Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

A Review

Thuvia, Maid Of Mars

Part III-B


R.E. Prindle

     ERB was born in 1875 before education had been affected by the ideologies of either the Communists or Dewey.  He was given a Classical versus scientific education in his critical Jr. High years.  Thus he must have known Latin reasonably well.

     The current High School system of the US came to fruition only during the twentieth century.  Universal literacy only became realizable a very short time ago.  Child labor didn’t disappear until after the Second World War.  Thus ERB really had a favored childhood.  ERB must have been familiar with memorization and drill; methods of education now highly discouraged.  Therefore his education was directed toward a full consciousness than sink into the inherently criminal unconscious which Communist method prevails today.  As there was no audio-visual culture at that time his was a print mentality through say 1910 when the movies began to have significance.  By 1920, at least, he was fully involved in a print-movie culture hence a more unconscious mode of thinking.  Still, his early training led him to a conscious approach to experiencing and analyzing.

     One can’t know for sure which year he became aware but it is safe to assume 1888-90.  Thus his immediate past extended back to about 1850 just as for me the twenties and thirties form my immediate past.  Yours can be computed as about twenty years before you were born.  As we grow up these years form the topic of discussion we overhear from our elders.

     ERB’s near past then can be calculated as about 1800 so that dying in 1950 as he did his life straddled, as it were, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The nineteenth century was quite stunning in its diversity.  As a boy and young man ERB was alive at the time of ‘the winning of the West.’  His early life was lived in the high tide of ‘Western world supremacy.’  His heroes such as Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wister epitomized the high tide.  The ‘Scramble For Africa’  of the last quarter of the nineteenth century formed the centerpiece of his literary corpus, that of Tarzan Of The Apes.  Also a key to his world outlook was the American Civil War that ended only ten years before he was born.  While I have found no direct evidence of the San Domingo Moment that occurred at the very beginning of the nineteenth century it is possible that he conflated San Domingo with the Civil War in the Martian series when the First Born, or Negroes, defeated the White Holy Therns nearly exterminating them.  Thus while ERB’s works are ‘pure entertainment’ if you look closely you’ll find some serious historical and social commentary.  If it weren’t there you wouldn’t have the Liberal Coalition condemning him as a bigot.  They do.

     For the purposes of this essay I will use a professor from Case-Western Reserve by the name of Richard Slotkin as a representative of the Liberal Coalition or Communist school.  In his essay Gunfighter Nation he lays the blame for everything he dislikes at the feet of Burroughs and two other writers- Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard.  We will get there soon enough but first lets consider the ‘humanitarian’ record of the Coalition.  In one form or another the Coalition and its constituents date back to the French Revolution and hence San Domingo.  Thus the Coalition was born in blood and murder.  Murder on a grand scale, genocide in fact.   The ideology of the Coalition is that of the Communists.  The men Slotkin so roundly condemns are all anti-Communists so the ideological differences are clear.

     Over the two centuries plus since the Revolution over a hundred million people have been murdered by units of the Coalition with hundreds of millions more projected for the near future.  Yet Mr. Slotkin proposes to represent our trio as indescribably evil because he attributes the My Lai Massacre in Viet Nam not to them personally but as a direct result of their writings.

     So there we have the basic issues.  The hypocrisy of Mr. Slotkin should be self-evident.

     What was the opinions of Messers Burroughts, Grant and Stoddard that so inflame Mr. Slotkin?

     Quite simply they are conscious, objective scholars as opposed to the unconscious method of Liberal writers.  Liberal views are products of the unconscious and cannot stand up to critical analysis.  The unconscious is selfish and criminal hence wishful.  The attitude is not what is but what I want.

     The high tide of Western world supremacy was ending as it was cresting.  This was noticeable to more acute intellects as early as 1900 and perhaps a decade earlier.  Burroughs hints at this when he describes the Lotharians as an ancient auburn haired White race who ruled a thalassocracy or a maritime empire.  Thus in his hierarchy of Martian races there was an earlier White race than the Therns.

     The Lotharians sailed forth to win Mars for the city at home much as European mariners won the world for Europe beginning with the Portuguese voyages of the fifteenth century,  Columbus and all the sea captains of the glorious age of discovery.  The seamen were only defeated by the stay-at-homes who sabotaged their efforts.

     Burroughs gives a valid interpretation of the age of European exploration and conquest from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries.  Thus the story of the Lotharians, now shadows of their former selves, is a very poetic rendering of that history.

     The period ended with the 1899-1900 enunciation of the Open Door Policy in China by the American SecretaryOf State, John Hay.  China was in the process of being acquired by the European States at the time which the Open Door prevented thus guaranteeing China’s integrity.  This was a sea change in world politics.  the conquered peoples now began their counter offensive against the West.

      This change was noted by Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard.

      Madison Grant was of the earlier generation of TR while Burroughs and Stoddard were near contemporaries.  Burroughs born in 1875, Stoddard in 1883.  They both died in the same year, 1950.

     None of the three applauded the sea change but lamented it, running counter to Liberal ideology which applauded the change and latterly aroused the ire of Prof. Slotkin.  Thus he and his Coalition fellows demonize the three.

     They were only writers..  Until recently Grant and Stoddard had been all but forgotten.  Grant’s two best known works are The Passing Of The Great Race of 1915 and Conquest Of A Continent of 1933.  His main offence in the eyes of the coalition is that the Great Race is the Nordic race, which implies superiority, and his use of the term Nordic.  There was a tremendous effort at the time to ridicule and deny Nordics and Anglo-Saxons.  This is most notable in the vitriolic work of the bigot H.L. Mencken.  Nordic is a curse word within the Coalition.

     The Great Race is an interesting period piece but seems obsolete in its science.  Conquest is still usable as a guide for the Nordic migrations within the US.  I think it questionable that Burroughs was influenced by Grant who wrote after ERB had already committed himself although as Great Race made a splash it isn’t improbable that he read it.

     Lothrop Stoddard is a different story.  Here is a scholar done a great injury by the likes of Slotkin and the Coalition.  Stoddard wrote several books that might even be considered prophetic.  As noted he was eight years younger than ERB while graduating from Harvard.  Unlike Grant I think Slotkin is right that he was an influence on Burroughs but only after 1920 when Burroughs was fully formed.  It is possible that ERB accessed his research for his own purposes.

     Stoddard’s first book in 1914 was a terrific examination of the San Domingo Moment titled The French Revolution in San Domingo.  while the book was issued too late to affect ERB’s knowledge for use in Thuvia in 1914 events were transpiring that would have put Haiti, San Domingo’s later name, in his mind’s eye.  Beginning in January of 1914 several US warships landed troops in a very disorderly Haiti.  The bankers had precipitated yet another financial crisis by imprudent lending practices.  As was to become customary they called on the US government to bail them out.  In order to insure their loans the taxpayers were called upon to foot the bill.  The occupation of Haiti by the Marines began the next year and that lasted until well into the thirties before the troops were withdrawn.  Having gotten Haiti into trouble the bankers than looted the country for a couple decades.

     Another interesting sidelight in Haiti and the Caribbean was that 1914 was the year that McClurg’s released Tarzan Of The Apes.  Now, Ogden McClurg the ostensible owner of McClurg’s was only a figurehead.  The company had become employee owned after the last fire about 1900.  Ogden McClurg was living ERB’s fantasy life.  He was an officer in the Navy having spent the decade or so previous to 1914 as an operative in the Caribbean during a period when the US was famous for gunboat diplomacy among the Banana Republics.  It’s possible that he often worked undercover as a secret agent.

     ERB’s contact was Joe Bray who actually ran the day to day operations of the firm.  I’ve been told that McClurg had little to or no contact with the authors and indeed, it seems unlikely he could have being out of the country so much, yet ERB seems to have formed a jealous relationship with McClurg speaking of him as though he did know him.  That could only have been between 1914 and 1917.  Ogden was in Europe for three years or so during the war and after while ERB left for LA in 1919.  Deserves investigation.

     Back to Stoddard.  In 1920, 21 and 22 he issued his three most important books, the ones that so infuriate the volatile Liberal Coalition.  The titles were The Rising Tide Of Color Against White World Supremacy of 1920,  The New World Of Islam of 1921 and 1922’s The Revolt Against Civilization- The Menace Of The Underman.

     All three were prophetic and indeed, as of today, the prophecies have come to pass.  The first volume, The Rising Tide Of Color needs no explanation for the violent reaction of the Coalition.  By this time their agencies of the ADL, AJC and NAACP operating under the umbrella of the Communist Party were well able to defame anyone they chose with immunity from prosecution.

     The mere mention of White Supremacy was enough to make them foam at the mouth.  The reasons are clear and they were already formulated by the Revolution of 1792,  Now, we do have the problem of slavery which casts a pall over all discussions.  There is no justification for slavery although the institution still survives having now spread to America and Europe and it will flower everywhere once again before the century is half over.  So, really, the slavery issue is irrelevant.  ERB himself accepted the practice as a universal fact of life; the practice exists in all his stories.  

     Stoddard:  This analysis applies to the US of today as aptly as that of San Domingo in 1792.  “These men’ are the proto-Communist Jacobins of the French Revolution:

     “If you (the San Domingan Whites) are sufficiently united to follow my counsel, I guarantee the salvation of San Domingo.  But, in any case, let no one cherish the hope of mercy from these men, let no one be deluded by their sly tricks of policy; the negroes alone find room in their affections, and all the whites without distinction, all the mulattoes as well, are doomed; all whites are dangerous to their projects, all alike will be sacrificed as soon as these men shall have disposed of the officers, gotten rid of the troops of the line, and become at last the undisputed masters.”

      As San Domingo in 1792, so Euroamerica in 2010.  We were promised change but none has or will ocuur.  Two hundred years later same words, same tune.  So, Slotkin would have us believe that decent self-respecing scholars and writers such as Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard were responsible for My Lai rather than Robespierre,Danton and Murat.  Well, you can fool some of the people all the time….

     Just as his first of this trio of books prophesied the coming race wars, so Stoddard’s World Of Islam prophesied the current invasion of Euroamerica and the religious wars, for that is what ‘terrorism’ is.  The third book The Revolt Against Civilization has also come to pass as the asault on Western culture, which is to say, civilization continues on an accelerated pace.

     It was this book that had the greatest influence on ERB that would surface in 1934s Tarzan And The Lion Man.  Stoddard is much influenced by the evolutionary theory of Auguste Weis.  Especially the notion of body and germ cells that ERB embraced so enthusiastically  in 1934.  ERB’s interpretation was certainly pure entertainment but based on current scientific knowledge nonetheless.

     As for ERB’s notions he was expressing developed opinions on the social scene under cover of entertainment long before he could have been influenced by either Grant or Stoddard so Richard Slotkin is quite wrong in his prejudicial interpretation of ERB as in ignorant spouter of bigotry based on the other two.

     In fact Slotkin ignores the content of all three men to denounce them as ignorant, uninformed bigots who were nevertheless taken so seriously by gunslinging Americans that by Slotkins own words they caused the My Lai Massacre.   But enough of Slotkin who sabotages his own thesis by confessing to inadequate research.  A much more interesting topic is The Revolt Against Civilization of which it can truly be said that revoltagainst civilization applies to ERB as well as his arch enemies- the Liberal Coalition.

Part III-C will involve civilization and its malcontents.




Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

A Review

Thuvia, Maid Of Mars

Part III-A

What We Have Here Is Change


R.E. Prindle

     In the recent American presidential campaign in the US the winner won by promising the inevitable, Change.  A very safe promise as the history of the world is one of change.  Indeed, the life of the individual is one of unending change from the cradle to the grave.  Change is now and forever.  The question is, what response is made to the changes.

     The times of Edgar Rice Burroughs were a period of the most earth shaking and rapid of all.  At the same time most perilous, as the evolution of actual scientific knowledge in all fields was in its infancy and subject to misinterpretation.  One might say in Burroughsian imagery that a series of doors stood before mankind, entering the right door would be more beneficial than the wrong doors.

     Burroughs and others made tantative moves for the right door but others entered by the wrong door drawing most others through with them.  What looked like progress turned into a regression.  To shut up criticism the regressives began to demonize all those of different opinions.  Burroughs was among those.

      Some say he adapted poorly to the flood of change but the peole who do so are so confident in their opinions that to disagree with them is to be accused of being not only wrong but either criminal or insane.  One doesn’t take their opinions too seriously as change will certainly demonstrate their opinions as ludicrous if it hasn’t already.  Nevertheless as they are quite vocal in their condemnation of Edgar Rice Burroughs we have to consider the accuracy of their accusations as well as that of their own viewpoint.  How well do they understand the issues?

     ERB has some interesting observations on the changes occurring in the history, society and racial matters of his times as well as the concealed role of hypnotism in the transformation of that society.  The basis of hypnotism is suggestion.  As ERB say in Thuvia all is based on suggestion and counter-suggestion.  If one conciders life and learning from that angle it presents some interesting possibilites.

     What is learning?  What is suggestion?

     When the child is conceived he must of necessity have a mind with a blank slate.  Freud, Jung and many others seem to seriously believe that newborns can inherit ancestral memories even though there is no one beyond the womb who has ever recalled any.

     In fact without experience or learning that has has been introjected into the mind there is nothing for the mind to consider, hence no cogitation at all.  This mind can only begin to form with the ejection from the womb.  This occurs with a brain still in the process of formation.  The development of the brain can only be considered completed shortly after puberty.

     It seems obvious then that you can’t get out of a mind what isn’t in it.  It behooves society then to begin loading the mind of a child as soon as the child  is capable of handling education.  The education of the mind must be built step by step to provide a firm foundation for the intellectual superstructure.  Whatever is in the mind must come from or be suggested from outside the mind.  There is no internal system of knowledge.  Thus all knowledge is suggested to the child’s mind by his caretakers.  They may be good or bad, well or ill intentioned.  The brain is organized to receive suggestions or, in another word, experience.  The reactive structure may already be in place dut to experiences in the womb and the actual birthing process but the actual learning process begins the moment the newborn emerges from the womb and receives a slap on the bottom to get his lungs started.

     Thus the mind of the child is extremely malleable during the time until about puberty and shortly thereafter.  If education is neglected during this early period and shortly thereafter it is unlikely that the adult can ever make up the lack.  For instance if the basics or reading, writing and arithmetic are not loaded into the brain during this malleable period it is very rare that the skills can be acquired at a later time.

     Thus, as it was always known that the child is father to the man various doctrinaire organizations such as the Jesuits believed that if they could form the education of the child or, in another word, indoctrinte him, they could shape the future in their own image.  In Burroughs’ time the mechanisms of education were more fully understood.  Various schemes were proposed to revise educational methods many of which were just odd or crude, but the better thought to change the direction of society toward a higher ideal.

     The Communists were well are at the time that suggestion was the basis of education.  Lothrop Stoddard writing in his The Revolt Against Civilization of 1922 quotes Eden and Cedar Paul from their book Proletcult of 1921:

     “There is no such thing as “scientific” economics or sociology.  For these reasons…there should be organized and spread abroad a new kind of education, “Proletcult.”  Thus…in a fighting culture aimed at the overthrow of capitalism and at the replacement of democratic culture and bourgeois ideology by ergatocratic culture and proletarian  ideology…”  The authors warmly endorse the Soviet government’s prostitution of education and all other forms of intellectual activity to Communist propaganda, for we are told that the “new education” is inspired by the “new psychology”, which “provides the philosophical justification of Bolshevism and supplies a theoretical guide for our efforts in the field of proletarian culture…. Education is suggestion.  The recognition that suggestion is auto suggestion, and that auto suggestion is the means whereby imagination controls the subconscious self, will enable us to make a right use of the most potent force which has become available to the members of the human herd since the invention of articulate speech.

     I’m sure you can find appropriate application of the doctrine since Stoddard wrote in education, movies, TV, books and phonograph records and CDs.  While I would disagree with the Pauls’ notion of suggestion and auto suggestion the Freudian influence is quite clear.  This would be abetted by John Dewey’s notions on education that deemphasized the educational foundation while directing it more toward ideological considerations, or ‘relatively unstructured, free, student-directed progressive education.’

     God only knows what free, progressive education is but this sort of social engineering was the wrong turn being taken in this era of rapid change.

     So, loading the brain to deal with life’s exigencies is of necessity a slow process. As the brain continues to develop outside the womb there is plenty of room for malfunction.  As man is incapable of creating anything original the education of the child may be compared to the loading of a computer.  First the operating system.  Whether consciously or unconsciously since all man knows is his own brain he has replicated it in his machine.  A computer functions just like a brain, which should astound no one, as man can only devise what he already knows.

     Now, human experience dates back about a hundred thousand years.  I intentionally leave out the African development as it had nothing to do with the education of mankind.   The African contribution is nil.  Education began outside Africa.  Having painfully and laboriously accumulated the huge fund of knowledge it must be entered into the brain of the new being.  This sort of suggestion is called education.  There’s not much room for anything called ‘free’ or ‘progressive.’  Getting it ain’t going to be free, the child has to work like a mule.  This is a slow, laborious process as extensive foundations must be laid down before any superstructure can rise.  Thus years are consumed just to teach the child reading, writing and arithmetic.  With these three tools he can learn anything else.  Inexplicably this fact seems to have been lost sight of in today’s educational theories unless of course the Pauls’ dictum is being followed.

     Once the foundation has been laid, a form of suggestion and actually hypnosis, the child, now a student, must be taught how to manage and interpret what he learns at an increasingly rapid pace.  Unfortunately there will be children left behind; any other expectation is fatuous, some are just brighter than others.  Managing and interpreting comes from within the experience of the organism.  Here’s the real problem because the same data will by analyzed differently and produce different results and opinions.

     Along with learning factual matters the child must at the same time develop emotionally and psychologically.  Nasty work.  This is a difficult part.  As the child has little ability to understand and even less ability to accurately analyze it he has to reason from faulty premisses.  This ignorance of reality is what forms Freud’s notion of the unconscious or Id.  Correcting this unconscious to consciousness is the conversion of Freud’s Id to Ego.  A child misinterprets suggestions.  Some become fixated in his un- or subconscious.  The fixations are what distort consciousness from the subconscious interfering with the integration of the subconscious and the conscious.  While the child is made more conscious in his ability to understand and reject harmful suggestions these fixations like post-hypnotic suggestions control his responses.  The fixations must be exorcised which is the intended function of the psychoanalysis of Freud and Jung.

     Once again, suggestion is everything outside your mind.  Your mind cannot function without these suggestions because there will be nothing in the mind to function.  Be carefull of what you put into your mind or, at least, that you do put something of value into it.  Whether ERB realized this or not, his ideas of hypnosis and suggestion indicate he might have, he pursued a program of continuing education all his adult life.  At the time of writing Thuvia he was working through Edward Gibbons’ Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, a vast minefield of amazing and truly educational suggestion.

Part B follows.


Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

A Review

Thuvia, Maid Of Mars

Part II


R.E. Prindle


     Apparently at this time in his life ERB’s mind was focused on hypnotism.  The raison d’ etre of the novel seems to be his explanation of hypnotism and some of its effects.  He certainly makes a fascinating story of the phenomenon.  In fact the whole story concerns hypnotism with a few embellishments to get Carthoris and Thuvia to Lothar and once he’d exhausted the possibilities of his hypnotic theme he ended the story and even then he ends on a wild hypnotic note.

     Thuvia was his fourth Mars novel and his first without John Carter.  The hero is Carthoris the son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris.  ERB’s father, George T. had died about a year previous to the writing.  This novel was written shortly after The Lad And The Lion.  As it includes a scene of psychological rebirth it may be a declaration of independence from his father, severing the relationship more denfinitely than did Lad. 

     On entering the land of the Lotharians Carthoris passes through a cave quite similar to the birth canal.  There are Banths, Martian lions, before and one huge one behind him.  Those before seem to vanish while the one large Banth remained behind him; that would be the memory of his father and the past.  Carthoris placed himself in a posture of defense in the dark but the charging Banth passed to his side missing him much as a ghost from the past might do.  Thus ERB seems to dispense with the Old Looney aboard ship in The Lad And The Lion who did represent ERB’s dad.

     Thuvia had been kidnapped by a disappointed suitor who had her taken to Aanthor, one of the innumerable dead cities lining the shores of the vanished seas.  There she was captured by the Green Men who fled through the cave to Lothar.  There Carthoris and Thuvia are delivered to the scene of the action by ERB.

     Carthoris then finds Thuvia in the possession of the Green Men who are waging a gigantic battle against the Phantom Bowmen of Lothar, themselves aided by large prides of both phantom and real Banths.

     Piles of Green Men killed by little arrows lie about amongst legions of Bowmen who have been cut down, and still they stream through the city gates.  Carthoris who has gotten to the side of Thuvia and she marvel at the carnage.  They turn to watch the defeated Green Men flee.  When they look back they are astonished to see that the dead Bowmen have all disappeared while the dead Green Men no longer have phantom arrows sticking in them.  The pair are at a loss for an explanation.  The Banths however were real and were now gorging themselves on the remains of the Greenies.

     As a nice touch ERB has Thuvia essentially hypnotize the Banths.  Rather than fear them as Carthoris does she merely makes a low melodic warbling sound that so charms the Banths that they come fawning before her.

     This may seem improbable or even impossible and yet I have seen it done but with house cats.  What can be done with one size cat I’m sure can be done with all sizes.  The effect was quite astonishing with the woman I saw do it but the result was exactly as ERB describes it.  Apparently he’d seen it done too.  ERB thus establishes the ability of Thuvia that will be even more important soon.

     Thus they gain access to the city of Lothar by passing through the Banths with safety.  As a nice touch ERB gives Lothar an exotic round gate that rolls back into a slot.  Perhaps he had seen a house with such a door somewhere.  Once inside they meet the Lotharian Jav who begins to unfold the story while unfolding the hypnotic power of the mind.

     If ERB had read H. Rider Haggard’s Cleopatra that deals quite extensively with hypnotism in a scenario somewhat similar to this one Haggard may have been another source for Thuvia.  Quite possibly ERB had ingested and digested his earlier reading so that he wasn’t aware of how close he was to the originals.  After all, anyone who could learn of Numa, the Roman King, from his Jr. High studies and think he had invented the name Numa for the king of beasts twenty years later, which he says is what happened, probably could think he was inventing his details himself.

     Many strange phenomena appear to the pair on their way to the palace of the despot who was named Tario.  They see marching files of Bowmen who appear and disappear.  But the Bowmen are not real they are a projection of the mind of Tario who has hypnotized the pair into seeing what isn’t there.

     While it is clear that ERB is quite familiar with Homer’s Odyssey it isn’t quite so clear what he knows of Homer’s Iliad or Greek mythology in general.  One hesitates to give him too much knowledge and yet elements from the Iliad and Greek mythology seem to materialize before one’s eyes like the Phantom Bowmen of Lothar.

     One can’t know whether ERB read the Iliad more than once and whether that once was in the seventh or eighth grade.  How much he understood of an early reading like that would be questionable.  I first read the Iliad in the seventh grade but got nothing but impressions of the action from it.  The gods, goddesses and humans were very confusing.   Lot of boy and girl stuff that was well beyond my experience.  I have read the book seven times in various translations since.  It was only in the fifth, sixth and seventh readings that I began to develop what I would consider any real understanding of Homer’s message.

     One of the things I understand is that the Iliad is a story about the power of mind and its limitations.  Zeus, of course had the mind of ultimate power that gave him the advantage over mortals and the other gods.  Tario in Thuvia has the most powerful mind in Lothar which keeps him in authority over the few permanent emanations in Lothar.  But, these are all figments of his or someone’s imagination.

     It seems that long generations before the women had all died out leaving only the men who over a period of time would also have died out but they survived by being able to imagine themselves.  Here we have a possible reference to Poe’s  The Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar.  In that story Valdemar was a dying man who was first hypnotized and then expired.  Being under hypnosis while alive he could not actually die as he was hypnotized alive.  This is somewhat the condition of the Lotharians.

     Taking hypnosis a step further ERB posits that there are phantom ‘realists’ who believe they can wish themselves into a permanent corporeal existence of which Jav is one.  Opposed to them are the phantom ‘etherealists’ represented by Tario who believe they must remain imaginary.

     Getting back to Greek mythology in which we do know that ERB was read the ‘realists’ believe that they have to eat so they conjure up ‘ephemeral fruits’ on which to gorge themselves.

      Ephemeral fruits make their appearance in the myth of Typhon and Zeus.  So there is a possibility that Jav and Tario is a version of that myth.  Hera in her squabbles for supremacy with Zeus conjures up the monster Typhon to take on Zeus.  Typhon makes mincemeat of Zeus removing his sinews and bones and placing them in a leather bag in a cave in Caria.   Sad plight for the Big Fella with the all powerful mind and no sinews.  Worse yet, as a god he is immortal so there he and his all powerful mind are in his sack perhaps for all eternity.

     While Apollo and Hermes come to the Big Guy’s aid by putting the dry bones back together and reattaching the sinews the nymphs feed Typhon ‘ephemeral fruit’ that looks like the real thing but lacks nourishment.  Thus when Zeus is reassembled and ready for action he faces an enfeebled Typhon who this time he easily defeats.  Great story when you think about it.  So there you have two stories reflected that ERB may or may not have read  but having read them probably didn’t consciously remember them as he was writing.  I can’t guarantee ERB read those stories but I can state with assurance that ERB just didn’t make this stuff up.  He never does; it all has been suggested  from someplace.  It is not impossible that he heard similar stuff from Baum and the Theosophists in California.  ERB does have a retentive memory that provides him with a lot of material.

     Thuvia and its successor Martian novel- The Chessmen Of Mars- are an examination of mind and matter.  The later Mastermind of Mars and the Synthetic Men Of Mars are examinations of the application of mind to matter.  In the Chessmen the mind and body were separate entities.  It will be remembered that the Kaldanes were also skilled hypnotists.

     Here ERB is interested in a projected reality, in itself a form on insanity in an unbalanced mind.  PP 66-67, Ace paperback:

     Jav speaking: “(The Banths) that remained about the field were real.  Those we loosed as scavengers to devour the bodies of the dead Torquasians.  This thing is demanded by the realists among us.  I am a realist.  Tario is an etherealist.

     “The etherealists maintain there is no such thing as matter- that all is mind.  They say that none of us exists, except in the imagination of his fellows, other than as an intangible, invisible mentality.

     “According to Tario, it is but necessary that we all unite in imagining that there are no dead Torquasians beneath our walls, and there will be none, nor any need for the fierce scavenging banths.”

     ‘You, then do not hold to Tario’s beliefs?”  asked Carthoris.

     “In part only,” replied the Lotharian.  “I believe, in fact I know, that there are some truly ethereal creatures.  Tario is one, I am convinced.  He has no existence except in the imaginations of his people.

     “Of course, it is the contention of all us realists that all etherealists are but figments of the imagination.  They contend that no food is necessary nor do they eat, but anyone of the most rudimentary intelligence must realize that food is a necessity to creatures having actual existence.”

     “Yes,” agreed Carthoris,  “not having eaten today I can readily agree with you.”

     “Ah, pardon me,”  exclaimed Jav.  “Pray be seated and satisfy your hunger,” and with a wave of his hand he indicated a beautifully laden table that had not been there an instant before he spoke….”It is well,”  continued Jav, “that you did not fall into the hands of an etherealist, then indeed, you would have gone hungry.”

     An interesting passage laden with humor and a joke or two.  On the one hand this is a takeoff on Bishop Berkeley and those who believe that nothing is real but only a figment of our imaginations.  They do believe that when you close your eyes the world ceases to exist.  I could never follow the argument, and on the other hand the ideas can be construed as a variation on the Theosophical belief that the gods were first ethereal becoming more materialistic as existence descended to man who is most material.  Thus Tario is visible air, as it were, as an ethereality while Jav is condensed into, as he believes, permanent air/matter while Carthoris and Thuria are solid matter as humans.

     The food Jav produces is ephemeral food.  It looks real but having no real substance has no nourishment.  As he smirkingly says:  It is well that you did not fall into the hands of an etherealist.  Then, indeed, you would have gone hungry.”  A funny joke.  But Jav has hypnotized the pair into seeing the food even though Carthoris is not so hypnotized as to not realize it is not real food.  He eats it anyway.

     Once in this land where nothing is real but the Banths, one wonders that we don’t have a situation that was replicated later in the movie The Manchurian Candidate.   In that movie the hypnotized soldiers imagine they are at a ladies social and actually see American women where Korean people are.

     Perhaps Carthoris and Thuvia are standing in an empty field talking to themselves.  Perhaps the Lotharians exist only in their own imaginations but have conjured Carthoris and Thuvia out of thin air.  Pretty spacy stuff.

     As Carthoris is hypnotized he is easily persuaded to do things he wouldn’t ordinarily do such as letting Thuvia be led away alone to Tario.  He does and Thuvia meets Tario alone mystyfied that Carthoris would let her out of his sight.    Seeing Thuvia the etherealist’s phantom cojones  are aroused and he makes an all out assault on Thuvia.  As he doesn’t exist, of course, the assault can only have force in Thuvia’s imagination.  Just as those little arrows the Torquasians believed were real killed them one wonders what effect a phantom penetration  would have on Thuvia.  Would she have a little phantom child after a phantom pregnancy?

     We’ll never know because she pulls out her thin blade stabbing Tario to his phantom heart.  He falls apparently dead seemingly oozing out his lifeblood.  But, as we know he is an etherealist hence only a figure of someone’s imagination we know he must be feigning death with phantom blood.

     Hearing Thuvia’s screams Carthoris races to the rescue followed by Jav.  Jav, who should have known better, is overjoyed confessing his desire to replace Tario.  It was almost like a plan.  Tario leaps up explaining he always thought Jav did and now he is going to execute him.

     Here ERB evades the issue taking a cheap but effective way out.  These two guys are actually magicians and should be made to match powers in efforts to do the other in.  ERB isn’t up to it so he has Jav cave just awaiting his fate that he could always evade with his hypnotic powers.  Now, we’ve all been advised not to trust our senses so whether any of this happened is open to question.  Nevertheless a hole opens in the floor, the floor dishes so that all falls into the memory hole.  The three are ostensibly history.

     They are precipitated into the chamber of the Lotharian god.  One might expect this god to be pure essence but instead he is pure matter.  As so often is the case a Burroughsian god turns out to be a lion or the Martian Banth.  Why Jav should be concerned isn’t clear as he has no real substance and can’t be eaten while with his hypnotic powers he could make the Banth believe it was a mouse.

     Carthoris draws his sword but this one’s a piece of cake for Thuvia.  Using her own particular hypnotic talents she charms the Banthian god and all four walk out through the Banth’s quarters as chums. 

     At this point Jav calls into existence old Lothar for us all to see. 

     Outside the gates of Lothar Jav conceives a desire for Thuvia.  Using considerable hypnotic talent he persuades Carthoris that he and Thuvia are heading for the woods.  Carthoris walks off alone convinced he is leading Thuvia by the hand.   He is soon disillusioned.  Returning he finds the realist Jav really mauled by the Banth and dying.  Thuvia and the Banth have headed back to Aanthor.  Carthoris has no choice but to follow.


     Now, what’s been going in addition to this hypnosis stuff is ERB’s ongoing attempt to reconcile his Anima and Animus.  He has followed the usual Pyche and Eros storyline of Apuleius’ Golden Ass of Greek mythology.  The Anima and Animus get together, circumstances separate them, then during the rest of the novel they try to get together amid difficulties, finally succeeding.

     In Lad And The Lion ERB introduced the lion as his totem.  Even though a male lion it is associated with his  female Anima.  At the risk of repeating myself, just in case anybody has been reading this stuff for the last four or five years the cause and evolution of his dilemma progress thusly:

     In 1883 or 1884 ERB was terroized on a street corner by a young thug he identifies only as John.  Possibly Emma was with him and kept walking abandoning him to his fate.   Thus it was suggested to his subconscious that his Anima had abandoned him.  John being the terrorist filled the vacancy.  Thus ERB had the seemingly impossible anomaly of a male representing his female Anima.

     We know this was the result because ERB writes incessantly about it.  In the Outlaw of Torn the king’s fencing master, De Vac lures young Prince Norman/Burroughs outside the gate.  Norman’s nurse Maud representing his Anima noticing too late rushes to the scene to be struck down dead by De Vac.  Thus ERB’s Anima is murdered.  How does ERB handle this?  In his dream image ERB has De Vac take Norman to London where they live in the attic of a house over the Thames River.  The house is a symbol for self, the attic being the mind.  Water is a symbol of the female.  The house extending out over the water but separated from it indicated the separation from the Anima.  To compensate for the impossible situation of a male on the Anima, De Vac improbably dresses as a woman for the three years they live together in their attic.  At the end of the novel Norman/Burroughs kills De Vac.

     In the succeeding novel The Mucker he associates himself with the Irish thug Billy Byrne.  Byrne being paired up with the socialite Barbara Harding  is also an impossible match.  It would seem probable that ERB’s father and John were two of the components clothing ERB’s Animus.  Thus ERB has this very strong feeling about having a dual personality that he talks about constantly.

     In Lad And The Lion we have the improbable situation of a powerless ship, representing the self,  drifting up and down the Atlantic endlessly, manned by the deaf and dumb Old Looney, the Lad, and a Lion in a cage on deck.  That the Old Looney who represents ERB’s father was deaf and dumb probably indicates he wouldn’t listen to ERB and had nothing to say that the Lad/ERB wanted to hear.  So, the Lad was brutally abused the whole of his childhood.  That’s how ERB saw the Bad Father.  It would seem that John Carter represents the Good Father as ERB would have liked him to have been.

     With De Vac and John dead the Lion begins to take his place as the male aspect of ERB’s Anima which has now been reoccupied by a female reprsentative.   The male lion becomes a permanent aspect of the Anima in 1922s Tarzan And The Golden Lion as Jad-Bal-Ja.  In Lad he and the Lion go ashore after the death of the Old Looney, or, in other words, his father, where the lion is loosely associated with the Arab princess Nakhla.  Lad was written a short two months before Thuvia.

     Now Thuvia wows Carthoris/ERB by charming the raging Banths/lions of the battlefield and the Lotharian God.  Thuvia and the god become as one as she walks by his side her fingers twisted in his mane.  So the traditional goddess of the male Anima is united with a male god to form ERB’s Anima.  The female Anima who moved closer to reassuming her place in Lad now definitely becomes part of ERB’s psyche.

     They pass through the tunnel before Carthoris.  As ERB exits the tunnel he encounters his doppelganger Kar Komak.  This is great stuff actually.  Komak is literally a new man.  He was the first successful materialization of an hypnotic imaginary man of the Lotharians.  That’s likely enough, isn’t it?

     He comes running through the scarlet furze, naked, to greet Carthoris.  Well, picture that.  Nakedness is something else appearing regularly in ERB”s works most notably in Tarzan And The City Of Gold.  (See my review.)

     The duo then continue on to Aanthor where as they arrive they are met by Torquasians who upset the plans of the men of Dusar who had come back to pick up Thuvia.  We know that Carthoris for sure represents ERB because he takes a sword swipe to the forehead that lays him out.  Thus the novel has the obligatory bash to the head recalling ERB’s adventure in Toronto.

     When the sleeper wakes he finds the dead carcass of Thuvia’s lion lying half across his body.  Probably his left half that derives from the ovum.  Must have been uncomfortable to say the least.  Thus the male half of his Anima is now dead and the female half in possession of the Dusarians.  ERB gets her back and as in Psyche and Eros the Anima and Animus we may assume are permanently reunited.

     Not quite but that will take us too far afield to discuss it this moment.  I deal with the future development of the problem in my reviews of Out There Somewhere (The Return Of The Mucker), Bridge And The Oskaloosa Kid (The Oakdale Affair) and Marcia Of The Doorstep.

     A Part 3 will follow that attempts to deal with the bigotry charges against Burroughs.  If there is such a thing as guilt concerning the issue, ERB is not guilty, of course.