Part II: Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Anima And Animus

February 3, 2009

 

The ERB Library Project

Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Anima And Animus

by

R.E. Prindle, Dr. Anton Polarion And Dugald Warbaby

Texts:

Burroughs:  Edgar Rice: Corpus 1911-1940

Grey, Zane: The Riders Of The Purple Sage, 1912

Grey, Zane: The Rainbow Trail 1915

Grey Zane:  The Mysterious Rider, 1921

Prindle, R. E.: Freudian Psychology Updated To Modern Physics, ERBzine, 2004

Prindle, R.E.: Something Of Value Books I, II And III, ERBzine, 2006

by

R.E. Prindle, Dr. Anton Polarion And Dugald Warbaby

Part II

The Mysterious Rider

     Two of the more popular musical groups of the 1980s were Culture Clash and Boy George’s Culture Club.  They were from England which was being invaded by peaceful infiltration by a number of different cultures.  The popular response of these groups divined that the issue was not ‘race’ or skin color but one of cultures.

     In any clash of cultures the most intolerant must win- that is the culture that clings to its customs while rejecting all others.  To be tolerant is to be absorbed by the intolerant culture.   This was the meaning of German term Kulturkampf of the pre-Great War period.

     Historical examples are too numerous to mention, suffice it to say, that the ancient Cretan culture was defeated by the Mycenean while both were supplanted by later Greek invasions.  Eventually Greek culture supplanted the Cretan which was lost to history.

     The English being the most tolerant people will lose their culture to a Moslem-Negro combination which will undoubtedly be absorbed by the Chinese.  This is an incontestable evolutionary fact, it has nothing to do with anyone’s opinion.

     While the movement of peoples may be an unavoidable fact of life it is folly for a superior more productive culture to sacrifice itself to a lesser, misguided by notions of tolerance.

     Evolutionarily the problem is not the cosmetic one of skin color as most HSIIs and IIIs imagine.

     Apart from the evolutionary problem of genetics the social problem of cultures is of prime importance.  Not all cultures are of the same quality nor is this a matter of relativity.  For instance it is generally agreed that female circumcision is an evil to be avoided but among the Africans where it is prevalent their culture stoutly defends the procedure along with polygamy.  In France where large numbers of Africans are invading French culture denies the validty of both female circumcision and polygamy hence the culture clash between the two nations the society will be determined by numbers and will.  Given the increasing numbers of Moslems and Africans in France among which polygamy is an established custom and given their superior will and intolerance of the HSIIs of France, it is merely a matter of time before polygamy and female circumcision  become permissible thus changing French society as the French themselves adopt Semitic and African customs.

     Only a small percentage of the French, English or Americans recognize the danger to their cultures.  They must naturally be as intolerant of the culture of the invaders as the invaders are intolerant of theirs.  As a minority among their respective peoples they are derided by the majority as bigots while the, perhaps, benign and tolerant opinion of the majority can lead only to their own elimination as history and evolution clearly shows.

     America in the nineteenth century with its open and unrestricted immigration was the first country, other than Russia which was also involved with these difficulties, to come to grips with the problem of clashing cultures.  The official American position was one of tolerance.  Absorption of the large African population was a poser, but among the HSIIs and IIIs the cultural differences were not so great as to be an insuperable obstacle although assimilation as between the Anglos and the Irish, for instance, was painful and slow while still incomplete to this day as large numbers of Irish consider themselves Irish first and Americans second but generally Northern Europeans blended reasonably well.

     Then in the 1870s just at the time that both Zane Grey and Edgar Rice Burroughs were born the focus of immigration shifted to Eastern and Southern Europe.  This influx continued unabated up to 1914 when it was interrupted by the Great War.  While earlier immigration might be characterized as troublesome the Eastern and Southern European immigration presented a real culture clash.

     The cultural differences between Northern Europeans and Eastern and Southern Europeans are actually quite striking.  Rightly or wrongly, as you may choose to see it, contemporaries of Burroughs and Grey believed that, at least, the Jews and Italians were unassimilable, which is to say, they were not prepared to abandon their customs to blend into the whole but wished to impose their customs on the whole.  Indeed this has proven to be the case as witness the Jewish attempt to abolish Christmas.  If you don’t object there is no problem.  If you do, you have a culture clash that the most intolerant will win.

     As representatives of the founding culture of the United States men like Burroughs and Grey could not but see the new immigration as a threat to their ideals which has proven to be true.  Thus the American generation of Teddy Roosevelt who was born in 1858 were the heroes of the younger generation.  When TR died in 1919 a vision of hope flickered out for Burroughs’ and Grey’s generation.

     The poem ‘The American’ reprinted in Part IV of my Four Crucial Years published in the ERBzine will give some idea of the frustration experienced by the Burroughs/Grey generation just as they were coming of age.

     Burroughs grew up in one  of the most polyglot centers of the world.  The Anglos in Chicago were in a distinct minority being no more than 10% of the population in 1890.  Grey practiced his dentistry in New York City in which Anglos were as small a percentage of the population.

     Neither man was a hateful bigot which is not to say that they couldn’t help but be affected by the diversity of languages and customs which they encountered everyday in what they considered to be their own country.   It would be silly to say that they or any rational Anglo didn’t regret the situation.  That the absorption of all this diversity into a semblance of homogeneity was made without undue violence must always to be the credit of the American social organization.  That organizations of frustrated individuals like the American Protective Association or the KKK arose is not to be wondered at especially  in the  face of very aggressive and terrorist immigrant organizations such as the Mafia and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith which was being advised by Sigmund Freud.

     Both Burroughs and Grey began writing at the very height of unrestricted immigration.  There is every reason to expect the influence of immigration to be reflected in their writing for the period of the teens no matter how they sublimated it.  After 1920 conditions changed which is reflected in Burroughs’ writing although I am unread in Grey after the teens.

     Burroughs of course transposed his social and religious conflicts to Mars,  Pellucidar and his vision of Tarzan’s Africa where they were fought  on an allegorical level much in the style of Jonathon Swift.

     Grey on the other hand transposed the problem to an earlier period in the American West where he avoided the problem of foreign activities concentrating on culture clashes of Mormonism, cattle and sheep ranching and matters of the like.  He’s an acute observer of the Mexican-American clash also.  Thus the Mormon-Gentile clash of mid-nineteenth century could be compared to the Jewish-Gentile confrontation of the teens which Grey would have been facing but would have been unable to discuss without being labeled an anti-Semite or bigot.

     Both writers could also translate social problems into psychological terms as they did.  Both men suffered from a fair degree of emasculation which is most notably represented in Grey’s work especially the three of his novels under consideration.

     In The Mysterious Rider he examines the same Animus problems that he did in Riders Of The Purple Sage but under different conditions.

     His protagonist, Hell Bent Wade of Mysterious Rider, answers to that of Lassiter In Riders.  Wade possessed a violent and ungovernable tempter as a young man which led him to murder his wife and a man he mistakenly believed to be her lover.  Discovering his error he brought his temper under control becoming mild mannered like Lassiter but helpful and with more character; still his youthful reputation follows him, blighting his life.

     Wilson Moore may be seen as another version of Venters while the Mormon Animus is represented by the rancher, Bill Bellounds and his son Jack.  His Anima figure in this story is an orphan girl named Columbine, Collie, as after the flower.

     Old Bill Bellounds (Hounds Of Hell?) is a big rancher in Colorado who took Columbine ( in good conscience I can’t call her Collie, which is the name of a dog) in as a child and raised her as his own.  This is a recurring motif in Grey.  Now he wants her to marry his son Jack.  Jack is no good.  Bad man.  As an Animus figure he is the wild ungoveranble aspect.  He is crazed having no behavioral controls.

     Columbine is placed between what she considers her duty to the man she had always known as dad and her own desire which is a love for Wilson or Wils Moore.

     Moore is just the opposite of Jack Bellounds.  He is gentle, sensitve, conscientious, hard working, kind, loving, just an all around great guy of the emasculated Animus sort.  Grey, who has all the attributes of the emasculated man, including the middle hair part,  may have thought of him as a sort of self-portrait.  Grey always holds up as his model of the virtuous man the long suffering type who endures injustices to the point of being crippled or even killed before he retaliates, if he does.

     In this case Wilson Moore is crippled for life by Jack Bellounds with barely even a thought of self-defense.  Hell Bent Wade, the protagonist who had the ungovernable temper as a youth, a reformed Lassiter, is now feminized to the point where he is willing to serve as a male nurse.

     Thus he nurses Moore back to physical health, but mutilated, while he keeps Moore’s mind straight.

     He is unable to do anything with Jack Bellounds who although he wants to win the love of Columbine is incapable of reforming.  His drinking and gambling lead him into a situation where he is rustling cattle from his father.

     A showdown occurs between him and Hell Bent in which by giving Jack every chance he is shot by Jack while at the same time killing the latter.  We are expected to admire this self-sacrifice.  Thus Wils and Columbine are united.  Mutilated virtue prevails.

     Grey always manages an interesting tale with good detailing so the reading of the novel as OK qua story but written after the Great War it is evident that Grey is hauling up nuggets from an exhausted mine.

     The appeal of the story for Burroughs seems clear as it is a virtual symbolic retelling of his courtship of Emma.  Alvin Hulbert, Emma’s father favoring another suitor who was quite privileged, while denying ERB the house, the crippling struggle with the suitor in Toronto and the eventual successful denouement as Emma chose him over the other ‘owner’s son’ and the marriage.

     Published in magazine form in 1919 and in book form in 1921 its appearance coincided with a low period in ERB’s life as represented in Tarzan And The Golden Lion and Tarzan And The Ant Men.  This was also the period when when Warner Fabian’s ‘Flaming Youth’ appeared followed by the apparently sensational movie.  The book, which is in ERB’s library and, the movie made a terrific impression on him.

     As this is one of only two Grey books still in his library when it was catalogued we must assume that he felt the content was applicable to himself.  Other than that I found the novel of negligible value.

     Now let us turn to The Rainbow Trail which was the other Grey novel in ERB’s library.  This will be a fairly signifcant book.

 

    

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