explains the private rail car at his disposal, as were, of course, the McClurgs and so was the chief executive Joe Bray. If Martin knew Bray he might have pressured Bray to reject publication of Tarzan doing a quick turnaround when interest was shown by the Cincinatti firm. Martin then might have meddled with Burroughs’ contract with McClurg’s. The contract and McClurg’s attitude is difficult to understand otherwise.
The gold is buried which Zek is supposed to have gotten through Werper, then they have a falling out and Werper is captured by Mourak and his Abyssinians. Mourak would then represent A.L. Burt and a division of the the royalties. If McClurg’s had promoted Tarzan Of The Apes, which they didn’t, Burroughs would have received 13 at 1.30 per copy. Thus at even 100,000 or 200,000 copies he would have received 13,000 or 26.000 dollars. that would have been a good downpayment on his yacht. Martin who must have thought of Burroughs as a hard core loser from his early life would have been incensed by such good fortune.
Instead, it doesn’t appear that McClurg’s even printed the whole first edition of 15,000 copies. The book immediately went to A.L. Burt where the price of the book was reduced to 75 or 50 cents with the royalty much reduced to 4 1/2 cents divided fifty-fifty between McClurg’s and Burroughs. It’s hard to believe that ERB wasn’t robbed as he certainly thought he had been. Thus when Mourak unearths the gold he is settling for a portion of the hoard when Zek’s men show up and the battle necessary for the story begins.
In this manner the key issues of gold, jewels and woman are resolved.
So, Werper with the jewels goes in search of Jane to find that she has already fled Zek’s camp. The scenes of the story now take place between the camp, perhaps representing McClurg’s offices and the Estate, representing Burroughs.
The latter half of the book, pages 81-158 in the Ballantine paperback is very condensed in a dream like fashion. The action within the very prescribed area with a multitude of people and incidents is impossible except as a dream story. The appearance of the Belgian officer and askaris must have been photoshopped it is so impossible. In other words, then, the whole last half of the book, if not the whole book, is a dream sequence in which dream logic prevails. I will make an attempt to go into late nineteenth century dream speculation in Part V.
A key point of the story is the regaining of the memory of Tarzan. This occurs near story’s end on page 139 and following. It’s fairly elaborate. In connection with his memory return I would like to point out the manner of his killing the lion when he rescues Jane from Mourak’s boma. The roof fell on Tarzan in imitation of his braining in Toronto while now he picks up a rifle swinging on the rearing lion’s head splintering the stock along with the lion’s skull so that splinters of bone and wood penetrate the brain while the barrel is bent into a V. Rather graphic implying a need for vengeance. Not content with having the roof fall on Tarzan’s head, while trying to escape the Belgian officer an askari lays him out with a crack to the back of the head but ‘he was unhurt.’ One can understand how Raymond Chandler marveled. My head hurts from writing about it. Also Chulk has his head creased by a bullet adding another skull crusher to the story.
The description of the return of Tarzan’s reason seems to fit exactly with Burroughs’ injury. I would have to question whether Burroughs himself didn’t have periods of amnesia. P. 139:
Vaguely the memory of his apish childhood passed slowly in review- then came a strangely tangled mass of faces, figures and events that seemed to have no relation to Tarzan of the Apes, and yet which were, even in this fragmentary form, familiar.
Slowly and painfully recollection was attempting to reassert itself, the hurt brain was mending, as the course of its recent failure to function was being slowly absorbed or removed by the healing process of perfect circulation.
According to medical knowledge of his time the description seems to apply to his own injury. His own blood clot had either just dissolved or was dissolving. Then he says almost in the same manner as in The Girl From Farriss’s:
The people who now passed before his mind’s eye for the first time in weeks were familiar faces; but yet he could neither place them in niches they had once filled in his past life nor call them by name.
In this hazy condition he goes off in search of the She he can’t remember clearly. His memory fully returns as he has Werper by the throat who calls him Lord Greystoke. That and the name John Clayton bring Tarzan fully back to himself. For only a few pages at the end of the book does he have his memory fully recovered.
In order to summarize the rest I have had to outline the actions of the main characters for as with Tarzan and his memory the story is one of ‘a strangely tangled mass of faces, figures and events.’ Whether this is artistry on Burroughs’ part or a dream presentation I am unable to ascertain for certain. Let’s call it artistry.
We will begin with Werper’s activities. While Tarzan promised to retrieve La’s sacred knife Werper appears to no longer have it as it disappears from the story. When Werper escaped from Zek unable to locate Jane he heads East into British territory. He is apprehended by one of Zek’s trackers. On the way back a lion attacks the Arab unhorsing him. Werper mounts the horse riding away directly into the Abyssinian camp of Mourak. Mugambi is captured at the same time. While the troop bathes in a river Mugambi discovers the gems managing to exchange them for river pebbles. Werper tempts Mourak with the story of Tarzan’s gold. While digging the gold they are attacked by Zek and his men. Werper rides off as Mourak is getting the worst of the fight. Zek rides after him. Werper’s horse trips and is too exhausted to rise. Using a device that ERB uses in one of his western novels Werper shoots the horse of the following Zek, crouching behind his own for cover. Zek has lost the woman but now wants the jewels. Werper hasn’t the woman while unknown to himself he neither has the jewels. In exchange for his life he offers Zek the pouch of river stones believing it contained the jewels. Zek accepts. Both men are treacherous. Werper waits to shoot Zek but Zek out foxes him picking up the bag by the drawstring with his rifle barrel from the security of the brush.
Discovering the pebbles he thinks Werper has purposely deceived him stalking down the trail to finish him off. Werper is waiting and pots him with his last shell. As Zek falls the woman, Jane, appears as if by a miracle reuniting the two. Could happen I suppose but definitely in dreams.
So, what are the two men fighting over? The sex interest as the jewels are involved. Who do Werper and Zek represent? Obviously Burroughs and Martin. The stones are false but as Werper disposes of Zek in the competition for the woman Jane appears as if by magic to run to Werper/ Burroughs with open arms.
Werper with Jane returns to Zek’s camp now under the direction of Zek’s lieutenant, Mohammed Beyd. Rigamarole and Werper deposits Jane in a tree from whence he expects to retrieve her on the following morning. The next day she is gone.
Werper once again turns East. He is spotted by Tarzan riding along. The Big Guy falls from a tree throwing Werper to the ground demanding to know where his pretty pebbles are. It is at this point Werper recalls Tarzan to his memory by calling him Lord Greystoke. Also at the moment the Belgian officer appears from nowhere, having miraculously ascertained Werper’s whereabouts, to arrest him.
Tarzan wants Werper more than the Belgian so tucking his man under his arm he breaks through the circle of askaris. On the point of success he is brought down from behind. Another thwack on the head. Apparently in a desperate situation Tarzan hears voices from the bush. The Great Apes have their own story line but here it is necessary to introduce them as Tarzan’s saviors. The voice is from Chulk who Tarzan sends after the troop. They attack routing the Africans. In the process Chulk, who is carrying the bound Werper is shot. If you remember Chulk stole the stones from Mugambi, or maybe I haven’t mentioned that yet. Werper falls across him in such a way that his hands bound behind his back come into contact with the pouch. Werper quickly recognizes what the bag contains although he has no idea how the ape came by them.
He then advises Tarzan where he left Jane. The two set out when the furore in Mourak’s camp reaches his ears. ‘Jane might be involved.’ Says Werper. ‘She might.’ says Tarzan telling Werper to wait for him while he checks.
Werper waits not, disappearing into the jungle where his fate awaits him.
Those are the adventures of only one character in this swirling vortex of seventy some pages.
Let’s take Mugambi next as he is the key to the story of the jewels yet plays a minor role. After crawling after Jane and regaining his strength he arrives at Zek’s camp at the same time as Tarzan and Basuli but none are aware of the others. Werper and Jane have already escaped when Tarzen enters the camp to find them missing. Mugambi follows him later also finding both missing. He goes in search of Jane. He walks through the jungle ludicrously calling out ‘Lady’ after each quarter mile or so. Leathern lungs never tiring he shouts Lady into the face of Mourak and is captured. Being a regular lightfoot he escapes having lifted the jewels from Werper. Chulk then lifts them from him, Mugambi disappears until story’s end.
Let’s see: Jane next. Jane along with the jewels is the key to the story. The jewels represent the woman as man’s female treasure. Jane is the eternal woman in that sense. The various men’s attitude toward the jewels reflects their own character. Thus, Tarzan in his amnesiac simplicity wants the jewels for their intrinsic beauty. He rejected the uncut stones for the faceted ones in Opar. Even in the semi darkness of the vaults, or in other words, his ignorance, he perceived the difference.
Werper at various times thinks he can get the gold, the jewels and the woman at once. He is happy to settle for the jewels taking them to his grave. Mourak knowing nothing of the jewels is willing to settle for a few bars of gold. When he takes the woman into his possession it is for the sole purpose of a bribe to his Emperor to mitigate his overall failure. Not at all unreasonable.
Zek is too vile to consider as a human being dying in the fury of losing all. Mugambi and Basuli are happy in their devotion to the woman to whom neither jewels or gold mean anything.
Tarzan then, pure in soul and spirit wins it all, woman, jewels and gold. One is tempted to say he lived happily forever after but, alas, we know the trials ahead of him.
So Jane is carried off to Zek’s camp where all the action is centred while she is there. Both Tarzan and Mugambi show up to rescue her but she has escaped just ahead of Werper who would thus have had the woman and the jewels. Alone in the jungle she once again falls into Zek’s hands- that is to say those of Frank Martin.
Now, Tarzan, who has fallen in with a troop of apes chooses two, Taglat and Chulk, to help him rescue Jane from Zek. Chulk is loyal but Taglat is an old and devious ape, apparently bearing an old grudge against Tarzan, who intends to steal Jane for his own fell purposes much worse than death.
In Tarzan’s attempt to rescue Jane, Taglat succeeds in abducting her. He is in the process of freeing her bonds when a lion leaps on him. In the succeeding battle Jane is able to escape the lion who had just killed Taglat.
Wandering through the jungle she hears shots, the voices of men. Approaching the noise she discover Werper and Zek fighting it out. She climbs a tree behind Werper. When he shoots Zek he hears a heavenly voice from above congratulating him. Jane runs to him hands outstretched. So now Werper has the woman again while believing he can retrieve the jewels. He can’t find them because unbeknownst to him Mugambi had substituted river rocks.
Improbably, except in a dream, he returns to Zek’s camp where he has to solve the problem of Zek’s second in command, Mohammed Beyd. Werper spirits Jane out of the camp but finds her gone the next morning. She had mistaken Mourak and his Abyssinians for Werper. Mourak now in possession of the woman, no gold no jewels, thinks to redeem himself with his Emperor, Menelik II, with this gorgeous female.
During that night’s camp the boma is attacked by hordes of lions. Lions play an amazingly central role in this story. Interestingly this scene is replicated almost exactly in the later Tarzan And The City Of Gold. In Jewels Tarzan rescues a woman while in Gold Tarzan rescues a man. That story’s woman becomes his enemy.
But now Tarzan and Werper hear the tremendous battle with Tarzan entering the boma to rescue Jane. By the time of the rescue Tarzan has regained the woman and the gold but lacks the jewels.
Unless I’m mistaken we now have only Tarzan and the apes to account for.
ERB’s life was at a turning point. At this stage in his career he must have realized that he would have a good annual income for the rest of his life. If only 5000 copies of the first edition of Tarzan of the Apes sold he would have received 6,500.00 Add his magazine sales to that and other income and 1914 must have equaled his income of 1913 or exceeded it. His income probably grew until he was earning c. 100,000 per year for three years from 1919-1922. So he had every reason to believe the world was his oyster through the teens. That must have been an exhilarating feeling. A sense of realization and power must have made him glow. But the period was one of transition, a casting off of the old skin while growing into the new. Thus one sees ERB abandoning his old self -Werper- while attempting to assume the new in Tarzan. Thus in death Werper transfers the jewels, call them the Family Jewels, from himself to Tarzan.
Tarzan begins the novel as an asexual being unaware of what jewels were or their value and receives them a the end of the novel as a release from emasculation or awareness of his sexual prowess. Once again Werper fades in the novel while Tarzan unaware of who he is comes to a full realization. Presumably Burroughs thinks he is able to assume his new role as 1915 ends.
In the novel when Tarzan realizes Werper has stolen the jewels he goes off in search of this symbol of his manhood. Werper is not in Zek’s camp. On the trail Tarzan comes across the dead body of the Arab sent after Werper with he face bitten off. He assumes this is Werper but can’t find the jewels. Wandering about he discovers a troop of apes deciding to run with them for a while. Selecting Chulk and Taglat he goes back to Zek’s camp to rescue Jane. At that point Taglat makes off with Jane. Discovering Zek and Werper on the way to the Estate Tarzan becomes involved in the battle between Zek and Mourak. He sees Zek take the jewels and then throw them to the ground as worthless river rocks.
He encounters Werper in the jungle again and prompted by the man fully regains his memory only to have Werper arrested by the Belgian police officer. The battle between Mourak and the lions ensues. Tarzan goes to rescue Jane, Werper goes to his death.
The unarmed Tarzan faces a rampant lion. Picking up an abandoned rifle he brains the lion, apparently in vengeance for all the indignities and injuries ERB has suffered in life.
Leaping with Jane into a tree they begin the journey back to the Estate to begin life anew. Some time later they come across the bones of Werper to recover the jewels and make the world right.
The novel closes with Tarzan’s exclamation.
“Poor devil!”…Even in death he has made restituion- let his sins lie with his bones.”
Was Burroughs speaking of Werper as his own failed self? I believe sothe latter. Remember that a favorite novel of ERB was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and that he believed that every man was two men or had two more or less distinct selves. Human duality is one of the most prominent themes in the corpus; thus ERB himself must have believed that he had a dual personality. Tarzan will have at least two physical doubles, one is Esteban Miranda in Golden Lion and Ant Men, and the other Stanley Obroski in Lion Man. Both were failed men as Werper is here. Both obviously represented the other or early Burroughs as Werper does here.
In killing Werper ERB hoped to eliminate the memory of his failed self as he did with Obroski in Lion Man. In other words escape his emasculation and regain his manhood.
The jumbled and incredibly hard to follow, or at least, remember, last half of the book with its improbable twists and turns in such a compressed manner gives the indication that this is a dream story. Only dream logic makes the story comprehensible if still unbelievable. The story then assumes fairy tale characteristics that don’t have to be probable to be understood as possible.
Can be genius, can be luck. I will examine Burroughs novels in relation to dreams in Part V. This part will not be as comprehensive as I would like but time grows short and it is better to make the attempt as not.
Part V follows.
September 25, 2009
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#5 Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar
From Opar To Achmet Zek’s Camp
Tarzan and Werper begin the trek back to the Estate. As Tarzan is an amnesiac that indicates that Burroughs is under stress. What kind of stress? As the stress involves sparkling Jewels it is therefore sexual stress. During the stories of the Russian Quartet the personalities of Tarzan and Burroughs were much more separate and distinct.
Success seems to now affect Burroughs so that he begins to identify himself with his great creation. He begins to assume a dual personality. His last Tarzan novel, Tarzan And The Madman will be a confession of his failure to realize his dream. For now we may consider the bewildered Tarzan as the emergence of the new Burroughs while Werper represents the loser Burroughs of his first 36 years. Bear in mind at all times that Burroughs has to tell his sotry so the apparent story has a different appearance than the allegorical story. The jewels then represent the discovery of his submerged sexuality.
As Werper and Tarzan are trekking they have gotten ahead of the slower moving Waziri. The Waziri catch up to them each bearing 120 lbs. of gold or two 60 lb. ingots. Six thousand pound or three tons of gold. So, for a brief moment Burroughs financial success and sexual prowess are on the same spot.
Tarzan not recognizing the jewels for what they are in his befuddled state indicates that Burroughs isn’t aware of how to take advantage of his new desirability.
Tarzan’s first thought when he sees the Waziri is to kill them as he vaguely recalls that Kala, his ape mother, was murdered by a Black. Werper talks him out of it. What story lies behind Kala?
The Waziri reach the burned out Estate, bury the gold, and go in search of Jane. Tarzan and Werper arrive on the heels of the Waziri.
Tarzan sees the Waziri burying the gold. Werper tells him that the Waziri are hiding it for safe keeping. Tarzan decides that would be an excellent thing to do with the jewels. When he believes Werper is asleep that night he digs a hole with his father’s knife burying the jewels.
On the ashes of his former existence then the gold representing his novels and the jewels representing his sexuality are buried.
Werper representing Burroughs old self was not sleeping; waiting for Tarzan to sleep he digs up the jewels fleeing to the camp to Achmet Zek and Jane. Thus the jewels and Jane are reunited with Werper being the possessor of the jewels and hence Jane. Fearing that Zek will murder him for the jewels in the middle of the night Werper persuades Jane to accompany him in flight thus setting up the next transfer of the jewels and Jane.
Meanwhile Tarzan wakes up finding Werper missing and reverts back to his role as an ape, or Great White Beast. peraps this signifies returning to his rough and rowdy ways of bachelorhood. However La and the little hairy men have left Opar in search of Tarzan and the sacred knife. They track him down to essentially the Estate. Perhaps this represents a new beginning on the ashes of the old.
This is the first time La has been outside the gates of Opar.
She is infuriated that Tarzan has rejected her love. After the usual hoopla about sacrificing the Big Guy night falls. La spends time pleading with Tarzan to return her love. She collapses over Tarzan much as over Werper in Opar. She lays atop Tarzan. Remember both Tarzan and La are always nearly nude so we have a very sensual image here. Finding Tarzan unresponsive La curls up beside Tarzan thus sleeping with him although chastely.
The next day the sacrificial hoopla begins again. Just as Tarzan is about to be sacrificed he hears Tantor the elephant in the distance. He emits a cry to attract Tantor.
As the elephant approaches Tarzan realizes that Tantor is in must, sexually aroused. He warns La who releases him just as Tantor charges into the clearing. Seizing La Tarzan runs up the convenient tree. Tantor thoroughly aroused directed his lust specifically at Tarzan and La. The tree is a large one but Tantor tries to bull it over. Failing this the mighty beast wraps his trunk around the bole and rearing titanically actually manages to uproot the tree.
As the tree topples Tarzan throws La on his back making a terrific leap to a lesser tree. Tantor follows as Tarzan leaps from tree to tree. Tantor’s attention wanders and he runs off in another direction leaving La and Tarzan.
So what does this scene mean? Possibly the temptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs. As I said it would be highly improbable if, as a successful writer, Burroughs didn’t attract the attention of other women who would make themselves available to him. This would place incredible stress on him making himself unable to ‘remember’ who he was, what he had been for 36 years.
He said he walked out on Emma a number of times. Leaving for Opar could be equivalent to walking out on Emma. The first night with La could be the first temptation. The elephant in must might indicate surrender to the temptation or at least a terrific struggle to avoid it.
In any event Tarzan returns La to the little hairy men then returning to the Estate to recover the jewels. This could be interpreted as a reconciliation. He finds the jewels gone. Realizing Werper stole them he sets out on the spoor to Zek”s camp.
In the meantime Basuli wounded as he was had crawled after Zek. Recovering his strength he returns to fighting form. The fifty Waziri also followed after Zek. All three parties arrive at the same time.
Clambering over the wall as usual Tarzan discovers that both Werper and Jane were gone. Now in pursuit of the jewels and Jane Tarzan returns to the jungle.
Part IV follows.
September 1, 2009
Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#5: Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar
Reliving Past Crimes And Humiliations
Let us put Chapter 6: The Arab Raid at this point in the discusssion so as to achieve greater continuity at the scenes in Opar.
With Tarzan absent from the Estate Zek makes his move to obtain Jane. The brave Waziri warriors rally around Jane putting up a fierce resistance. For whatever reason Tarzan hasn’t armed them with the latest repeating rifles and perhaps a Gatling Gun preferring they fight their battles with spears; hence they are no match for Zek whose men are armed with some woefully outdated firearms. We aren’t even told whether they’re Snyders. Burroughs just calls them ‘long guns.’
Jane herself is armed with what seems to be a repeating rifle. While there are those who refer to Jane as wimpy she is far from wilting here as she gamely fires through the closed door.
It is difficult to determine ERB’s intent here. In 1903-04 when Emma traveled to the wilds of Idaho with her husband she was far from the frontier type. ERB undoubtedly wanted her to be the dauntless frontier woman perhaps as was the wife portrayed in the Virginian but he discovered she was a citified fashion queen. Perhaps here he is demonstrating to Emma what he had wanted her to be.
The Estate is fired as it will be again three years hence when the Germans arrive. At that time ERB led us to believe that Jane was murdered while here she is about to be taken far away. In ERB’s troubled mind it would appear that he wanted to be rid of Emma. He would actually say he always wanted to be rid of her twenty years hence.
Oblivious of the fate of Jane Tarzan is in far away Opar loading the remaining faithful Waziri with the oddly shaped gold ingots.
Werper has followed him into the vaults. As an allegory Werper in this place can represent Ogden McClurg. The vaults can represent ERB’s mind where the wealth of his imagination is stored. Thus the publisher is taking what is rightfully ERB’s labor.
In actuality Ogden McClurg was seldom in Chicago. He was a naval officer who was in the Caribbean most of the time coming back briefly and then when The Great War broke out he became involved in those operations. The manager Joe Bray seems to have been the responsible person. I haven’t been able to ascertain McClurg’s position while I have been told the records for McClurg’s were destroyed so that may be impossible. I have gone through the correspondence between McClurg’s, A.L. Burt and Grosset and Dunlap in the archives of the University of Louisville. There seems to have been an agreement between McClurg’s and G&D to, how shall I say it, defraud Burroughs of royalties. If Burroughs was the best selling author of the time he is represented to be his royalty checks were ludicrously small, by the late thirties five, six and seven dollars per title. Hardly worth either McClurg’s or G&D’s bother if accurate. One is at a loss to understand why they clung so obstinately to the titles. One compares such small checks with the enormous sales of the 1960s. You can draw your own conclusions but it definitely seems there are some unsolvable contradictions.
Burroughs always believed he was being cheated. Based on the evidence I have seen I have to agree with him.
The gold has been brought to the top of the shaft. Tarzan goes back for a last look when the roof literally caves in. An earthquake occurs; a portion of the roof lands on Tarzan’s head putting him out. Werper who was in the same place with Tarzan is uninjured. Unable to go forward he takes the candle stub fleeing down the corridor toward Opar. In this instance he appears almost as a doppelganger of Tarzan.
Tarzan when locked in a cell on the previous occasion had removed the bricks in the wall opening into this corridor. Werper now traces Tarzan’s steps in reverse. Coming to the well he makes the same leap with with same success. Removing the bricks he retraces Tarzan’s steps back up into the sacrificial chamber. Here the little hairy men seize him tossing him onto the altar where La awaits. Duplicating the sacrifical scene with Tarzan she is about to plunge the knife into Werper’s breast when the air is shattered by a deafening roar. A lion has announced his presence in the chamber. The little hairy men flee, La faints and Werper prays.
We know this story because it is ERB’s favorite theme written in many variations.
ERB leaves Werper at the altar and returns to Tarzan who we last saw lying on the floor in a spreading pool of blood. The sequence in Opar recapitulates the main psychological traumas in ERB’s life in one of its many variations. The story changes and evolves but the facts remain the same. The overriding trauma here was ERB’s bashing in Toronto in 1899. The blow from the sap or pipe had a fixating effect on ERB. I’m sure he relived the situation over two or three times every day. It remains to be discovered if he blamed Emma for it. Had he not been competing with Martin for her hand the blow would never have happened. Here he couples the memory of the blow with the abduction of Emma.
Inert for a period of time he recovers but has lost his memory. A usual occurrence in periods of great stress for ERB. He didn’t think he lost consciousness in Toronto but he was knocked down having his scalp torn so that he was covered in blood by the time he arrived at the hospital. I think he did lose consciousness although he may not have been ‘out cold.’
I compare the situation with one of mine. At fifteen I was ice skating when I saw a boy scoot between two girls holding hands at arm’s length. I thought I would emulate him but the two girls closed up as I came from behind. I was better at starting than stopping. My legs flew up and I landed on the back of my head. I literally saw stars, five pointed colored stars in a burst of light. I can still recall the sound of my skull striking the ice. It was an odd sound. I never thought I lost consciousness but I remember opening my eyes so I must have been unconscious for some seconds at least. I suspect that ERB as he fell lost consciousness for at least a few seconds if not longer. Here in Opar he has Tarzan knocked cold for some time which must have been the way he had felt. ERB had fairly serious mental problems for at least a couple decades. While he doesn’t record losing his memory as such he has the hero of Girl From Farriss’s who received a blow duplicate to that received by himself, Ogden Secor, walking past friends as though he didn’t know them. A form of memory loss.
There is no story of Burroughs in which the main character doesn’t get bopped once or twice. This was noticed by Raymond Chandler, the creator of Philip Marlowe, who wrote a semi-dissertaion on bopping in one of his stories. Chandler had read Burroughs extensively. He speculated that no man could survive so many bashings as Tarzan received. Probably true. Chandler then proceeds to have a character bashed twice in succession. Chandler preferred the lump behind the ear which produces euphoric dreams.
At any rate Tarzan recovers while dimly remembering his ‘heavy war spear’ that he searches for. It is interesting that Tarzan never adopts modern weapons even though Jane had a repeater and one as knowledgeable as Tarzan must have been up on the Maxim gun by the time these stories were written. Rope, knife, spear and bow and arrows, Tarzan scorned guns.
Now, following in the footsteps of Werper, he comes to the well and falls in but doesn’t lose his grasp of his heavy war spear. The well probably represents a descent into the subconscious into the waters of the feminine. Bobbing to the surface he clambers out where the waters are level with the floor. An odd situation. Perhaps overflowing into the corridor from time to time making the floor treacherous, Tarzan has a difficult time keeping his footing until he climbs some stairs of many turnings. This is all terrific atmosphere although the meaning eludes me. Tarzan thus enters the forgotten jewel room of Opar. Here the Jewels of Opar come into play. Like the old singalongs at the Saturday movie matinee where you followed the bouncing ball now we begin to follow the course of the Jewels through the rest of the story.
This associates Werper and Opar with the novels of Tarzan And The Golden Lion and Tarzan And The Ant Men. In that sense Werper becomes a prototype of Esteban Miranda, one of my favorite characters. In those two novels Miranda like Werper tries to steal the gold. Miranda unlike Werper was a Tarzan lookalike. Instead of following the jewels in those two novels we follow Tarzan’s locket containing the pictures of his mother and father. Thus the stories change but the themes remain the same.
Tarzan merely sees the jewels as fascinating pretty baubles unable to discern their value because of his memory loss. He keeps the cut stones which diffract the light throwing the uncut stones back. Odd detail but perhaps significant. Just as the gold represents Burrough’s writing earnings the Jewels, especially diamonds, are associated with his sexual goals. Thus in Lion Man he associated Balza, who represents Florence, with an abundance of diamonds as he thinks he has realized his sexual goals. Then when he realizes his error in Tarzan And The Forbidden City the much sought after ‘father of diamonds’ turns out to be a piece of coal.
He then emerges into the sanctuary just as the lion emits its fearful roar. Let’s examine this scene in detail as ERB here replicates symbolically his confrontation with John the Bully on the street corner in the fourth grade.
For those who haven’t followed my essays ERB was confronted by a bully named John when eight or nine who terrorized his soul fixating him forever.
I know there are Bibliophiles who find the analysis of the confrontation as I have dealt with it to this point difficult to believe. The majority of people, in fact, appear to not undertand how something that happened when you were eight or nine can affect your mind for life. Most people think things are just forgotten. It is all a matter of suggestion when your mind is in a hypnoid state. The interpretation of the event enters your mind where it becomes fixated. Compare it to the clipboard of your computer. You can’t see the information copied but it exists on your computer nonetheless and in certain conditions manifests itself. This is probably close to what the French psychologist Pierre Janet meant by his term ‘idee fixe.’ Once in your mind the idea may take a few days or longer to become fixed thereafter directing your actions. The suggestion becomes a reality to your essentially hypnotized mind.
When confronted by John, a much larger and older boy, and a hoodlum, the young ERB was terrorized; this opened his mind to the hypnotic suggestion creating a hypnoid state. As ERB replicates this scene almost as often as the Toronto incident these two scenes are the twin poles of his psychosis. They are closely allied in his mind as Tarzan has just come from a bashing and now meets his nemesis John in the form of the lion. The lion is big and fearsome as was John.
When ERB was a child John, or the lion, destroyed ERB’s self-image. In this instance Tarzan is a giant with the thews of steel, a heavy war spear and his father’s knife. He is loaded for lions and eager to kill.
On the sacrifical altar, probably a metaphor of the psychological death he experienced with John, is Werper. As I believe Werper is a prototype of the latter doppelgangers Esteban Miranda and Stanley Obroski. Miranda and thus Werper represent the inefective Burroughs who quailed before John. Miranda is a Tarzan lookalike, an identical twin as it were. Neither in Werper nor Miranda does ERB resolve his conflict between the defeated wimp of his youth and the heroic Tarzan he now visualizes himself as. Werper and Miaranda then will morph into Stanley Obroski of Tarzan And The Lion Man who is another twin where Werper/Miranda/Obroski die as ERB beilieves or hopes that he has succeeded in realizing a heroic character. When he wrote Tarzan And The Madfman he realized that he was not the man he hoped to become.
In Opar the lion is about to leap on Werper and La has fainted across his body thus associating the Anima and Animus. In this instance La represents ERB’s failed Anima while Werper is the emasculated Animus. Tarzan/ERB then steps between the lion and La and Werper to save them. He drives his heavy war spear into the lion’s chest, itself an act that ERB portrays often.
Then, leaping on the back of the lion he repeatedly drives his father’s knife into its side. This is in itself a simulation of the sexual act, probably anal. At the same time the violence of copulation is an act of supreme hatred, very homosexual in nature actually. Having killed his adversary, John the Lion, he puts his foot on the body and exults with the terrifying victory cry of the bull ape. In his fantasy then he corrects his defeat on the street corner.
Now, the effect of the encounter with John on ERB’s psychology was profound. When John defeated the child ERB here represented by Werper and La, he assumed a half share role in both ERB’s Anima and Animus. Remember the fainted La is lying over the body of Werper. Thus the lion becomes Tarzan/ERB’s symbol of both helper and enemy; the lion becomes the enemy of his Animus and helper to his Anima. It is quite possible that if it hadn’t been pointed out to him after the publication of Tarzan Of The Apes that there were no tigers in Africa that the lion would have been a helpmate and the tiger the enemy. In that case there mgiht have been dramatic lion and tiger fights in which the tiger was always defeated. It is also possible that the lion would have been male and the tiger female thus prefiguring Burroughs’ later pronounced misogyny.
As John was male so is the lion so we have the anomaly of an Anima represented half by a loser female and half by a man in drag while the Animus is a loser male that ERB has to dispose of if he is to reintegrate his personality. This must have been a terrible conflict with potentially disastrous consequences.
The dilemma is most clearly represented in ERB’s second written book, The Outlaw Of Torn. Outlaw is not a book he chose to write but one which was suggested to him by his editor, Metcalf, at All Story Magazine. ERB casts his story in his familiar Prince and Pauper format. His mental dilemma is clearly depicted.
Norman, the hero, is the son of the English king, Henry. Henry insults his fencing instructor De Vac who avenges himself on Norman. The child is playing in a fenced yard attended by his nurse, Maud, who represents his Anima. She is chatting with a domestic failing to keep a close eye on Norman. He is lured through the gate outside the garden (of Eden) where De Vac waits to kidnap him. Realizing the boy’s danger Maud rushes to Norman’s rescue where De Vac brutally murders her. Thus Norman/ERB’s Anima is now destroyed. The mind cannot exist without an Anima so De Vac takes the young boy to London where they occupy the attic of a house over the Thames. The river represents the waters of the feminine while the house represents ERB and the attic his mind. Now, to replace the anima De Vac dresses as an old woman associating with Norman in that guise until Norman/ERB’s mind heals enough for ERB to function. At that time De Vac shifts to the Animus side training Norman in the manly arts. Thus Norman becomes a sort of predecessor of Tarzan. Tarzan Of The Apes will be the third novel ERB writes. At that point drawing on the clear example of Outlaw Of Torn ERB began to evolve his way out of his psychological dilemma.
The reason he can never develop a relationship with La is because she represents ERB’s failed Anima. In this scene La is on her knees pleading with Tarzan to accept her love. Tarzan coldly replies that he does not want her. Then walks away taking Werper his alter ego with him.
The little hairy men come shrieking after them. Tarzan’s heroic side clubs them down with his heavy war spear thus replicating the blow he recieved in Toronto on his enemies, correcting that insult and injury. Over and over the heavy war spear falls on head after head. Werper, befitting a coward, follows Tarzan in his shadow as it were clutching the sacred sacrifical knife of Opar.
Thus we have two knives. Tarzan’s father’s knife and the sacred knife of Opar as two sides to the same man. The hairy men do not attack Werper out of respect for the sacred knife. Werper discovers this. Reversing the role he precedes Tarzan waving the sacred knife as the little hairy men part before them. I don’t have an explanation of the sacred knife at this time.
The hairy men do not pursue them. Searching for the exit they come upon a tribe of great apes. Not content with having reenacted his traumas once ERB gains a little extra gratification by having Tarzan challenged by a large bull much, once again, as John confronted him on the street corner. Thus the apes may have an association with John. Tarzan is ready for the ape:
Werper saw a hairy bull swing down from a broken column and advance, stiff legged and bristling, toward the naked giant. The yellow fangs were bared, angry snarls and barkings rumbled threateningly through the thick and hanging lips….
But there was no battle. It ended as the majority of such jungle encounters end- one of the boasters loses his nerve and becomes suddenly interested in a blowing leaf, a beetle, or the lice on his hairy stomach.
Notice how all these offensive types are hairy.
And so ERB caps the reliving of Toronto and John. in his imagination he had corrected both encounters reversing actuality to a more psychologically comfortable conclusion. But, after all, it was just a fantasy and temporary fix. ERB would continue to deal with the two traumas in an attempt to exorcize them. I don’t think he ever found a satisfactory resolution. In fact in a manner Frank Martin continued the warfare from his grave to that of ERB. After ERB died R.S. Patchin, Martin’s partner in crime, sent a letter to John Coleman Burroughs in which he maliciously related the story of the bashing or, in reality, attempted murder. Martin through Patchin got the last laugh. Emma was dead by then anyway.
We can continue to Part III.
A Contribution To The
Erbzine Library Project.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Science And Spiritualism
Camille Flammarion, Scientist and Spiritualist
The last story in Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles is about the expulsion from Earth of the various supernatural or imaginary beings such as fairies, elves, the elementals, all those beings external to ourselves but projections of our minds on Nature, to Mars as a last resort and how they were all dieing as Mars became scientifically accessible leaving no place for them to exist.
On Earth the rejection of such supernatural beings began with the Enlightenment. When the smoke and fury of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic years settled and cleared it was a new world with a completely different understanding of the nature of the world. Science, that is, knowing, had displaced belief as a Weltanschauung.
The old does not give way so easily to the new. Even while knowing that fairies did not exist the short lived reaction of the Romantic Period with its wonderful stories and fictions followed the Napoleonic period.
Supernatural phenomena displaced from the very air we breathed reformed in the minds of Men as the ability of certain people called Mediums to communicate with spirits although the spirits were no longer called supernatural but paranormal. Thus the fairies morphed into dead ancestors, dead famous men, communicants from beyond the grave. Men and women merely combined science with fantasy. Science fiction, you see.
Spiritualism was made feasible by the rediscovery of hypnotism by Anton Mesmer in the years preceding the French Revolution. The first modern glimmerings of the sub- or unconscius began to take form. The unconscious was the arena of paranormal activity.
Hypnotism soon lost scientific credibility during the mid-century being abandoned to stage performers who then became the first real investigators of the unconscious as they practiced their art.
While the antecedents of spiritualism go back much further the pehnomena associated with it began to make their appearance in the 1840s. Because the unconscious was so little understood spiritualism was actually thought of as scientific. The investigators of the unconscious gave it incredible powers and attributes, what I would call supernatural but which became known as paranormal. Communicating with spirits, teleportation, telecommunications, all the stuff that later became the staples of science fiction.
Thus in 1882, Jean-Martin Charcot, a doctor working in the Salpetriere in Paris made hypnotism once again a legitimate academic study.
The question here is how much innovation could the nineteenth century take without losing its center or balance. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming presents the situation well. Freud, who was present at this particular creation, was to say that three discoveries shattered the confidence of Man; the first was the Galilean discovery that the Earth was not the center of the universe, the second revelation was Darwin’s announcement that Man was not unique in creation and the last was the discovery of the unconscious. Of these three the last two happened simultaneiously amidst a welter of scientific discoveries and technological applications that completely changed Man’s relationship to the world. One imagines that these were the reasons for the astonishing literary creativity as Victorians grappled to deal with these new realities. There was a sea change in literary expression.
Key to understanding these intellectual developments is the need of Man for immortality. With God in his heaven but disconnected from the world supernatural explanations were no longer plausible. The longing for immortality remained so FWH Myers a founder of the Society For Psychical Research changed the word supernatural into paranormal. As the notion of the unconscious was now wedded to science and given, in effect, supernatural powers under the guise of the paranormal it was thought, or hoped, that by tapping these supernormal powers one could make contact with the departed hence spiritism or Spiritualism.
While from our present vantage point after a hundred or more years of acclimatizing ourselves to an understanding of science, the unconscious and a rejection of the supernatural, the combination of science and spiritualism seems ridiculous. Such was not the case at the time. Serious scientists embraced the notion that spirtualism was scientific.
Now, a debate in Burroughs’ studies is whether and/or how much Burroughs was influenced by the esoteric. In my opinion and I believe that of Bibliophile David Adams, a great deal. David has done wonderful work in esbatlishing the connection between the esotericism of L. Frank Baum and his Oz series of books and Burroughs while Dale Broadhurst has added much.
Beginning in the sixties of the nineteenth century a French writer who was to have a great influence on ERB, Camille Flammarion, began writing his scientific romances and astronomy books. Not only did Flammarion form ERB’s ideas of the nature of Mars but this French writer was imbued with the notions of spiritualism that informed his science and astronomy. He and another astronomer, Percival Lowell, who is often associated with ERB, in fact, spent time with Flammarion exchanging Martian ideas. Flammarion and Lowell are associated.
So, in reading Flammarion ERB would have imbibed a good deal of spiritualistic, occult, or esoteric ideas. Flammarion actually ended his days as much more a spiritualist than astronomer. As a spiritualist he was associated with Conan Doyle.
Thus in the search for a new basis of immortality, while the notion of God became intenable, Flammarion and others began to search for immortality in outer space. There were even notions that spirits went to Mars to live after death somewhat in the manner of Bradbury’s nixies and pixies. In his book Lumen Flammarion has his hero taking up residence on the star Capella in outer space after death. Such a book as Lumen must have left Burroughs breathless with wonderment. Lumen is some pretty far out stuff in more ways than one. After a hundred fifty years of science fiction these ideas have been endlessly explored becoming trite and even old hat but at the time they were
excitingly new. Flammarion even put into Burroughs’ mind that time itself had no independent existence. Mind boggling stuff.
I believe that by now Bibliophiles have assembled a library of books that Burroughs either did read or is likely to have read before 1911 that number at least two or three hundred. Of course, without radio, TV, or movies for all of Burroughs’ childhood, youth and a major portion of his young manhood, although movies would have become a reality by the time he began writing, there was little entertainment except reading. Maybe a spot of croquet.
As far as reading goes I suspect that ERB spent a significant portion of his scantily employed late twenties and early thirties sitting in the Chicago Library sifting through the odd volume. It can’t be a coincidence that Tarzan lounged for many an hour in the Paris library before he became a secret agent and left for North Africa.
I have come across a book by the English author Charles Howard Hinton entitled Scientific Romances of which one explores the notion of a fourth dimension . Hinton is said to have been an influence on H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. It seems certain that Burroughs read The Time Machine while he would have found many discussions of the fourth dimension as well as other scientific fantasies in the magazines and even newspapers as Hillman has so amply demonstrated on ERBzine. We also know that ERB had a subscription to Popular Mechanics while probably reading Popular Science on a regular basis. Popular Science was established in 1872.
It is clear that ERB was keenly interested in psychology and from references distributed throughout the corpus, reasonably well informed.
I wouldn’t go so far as to maintain that ERB read the French psychologist Theodore Flournoy’s From India To The Planet Mars but George T. McWhorter does list it as a volume in Vern Corriel’s library of likely books read by Burroughs. The book was published in 1899 just as Burroughs was entering his very troubled period from 1900 to 1904-05 that included his bashing in Toronto with subsequent mental problems, a bout with typhoid fever and his and Emma’s flight to Idaho and Salt Lake City. So that narrows the window down a bit.
However the book seems to describe the manner in which his mind worked so that it provides a possible or probable insight into the way his mind did work.
ERB’s writing career was born in desperation. While he may say that he considered writing unmanly it is also true that he tried to write a lighthearted account of becoming a new father a couple years before he took up his pen in seriousness. Obviously he saw writing as a way out. His life had bittely disappointed his exalted expectations hence he would have fallen into a horrible depression probably with disastrous results if the success of his stories hadn’t redeemed his opinion of himself.
Helene Smith the Medium of Fluornoy’s investigation into mediumship was in the same situation. Her future while secure enough in the material sense, as was Burroughs, fell far short of her hopes and expectations. Thus she turned to mediumship to realize herself much as Burroughs turned to literature. She enjoyed some success and notoriety attracting the attention of, among others, the psychologist Theodore Flournoy. Fournoy who enjoyed some prominence at the time, was one of those confusing spiritualism with science because of his misunderstanding of the unconscious. Thus as Miss Smith unfolded her conversations with the inhabitants of Mars it was taken with some plausibility.
If any readers I may have have also read my review of Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson he or she will remember that Peter and Mary were restricted in their dream activities to only what they had done, seen and remembered or learned. As I have frequently said, you can only get out of a mind what has gone into it. In this sense Miss Smith was severely handicapped by an inadequate education and limited experience. While she was reasonably creative in the construction of her three worlds- those of ancient India, Mars and the court of Marie Antoinette- she was unable to be utterly convincing. In the end her resourcefulness gave out and the scientific types drifted away. She more or less descended into a deep depression as her expectations failed. Had she been more imagination she might have turned to writing as Burroughs did.
If Burroughs did read Flournoy, of which I am not convinced, he may have noted that Miss Smith’s method was quite similar to his habit of trancelike daydreaming that fulfilled his own expectations of life in fantasy.
In Burroughs’ case he had the inestimable advantage of having stuffed his mind with a large array of imaginative literature, a fairly good amateur’s notions of science and technology, along with a very decent range of valuable experience. His younger days were actually quite exciting. He was also gifted with an amazing imagination and the ability to use it constructively.
Consider this possibility. I append a poem that he would have undoubtedly read- When You Were A Tadpole And I Was A Fish. Read this and then compare it to The Land That Time Forgot.
When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
In the Paleozoic time,
And side by side on the ebbing tide
We sprawled through the ooze and slime,
Or skittered with many a caudal flip
Through the depths of the Cambrian fen,
My heart was rife with the joy of life,
For I loved you even then.
Mindless we lived and mindless we loved
And mindless at last we died;
And deep in the rift of the Caradoc drift
We slumbered side by side.
The world turned on in the lathe of time,
The hot lands heaved amain,
Til we caught our breath from the womb of death
And crept into light again.
We were Amphibians, scaled and tailed,
And drab as a dead man’s hand;
We coiled at ease ‘neath the dripping trees
Or trailed through the mud and sand.
Croaking and blind, with out three-clawed feet
Writing a language dumb,
With never a spark in the empty dark
To hint at a life to come.
Yet happy we lived and happy we loved,
And happy we died once more;
Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold
of a Neocomian shore.
The eons came and the eons fled
And the sleep that wrapped us fast
Was riven away in a newer day
And the night of death was past.
Then light and swift through the jungle trees
We swung in our airy flights,
Or breathed in the balms of the fronded palms
In the hush of the moonless nights;
And, oh! what beautiful years were there
When our hearts clung each to each;
When life was filled and our senses thrilled
In the first faint dawn of speech.
Thus life by life and love by love
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath and death by death
We followed the chain of change,
Till there came a time in the law of life
When over the nursing side
The shadows broke and the soul awoke
In a strange, dim dream of God.
I was thewed like Auroch bull
And tusked like the great cave bear;
And you, my sweet, from head to feet
Were gowned in your glorious hair,
Deep in the gloom of a fireless cave,
When the night fell o’er the plain
And the moon hung red o’er the river bed
We mumbled the bones of the slain.
I flaked a flint to a cutting edge
And shaped it with brutish craft;
I broke a shank from the woodland lank
And fitted it, head and haft;
Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn,
Where the mammoth came to drink;
Through the brawn and bone I drove the stone
And slew him upon the brink.
Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes,
Loud answered our kith and kin,
From west and east to the crimson feast
The clan came tramping in.
O’er joint and gristle and padded hoof
We fought and clawed and tore,
And cheek by jowl with many a growl
We talked the marvel o’er.
I carved that fight on a reindeer bone
With rude and hairy hand;
I pictured his fall on the cavern wall
That men might understand,
For we lived by blood and the right of might
Ere human laws were drawn,
And the age of sin did not begin
Till our brutal tush were gone.
And that was a million years ago
In a time that no man knows;
Yet here tonight in the mellow light
We sit at Delmonico’s.
Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs,
Your hair is dark as jet,
Your years are few, your life is new,
Your soul untried, and yet-
Our trail is on the Kimmeridge clay
And the scarp of the Purbeck flags;
We have left our bones in the Bagshot stones
And deep in the Coralline crags;
Our love is old, our lives are old,
And death shall come amain;
Should it come today, what man may say
We shall not live again?
God has wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds
And furnished them wings to fly;
He sowed our spawn in the world’s dim dawn,
And I know that it shall not die,
Though cities have sprung above the graves
Where the crook-bone men make war
And the oxwain creaks o’er the buried caves
Where the mummied mammoths are.
Then as we linger at luncheon here
O’er many a dainty dish,
Let us drink anew to the time when you
Were a tadpole and I was a fish.
With something like that stuffed into his subconscious what wonders might ensue. Obviously The Land That Time Forgot and The Eternal Lover.
As Miss Smith had turned to spiritualism and mediumship, Burroughs turned his talents to writing. According to himself he used essentially mediumistic techniques in hiswriting. He said that he entered a tracelike state, what one might almost call automatic writing to compose his stories. He certainly turned out three hundred well written pages in a remarkably short time with very few delays and interruptions. He was then able to immediately begin another story. This facility lasted from 1911 to 1914 when his reservoir of stored material ws exhausted. His pace then slowed down as he had to originate stories and presumably work them out more rather than just spew them out.
Curiously like Miss Smith he created three main worlds with some deadends and solo works. Thus while Miss Smith created Indian, Martian and her ‘Royal’ identity Burroughs created an inner World, Tarzan and African world, and a Martian world.
Perhaps in both cases three worlds were necessary to give expression to the full range of their hopes and expectations. In Burroughs’ case his worlds correspond to the equivalences of the subconscious in Pellucidar, the conscious in Tarzan and Africa and shall we say, the aspirational or spiritual of Mars. In point of fact Burroughs writing style varies in each of the three worlds, just as they did in Miss Smith’s.
Having exhausted his early intellectual resources Burroughs read extensively and exhaustively to recharge his intellectual batteries. This would have been completely normal because it is quite easy to write oneself out. Indeed, he was warned about this by his editor, Metcalf. Having, as it were, gotten what was in your mind on paper what you had was used up and has to be augmented. One needs fresh experience and more knowledge. ERB was capable of achieving this from 1911 to about 1936 when his resources were essentially exhausted. Regardless of what one considers the quality of the later work it is a recap, a summation of his work rather than extension or innovatory into new territory. Once again, not at all unusual.
As a child of his times his work is a unique blend of science and spiritualism with the accent on science. One can only conjecture how he assimiliated Camille Flammarion’s own unique blend of spiritualism and science but it would seem clear that Flammarion inflamed his imagination setting him on his career as perhaps the world’s first true science-fiction writer as opposed to merely imaginative or fantasy fiction although he was no mean hand at all.