Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs And The Anima And Animus

by

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

Bad Blood In  The Valley Of The Hidden Women:

Thoughts On Riders Of The Purple Sage And The Rainbow Trail

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, III.  Erbzine 2005

Zane Grey

Intro.

     Anton and I had never read Zane Grey before reviewing the library of Edgar Rice Burroughs as published on ERBzine by Mr. Hillman.  Nor probably would we have but for the Bill Hillman series of articles comparing Zane Grey and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Anton and I dismissed any such connection as being relevant but then Prindle read The Rainbow Trail and said we should check it out.  Prindle is a close friend of ours; a little on the independent side but alright.

     Grey refers to The Rainbow Trail as a continuation of The Riders Of The Purple Sage so Anton, he’s a psychologist became intrigued by the manner in which Grey treated aspects of the Anima and Animus.  We both then read Riders in which we discovered a full blown theory of the Anima and Animus.

     It should be noted here that Grey had passages excised by his editors that they thought dealt too explicitly with the sexual aspects of the Anima and Animus while reducing the commerical viability of the story.  The unexpurgated version of the story was published under the title The Desert Crucible in 2003. I have the Leisure Historical Fiction edition in mass market paperback.

     Grey’s ideas were presented in a very pure manner with complete and intact symbolism so there could be no mistaking that Grey was presenting a well thought out theory.  Anton became very excited as he said Grey’s theory certainly rivaled the ideas of Freud and Jung and must have been developed independently of their thought much as Burrughs’ ideas of psychology were.

     Although Riders Of The Purple Sage wasn’t among the books listed by Hillman as being in the Library we have to assume that Burroughs read it along with a number of other Grey titles although he must have found Rainbow Trail and The Mysterious Rider the tales of Grey he found most significant for his needs.  We will assume that this is so. To understand The Rainbow Trail originally titled The Desert Crucible which was in ERB’s library it is necessary to also review Riders Of The Purple Sage.

1.

     Grey in this book examines the nature of the Animus and the Anima  of the male as well as the relationship between the living male and female.  The micro study of the Anima and Animus is placed in the macro study of Mormon society and law of 1871 versus Gentile society and law.  This is also a study of the nature of religion.

     The Gentiles- I follow Grey’s thought here- Mormons refer to themselves as the Chosen People and ‘others’ as Gentiles- are all of a stricken Anima which paralyzes their Animus while the Mormons have a strong Animus but disturbed by a stricken relation with the Anima which they completely repress not unlike the Jews and Moslems.

     Thus Mormons have a strong affinity with the Semitic religious systems from which they derive their religion in part.  Anton, the psychologist, avers that the problem of the Animus and Anima has been known for at least five or six thousand years. Anton is close to Prindle who is a historian, so much of the historical part comes to Anton through him although Anton is well versed in the history of human consciousness.

    

Edward Borein: Six Riders Of The Purple Sage

 Historically the struggle of the male to come to terms with the X chromosome and the y chromosome or Animus is central to history  and psychology.  During the Matriarchal Age, which is to say a sub- or unconscious age, the X chromosome or Anima ruled the mind of man.  As consciousness evolved and the conscious mind emerged from the subconscious the nature of  the y chromosome or Animus became apparent.  The Patriarchal Consciousness evolved.

     To reconcile or not to reconcile?

     The Egyptians developed their own theories but here we are not concerned with HS II and IIIs and the Semites.  Suffice it to say that the Semites borrowed from the Egyptians while adding very little of their own.  If one reads the story of Psyche and Eros in Apuleius’ The Golden Ass one will have a good general introduction to the HS II and III point of view as expressed in Grey’s Gentile characters such as Lassiter and Venters.  As said the Mormons reflect the Semitic view on women.

     The Semites on the other hand, exaggerted the importance of the Animus in favor of suppressing or subordinating the Anima which has been passed on to the HS IIs and IIIs through the adoption of aspects of the Semitic religions.  In a Hungarian myth of the Christian Era the Anima is portrayed as being entombed in the support of a bridge.  Thus imprisoned on one side of the river or brain it is denied its rightful function.

     The Semitic attitude is reflected in the way the two peoples treat their living females who stand as a symbol and only a symbol of the X chromosome of the male.  In both existing Semitic relgions, the Judaic and the Mohammedan, the females are treated as property no different than cattle.  Some of these attitudes have been temporarily weakened through contact with the HS II and IIIs.  They haven’t gone away or changed.

     The Semitic attitude infiltrated the HS II and III consciousness through their religion which was amalgameted into the HS-Semitic hybrid called Christianity.

     Then in 1930 in the Unied States a man named Joseph Smith created a religion called Mormonism based on the extreme Patriarchal notions of the Semites.  As Grey puts it the religion was based on the notion of ruling women.  Smith devised rules by which women were completely subordinated to the Animus much as in the Hungarian myth while the men were required to take multiples wives.  Smith himself racked up 30 plus.

     According to Grey the women were not happy with the arrangement but in the thrall of religious belief they thought it their god assigned role.

     As polygamy is not part of HS II and III culture Smith and the Mormons came into conflict with constituted society in Smith’s home base of Fayette, New York being driven out.  They encountered the same opposition in their new homes which led finally to Nauvoo, Illinois.  Smith, who apparently overplayed his hand was murdered in 1844.  In 1847 Brigham Young led the new Chosen People from Nauvoo to the Promised Land on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.  By 1871 when Riders takes place they must have multiplied exponentially because they occupy all of Utah and parts of adjacent states.  This prologue of the diptych is placed before the passage of the 1882 law of the United States outlawing polygamy.  The denouement of the novel will take place as the US attempts to stamp out the practice.

     The action of Riders-Trail takes place on the border of Utah and Arizona and parts of adjacent states with the Grand Canyon of the Colorado as a backdrop.

  

Edward Borein: Riders On The Mesa

   As with the other Semitic religions the Mormon Bishops and Elders with untempered Animi have made their will the law.  Thus, according to Grey, the Churchmen have become criminals willing to commit any crime to achieve their personal desires which they equate with the will of God.

     As Riders opens a Mormon woman, Jane Withersteen, against all the rules of Mormon society is living as an independent woman in Cottonwoods on the Utah-Arizona border, Gentile Law on one side, Mormon law on the other.  She does this in defiance of Bishop Dyer (die-er?) who has ordered her to marry and end her independent status.  She has her own duchy among the Mormons owning her own town, the water, aparently several counties, a magnificent bunch of horses (emblematic of the Anima) and six thousand head of cattle divided into two herds, the red and the white.  (emblematic of the male and female.)

     Her independence is a standing affront to the Mormon Elders and Bishops.  Having been ordered to marry Elder Tull as one of his many wives she has no wish to submit to the Bishop’s will.  Read- Will of God.

     These men are not to be balked.  The woman Withersteen has no actual rights under Semitic law.  As these men have a crazed Animus untempered by the acknowledgement of the female principle or Anima which they deny they have lost all sense of justice, or rather, they equate justice with their desires which they believe are supported by divine law.  They are going to use every concealed criminal means to break Jane Witherspoon down.  As their will is law they can’t see the difference between subjective criminal methods and objective legal ones.

     Jane is already having trouble hiring Mormon riders, riders are the same as cowboys in Grey’s lexicon, to manage her herds so she has resorted to hiring Gentiles.

     The Mormons must be seen as a species of Semite and in the Semitic manner they punish Gentiles, or unbelievers as the Moslems would put it, destroying any attempts at their prosperity.  If you read the first few lines of the Koran you will find it plainly stated that unbelievers must be punished.  Hence all the Gentiles are kept uneducated and impoverished.  Jane’s ramrod, is a young Gentile named Bern Venters.  Venters at one time had been a prosperous cattle rancher but the Mormons had emasculated him by lifting his cattle.  Venters was rescued by Jane from complete impoverishment by offering him a job.

     The Elders hate her for this.  They have warned Jane to get rid of him and her other Gentile employees but as a sort of Great Mother figure, an active female principle opposed to their male principle, she has refused.  She is sort of a Matriarchal throwback among these Patriarchs.  As the story opens Elder Tull has dragged Venters out of Jane’s house where Tull gives Venters the choice of hightailing it out of the Territory, Utah being a territory from 1850 to 1895 when it became a State, or being whipped to an inch of  his life.  Now, Tull means this, they are going to whip Venters nearly to death for being a Gentile in Mormonland.

     Having already been emasculated by the lifting of his cattle which, in reality, he couldn’t prevent, Venters now chooses to take the whipping rather than emasculate himself further by hightailing it.  Difficult choice.

Rainbow Bridge

     Tull is about to have him stripped when the Hammer Of The Mormons, Lassiter, appears out of the purple sage riding a blind horse- you heard right- a blind horse.  This guy is Bad Blood personified.  Boy, they’ve heard about him but how.  Black hat, black leather chaps, two massive black handled pistols worn very low, apparently at his ankles, his reputation as a Mormon Killer is well established.  Tull gets the cold shivers just looking at him on his blind horse.  The blind horse probably indicates that at this point Lassiter is oblivious to female charms, the horse being a symbol of the female and he’s riding a blind pony.

     Lassiter makes a few mild mannered inquiries then orders the Mormons to let Venters go.  We’re talking Animus to Animus here, cojones to cojones, whoever backs down is emasculated in relation to the other, and Lassiter’s twin pistols make him the master Animus.  The Mormons have to eat dirt or die.  The Mormons powerful as a collective cannot be so man to man.  Tull gives a hint of throwing an iron on Lassiter but the latter goes into his famous gunslinger’s crouch so he grab one of those guns around his ankles, intimidating the dickens out of the Mormons who retire leaving this field to him while muttering threats that he’d better watch his back.

     As we said, all the Gentiles are stricken in there relationship  between their Animas and Animi.  Between Riders and Rainbow they will be healed.

     Grey handles the symbolism starkly and masterfully.  Jane Withersteen is a masterful Matriarch.  Her independence and relationship to the Gentile men has left the impression that she is sexually loose.  It isn’t clear to the reader whether she is nor not.  She is more the Great Mother rather than the Siren.

     Her role seems to be the womanly one of tempering the raging Animus of the male.  While she has no effect whatsoever on the Mormon men she is successful in emasculating the stricken Gentiles.  She had persuaded Venters to abandon his six gun which made it possible for Elder Tull to seize him while it was only Lassiter’s two black handled six pistols that freed him.

     In a rather sexually explicit scene Jane would stand in front of Lassiter to seize a gun in each hand in an attempt to dissuade him from carrying them thus emasculating him.  This at a time when Mormons were trying to gun him down.  Her role seems to be one of civilizing society although her method seems backward.

     Lassiter is a wronged individual seeking his personal justice in a vengeful way.  He has shot up several Mormon towns being now known as a Mormon slayer or, in other words, the equivalent of an anti-Semite.

     The reason for his anti-Semitism is that a Mormon kidnapped his sister, Millie Erne, holding her captive until she consented to become one of his wives.  Hint, hint. Her remains are buried on Jane Withersteen’s property.

 

Edward Borein: Lassiter on his blind horse?

    Lassiter’s horse was blinded when men held it down then placed a white hot iron alongside the eyes searing them.  The horse as a female mother symbol represents Lassiter’s striken relationship with his Anima.

     If one reads this novel in a literal sense then many of its incidents are improbable if not ridiculous.  What notorious gunslinger would ride a blind horse?  Grey has been criticized for wooden characters which is womewhat unjust.  These are archetypal characters who are fully developed and can’t change.  As allegories there is no need to change.  This is mythology.

     The Mormons lift Jane’s red herd.  This may represent her female Animus as in iconography the male is usually represented as red while the female is white.  They next try to stampede her white herd by devious means which they believe are undetectable such as flashing a white sheet from a distance.  As a Chosen People they even have to convince themselves that what happens was not caused by them but was the will of God.

      Lassiter notes this taking Jane with him to show her.  As they watch the cattle begin to stampede.  Three thousand on the hoof they stream down the valley.  Lassiter on his blind horse races full speed down the slope, obviously no blind horse could do this, out on the flat to single handedly mill the cows.  As the lead cows enter the center of spiral Lassiter disappears in the dust.  He emerges sans horse to appear before Jane:  ‘My horse got kilt.’ he announces.  Jane’s response is ‘Lassiter, will you be my rider?’  Pretty clear sexually I think.  Not exactly changing horses in midstream but obviusly the transition from a blind horse to a sighted jane is an improvement in Lassiter’s relationship with his Anima.  ‘You bet I will Jane.’  Lassiter promptly and positively responds.

     Whether you want to consider this stuff  ‘high literature’ or not read properly it is not much different from the Iliad or Odyssey.

     As a mother figure Jane is a keeper of  horses, a symbol of the mother and female.  The blinding of Lassiter’s horse was the equivalent of separating him from the mother figure.  Jane not only has a full stable of  horses but she has the prized horses Night, Black Star and Wrangler.  As Grey makes clear these are the devil’s own mounts.  In the big chase scene Grey has Wrangler close to breathing flames as he compares the horse to the devil.

     The Mormons steal Jane blind while she refuses to allow Lassiter to defend either himself or her.  Seems to be the Great American Dilemma even today.

      Remember this is a war between Gentiles and Semites qua Mormons.  The Gentiles hands are stayed while the Semites are allowed to run wild.  Maybe Grey is making a social comment.  Also remember that Jane is a Mormon so that while she is powerless to control her own aging maniac men the only men she can influence are the Gentiles whom she emasculates.  As soon as the emasculated Venters gets away from her while pursuing the rustlers he immediately begins to revert to full manhood.

     The Mormons set both Mormon men and women to steal from her.  They take her bags of gold, this woman is prodigal, rich, her deeds and anything of value.  They steal her six thousand cows.  They want to kill Lassiter, dozens of Mormons lurk in the cottonwood groves (female places) but something stays their hands; they can’t shoot him either from behind or in front.

     The only thing Jane worries about is her horses.  Black Star and Night.  It is possible that in this instance Jane represents the moon goddess.  Finally the Mormons steal these symbols of her power.  The independent woman is now completely violated.  She has a man who could shoot down all the Mormons in Utah but she won’t let him use his guns.

     So why should we care?

2.

Edward Borein: The Three Caballeros

     The myth switches to an alternate plot.  Young Bern Venters goes in search of the rustler gang.  Once again, Jane attempts to emasculate her men by pleading with Venters not to go, to stay beside her.  Why anyone would want to hang around such a loser woman isn’t clear.

     Venters goes in search of the rustler gang which is led by a man named Oldring.  Old Ring.  I’m sure the name has significant meaning but I can’t place it.  The wind soughing through the caves is known as Old Ring’s Knell.  Even though Oldring’s gang consists of a couple dozen men who have punched a herd of three thousand red cows they have somehow left no trail. Over all the years they have been rustling and pillaging there is no one who has been able to find this robber’s roost.

     Venters has traced them to the foot of a waterfall where he loses track.  While he is mulling this over a group of desperadoes return from pillaging plodding up the stream.  Lo and behold they ride right through the waterfall into yet another hidden valley.  Big enough to hold three thousand head of cattle.  The West was a big country.

     Venters rides off to relate this discovery to Jane and Lassiter when he encounters a despearado with the famous Masked Rider, reputed to have shot down dozens of men.  He is dressed from head to toe in black wearing a black mask.  This Rider is credited with shooting down any Mormons Lassiter overlooked.

     Venters takes out his ‘long gun.’  You know how riders despise the long gun or rifle preferring six shooters, and by dint of long practice he shoots the lead rustler dead and wounds the Masked Rider.  While examining the Masked One’s wound he unbuttons the shirt to discover the ‘beautiful swell of a female breast.’  Boy, howdy.  You got it, the Masked Rider is a woman, a mannish girl.  The image of Venter’s Anima.

      Stranded in the desert while trying to nurse this girl back to health Venters chases a rabbit up a slope where he notices ancient steps cut in the rock.  Following these he comes into ‘Surprise Valley.’  Formerly the home of cliff dwellers the place is a vitual paradise, green and verdant.  No one would ever discover him and the Rider there.  Carrying the slight figure of the Rider up hill and down for maybe ten miles or so Venters secretes themselves in the Valley which abounds in game and delightsome frolics.

     About this time I recognized some teen fantasies of my own.  Shooting and wounding a woman while having to tend her wounds in a secluded place where she has to be eternally grateful when healed was just too obvious.  In my case, just after the onset of puberty, I think, when the Anima would be making itself known, I came up with the daydream of having this woman I could keep in a milk bottle until I wanted her.  When I let her out of the bottle she became full sized and did whatever I wanted then she willingly went back into the bottle until the next time I wanted her.

     As a thirteen year old before the advent of universal pornography I didn’t know what I wanted the woman for but I knew it would be fun.  Grey here creates his version of the same fantasy.  The Rider, who turns out to be Bess, apparently has a past.  I say apparently because nearly everyone in this story has an apparent history which turns out to be false.  As a member of the gang she  was thought to have been, um…the piece…of Oldring.  He kept her in a cabin up on a ledge in his valley behind the waterfall.  He was gone a lot so we’re not clear that he ever laid a hand on her but Venters believes she is not ‘pure’ which in his great love for her he is willing to over look but it rankles him.

     If you want to know the wonders of Surprise Valley read the book yourself.  Comes a time when Venters has to go into Cottonwoods for supplies.  There he realizes that he and Bess can’t stay hidden away forever.  He has enough money for supplies obviously but not enough to flee from Mormonland.

     They don’t call it Surprise Valley for nothing.  When he returns Bess hauls out a big bag of gold to give to him.  This must be the treasure that the female brings the male.  The whole several mile length of the river which runs through this valley is lined with pebbles of gold which Bess has collected.  Shades of Opar, huh?  In her girlish gratitude she wants Bern to have the lot.

     ‘Gosh,’ says Bern.  ‘Now I don’t have to get a job.’  (He didn’t put it quite that way.)  ‘We can leave this valley and go far away from Mormonland.’

Edward Borein: Four Navajos Crossing The Desert

     Far away from Mormonland, by the way, is either Quincy or Beaumont (beautiful mountain) Illinois.  Not too far from Nauvoo which was the Mormon stronghold jumping off place for the long march to the Great Salt Lake into the fantastic scenery Grey either describes or imagines.  Certinly the West of Grey’s imagination is as fantastic as anything Burroughs created on Barsoom.

      Even though Grey refers to the desert this is certainly the lushest desert  anyone has ever seen.  The purple sage is the equal to Burroughs red moss of Mars.

     Grey wrote an essay about what the desert meant to him.  His desert with its plentiful water complements his vision of the Anima and Animus.  The desert may answer to Grey’s subconscious which appears to be missing in his analysis of Anima and Animus, so that perhaps the desert stand for the subconscious.

     His desert reminds me of a dream I used to have with some frequency.  In my dream I was walking across this immense barren desert spotted at invervals with small oases in which I wasn’t allowed to remain.  Off in the distance I could see this great brain shaped mountain.  On approaching the mountain I found a small stream of water leading down into the mountain.  As I descended I noticed that the stream ran through a bed of solid salt which rendered the water bitter.

     Descending further the water disappeared beneath a steel chute.  Unable to turn back while unwilling to go further I was nevertheless pushed into the chute where dropping into a steel lined entry I was pushed into a steel walled laundry room as the steel door slammed behind me.  There was plenty of water but no way out.  There was a ventilation shaft along the ceiling of the back wall.  I conceived a plan of drinking to repletion then urinating into the ventilation shaft creating such a smell that they would want to find the source.

     My plan worked.  Three maintenance men opened the door and I dashed out so fast they didn’t know I had been there.  Still in a steel lined area I saw a bank of elevators which would take me back to ground level.  A door opened but the elevator was filled with classmates from my high school who pushed me back refusing to allow me to enter.

     I don’t know how but I gat back to the surface where once again I approached the back side of the mountain which I ascended this time rather than descended.  Now, the mountain was deep in a frozen snow but starting from the low grade at the back I had no trouble climbing, walking on top of the snow.  The sun was shining brightly but all was frozen white.  When I reached the top I found I was standing above the brow of the face of a great idol carved in the snow.  Thousands of feet below terified and intimidated people were kneeling in the desert worshipping the great snow face.  From where I stood I couldn’t see the face but I conceived the notion of destroying the snow god to free the people.  Leaping into the air I came down on the god’s forehead creating an avalanche.  The great face slid away as I descended thousands of feet on a cushion of snow to alight unharmed.

     As I hoped, the destruction of the god freed the minds of the people from the domination of their morose god.  The melting snow created numerous streams watering the desert among which the people danced and sang as the desert bloomed, while I looked on admiringly.

     I don’t know enough about Grey’s background to say how unhappy his childhood had been but since his plot of Riders/Rainbow roughly follows my dream I suspect what the desert meant to him was the barrenness of his early life.  The appeal of the novels to Burroughs must have been of the same order.

     When Venters leaves the Valley Grey begins to lose control of his story.  The clarity and focus of the first half becomes jumbled.  He finally just crams the ending through as Burroughs so frequently does.

    

Edward Borein: The Apaloosa

 Venters, riding Wrangler, crosses trails with the men who stole Night and Black Star from Jane.  A sort of running  joke throughout the novel is whether Wrangler is faster than the two blacks.  Wrangler proves his mettle in this chase overtaking the two even though they were ridden by the best rider on the range, Jerry Card.  Card is sort of a puzzle, at least for me.  His horsemanship was so great that racing at full tilt leading one horse he could keep both horses side by side at full pace; in addition he could hop back and forth from horse to horse.  Whether Grey was making a joke or not, I can’t really tell, he describes Card’s appearance as froglike. Hop-frog of Poe?  Card is a little misshapen runty man.  Whatever Grey had in mind for him he forgot to develop.

     Card abandons the horses as the race ends disappearing into the purple sage.  Wrangler gets away from Venters to be captured by Card.  In a rather spectacular scene Card is trying to guide the horse by biting it on the nose.  He is actually being dragged with his teeth in Wrangler’s nose.  I’m no horseman but I’d really have to have the fine points of this maneuver explained to me.

     Unable to hit the small fragile Card with a rifle shot as rider and horse rode alongside an escarpment rather than let Card get away, Venters shot the horse who leaped off the edge in what Grey describes as a fitting end for the greatest horse and greatest rider of the purple sage.  I can’t follow his reasoning here but he must be trying to say something.

     Venters rides the remaining two horses down the main street of Cottonwoods with apparently no more reason than to enrage Bishop Dyer and Elder Tull and announce in stentorian tones that Jerry Card is dead.  Reminds me of the myth in which it is announced that the great God Pan is dead.

     Venters packs some saddlebags with provisions then, in what seems a comic touch, since Jane’s wonderful stable of horses is now empty, mounts a burro to return to Surprise Valley.  Riding one and leading a string of burros he looks behind him to see if he being followed by men on horses  I presume he would have hopped off the burro and started running.  The burro appears to represent severe emasculation.

     Another essential subplot has been the arrival of a small child still annoyingly gushing babytalk- muvver for mother and oo for you- by the name of Fay Larkin.  Fay is going to be the heroine of the sequel.  She was the daughter of a Gentile woman who died.  The woman asked Jane, who was ever kind to the despised Gentiles, to take the child which Jane did.  She now ‘cannot live without the child.’

     Having stolen everything else of the woman in the name of God, the Mormons now steal Fay.

     This is too much for Lassiter who coldly disregards Jane’s imploring to disregard this insult and injury too, even though a moment before she ‘couldn’t live without the child.’  While it seems that Mormon men emascualte their women, Mormon women in turn emasculate their men.  Maybe that’s what the story is about: the conflict between the sexes.  Lassiter disregards her, strapping on not only his big blacks but an extra brace that he hides beneath his coat.  The extra brace doesn’t figure into the story so it isn’t clear why two gun Lassiter became four gun Lassiter.

     Lassiter shoots the Mormons up pretty good killing Bishop Dyer.  Elder Tull is out of town at the moment.  Lassiter and Jane know they have to get a move on so, packing enough to stagger any ten horses , including bags of gold, they skedaddle riding Night and Black Star.

     Somewhere in here Grey must have become stymied in his story not having the progression to Rainbow Trail figured out.  Something like the odd ending of Burroughs’ Princess Of Mars.  Venters still thinks Bess was Oldring’s girl hence something only his great love for her can make him overlook.  Loading up their burros they leave Surprise Valley.  Out in the purple sage who should appear much as he had at the beginning of the story but Lassiter, this time with Jane.

     It now comes out that Venters thinks Oldring is Bess’ father.  Jane lets out the fact that he had then killed his future wife’s dad.  Bess is revolted at the thought, calling off the wedding.  Lassiter to the rescue.  He produces a locket with a picture of his sister Millie Erne and her husband Frank.  Lassiter explains that Millie was pregnant by Frank when Millie was kidnapped and that Frank Erne is her real father.  The obstacle that had appeared between Venters and Bess now disappears as he hadn’t killed her father, just the guy who reared her.  At the same time Bess is no longer the daughter of a low rustler but of a respectable man.

     But wait, there’s more.  Grey can produce as many twists as Edgar Rice Burroughs.  It was the literary fashion of the day.

     Not only is Bess the daughter of Millie Erne but the Mormon kidnapper of Millie had been no ther than Jane Withersteen’s father.  The ever-forgiving Lassiter, now Uncle Jim to Bess, mutters something like ‘Aw shucks, Jane, I don’t pay thet no nevermind.’  and sister Millie is forgotten.  nearly two decades of bad blood goes up in smoke with a shrug.

     Venters and Bess head off for the safety and security of civilization in Beaumont, Illinois, while Lassiter and Jane depart for the security of Surprise Valley.  Two problems remain for the next ten pages or so, Fay Larkin and Elder Tull.

     Just like Tarzan, Lassiter can apparently smell a white girl because there is no other way that he could have located her.  She was being held by some Mormons in a side canyon.  Setting Jane to one side, Lassiter enters the canyon from which after firing every cartridge in his four guns and belts- Grey didn’t actually make it clear that he was still wearing the extra set up under his coat but he didn’t say he took them off either- of’ four guns Lassiter kills all the varmints, emerging from the canyon with little Fay in his arms and ‘five holes in his carcase.’

     As they glory over little Fay, who was problem number one, problem nuber two, Elder Tull and his band of Mormon riders appear on the horizon.  Leaping on their burros, did I mention Jane and Uncle Jim swapped Night and Black Star with Venters and Bess for their burros?- the Hammer Of The Mormons and Jane jog off with the Mormons in hot pursuit on horses, but tired ones.

     One would think that even tired horses would have the advantage over burros but it is a very tight race.  You see why Grey’s stuff translated to the movies so well.  Getting all safe within Surprise Valley on the other side of balancing rock (did Grey borrow this detail from the She of Rider Haggard?)  Uncle Jim lacks the nerve to roll that stone because Jane has pretty completely emasculated him.  ‘Roll that stone’ Jane commands restoring  Lassiter’s will.  He does just as Elder Tull ad his Mormon band reach the cleft.  The stone falls eliminating Tull and his Mormons while sealing off Surprise Valley ‘forever’ with Uncle Jim, Jane and Little Fay Larkin inside.  Of course they are well provided because Venters has stocked the Valley with burros, fruit tree stock and plenty of grain seed.  At the same time he had eliminated coyotes and other beasts of prey so that jackrabbits, quail and other small food animals have mutiplied exponentially.  It’s going to be a long twelve years in the valley so the bunch has to be well provided.  Without his gun though Lassiter is going to have to catch those jackrabits with his hands.  During their long stay Lassiter and Jane apparently have no sexual relations as there were no additional children when the valley was reentered by the Mormons.  Jane must truly have been a mother figure.

     On this incomplete note Grey ends his novel.

Edward Borein: Grazing Cattle

     3.

     Indeed, from the Enlightenment to the present has ben a period of intense religion formation, especially the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

     Utopian and Scientific Socialism may both be considered forms of religion, especially the latter in its Semito-Marxist form. 

     Mormonism itself, which has no basis in science, orginated from the brain of Joseph Smith in 1830.  Madame B’s Theosophy, Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science, Ron Hubbard’s Scientology and the Urantia religion all have a basis in science as do most religions formed after Darwin.  With the emergence of science none of the old religions were satisfactory.  Hence it should come as no surprise that writers like Grey and Burroughs were intensely concerned with the problem.

     As I have mentioned in Something Of Value no adequate myth for the scientific age developed, leaving men and women whose faith in the Semitic gods was undermined with a stricken religious consciousness such as in the case of John Shefford, the protagonist of Rainbow Trail, and probably both Grey and Burroughs.

     So the search for meaning was endemic in this period not being confined to Burroughs and Grey who were merely symptomatic.

     Another attitude that both authors share is a yearning for the wide open spaces of their youth that, while we may look back in envy, were rapidly disappearing before  their eyes.  Somehow this yearning was also connected to a feeling for the prehistoric past, perhaps as a Golden Age.

     Both men were charmed by the notionof cliffdwellers.  It would seem that Americans of the period were also absolutely charmed and enamored with the Anasazi of the American Southwest.  Burroughs was very nearly obsessed with cliffdwellers.  Novel after novel is replete with cliffdwellings whether in Pellucidar, various terrestrial locations or even on Mars.

     The inhabitants of the skyscrapers of Chicago were nicknamed cliffdwellers; a replica of Southwest cliffdwellings  was built for the Columbian Expo of 1893 that apparently made a great impression on 17-year 0ld ERB.  The premier literary club of Chicago was known as the Cliff Dwellers which was on the 8th floor and roof of Orchestra Hall.  I think Burroughs had a yearning to be a member of this club.

     Thus there were many cliffdweller influences on ERB’s life , whether he had ever seen the Anasazi dwellings before 1920 is doubtful, it would be interesting to know if Grey had before 1910.

     At any rate cliffdwellers had carved out homes in Surprise Valley in some distant prehistoric time.  Thus both Venters and Bess and Uncle Jim Lassiter and Jane were actual cliffdwellers utilizing the old dwellings.  Lassiter, Jane and Fay Larkin would be cliffdwellers for twelve years.  This must have had a very romantic appeal for Grey’s contemporary readers.

     During that period they dressed in skins living as close to a stone age existence as was possible.  So one may compare the Surprise Valley of Lassiter and Jane with the cliffdwellers of Burroughs’ Cave Girl.

     As all these themes were in the air of the period it is not necessary for either of these two authors to be influenced by each other to this point but it is probable that both were influenced by the stone age stories of Jack London and H.G. Wells among others.

     I doubt Burroughs was influenced during this period by Grey although he did have a copy of Rainbow Trail in his library, one of only two Grey titles.  We can’t be sure when he bought Trail.  Grey’s stories complement Burroughsian attitudes but only after this formative preriod around 1912.  ERB’s Western and Indian novels probably owe something to Grey but they were written after 1920.

     Riders Of The Purple Sage sets the scene for its denouement which is The Rainbow Trail.  Riders was a wonderful romantic vision of the West which answered the needs of the period when for the first time the percentage of Americans living in cities surpassed that of those living on farms.  Indeed, very like these authors, modern cliffdwellers had a heartsick longing for the Paradise they had lost.  For decades it would be a crazy dream of city dwellers to buy a farm and ‘get back to the land.’  The movie ‘Easy Rider’ was a good laugh in that respect.

     Both Burroughs’ and Grey’s novels addressed that need.

     Burroughs’ interest in Rainbow Trail would stem from religious aspects and the perfect union of the Anima and Animus when John Shefford and Fay Larkin unite. It might be noted that a fay is a fairie.  Cliffdwelling and the purity of Grey’s noble savages, the Navajos, would have been compelling for ERB.

    Before continuing on to The Rainbow Trail let us take a brief interlude to examine some aspects that would have interested ERB from the other Grey title in his library- The Mysterious Rider.

 

A Contribution To The Edgar Rice Burroughs

Library Project.

A Review

The Sheik

by

E.M. Hull

by R.E. Prindle

The Novel

     The Sheik by E.M. Hull is found in ERB’s library.  The novel published at the beginning of 1921 was a runaway bestseller going through thirty-0ne printings by October.  My copy is of the thirty-first printing.  How many more it may have gone through I am not aware.

     The book was quickly made into the movie of the same name starring Rudolph Valentino and released on November 20th of the same year.  Thus the impact would have been redoubled on ERB reading the book and seeing the movie.

Having troubles in his relations with Emma, he was somewhat bedeviled by what she wanted as Freud was by what women wanted.  The Sheik presented one woman’s solution to the problem of what women want. The Englishwoman E.M. Hull examined the problem in some detail.  Her solution would find expression in ERB’s Tarzan And The Ant Men of 1923 in the story of the Alalus women.

2.

     While Mrs. Hull’s novel is invariably reviewed as a soft core porn novel it is actually quite a serious attempt to explore what women want.  Not a potboiler, the story is well thought out and carefully constructed.

     The story falls into the category of the desert nomad thriller.

     The scene is somewhere between Biskra and Oran in Algeria.  Biskra is the southernmost point on the railroad from the coast to the Sahara in the East of Algeria.  It is an oasis area and was a winter resort for Europeans.  This area was also the scene of Robert Hitchen’s The Garden Of Allah and the Sahara scenes from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Return Of Tarzan.

The Author

     As with Hitchens’ the desert serves as a symbol for self-realization and redemption.  The story was written as the career of the rebel Abd El Krim was reaching its apex in the Rif.  Krim’s story was terrifically romantic for women of the era.  I had a high school history teacher in the fifties who was still capable of gushing about Krim thinking him the most manly and desirable of men.

     As with Hitchens the story revolves around a man and a woman.  The woman an Englishwoman and the man a Krim like sheik of the desert.

3.

     The woman is appropriately named Diana.  Diana was the virgin huntress of Greek mythology who spurned all relations with men thus putting her in enmity with Aphrodite.  She is somehow related to the Lady Of The Lake of ancient Lacedaemon which name means Lady Of The Lake and in a line of progression to the Northern European archetype of the second half of the Piscean Age.  This is a rather strange female archetype to represent the Northern European psyche.  She is a cold unloving symbol that may have something to do with the European character.

     Whether Mrs. Hull knew these things or not she represents them perfectly in her story.  This is quite extraordinary.

     Thus her Diana was raised by her brother as a boy.  She is represented throughout the story as an ambiguous girl-boy, nearly a hermaphrodite.  She is herself a skilled huntress who has no use for men.  As the story opens she has yet to be kissed.  Mrs. Hull skillfully represents the respect that Northern European men have for their women which in itself may be conditioned by the Diana image.  They are easily put off.  When one man asks Diana for a kiss he accepts his rejection with equanimity asking only if they can at least be pals.

     The Sheik as the wild man of the desert knowing no law but his will offers quite a contrast.  By the time of Mrs. Hull’s novel ERB had already explored the same literary territory in the Return Of Tarzan and The Lad And The Lion as well as The Cave Girl.  I would hesitate to say Mrs. Hull had read Burroughs but the Sheik is portrayed as a Tarzan like superman in a decidedly pulp manner.

     The Sheik does not observe any civilized niceties.  At one point Mrs. Hull refers to his civilization being less than skin deep.  As the Sheik, Ahmed, says, if he wants something he takes it.  Having seen Diana in the marketplace of Biskra he sets out to kidnap and rape her.  There are no other words for it and Mrs. Hull does not mince them.

     His plan worked out so that he buys off Diana’s desert guide to deliver her to him on the first night out of Biskra.  Prior to that he surreptitiously serenaded her on the night before even entering her room in the dark while she is there to replace the bullets in her pistol with blanks to prevent her from shooting him in the desert which she did attempt to do.

4.

     Now, Mrs. Hull is presenting an allegory so the novel is filled with symbols.  The key symbol is the horse.  The horse is, of course, a symbol of the female associated with the Greek god Poseidon.  In ancient times the symbol of the bull was associated with the missing y chromosome of the female being replaced in Patriarchal times with the horse.  Thus the Patriarchal goddess Athene is sometimes represented as horse headed.

     When the guide brings Diana a horse to ride it is a magnificent creature much better than she might have expected from a commercial enterprise.  The horse has actually been provided by Ahmed the Sheik so as Diana leaves Biskra she is already mounted on the Sheik’s horse- a powerful sexual symbol.  The horse is trained to respond to signals from The Sheik.

     The story is filled with horses and horse races between she and the Sheik.  In one race the Sheik gives her a minute to stop or he will shoot her horse dead which he does.  He then places Diana in front of him on his horse (these horses are all magnificent and beyond magnificent) at which point she realizes that she is not only in love with the Sheik but has been for some time.

     Previous to this time she had noted in the camp

     …but it was the horses that struck Diana principally.  They were everywhere, some tethered, some wandering loose, some excercising in the hands of grooms.

     So everywhere is the symbol of the female.  At this stage Diana has been sexually subordinated to the Sheik but she is intellectually resisting.  The Sheik puts on a demonstration of how useless her resistance is as he fully intends to break her.

     A man eater is brought out who has killed a man earlier that morning.  The horse obviously represents Diana.  Some two or three men attempt to break the horse but they all fail.  Then the Sheik mounts.  The result is a thoroughly exhausted and beaten horse.  She stops fighting with her legs splayed while the Sheik jumps off.  Then the horse rolls over left with no will of its own.

     This is exactly Diana’s situation.  Earlier she had boasted to her brother:  I will do what I choose, and I will never obey any will but my own.

     That is now proven an empty boast as the Diana riding in front of the Sheik chooses to obey the Sheik’s will.

     Perhaps Mrs. Hull has prophesied the submission of England’s will of today to the desert Sheiks.  As of now the Moslems have all but assumed religious control of England.  Thus England as Diana has submitted its sexuality to the sons of the Sheiks.

     However Diana’s Sheik still has to prove himself as the dominant male of his society to retain her allegiance.  One hesitates to say that she perversely tests him nevertheless having been cautioned to take care on her desert rides she insists on going too far afield.  Naturally she and her seven man escort are ambushed by the fat swarthy greasy rival sheik’s men.  Six of the seven escorts die joyously defending their sheik’s property.  The seventh, the sheik’s European manservant gets the classic bullet crease alongside the head.  Diana disappears into the fat greasy sheik’s tent.  This guy is everything an Arab sheik should have been in contemporary European eyes.  Fat, greasy, swarthy, unbelievably smelly, uncouth to the nth degree.  There’s no doubt there’s the fate worse than death for the boyish, sylphlike, slender, lithe Diana.  Yes, it seems pretty certain, unless…

     Here comes the Sheik with a small but loyal and dedicated band of followers eager to die for their leader.  Just as the greasy, swarthy sheik  has got it out and ready in crashes Ahmed  in the nick of time.  Rather than shooting the bastard and getting it over with he wants to dispatch El Greaso by hand.  As we all know strangling a a struggling strong man takes a little time.  Enough time for El Greaso’s vile Ebon followers to burst into the tent.  Right behind them come Ahmed’s men.  Shades of Tarzan!  Ahmed takes a severe blow to the head and a couple long blades in the back.

     Will he live?  After muttering a couple pages similar to the last words of Dutch Schultz the matter is in the hands of Allah and the European surgeon.  As much as I like having god on my side, in certain situations a good surgeon is even better.

      Nevertheless if Ahmed lives he has proven himself to be the right man for Diana.  Interestingly the virgin huntress has submitted to the law of Aphrodite.  The European archetype has accepted the dominance of the Moslem Arab.

     Well, almost.  In the first place the tribe of Ahmed is very interesting according to his French friend who arrived in time for the big battle.  It seems that Ahmed’s tribe is different from the rest of the desert greasers.  It is inferred that his tribe is one of the legendary White tribes supposed to be living in the Sahara.  Undoubtedly a surviving remnant of Atlantis that moved South when the Mediterranean flooded.

Why, in addition, it turns out that Ahmed isn’t even an Arab.  It seems that he’s actually English.  Well, an English Spanish blend.  His English father when in his cups did some unspeakable thing to Ahmed’s mother when she was pregnant with him and she was found by Ahmed Sr. Ahmed Jr.’s adopted father wandering dazed and confused beneath the broiling desert sun.

     Taken in she dropped Ahmed Jr. and died.  The baby was raised as the successor to Ahmed Sr.  But he developed an uncontrollable hatred for England, its people and all things English.  That’s why he captured and raped Diana over and over.  But it’s OK, they both realize they love each other now.

     The lesson seems to be that that’s what woman wants:  a man who can earn her repect by dominating and controlling her while at the same time being the dominant male in his society, being able to provide all her wants and desires while being able to defend her from the El Greasos of the world.  So all the necessary elements come together here and we have a marriage if not made in heaven perfect for terrestrial travails.

     If nothing else ERB learned where he had failed Emma in the beginning but who now wondered in his own role of sheik where the rewards from Emma were.

     I’m going to speculate that ERB read the story in 1921.  He might have enjoyed Valentino in the movie but I think it improbable that the silent film came near capturing the nuances of the novel.  I’m sure the signficance of Diana as female European archetype didn’t come through on celluloid.

     Was it even in Mrs. Hull’s mind one may perhaps ask.  Is it possible I’m projecting my beliefs on Mrs. Hull’s story?  It is possible but consider this passage in The Sheik:

     He was so young, so strong, so made to live.  He had so much to live for.  He was essential to his people.  They needed him.  If she could only die for him.  In the days when the world was young the gods were kind, they listened to the prayers of hapless lovers and accepted the life they were offered in the place of the beloved whose life was claimed.  If God would but listen to her now.

     So we know that Mrs. Hull was read in Greek mythology.  It would seem inevitable that she was familiar with the stories of King Arthur to some degree.  Certainly she knew the story of Merlin and Vivian.  She was a writer.  Knowing little about Mrs. Hull it is impossible for me to know for certain exactly what she read or understood.  And yet, there it is in the pages of her novel if one has eyes to see.  The Sheik is as much a work of mythology as is that of Burroughs’ Tarzan.  It is possible that neither was conscious of what they were saying but the information taken into their minds was transformed subconsciously, at least, into the form in which it issued forth from their pens.  It works that way for writers.  I am often astonished at the subliminal message of what I write.  Did I intend it?  Must have.  There it is.  Still, I do put myself into a mild trance when I’m writing so that I concentrate on words rather than ideas.  So the words are more conscious while the content is more subliminal.  We know ERB wrote from a trancelike state and Mrs. Hull’s story has that quality.  I think we have enough evidence to know that she had read the mythological material so that whether she had consciously formulated her ideas they come out in her writing.  In short, I don’t think I’m projecting much if anything.  Tra la.

     There is no doubt that The Sheik made a big impression on ERB.  The question is how did he understand it.  His first reaction appeared in 1923’s Tarzan And The Ant Men in the weird parody of the Alalus people in which he reverses the male-female roles with the women being stronger and dominant.  As Ahmed figures the women brutally dominate the men.  Using them for sexual pleasure then discarding them.  ERB’s story seems to be tongue in cheek but without a reference point the ridiculous story is hard to follow.  With E.M. Hull’s The Sheik I believe we have the reference point.

     It seems clear that Mrs. Hull was influenced by Robert Hitchens’ The Garden Of Allah.  What is not clear is whether she was influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs and if so by what novels.  The Sheik follows a pulp format.  So, if Mrs. Hull read the pulps on a regular basis there is no reason to believe that she was not familiar with some of his work as Burroughs certainly by 1920 when she probably began the novel was already the premier pulp writer.

     If that was the case it seems likely that she might have read The Return Of Tarzan and The Lad And The Lion, perhaps The Cave Girl.  If she read Lad then she reversed the roles of the chief male and female characters making the Woman English and the man Arab.

     I haven’t read the magazine version of The Lad And The Lion so I am not sure of the specific changes ERB made between the 1913 version and the 1938 rewrite for book publication.  The rewrite shows clear evidence of influence from The Sheik unless of course Mrs. Hull was reflecting the influence of the Lad on herself.  In any event the two books reflect an influence from one to the other.

     So, as with Trader Horn and Burroughs it is possible that Hull was influenced by Burroughs and with both of these authors Burroughs reading of them was reflected in his subsequent writing.

     Our list of reciprocal influences is growing when one adds that of H.G. Wells.  What once seemed simple grows more complex.

Postscript:  I have since learned that Mrs. Hull was a student of mythology.

A Mother’s Eyes

Part III

Cow Eyed Hera And Edgar Allan Poe

by

R.E. Prindle

Stories under consideration:

Metzengerstein  1832

Berenice March 1835

Morella April 1835

Ligeia  1838

Fall Of The House Of Usher 1839

William Wilson 1840

Eleonora 1842

…Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is not the loftiest intelligence- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound- does not spring from disease of thought- from MOODS of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect…In their visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill…to find that they have been on the verge of the great secret.

-Eleonora  1842

page 1.

Sonnet- To My Mother

Because I feel that, in the heavens above,

The angels, whispering to one another,

Can find, among their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’,

Therefore by that dear name I long have called you,

You who are more than mother unto me,

And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,

In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.

For mother- my own mother, who died early,

Was but the mother of myself, but you

Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,

And thus are dearer than the mother I knew

By that infinity with which my wife

Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

-1849

page 2.

     As we study Poe keep in mind Dali’s picture: The Temptation Of St. Anthony.  Keep those symbols in the forefront of your mind.

     Edgar Allan Poe is a classic study on the effect of abandonment by the mother on the psyche, specifically affecting the brain stem as part of Structural Psychology.  Poe exhibits the classic symptoms of the eyes, the horse and the female substitute for the Mother as well as adding several other twists due to his extremely analytical mind.

     As the opening quote from his story Eleonora indicates Poe understood that he was quite mad.  Although he was able to describe quite clearly in symbolical language the source of his madness his intelligence was unable to sift below the psychological barriers which would have cleared his mind of his madness.

     In five really remarkable stories with extreme clarity he delineates his problem.  They are the first story he wrote, Metzengerstein of 1832, Berenice of March 1835, Morella of April 1835, Ligeia of 1838 and Eleonora of 1842.

     The Fall Of The House Of Usher and William Wilson demonstrate his inability to deal with the problem adequately.  Under stress his personality begins to disintegrate. 

     Poe lived a short life of forty years from 1809 to 1849.  His first story, Metzengerstein, was written when he was only twenty-three.  It would have been interesting if he had lived long enough to consolidate his stories into at least one full length novel, other than Arthur Gordon Pym. 

     His own mother died in 1811 when he was only two.  Thus the connection between his and his mother’s eyes was disrupted very early.  He was then adopted by a Mrs. John Allan for whom he had the greatest respect and love.  Mrs. Allan died February 28, 1829 when Poe was twenty years old.  The horror of the death of this second mother festered in his mind for three years until his feelings began to find expression for him in 1832 with Metzengerstein.

page 3.

     The woman he refers to in his rather confused poem- Sonnet- To My Mother- was the mother of his wife Virginia, a Mrs. Clemm.  This poem was written shortly before his own death two years after the death of his wife Virginia in 1847.  As the poem says, Mrs. Clemm, his mother-in-law filled ‘his heart of hearts’ where Death had placed her when her daughter Virginia died.

     Clearly Poe was having mother figure after mother figure taken from him by death.  His response apart from his literary outpourings was to drug and drink himself to death in 1849 two years after Virginia’s demise.

     The Mother Archetype is truly a very powerful figure.  In giving the figure prime importance Sigmund Freud was absolutely correct.  What does that Mother figure mean to a man?

     In ancient Greece the Great Mother goddess was ofter referred to by Homer as ‘Cow-eyed’ Hera.  This image has been difficult for subsequent generations to understand.  Many current translators of the Iliad drop ‘cow eyed’ in favor of euphemisms they can understand.  If we would understand Homer this is a very serious mistake.  Hera as the Great Mother is associated with the cow for good reason.

     Whether she was ‘cow-eyed’ before she caught Zeus philandering with Io is unclear.  Caught in the act Zeus attempted evasion by turning Io into a cow.  Hera retaliated by having Io tormented by a vicious gad-fly.  The gad-fly drove Io in the form of a cow from Greece to India to Egypt.  In Egypt Io was transformed back into human shape as the goddess Isis.  Formerly the Egyptians had depicted Earth and Sky, or the sources of plenty, in the form of a woman arching over with her feet on one horizon and her fingers on the other.  After Io was introduced to Egypt the image of the woman was replaced by that of the cow.

page 4.

     In nearly every country Io visited the cow has been considered a sacred animal.  Whether in India, Egypt or the cattle raising tribes of Africa the cow was never killed.  This miraculous animal was so beneficial live that its life became sacred.  The cow was not only wealth but a symbol of wealth.  One imagines that the first coin might have been called the ‘cow.’

     Cattle lifting or rustling has been a way of life since perhaps the time of Io if she represents when the cow was domesticated.  To lift a man’s cattle was to strip him of all social significance while making the lifter significant in his place.

     Thus in Greek Mythology and history men and gods are stripped of significance by the lifting of their cattle.  When the god Hermes was born his first act was to lift the cattle of Apollo thus assimilating himself with that god. Apollo tracked Hermes down but was so pleased with the little trickster that they established an accord, became blood brothers so to speak.  Both sides of the coin.

     In the Odyssey the Cattle Of The Sun were inviolable.  Odysseus incurred the wrath of the Sun when his men after having been warned not to, killed a single cow.  As the Sun sees all from his heavenly abode retaliation was quick and sure.  Obviously that was a reason the Sun’s cattle were inviolable.

page 5.

     The story of the lifting of Geryon’s cattle by Heracles is also significant.  In former times before the advent of the Patriarchy Heracles as Hera’s consort had been the Sun God.  When the Patriarchy replaced the Matriarchy Hera was assigned to Zeus while Heracles was demoted to a human and made an enemy of Hera.

     Now, prior to the end of the Ice Age before the Mediterranean Basin was flooded, Hera and Heracles, by whatever names they were then known, must have been the chief gods of  the pre-flood peoples of the Mediterranean.  Thus two cults of Heracles grew up as the Western Mediterranean became separated from the Eastern Mediterrean in the post-flood Basin.  One cult in the East in Greece and the Levant and another in the West of Spain.

     The two cults must have come in conflict as the Greeks colonised Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Marseilles and the northern Spanish Coast around Barcelona.  It became necessary for the Spanish cult to be suppressed or co-opted in favor of the Greeks.  Thus, in myth the Greek Heracles is sent West to lift the cattle of the Spanish Heracles or Geryon.  Relieved of his cattle the Spanish Heracles became a non-entity while all the glory accrued to the Greek Heracles.

     Such was the poltical and social significance of cows.

page 6.

     The economic importance of cattle was equally great which, of course, led to their social importance.  Cows produced offspring.  Fifty percent bulls and fifty percent cows.  So one’s social importance increased every Spring if you could hold onto your cattle.  The bulls being superfluous in large numbers, there being no reason to waste valuable feed on them, were used as sacrifices in the ancient Mediterranean.  The gods were given the bones and fat while the flesh was consumed by the human votaries of the holocaust.  Thus cows, without killing them, provided an abundance of meat.  They also provided milk and its various by-products including butter and cheese.  The African tribes bled their cattle to acquire nourishment from the blood so it is not unlikely that the Greeks and others did the same.  The Africans never did figure out butter and cheese.

     The cow being female was naturally related to the Mother Archetype.  Hence we have ‘cow-eyed’ Hera.  The mother is to her son, like a cow to mankind, a source of superabundance or should be.  She sacrifices her own happiness, or should, to supply all his needs, she feeds him from her own body.  She psychologically nourishes him with the love pouring from her eyes.  It seems to be a fact that the longer a son nurses from his mother the better his chances for success in life are.  Sons who nurse for two years or more are assured of the best chances.

     Thus to be abandoned by your mother, death being a form of abandonment, is the greatest tragedy that can befall a son.

     In Poe’s case he was abandoned by his mothers, once at two and once at twenty and by his wife-mother surrogate at forty-seven.  The unconscious strain was simply too much for him so he drank and drugged himself to death succeeding in 1849 at the age of forty.

     Fortunately he recorded all the classic symptoms plus some in his series of magnificent short stories.  They are or should be a treasure trove for the analyst.

page 7.

     As noted above, when his adoptive mother died in 1829 his reaction was intense.  Poe began his inquiry into his anguish in a raging examination of the effect on his Ego or Animus in Metzengerstein.  The story culminates in the destruction of Metzengerstein’s house or castle by fire.  Fire is a purifying agent.  The house is a psychological symbol for the self just as a room in the house is a symbol for the mind.  As his house was being consumed the smoke gathered above to form the shape of– a horse.  Thus as with Aldous Huxley and my other examples the mother is related in the male to the horse and more especially the eyes.  It is not improbable that if Hera had come into existence after the introduction of the horse into Greece that she would have been known as horse-eyed Hera.  As it was Athene who may have been a Patriarchal attempt at superseding Hera was depicted on occasion theriomorphically with a horse’s head and hence horse’s eyes.

     I can’t say for certain, as I am not a clinical psychologist, but I am reasonably sure this symbolism is not true for the female although the female retains a need for the masculinity expressed by the strength, force and grace of the male horse.  This need was transferred from the bull.  As women their symbolism is probably relative to the cow as in ‘cow-eyed’ Hera.

     Indeed, many men derogatively refer to women as cows.  To do so may refer to a hatred of women and mothers in these men.  The significance of all this symbolism has been ignored far too long.

     Poe knew he was distaught or mad.  Madness may indeed be a road to intelligence or self-discovery.  Duller intelligences are usually quite satisfied, seeing no reason to question or investigate.  Another madman, the poet and singer Roger Miller, put it as that he had too much water for his land.  In other words his intelligence was bubbling out all over the place drowning his land or stability.  When land and water are in balance in Miller’s scheme one has normality.  When land is more prevalent than water one has a desert and a pretty nasty fellow.  According to Miller too much water made one hep while a balance of land and water made one square.  His moral was that squares made the world go round.

page 8.

     He was certainly correct.  Stolidity leads to solidity.  Society needs a solid basis to exist as a beneficial organism.  The mad, bad or sad in the proper proportions either leaven society or destroy it as at present when the Bohemian and Libertine influence is so dominant.  The influence of all three has to be controlled or monitored or their intrinsic evil destroys any equitable basis for society.

     But to return to an analysis of Poe’s stories.

     Oppressed by his psyche the dam began to burst shortly after the death of Poe’s adoptive mother.  First his own mother died when he was two and then his adoptive mother when he was twenty.  The effect on his psyche must have been unbearable to cause such a violent irruption as Metzengerstein when he was twenty-three.

     The story of Metzengerstein centers around what appears to be a flesh eating horse.  There is only a brief significant mention of the horse’s teeth as the horse pictured on a tapestry in the attic or mind turned to look at M. with a baleful eye.

     The same horse is then given to him by his grooms who capture it fleeing from the burning stables of M.’s rival Berlifitzing.  They claim the horse is M.’s even though it was seen coming out of the burning stables and is branded with this rival’s initials W.V.B. in a rather unusual place for a horse, the forehead.  No missing that brand, sort of reminds you of a wedding ring.

page 9.

     Now, the horse with eyes and teeth is part of the Structural Psychology located in the brain stem.  This one represents his dead adoptive mother.  Poe had become estranged from his adoptive father, John Allan after receiving marked benefits from him as a child.  The cause of the disruption is attributed to drinking and gambling but the literary evidence of Metzengerstein would indicate an intense sexual rivalry.

     B. is the older man as was Allan.  M. had just come of age following a course of action not too different from Poe’s.  The horse, representing Poe’s adoptive mother, has B.’s brand on her.  Or in other words the horse represents Mrs. Allan, B.’s wife.  Disregarding all the evidence to the contrary M. is given the horse as belonging to him.  Seems fairly clear on the surface of it.

     She is a difficult flesh eating horse of firery temperament which only M. can ride.  As Mrs. Allan was no relationship to Poe there can be no question of incest so that he could ‘ride’ or have sex with Mrs. Allan without incestuous guilt.  In fact M. frequently rides off on her into the forest at night.  Night is the usual time for love making while the forest is a symbol for the lost soul who cannot find his way.

     The tapestry on which the horse is pictured is located in a very large room at the top of M.’s castle or house.  Psychologically the house represents the self.  The room represents one’s mind.  The tapestry functions as memory.

page 10.

     Having left on a night ride of some duration into the forest, as M.’s servants are anxiously awaiting his return M.’s house or castle myteriously bursts into flame.  This must represent the death of Mrs. Allan or Poe’s being caught by Mr. Allan in flagrante dilecto.  The horse returns at a mad gallop out of control bearing a screaming M. to rush straight into the burning house, up the stairs to the upper chamber and one assumes onto the tapestry.  Then in a supernatural manner the violence of the flames subsides while the rising smoke forms the image of– a horse.

     Forgive me for saying so if you are a Poe fan but the story qua story is stupid.  Only as an allegory of Poe’s relationship to the Allans does it make sense, specifically the relationship of the Mother Archetype with the Son.

     Metzengerstein was merely the first bursting of the dam; the next four stories on our list named for women develop the horror of Poe’s fixation on the Mother Figure.  Let me say here that I do not believe that Poe’s adoption of the name of Allan refers in any way to John Allan; it is rather in memory and tribute to Mrs. Allan.  The death of Mrs. Allan seared Poe’s mind.  The trauma was so intense that his mind did become rather disordered.

     Those teeth, those teeth which got such a brief mention in Metzengerstein form the focal point of his next story dealing with his horrible fixation.  As with Huxley those teeth could bite you.

page 11.

     Berenice is the story of the teeth of the flesh eating mare.  In the story, in an abortive attempt to exorcise the demon of Mrs. Allan, Poe abandons the omniscient observer of M. for the first person.  Berenice and Morella are now written in the first person.  They are attempts to violently dispose of the horrifying losses of his Mother Figure.  Always an astute psychologist Poe now creates an image of monomania.  He knows he is quite distraught, men have called mad.  The mania is centered around the teeth so briefly mentioned in Metzengerstein.  All Poe can think about now is those teeth.

     As noted in Huxley, the Mother Figure is always exempt from retribution so that one’s obsession is transferred to another woman usually a beloved but not necessarily.

     Most of the violent so-called crimes against women by men can be traced directly to the man’s relationship with his mother.  In other words, crimes are not against women per se but against mother surrogates.  One has to look behind the symbolic victim to the source of the discomfort.  The hand that rocks the cradle is at fault.

     Ted Bundy, all the various stranglers and mutilators, Richard Speck, they are all retaliating the crimes of their mothers against them on other women.  Bundy is an exceptionally interesting case when viewed from this perspective.  His symbolism is quite astonishing.

page 12.

     Extreme violence is only an extreme response to what the perpetrator considers an extreme crime against himself.  One may assume that the way a man treats his wife or lovers is a reflection on the way he interprets his mother treated him.

     The drive and push since the turn of the nineteenth century for the destruction of the family by Reds, Communists and Fellow Travelers can have only the most dire consequences.  One can hardly consider the Reds well intentioned in their obtuseness.  One might begin by examining their relationships to their mothers.  In disrupting the eye to eye relationship of the infant with his mother they are in essence condemning the world to a reign of terror, and against women, unparelleled since the beginning of time.

     On the score of rejection and abandonment one can only shudder at what the results of these idiotic infant day care centers the Reds favor will be.

     A woman’s preoccupation with sex condemns her offspring.

     One has to assume from Poe’s writing that he found his relationship with his adoptive mother of the most troubling nature.  Whether he actually had sexual relations with her or only fantasized them the result is the same.

     As I say, in attempting to exorcise or control her memory he concentrated on the man eating quality of her teeth.  In the story Berenice the narrator becomes quite conscious of what he is doing.

     In a fugue state he attacks the living Berenice restraining her in some way while he pulls every tooth from her screaming terror stricken head and then buries her alive keeping the teeth as souvenirs.  When he is discovered coated in mud after having buried her he is horrified at this evidence that proves his guilt of which he is unaware.

page 13.

    

     This, shall we say, is psychotic behavior.

     Poe may have fantasized the whole incident but one wonders if somewhere he had not actually committed such a crime burying the woman’s body where it wouldn’t be retrieved.  One has visions of Ted Bundy.

     Imagine if Ted Bundy had written a series of ‘imaginative’ stories centered around his murders or if Richard Speck had written a novel about the murder of those nurses.  Could the descriptions of the killings have been more realistic or chilling than Berenice?

     Then turning quickly from the writing of Berenice Poe promptly followed with his story of yet another woman, Morella.  Probably emotionally drained from the excessive violence of Berenice Poe is more subdued in Morella as he struggles to bring his agony under control.  In Morella he is attached to a woman who he does not kill by burying alive.  Instead Morella sickens and dies from neglect as the first person narrator subtly spurns her.  Thus if he couldn’t defang and bury his mother alive from which she would only return to haunt him perhaps he could just sort of forget her.  Really?

     Morella is determined that he will not rid himself of her so easily.  On her deathbed she gives birth to a daughter who is in reality herself.  The narrator cannot help loving and devoting himself to this child although he never gives her a name.  Still, necessity compels him when she is fourteen to have her baptized.  Asked for the name compulsion makes him whisper the name ‘Morella.’  The child answers, ‘I am here’ and expires.  Upon taking the child to the tomb to be buried beside its mother he finds the tomb empty.  He just can’t pull those teeth.

page 14.

    

     It was some three years after Berenice and Morella in 1838 that he returns to the theme in Ligeia.  Here he tries to marry once again.  The dominant theme of Ligeia is her eyes.  A subordinate theme is her teeth.  Once again after expatiating on Ligeia’s eyes for some two or three pages Ligeia sickens and dies but she warns that she will not go quietly into the beyond but that she intends to will herself back into life.  Ye gods.  Poe’s mother fixation does torment him.  Why don’t you read Poes’  Sonnet- To My Mother again.

     The first person narrator remarries but his memories of Ligeia remain so prominent that he disgusts his new wife.  She in turn sickens and dies, in fact, she is murdered by Ligeia from beyond the grave in a supernatural manner.  By some process of metempsychosis Ligeia as a mature woman gains possession of the corpse.  The narrator is able to recognize the revivified body as Ligeia from her eyes and teeth.  Definitely brain stem stuff.

     Now, up to this point Poe is dealing with this intense stress in his own persona.  This is an intolerable situation that cannot go on.  Thus his ego or Animus splits in two as he creates a doppelganger who can deal more directly with the problem while he watches.  In other words he remains himself as the narrator while creating a Ted Bundy like double.

page 15.

     In 1839 he wrote ‘The Fall Of The House Of Usher’

While being more comfortable for himself, Poe’s personality enters a critical stage.  The narrator visits the doppelganger, Roderick Usher, and his sister in their castle which is quite reminiscent of the castle of Metzengerstein.

     During his stay Usher’s sister sickens and is thought to be dead.  She is sealed in a coffin.  The narrator helps Usher carry the coffin to a cell at the bottom of the castle.  At this point Poe has passed the responsibility from himself to his doppelganger a la  Bundy or Speck.  Unlike Berenice in which the narrator personally tore out Bernice’s teeth while burying her alive the crime is now performed, albeit unintentionally, by a split off personality.  Poe in essence watches deeds performed by someone else relieving him of guilt although in this instance he participates in carrying the coffin to the cell.

     Significantly the cell is directly beneath his own chamber in the castle, from which cell he hears mysterious sounds as though the sister were stirring in her coffin.  The two rooms answer to the brain and brainstem so that he is still unable to escape the specter of the Mother Figure.

     Eventually the sister frees herself going to the same room in which Usher and the narrator are chatting.  They are naturally together as dopplegangers must be.  Usher throws open the door to discover his sister covered in blood.  To his and the narrator’s horror they discover that they have buried her alive.  She collapses on Usher and they both fall down dead.

page 16.

     There is a correspondence here with Poe’s poem The Raven in which he hears a tapping on the door.  Opening the door he finds no one there.  The tapping transfers to his window.  When the narrator opens the window the Raven enters to sit on a bust of Athene above his chamber door.  Athene in one guise is the goddess of wisdom, her bird is the owl, so the Raven, an omen of death, replaces wisdom as the symbol of Athene.  When the narrator leaves through that  door he passes to the Land Of No Return.

     As the narrator leaves the house or Usher, once again representing himself, great rents appear in the stone walls.  The house collapses just as the castle of Metzengerstein burned to the ground.  Perhaps Poe thinks he has solved his problem by dissociation but he is still not dealing directly with it.  By killing off his doppelganger, Usher, and his sister he still has only an ineffective solution.

     However he has now moved from intense first hand suffering to a suffering once removed in the creation of a doppelganger.  He may believe that in killing the doppelganger as well as the Mother Figure he has disposed of his problem but once again he is deceived.

     In William Wilson that directly followed Usher in 1840 the doppelganger has truly become an alternate persona.  To punish himself for his inability to resolve the Mother Figure dilemma the double goes around defeating Wilson in all his criminal schemes.  In the story the narrator leads a life of crime while the doppelganger functions as his conscience.

     In a rather silly ending Wilson confronts himself in a duel realizing that it is he himself who is hurting himself.  Thus he kills not only his doppelganger but himself.   On the streets of Baltimore.

page 17.

     This theme was examined well in the movie:  Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me.  Certainly Poe in his own life, this man of talent, is botching his own career.  This of course begs the question would he have had the talent if he hadn’t been mad?  If he had been one of Roger Miller’s squares who make the world go round no more notice would have been taken of him than any other square, whose name is Legion.

     From Wilson, Poe moves to the last of his woman stories, Eleonora of 1842, only seven years from his death.

     In this story  his demon seems to be laid to rest as Eleonora finally gives her consent for the narrator to marry.  One imagines that Poe’s union with Virginia receives the blessing of the Mother Figure.  The question is why would she?  What ulterior motive does Poe have?  This brings us back to Poe’s Sonnet- To My Mother.  Looked at closely this poem is evidence of a seriously deranged mind.  This is not a poem to Poe’s mother or even Mrs. Allan.

    ‘My mother- my own mother’, he says, ‘who died early, was but the mother of myself; but you (Mrs. Clemm) are mother to the one I loved so dearly, and thus are dearer than the mother I knew…’   He mentions his own mother who died early while one presumes that Mrs. Allan was the mother he knew.  Both previous mothers are now dismissed in favor of his mother-in-law because of what must have been a mother surrogate in his beloved Virginia.

page 18.

     Now, what Virginia has in common with Morella and Ligeia is that she is sickly and dies while his beloved mother-in-law, who is more than a mother to him, whatever that might mean, is healthy and lives.  Even then she is Poe’s ‘heart of hearts’ where DEATH installed her in setting Virginia’s SPIRIT free.  No real murder in Poe’s mind.  He rationalizes Virginia’s murder as that her soul was set free.

     Can one find any similarities with Morella and Ligeia?

     The appearance is that he married Virginia to obtain a mother.  This may have been the only way he could assuage the pain in his brainstem caused by the loss of the mother he didn’t know and the mother he knew.

     Now, Poe’s personality split back in 1839 or, at least, Usher was the first record of it.  One imagines that Virginia was superfluous and possibly an impediment to enjoying his relationship with this latter day mother who Poe says is dearer than the mother he knew by that infinity with which ‘my wife was dearer to my soul than its own soul-life.’  Was his real mother his soul-life?  If so that is quite some distance between the mother he knew, Mrs. Allan, Virginia, Mrs. Clemm and his own mother or soul-life.  Certainly his deeply proclaimed affection for Mrs. Clemm was of very recent origin.  Why this intense depth of affection so quickly?  Thus when Eleonora released him to be married the conclusion is that Virginia replaced his real mother in his brainstem.  She became a surrogate mother who had to die so he could resume a relationship with a true mother figure.  Very possibly a sexual one or an attempted sexual one.

     Once again, it is absolutely forbidden for a man to avenge himself on his mother’s person.  Impossible in this case since Poe’s own mother died when he was two and the mother he knew when he was twenty.  Nevertheless Hera’s great cow-eyes have seared his soul.  His mother’s eyes appear again in the face of Ligeia and hence Virginia.

page 19.

     A person may not be able to recall infantile impressions or memories clearly but they survive in Structural Psychology or what Jung called the ‘collective unconscious.’  As the infant mind has no way to put the experience into words or clear images the adult transforms them into metaphors which control his life but against which he has no defence as he cannot ‘remember’ in the sense of recalling them.

     Poe could not punish his mother but he could select a mother surrogate and punish her while transferring his affections to the mother of she who was dearer to his soul than its own soul-life.  All of Poe’s fictional heroines sickened and died except Berenice who the narrator actually mutilated and buried alive.

     Poe himself had created a persona which would never murder a wife but he had also created a double who would and did inadvertantly in the character of Roderick Usher.  Certainly Poe’s doppelganger was capable of doing what he could voyeuristically observe but still feel free of participation and, hence, guilt.

     Which brings to  mind the ‘Mystery Of Marie Roget’.  Just as Ted Bundy rigidly created an amiable trustworthy everyday persona to live his life and a doppelganger who avenged himself on his mother by killing girl substitutes it is possible, I don’t say that it is so, that Poe himself killed Mary Rogers and possibly some others.

page 20.

     It may have been a display of his genius in demonstrating that Mary Rogers was killed by a single person rather than a gang but on the other hand he created a doppelganger of Mary Rogers in the character of Marie Roget to demonstrate his reasoning.  Perhaps he was so clever because he had actually committed the murder.   It is not impossible that Poe split off a doppelganger of Mary Rogers in Marie Roget who was killed by Poe’s own doppelganger while Poe killed Mary Rogers.

     That was a pretty neat trick for a deranged mind.  He not only demonstrated a murder, he did it but no one caught on.  Compare the idea behind the Purloined Letter.

     There can be little question that Poe suffered severely in his Structural Psychology which was reflected in his personal psychology.

     Here we may raise the question of what effect the balance of Menos and Ate has on a man’s actions.  There must obviously be degrees of imbalance.  For people like Huxley, Poe, Freud, Jung, Polarion and myself there is the creative outlet of Menos.  Those like Ted Bundy and Richard Speck have insufficient Menos but are all Ate.  Without a creative outlet they may be condemned to commit murders to express their anguish at their treatment by their mothers.

     In Huxley’s case he was, on the Menos side, able to express himself in novels thus relieving the pressure while on the Ate side he appears to have become his mother while marrying a woman who would willingly compensate him for his mother’s neglect.

     I hesitate to review my own behavior in that respect.

     Poe who was much more deeply troubled seems to have had correspondingly greater gifts on the Menos side than Huxley while on the Ate side the pressure appears to have been so intense that he may have resorted to murder of unrelated women while he may surely have caused the death of Virginia by a combination of neglect on the one hand as evidenced by the examples of Morella and Ligeia or even willful poisoning as in the case of Ligeia and the narrator’s wife.  The negative actions would have been caused by his doppelganger while Poe himself looked on.

page 21.

     Jung and Freud, who while not abandoned by their mothers had troubled relationships with them, applied the Menos to make significant contributions to the understanding of psychology while their expression of Ate was either minor or extremely well hidden in Jung’s case and not exposed in Freud’s case.

     I hope that Polarion and I are making our contribution to psychological understanding while on the Ate side we merely express indifference to externals.

     All of us probably are or were introverts.

     The solution of the problem is completely out of the hands of men.  The solution, if there can be one, rests with The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.

     End of Cow-Eyed Hera And Edgar Allan Poe.  Go to Part IV,  The Hand That Rocks The Cradle