A Review

Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#16 Tarzan And The City Of Gold

Part 2

by

R. E. Prindle

 

     The City Of Gold itself, which is a white and gold city, evokes the image of the red and gold ruin of Opar and the Forbidden City of the same title, as well as The White City of the Columbian Exposition.  As Burroughs was writing construction was going on for Chicago’s second great exposition on the fortieth anniversary of the first.  Chicago, incorporated in 1833, was about to present its Century Of Progress expo of 1933-34.  So Burroughs would have had his mind redirected to the scenes of his childhood.

     What I am going to suggest may seem far fetched to many but having gained some idea of the way Burroughs’ mind worked I think the suggestion plausible.  Emmett Dedmon tells the following story about the Great Sandow at the ’93 Expo.  If anyone doesn’t know Sandow by now he was the first great bodybuilder who also performed at the Expo.  As Florenz Zeigfeld was representing Sandow there is a no reason to think of the story as other than a publicity stunt, but I leave the judgment to you. (Emmett Dedmon, Fabulous Chicago, 1953, NY, p. 235)

     Amy Leslie, the drama critic for the News, described Sandow as a  fascinating mixture of brute force and poetic sentimentality.  On a walk through the Wooded Island…Sandow snipped a tiny cup from a stock of snapdragon.  “now, when we were little in Germany,” Sandow told the astonished Miss Leslie, “we took these blossoms and pressed them so, and if the flower mouth opened, why that was a sign they were calling us home.”  As Amy reported it, “he touched the tinted bud and its rosy lips parted in a perfumed smile.”  Just as Sandow finished his sentence, a Columbian guard shouted that he had violated the rule against picking flowers.  To emphasize the reprimand the guard seized Sandow by the elbow and attempted to push him away.  At this effrontery Sandow lifted the surprised guard off the ground and held him at arm’s length, examining him as though he were a curious discovery.  Miss Leslie, more conscious of the dignity of the law, persuaded Sandow to put the guard down, which the strong man did with an ouburst of German expletives and an explanation (in English) to Miss Leslie that he did not think much of humans as guards.  “I prefer nice well-bred dogs,” he said.

     This made a great story that made the rounds of the fair.  The question is did 17 year old Burroughs hear it and did it make an impression  on him?  Strangely enough we can definitely answer that question in the affirmative.  Nearly twenty years later Burroughs borrowed the incident for his first Tarzan novel.  Not only that but he has Tarzan play the part of Sandow.  So, Sandow, Tarzan; Tarzan, Phobeg.

     At the end of Tarzan Of The Apes Burroughs replicates the Sandow scene on the Wooded Island when he terrorizes Robert Canler holding him at arms length with one hand.  Thus in this novel Tarzan not only holds Sandow/Phobeg at arm’s length but raises him above his head throwing him into the stands.  Burroughs usually has his characters going their models one better as Tarzan does here.

     As Sandow was strolling through the Wooded Island  with Miss Leslie so Tarzan strolls through town with Gemnon.  Instead of picking a flower Tarzan notices a lion eating a human while no one takes any notice.  Cosmopolitan Tarzan inquires for an explanation.  Gemnon calmly explains the quaint custom just as Sandow so pleasantly explained his snapdragon story.  Dragons, lions, all the same thing.  Burroughs does a neat parody and makes his joke but the original was such a great story he can’t let it go.

     Indeed, Tarzan’s habit of picking men up and tossing them around can probably be traced back to this one arm trick of Sandow’s.  Like I said, you’ll probably think it’s a stretcher but I think it both plausible and probable.  Can’t be absolutely proven of course, but we can and have proven that the incident left an indelible imprint of ERB’s memory.

     That said and moving along to 1920-24 there is also a flavor of H.G. Wells’ utopian novel Men Like Gods to be found here.  Once again Burroughs turns Wells’ utopia around a bit but the tour of Cathne with Gemnon seems to be a paraody of a similar tour in Men Like Gods.  ERB was still in the thick of his literary duel with Wells at the time.

     The plot involving Nemone is slightly more complex and better worked out than is usual for ERB.  Tomos, Erot, M’Duze and Nemone reflect other influences.  The plot has the feel of French overtones.  Of course we know that ERB read Eugene Sue’s The Mysteries Of Paris, Dumas’ Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Criisto, while the prisoner behind the golden door points in the direction of The Man In The Iron Mask.  We also know that ERB had read Victoy Hugo’s Les Miserables.

     All these may have provided some inspiration.  However more directly influential I believe are two other books found in ERB’s library as listed on ERBzine. ( www.erbzine.com )  They are Rafael Sabatini’s Scaramouche and Stanley J. Weyman’s Under The Red Robe.  Never heard of Stan Weyman?  Me neither but, believe it or not, there is a Stanley J. Weyman Society on the internet that you may join if so inclined.

     Both books were hugely influential in Hollywood, each being filmed several times with at least one version getting very good reviews.  Let’s start with Sabatini.  While Weyman, one would believe is all but forgotten, Sabatini enjoyed an excellent reputation down to at least my graduation from high school.  Probably not so much lately although my copy of Scaramouche is the Common Reader edition published in 1999 so  there must be fans out there.

     Sabatini was Burroughs exact contemporary- 1875-1950.  Like Burroughs he had to defend himself against charges of plagiarism.  His stuff all reads like you’ve read it somewhere before, so in Scaramouche he presents an extended defense of himself.

     Nevertheless he writes in a simple direct style that is ‘easy to uderstand’ but cleverly presented.  Sabatini was obviously one of the first to understand that stories written like movie scenarios had a better chance of selling to the movies.

     Like Burroughs he has his point of view which is admirably presented.  Also like Burroughs he was intellectually unsympathetic to Communism.  His reaction was less emotional that ERB.  Although Scaramouche is about the opening years of the French Revolution Sabatini gives it only a slanting attention as he concentrates on people who are caught up in the flood much against their wishes.  In that sense there is very little politics in the novel.  The participants are merely caught up in the political events.

     Scaramouche is a country lawyer unsympathetic to revolutionary ideology but he becomes a revolutionary fugitive when his Red friend is murdered by a reactionary nobleman.  The story is well developed and an exciting one with a lot of swordplay.  In fact Scarmouche become the fastest swordsman of France.  You can see what drew ERB’s attention to the novel.

     Of more importance for ERB and an undeveloped subplot of City Of Gold is one that involves Scaramouche’s ancestry.  Bearing in mind that ERB became a voluntary orphan when he was sent to the MMA I think Burroughs found the mystery of Scaramouche’s ancestry compelling.  Scaramouch is named after the clown of the Italian Comedia Del Arte which also nests neatly with the clown aspect of ERB’s psychology.

     It is thought that Scaramouche was the illigetimate son of a village nobleman.  The fact that the boy was well looked after by this man seemed proof.  In fact, as we learn later in the book Scaramouche is the bastard son of his foster father’s sister, the noblewoman, Madame de Plougastel.  She bore Scaramouche illegimately then trusted him to her brother.  Thus on one side Scaramouche was of noble birth.  An orphan or pretended orphan’s dream.  His father remains a mystery for the moment. 

     Scaramouche’s friend had been murdered by the nobeman Le Tour d’Azyr.  Scaramouche had sworn an eternal enmity to him.  At a crucial moment in the story Scaramouche learns that this same La Tour d’Azyr is his father.  I should have seen it coming from a long way off but I didn’t.  It is possible that ERB was surprised too.  Sabatini handles it well.  Thus Scaramouche the illegitimate child is a nobleman by birth on both sides but the Revolution invalidates this advantage. 

     It would have been normal for Burroughs to have concocted a fantasy in which his parents now dead to him were not his real parents but some mysterious others.  In fact he did concoct two fantasies: the one of John Carter who has been alive forever but can remember no parents and Tarzan whose parents were killed with the result that he was raised by ape foster parents.  Not exactly noble people in the ordinary sense but his deceased parents were.  One imagines the impact this really good story had on him although he first read it in the early twenties.

     In any event he attempts to weave in a subplot providing mysterious parentage for Nemone and her brother Alextar.  The subplot isn’t very well developed.  On the one hand we are asked to suspect that Nemone was the child of the old king and a Black M’duze who in her youth was tall and beautiful while on the other hand it is insinuated that Nemone is the child of Tomos and M’duze.  The latter through her machinations has placed Nemone on the throne and imprisoned Alextar.  So Burroughs throws in some misceganation which has always been the most excing literary topic of America, then as now.

     Not convincingly done by ERB he had nevertheless carried the story of Scaramouche around in his head for a decade waiting for the opportunity to employ it.

     Another book in ERB’s library which is influential here is Stanley J. Weyman’s Under The Red Robe.  Like Scaramouche this story was very well thought of in Hollywood being filmed more than once.  It seems a fact that ERB saw the 1923 silent film.  He was so impressed that he went out and bought the 1923 Grosset and Dunlap Photoplay Edition.  I obtained an identical copy so as to to have read the same text and viewed the same plates.

     I think I’ll have to include a few of Burroughs’ experiences at the MMA to bring this all together.  It would seem that Sabatini considered himself a psychological orphan also.  The man was born in Italy to an Italian father and an English mother.  As they were traveling actors, not unlike what Scaramouche becomes at one point in his story, they sent young Rafael back to England to live with relatives.  As Sabatini’s stories often concern orphans it follows that his reaction to being put away from his parents was that he considered himself an orphan.

     Burroughs was also put away by his father.  Three times.  He was sent to Idaho, Massachusetts and Michigan.  Thus he too was put away by his parents.  As his reaction was to play the clown developing an off beat sense of humor we know that he reacted negatively to all this shuffling about.  His exile to the Michigan Military Academy was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  He rebelled, running away.  The incident is treated rather uncomprehendingly by Porges in his biography which of course is my authority. 

     From ERB’s point of view the MMA was an elite reformatory school where bad rich boys were offloaded by their parents.  Thus the boy was declassed and slgihtly criminalized in his own mind.  As he treated his own sons and the Gilbert boy the same way it is easy to see how seriously he was affected by the experience.  ERB was cast adrift with no direction home which happened so many times to characters in his stories, most notably in the original short version of The Lad And The Lion.  ERBzine should publish the magazine version of this novel

     Having run away from the MMA he was promptly escorted back by his father becoming in his own mind an orphan as in Tarzan’s case and a motherless child as in John Carter’s.  Like the race horse Stewball of musical fame, Carter just blew down in a storm.  Another standard orphan’s solution to being forced outside society.

     Stanley J. Weyman’s (1855-1929) novel also meshes with this persona.  As a result of his mistreatment Burroughs developed a very negative self-conception.  He became, in fact, a ne’er-do-well.  Much to his father’s satisfaction I might add.  This self-conception would explain his eccentric behavior from the time he left the MMA in 1896 through 1903 if not for the rest of his life.  The man was conflicted.  On the one hand he knew he was very capable and on the other he felt worthless so he sought failure.

     A fact easily glided over is his quarterbacking and captaincy of the MMA football team.  One’s team members don’t elect one captain unless they have confidence in you.  One also cannot be quarterback without their confidence while quarterbacking requires organizational and executive abilities.  In fact the Burroughs led team defeated all comers in their class and while yet high schoolers they played the varsity teams of Michigan and Notre Dame.  The Burroughs led MMA fought the U of M to a tie.

     As a result he was offered a football scholarship to the University.  He might well have become a football hero having an entirely different kind of life.  ERB inexplicably declined the U of M offer.  He offered some lame excuse that both his brothers had attended Yale and it was Yale or nothing for him.  Possible but hardly probable.  Most likely he felt comforatable leading the juvenile delinquents of MMA while he didn’t feel respectable enought to lead the Wolverines.

     Leaving for the Army as an enlisted man instead he and a few other ne’er-do-wells formed a group calling themselves The Might Have Seen Better Days Club.  You don’t have to be a Freudian to figure that one out.  So I think his history in these years can be explained by his negative orphan self-image.

     There is one very crucial event, the shame of which never left him, that figures into the Nemone story.  That was when in Idaho he gambled away his and Emma’s last forty dollars.  Certainly this was a turning point in his life.

     In Weyman’s Under The Red Robe the hero is a ne’er-do-well who has exhausted all his chances but one.  Named de Berrault the story opens when he is accused of using marked cards in a French game of the early seventeenth century.  “Marked Cards!’ are the opening words of Weyman’s novel.

     Indeed it would seem certain that Burroughs felt he had been cheated of his forty dollars.  In my experience of card games I’m certain he was.  De Berrault insists he didn’t use marked cards but that he used the mirror behind the player.  Perhaps Burroughs said to himself when reading this:  Yeah.  that must have been it.  At any rate thirty years later the incident was green in his mind and Why Not?

     While The City Of Gold is crtical of Nemone/Emma ERB could never forget that he had done Emma wrong in gambling away those forty dollars.  Perhaps as much as anything his shame required a separation.  Perhaps he thought Emma was too good for a ne’er-do-well like himself.

     And then there is this very interesting passage in Under The Red Robe  p. 208:

     I stood a moment speechless and disordered; stunned by her words, by my thoughts- so I have seen a man stand when he has lost all, his last at the table.  Then I turned to her, and for an instant I thought that my tale was told already.  I thought she had pierced my disguise, for her face was aghast, stricken with sudden fear.  Then I saw that she was not looking at me but beyond me, and I turned quickly and saw a servant hurrying from the house to us.

     Just as I admired ERB’s version of this device of looking past the intermediate person so he admired Weyman’s.

     The line ‘I stood there speechless and disordered, stunned by her words, by my thoughts- when I have seen a man stand when he has lost his all, his last, at the table…’ must have resonated with ERB from the time he had experienced the same emotion in 1903 as Emma waited for him upstairs.

     It becomes seen how ERB wove his various influences into his writing.  At this point I would like to bring up another very long novel that formed a backdrop to ERB’s writing in general.  the novel is the ten volume, five thousand page work of George W.M. Reynolds entitledThe Mysteries Of  London or alternatively, The Mysteries Of The Court Of London.  Modeled after The Mysteries Of Paris Reynolds lacks the lunacy of Eugene Sue but maintains a fantastic level of excitement all the way through.  ‘The Master Of Adventure’ may very well have learned his own mastery from the pages of Reynolds.

     The further one gets into ERB library the more clear things become but to really understand the man I highly recommend the reading of the Mysteries of Paris and London.

     Another almost irrelevant theme ERB takes up in this novel is the theme of the Grand Hunt or the Man Hunt.  The idea is no way original to ERB; he seems to be in reaction to it, repelled by it.  I can’t pretend to trace the story back to its origins but the theme has been used repeatedly in movies and on television.  The story is attributed to Richard Edward Connell who is credited with writing the original short story in 1924 for which he received the O. Henry Prize for that year, entitled The Most Dangerous Game.  Perhaps the story was original to him but it doesn’t seem likely.

     The story was made into a movie starring Joel McCrea in 1932.  Whether this movie was released early enough in the year to influence City Of Gold I don’t know, or, perhaps Burroughs saw an advance screening.  At any rate ERB gives the idea an extended treatment and prominent place in his novel, actually using it twice.

     If Connell did indeed orginate the story in 1924 which seems unlikely than Buroughs treatment comes as close to plagiarism or, perhaps, appropriation as any story could.  That he is in raction to the story condemning its implications is obvious.

     In his version Tarzan defeats the aims of the hunters by carrying their intended victim to safety while adding the filup that he too was an intended victim.  At the very least the Man Hunt is one of the least disguised influences in the corpus.  Extraordinary in that no ruckus was raised by his appropriation of the story.  Either ERB was not taken seriously or he led a charmed life.

b.

Should I stay, Or Should I Go?

     The crux of the story is Tarzan’s relationship with Nemone or, in other words, ERb’s relationship with Emma.  If the oeuvre is a guide ERB had already decided to throw his lot with Florence.  That seems clear from Tarzan And The Leopard Men.  City Of Gold then is mere procrastination.  One imagines that Florence was pestering him to break the news to Emma.  He would only muster the courage to do this at the end of 1933.  For now he seems torn and indecisive.

     The appearance is that Tarzan and Nemone would have gotten together but for two things.  The first was M’duze who seemed to exert some sort of hypnotic control over Nemone and the other was her pet lion, Belthar.

     M’duze was determined to maintain control over Nemone while Tarzan just left a bad taste in Belthar’s mouth.  It were well that Tarzan kept his distance.

     In point of fact Tarzan was a prisoner on parole.  He could easily have escaped or walked away but for two things: one was his fascination with Nemone and the other was that he was bound by oath to Gemnon to not escape.  In those days people had a sense of honor.

     ERB had constructed an interesting psychological situation in the female image of Nemone.  ERB has been really successful in portraying the Xy male construction of the Anima and Animus throughout the corpus but this is his first attempt as far as I know of constructing the XX of the female.

     This is always the qustion of whether he knew what he was doing.  This is a difficult question to answer but the enidence in the writing seems to imply he did.  The situation seems too perfect to be accidental.  As I’ve noted elsewhere when the chromosomal  division took place and sexual identities came into existence of the four possibilities, XXX and y, the male received an X and the y with the y making him male.  You can’t be male without the y, you can’t be female with it.  Boys are boys and girls are girls.  Now, this is not an ‘oh wow,  isn’t that interesting’ type of fact; the fact has consequences.

      For instance the whole burden of child bearing became the female’s portion.  I am not interested in all the different possibilites of how young are fertilized, incubated and born, yes, there are myriad possibilities but none of them apply to human beings but this one.  The method for human beings is impregnation in the womb, a nine month incubation period and then birth followed by a very long period of helpless development outside the womb.

     These simple facts determined the post partum relationship of the role of the male and the female.  When paternity was unknown the result was close knit communities held together by the offspring.  It was a question of interdependence whether Freud thought so or not.

     Physiologically  the male required the female for sexual release while the female was attracted by the y chromosome of the male, the penis envy for which Freud was castigated for uttering.  He wasn’t always right but he was right on this.

     While the female is XX chromosomally still one X is received from the mother which is of the passive ovum; the other X is received from the father’s mother through him in the form of an active X sperm.  The two Xes while both X are not identical.  If both were passive the female would be virtually immobile.

     Thus ERB posits the ovate X as M’duze who dominates Nemone’s Anima, which would be correct, while the male lion Belthar provides the activity of the X of the Animus.  Whether Burroughs thought this out or not, it works out.  Could be accidental, I suppose.

     Lacking the y chromosome which she formerly enjoyed during the sexless period the female has an uncontrollable  longing for the male or penis.  Thus Nemone and her desire for Tarzan.  Now, this is classic, no matter how indifferent or rude Tarzan is to her Nemone continues to have an intense longing, or love, for the Big Guy.

     This may or may not reflect Emma’s attitude toward Burroughs but Tarzan’s attitude toward Nemone certainly reflects Burroughs attitude toward Emma.  In point of fact, Emma’s fidelity is nothing short of marvelous.

     Also in Weyman’s Under The Red Robe which is an influence on City a subplot concerns the relations between a Mademoiselle de Cocheforet and the protagonist, de Berrault.  The lady distrusts the gentleman, as well she might as Cardinal Richelieu has suborned de Berrault to surreptitiously arrest her brother as a Huguenot.  De Berrault conceals his intentions but is found out when he arrests Mademoiselle’s brother.  Construing the arrest as a betrayal of her trust, which it wasn’t de Berrault forfeits the lady’s trust.

     Thus the novel combines the fateful card game with the forfeiture of Emma’s trust.  Having lost her trust ERB was never able to gain it back even though Emma continued with him loving, one supposes, the man despite his faults.  Quite possibly the situation between Tarzan and Nemone portrays the actual relationship between ERB and Emma in which as they were about to unite the past comes between them.

     Thus in Tarzan and Nemone’s first encounter Tarzan has fallen under Nemone’s spell being about to succumb when M’duze, or Nemone’s Anima, appears as though from the past, taps the floor with her staff breaking the spell while ordering Nemone from the room.  Belthar, Nemone’s Animus, rears up on his chains roaring and clawing the air at Tarzan.

     Thus both the Anima as represented by M’duze and the Animus as represented by Belthar interfere in Nemone’s attempt to realize her desire for Tarzan.

     The scene is repeated in reverse later in the novel as Nemone is about to succumb to Tarzan’s spell M’duze appears once again to disrupt the relationship.  Thus as in real life neither Burroughs nor Emma could get past that fatal card game.

     In the end then Tarzan presumes on Nemone’s desire too much.  She turns on him in the fury we all saw coming making him the object of the Grand Hunt.  One sees the influence of The Most Dangerous Game in ERB’s mind.  He is given a head start and then Belthar is released to pursue him.  Thus he is about to be destroyed by Nemone’s Animus.  ERB probably felt this way about Emma in real life.

     We have never seen the resourceful ape-man so defenceless and helpless before but now without his father’s knife to murder virtually defenseless lions Tarzan calmly awaits death after a game attempt to outrun Belthar.  He should have played dead;  we all know that story by now.

     Not to worry.  All during the novel a mysterious lion has been tracking the Big Bwana appearing at intervals in the story.  Perhaps some people were mystified as to who this lion was but not this writer, no sirree, Bob.  I knew it was Jad-Bal-Ja all along.  I was just surprised the Golden Lion hadn’t brought Nkima with him.

     Now just as Belthar rears to cut the Big Guy down to size Jad-Bal-Ja flashes past Tarzan to destroy Nemone’s lion.  As ERB says, Jad-Bal-Ja won because he was bigger.  Does that mean that ERB’s ego was bigger than Emma’s?

     The oeuvre needs a complete analysis of Tarzan and his relationship to animals for on one hand he is a beast.  The lion situation is complicated by the fact that originally there were to have been both lions and tigers in the series.  That would have changed the complexion of the stories.

     However after the magazine publication of Tarzan Of The Apes the readers created an uproar about the fact that there were no tigers in geographical Africa so Burroughs was forced to change tigers to lions for book publication.  I am unaware whether changes were made to the newspaper serialization of the story.

     The appearance is that Burroughs intended tigers to be villainous while lions were intended to be noble, as witness Jad-Bal-Ja.  In that situation most, if not all, the lions Tarzan killed would have been tigers.  Thus while as David Adams points out Tarzan kills a lion to put a seal on a sexual situation the very likely killing would have been a tiger.

     So the psychological aspect of the story gets skewed.  Just as Burroughs has insisted that Tarzan killed deer while there are no deer in Africa so his readers forced him to change Bara the deer to Bara the antelope by Tarzan The invincible.

     The climax of the story returns us again to the problem of lions in Burroughs.  As David Adams points our Tarzan kills a lion to put a seal on a sexual situation.   In this instance Tarzan is helpless but Jad-Bal-Ja his Anima substitute comes to his rescue which is the same as Tarzan killing Belthar.  Thus the killing of Belthar seals off Tarzan’s relationship to Nemone and ERB’s to Emma.

     I’m sure David Adams would take exception with me but I see Jad-Bal-Ja as an Anima figure of Tarzan/Burroughs while I see Belthar as the Anumus figure of Emma/Nemone.  I know both lions are males but the lion male or female is associatied with the goddess or Anima in Greek mythology.  A case can be made that the six gods and six goddesses are generalized archetypes  of the character types.

     Now, Jad-Bal-Ja came into the oeuvre at a critical time in the lives of ERB and Emma and at a critical juncture.  It is known that ERB walked out on Emma several times in the course of their marriage.  These instances are not well documented at this time.  It would appear that a very serious conflict in the marriage began at the time of Tarzan The Untamed through the period leading up to the writing of Tarzan And The Golden Lion.

     As Golden Lion opens Tarzan, Jane and Jack are returning from Pal-Ul-Don  from whence Tarzan has retrieved Jane.

     As I read the story there seems to be a certain coolness and distance between Tarzan and Jane on Tarzan’s part.  At this point the lion cub who will become Jad-Bal-Ja makes his appearance standing in the middle of the trail.  David’s sexual seal of the killed lion would be the cub’s mother who was accidentally killed by a Native who stumbled on the lioness and cub.  As a defense mechanism against Emme/Jane Tarzan/Burroughs adopts the cub as an Anima surrogate.

     In an email to me of 1/23/07 David makes these comments:

       Through the first nine Tarzan novels the hero gradually establishes the lion symbol as his own until in Tarzan And The Golden Lion he is completely aligned with his source of power in the merging of lion symbol and self/Jad-Bal-Ja.  Even though Jad is described as a glorified dog, this is only his personal devotion to the ape-man being explained in easy terms.  Tarzan himself always respects Jad, saying “A lion is always a lion.”  he is far from the domesticated ones in Cathne in purpose and spirit.

     My thinking is that David is right in that the lion symbol and self are united but not within the ego but separately as the Anima and Animus.  So what we have  is Anima/Jad-Bal-Ja and Animus/Tarzan. Tarzan is sort of doubly armed with two masculine sides with Jad-Bal-Ja being associated with the goddess and partaking in some way of her femininity.

     There wouldn’t be too much of a conflict between the female Anima and the Male Anima figure as ERB’s Anima was subsumed by the male fencing master Jules de Vac of The Outlaw Of Torn.   De Vac killed ERB/Norman’s Anima figure Maud and then assuming female attire lived with Norman in the attic of a house over the Thames for a fairly long period of time thus becoming a substitute Anima.

     Thus the anomaly of a male lion Anima is easily explained.  As a  symbol of the goddess Jad-Bal-Ja is, as it were, clothed in female attire as was De Vac.  Further Jad-Bal-Ja is always indifferent to Jane/Emma.  Jane has no real relationship with the Golden Lion.

     David once again:

     The mad queen of Cathne, Nemone, is an example of negative Anima, a feminine power corrupt and dangerous.  Her lion Belthar is the dark shadow opposite of Tarzan and Jad who are symbols of power and light and sun.  Her lion is treated as a dark god and is linked to Nemone’s own dark soul.  When Jad kills Belthar, Nemone kills herself because the source of her power is gone.  It is an archetypal case of light overcoming darkness.  The masculine power of light overcoming a dark feminine anima.

     In the general sense I have no problem with David’s analysis although I would argue that Belthar is Nemone’s Animus.  Nemone is playing the part of Circe in the myth of Odysseus while that story is the triumph of the male ego in freeing itself from matriarchal sexual thralldom.  This whole series of novels is related to the Odyssey.  So that, in that sense Tarzan is imprisoned by the charms of Nemone/Circe.  He is being emasculated, deprived of his will, by the feminine will by one might say, the maneater, Nemone.

     In fact Nemone as ruler of Cathne has emasculated the leonine male power.  As David Adams sagely observes:

     In Cathne lions are employed as domesticated animals for the purpose of pulling chariots, hunting and racing.  This is a reduction of the power of the lion symbol to the mundane, even to the point of being ridiculous.  It is a degradation and humiliaton of ERB’s ultimate symbol of power and virility.

     Yes, and that would be in keeping with the story of Circe who turned Odysseus’ crew into swine and would have Odysseus except that he had a pocketful of Moly, a charm to set Circe at naught.  Likewise the queen of the City of Gold of the Legends Of Charlemagne who enchanted the paladins of that king, except for one who then freed the others.

     So, Nemone had Tarzan at her mercy except for the strange situation of the lion of ERB’s Anima defeating the lion of Nemone’s Animus.

     Once this was done the charm of Nemone/Circe/Queen of the City of Gold was destroyed with the City of Gold being restored to male supremacy and Alextar restored to his rightful throne.  Things were then returned to their rightful order as in the domains of Circe and the Queen.  We are led to believe that a Utopian age begins.  This may be a slap at Wells and his Men Like Gods. 

Conclusion

     This review completes this very important series of five novels.  Obviously I consider the key novels to be Tarzan The Invincible, Tarzan And The Leopard Men and Tarzan And The Lion Man.  These novels are more directly concerned with ERB’s political and religious opinions.  A trilogy concerning ERB’s sexual problems could be made up of  Tarzan Triumphant, Leopard Men and City Of Gold bracketed by Invincible and Lion Man but Triumphant and City Of Gold appear to me to be more minor key than the other three.

     Nevertheless these five novels usually treated as the least significant of the series are the most crucial to the understanding of Burroughs while being very good stories in themselves.

     Excluding Tarzan And The Foreign Legion that is outside Burroughs’ psychological development, although a good story, ERB published only another three Tarzan novels in his lifetime and they were all decidedly inferior to that which preceded them, still good stories, but ERB’s concentration had been broken.  Tarzan’s Quest is the best of the last three but just as Lion Man ends with Burroughs’ dreams going up in flames so does Quest.  Perhaps eccentric best describes Tarzan And The Forbidden City.  The title says it all.  He was never to find salvation; the doors of the Sacred City remained closed to him.  Tarzan The Magnificent while having exciting episodes just doesn’t come together.

     Magnificent less Foreign Legion concluded the oeuvre until Castaways and Madman were discovered twenty years later.  However Burroughs himself chose not to publish those books so they must be an addendum to the series.  The two posthumous novels complete ERB’s psychological development being important in that respect for the student.

     Further his psychological development was brought to a head during the writing of these five novels.  In this tremendous struggle between ERB, the Communists and the Jews ERB was routed by the time he wrote Tarzan And The Lion Man.  He didn’t think his tactics and strategy through to the end.

     Thus ERB’s whole life was a prelude to the Gotterdamerung that ended as Tarzan fled the City of God.

     ERB’s whole life is a magnificent adventure that in itself would make a tremendous movie with the right and unfettered treatment.  It could the grandest of grand opera worhty of Mozart.  I’d like to see it; even better i’d like to write it.

Springtime For Edgar Rice Burroughs

by

R.E. Prindle

Part VII

Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Sequels

The return from San Diego in March-April 1914 was a turning point in Burroughs’ life.  In a sense it was a childhood’s end.  The past was now the past.  ERB’s future lay ahead.

The fact that he had won the gamble of the stay in San Diego being able to spend recklessly and still have his back financially covered must have been a tonic to his self-confidence.  He was able to do nearly anything he wanted to do.  One was to begin his library.  A key book in his library was Edward Gibbon’s Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire.  He recorded its purchase date in 1913 and the day he completed the work just after his birthday in 1915.  One imagines that by the time he wrote his three sequels in mid-1914 he had read a few of the volumes of his twelve volume set.

This is important because reading Gibbon is a life changing event.  In the language of the sixties the history is consciousness expanding.  In a sense it is a transition from childhood to maturity.

It is impossible to stress sufficiently the changes that ERB is going through or the rapidity of the changes.  Already just returned from San Diego he is purchasing a new automobile, a Hudson.  It is perhaps no coincidence that The Mad King opens with Barney Custer/ERB careening down the road in a new Roadster.  That it is gray is of very little significance because the only colors available in 1914 were probably grey and black.  Or perhaps as the Hudson appears to be grey in black and white photos Barney’s car for that reason was grey.

One can only imagine the exhilaration ERB experienced as he climbed behind the wheel of big new touring car.  It was Hudson not a cheap Ford.  Nineteen fourteen was also a turning point in the history of Ford Motors.  ERB always disparages Fords in these years proud that he’s driving a more expensive automobile.  The woes of not being able to afford a car from 1903 on must have melted away.

Not only did ERB buy a new car but he and his family of wife and three children moved into luxurious new quarters in the affluent Chicago suburb of Oak Park.  So ERB began a new life on his return to Chicago.

Shortly after his return Tarzan Of The Apes was released in book form by A.C. McClurg.  Magazine and newspaper response to his stories had been terrific so there was no reason for Burroughs not to anticipate large sales.  One can imagine him sitting up nights calculating the number.  A hundred thousand?  Too low.  A million?  Well, if he got really lucky.  We’ve all enjoyed the anticipation of some sort along those lines.

The book was released in May, 1914 but there is no indication that McClurg’s even sold through the fifteen thousand of the contract or, indeed, that they even ever printed that many.  The title was turned over to the reprint house of A.L. Burt early the next year in 1915.  Burt was so uncertain of the books reception that they made McClurgs guarantee the first printing.  When Burt turned the title over to Grossett and Dunlap they claimed to have sold less than seven hundred thousand copies at fifty cents each.  Royalties were only four and a half cents a copy of which McClurg’s got half so Burroughs realized a mere pittance.

So what then?

He was thrown back almost wholly on his magazine revenues.  He began to receive some money from newspaper syndication but this was relatively a pittance given his expectations.  Within a few years movie money would begin coming in but for the time being Burroughs had to keep writing bcause as usual he was spending in advance of receipts.

I believe one can detect a change in the style of his writing at this point.

Whereas prior to the return from San Diego with the energy of the bloom of Spring relying perhaps on stories that had evolved in his mind as he daydreamed in the lean years stories just flowed from his pen.  It seems likely that he exhausted that reservoir in San Diego so that now he had actually to work at dreaming up stories.  In all three of the titles the sequels are significantly longer than the first halves while changing from personal revelations more toward formal stories.

The editorship of Munsey’s had also changed from Metcalf to Bob Davis- Robert H. Davis.  From the available evidence Metcalf seems to have been the more tolerant and indulgent of Burroughs’ writing.  When Davis was assigned Burroughs in 1914 the latter was an established star of the Munsey stable of writers.  Davis wrote an autobiography c. 1940 that I haven’t been able to obtain but which should have much information on his dealing with ERB.

Davis appears to have been much more critical of Burroughs, even bullying him, pushing suggestions on him that the vulnerable writer couldn’t resist.  Davis was the one who suggested that Tarzan have a son something Burroughs always regretted doing.  Davis seems to have been of the opinion that ERB used a number of trite situations, situations that have subsequently been amply exploited by the movies.  Not having grown up in ERB’s milieu and being sufficienctly underread in the various literatures of the times I am unable to say whether or not Burroughs presentation of Barney Custer’s execution by firing squad was trite or not as Davis states.  Why Davis should have accepted the grazing of the head by the bullet that has become so commonplace in the movies and rejected the first episode is beyond me.

That Davis accepted Barney’s escape through the sewer without a demur when the episode is a blatant plagiarism of Jean Valjean’s escape through the sewer in Les Miserables  is beyond me also.  Burroughs even duplicates the upturned face as the filth rises about Valjean.  ERB does provide the original twist of Barney being completely submerged in the sewage.  Gruesome enough.

So Davis’ intent seems to have been a contest for control and dominance.  It seems then that there were large variations between the magazine stories and the published books as ERB reinserted deleted passages and changed details back to his original writing.  Overall, from the available evidence, I hold an unfavorable opinion of Davis’ interference.

On the home front, while ERB may have thought to find acceptance for his success as a writer and his newfound prosperity he was to be bitterly disappointed as his writing was disparaged and his topics made him a literary clown in his contemporaries eyes.  To my undertanding he has never been accorded the respect  that is his due to this day either in Oak Park or Chicago.

The fact is that he was able to please his audience in the pulp fiction genre mightily not only in 1913-14 but for at least a quarter century until his medium, pulp fiction, began to flounder in the thirties and forties.  Having now read so many of his novels four to six times I am beginning now to have a much greater respect for ERB’s writing abilities.

The sequels of all three novels under consideration show an extreme focus on exactly what the story is and told with great economy yet with words so well chosen that the reader learns everything that he has to know.  I am especially impressed with the single minded drive of The Mad King.

While obviously desiring acceptance and even importance in Chicago’s society ERB made an effort to be accepted by the newspaper columnists he had so admired from young manhood on.   These men were very much admired by ERB.  Indeed the columnists occupied a position analogous to the drive time radio commentators of our day.  Chicago had some of the best.

Burroughs had collections of Eugene Field and George Ade in his library so that it is clear that he was much influenced by them.  He does not seem to have cared for Peter Finley Dunne and his Mr. Dooley Irish dialect stories.  Now as man he began to contribute to the successors of Field and Ade.  Bert Leston Taylor’s column A Line Of Type Or Two in the Chicago Tribune printed some of Burroughs’ verse submitted under his pseudonym, Normal Bean, as well as another column in the Tribune, In The Wake Of The News by Hugh E. Keogh also known as HEK. (source: Porges)  Both columns were prestigious so that the acceptance of ERB’s verse would indicate that it was high enough quality for the columns.  After all it isn’t that easy to get into such columns or even have a letter to the editor published.  Burroughs also joined the White Paper Club that sounds like a catchall scribblers club.  He was ignored and shunned by the prestigious clubs.

A note on cars and then to the books on review.  In 1913 he had and sold a Velie.  In 1914 he bought and drove a Hudson while he drove a Mitchell in 1915.

The Velie is of interest (see http://www.angelfire.com/mt/velie/ )

The Velie was a low priced model bought second hand so it probably didn’t put ERB out too much.  Willard Velie attended Yale at the same time as the Burroughs Boys graduating in 1888.  One wonders if the Brothers knew of Velie at Yale.  Perhaps such a knowledge may have influenced Burroughs choice or perhaps not.

The choice of the Hudson was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that ERB’s hero, L. Frank Baum, who ERB almost certainly visited in 1913, drove one.

If there is a possible story behind the Mitchell I haven’t learned it as yet.  Also it shoud be noted that the movie industry did not affect Baum’s decision to move to Hollywood.  Cecil B. Demille and Jesse Lasky didn’t step off the train in LA until 1914 when they introduced Hollywood to the movies.

2.

So now ERB began to organize his life around his future rather than his past.  The first burst of writing in which he released his pent up emotions was now spent.  On the return to Chicago his writing becomes a vocation in which he had to turn out stories every year for the pulps so that he became a professional writer rather than a quasi-amateur.

Tarzan Of The Apes was published in May upon his return but it would seem to disappointing sales.  It was even difficult for McClurg’s to get the reprint firm of A.L. Burt to take it however it did well for Burt although apparently not in the spectacular numbers so often reported.  Nevertheless money began to come in from that source.

Burroughs’ writing would also be influenced by the political situation presented by the Wobblies or I.W.W. as well as the outbreak of the Great War in August.  That conflict became the subject of the sequel to The Mad King that was written after the war began.

The tone of the three sequels then changed from the first halves becoming less personal in their presentation but still concerned with ERB’s relationship with Emma.

The opening  sequence of The Cave Girl-The Mad King-The Eternal Lover was changed to The Cave Man-Sweethearts Primeval (Eternal Lover)-and Barney Custer Of Beatrice (Mad King).

Barney Custer of Beatrice seems to display some first hand knowledge of Bert Weston’s business so it is possible that ERB and family visited Weston and Beatrice on the way back from California.  In the only letter in the Weston correspondence near the 1914 date, that of June 14, ERB does not allude to any such visit which may or may not mean anything.

The Cave Man then was written first of the sequels as was The Cave Girl of the original stories.  There are very significant elements to the story.  ERB would later use the Nadara as the White Goddess in Tarzan And The Leopard Men.  That in turn links Nadara to La and thence to Florence.  In this story Nadara has been captured by some aborigines and made their goddess as will be Kali Bwana.  Just as Nadara was wearing the Panther pelt so Kali Bwana would be associated with the Leopard as goddess of the Leopard Men.  So both women are invested with ERB’s symbol of female sexuality.

Just as the long temple here was on a river so would be the Leopard temple.  Waldo as Thandar uses the roof as does Tarzan.  ERB thus duplicates the story.  As Florence entered his life he began to associate her with this early dream of Nadara as well as her successor, La.  Signficantly La makes her last appearance in 1930s Tarzan The Invincible transformed to reappear immediately as Kali Bwana of Leopard Men.  That would indicate that by 1930 ERB had decided to leave Emma for Florence.

Another interesting twist is the similarity of Nadara and the temple to those of Trader Horn.  We know that Trader Horn read Burroughs so it is probable that he somehow picked up a copy of the magazine version of Cave Man gestating the story for a decade or so when it came out of his head in 1927.  Thus the close association of Burroughs and Horn before and after the publication of the latter’s story.  Keeps getting more and more interesting, doesn’t it?

A second major issue seems to be ERB trying to reconcile himself and his parents.  The second half of the Cave Man is very concerned with portraying Thandar/ERB’s father as a fine old man in contrast to the crazy deaf mute of Lad And The Lion.  In this story the father figure is sympathetic while the mother figure is more harsh.  She does become reconciled to Nadara in the end when she learns the girl is a French Princess.  French again.  One wonders if ERB’s mother was opposed to his marrying Emma.

Nadara herself who waffles between a representation of Emma/Jane and La in the Cave Girl begins Cave Man as more Ema but becomes morel like La/Kali Bwana as the story progresses ending strongly as the latter which would indicate that ERB already preferred his dream Golden Girl to Emma.  He finally settled for the rather commonplace Florence as his version of the Wild Thing.

The story opens with the usual adventures.  Getting Nadar back to her people it is necessary to kill King Big Fist to keep her.  Thus we have a series of male images that reflect ERB’s conflict with Frank Martin.

Big Fist dead the people appoint Tandar/Waldo as their king.  Thandar is in the process of converting the tribe to American Democracy when the earth quake strikes.  In addition to head bashing one is astonished at the role earthquakes play in these early stories along with memory loss.

In this one Thandar/Waldo is creating a new society somewhat in imitation of the bizarre improvements Jules Verne made to his Mysterious Island when the earthquake strikes ending Thandar’s experiment.

The earthquake separates him from Nadara who is then pursued by another neanderthal type; perhaps this is a varation on the theme of ERB’s ccontest with marank Martin for Emma’s hand.

In a bizarre episode Thandar puts to sea in a bobbing strange little boat finally falling in with Pirates.  From then on the story resembles Pirate Blood.  Pirate Blood appeared at the same time as his relationship with Florence developed so the two are proable related to his Anima fantasies.

All comes out right in the end as the Pirates restore the belongings of Waldo’s father and mother whose yacht they had captured.  Thandar rescues Nadara, all are reunited and Thandar/Waldo and Nadara are able to consummate their natural union with the marriage rites of civilization.  An odd little story overall.

ERB next turned to the sequel of The Eternal Lover, Sweethearts Primeval.  I just like this story.  Nu and Victoria return to the Niocene.  ERB missed some opportunities here.  While Nu left the Niocene to go to the present Nat-ul never did.  So when Victoria made her first trip to the Niocene both she and Nat-Ul should have been there.  It would have been well if ERB had explained how their two being meshed after the munerous rebirths of Nat-Ul that produced Victoria.

In this story Nat-Ul who is a variation of La, and Nu become separated.  The story is their attempt to reunite.  Once again a character who may represent Frank Martin attempts to abduct Nat-Ul but she escapes him to fall into the clutches of another cave man only to escape finding her way to a small island.

The imagery is quite wonderful.  Burroughs at his best.  The scenery is quite reminiscent of Pellucidar with its coasts and islands.  The pirate theme is also prominent in the Pellucidar stories of this time.

Nat-Ul manages to be abducted a number of times escaping each time.

Nu is hampered in his search for Nat-Ul by the appearance of a woman named Gron the wife of Tur of the Boat People.  She attches herself to Num who has a difficult time getting rid of her.  In the end Nu goes off in seach of the tiger OO this time dying while Victoria/Nat-Ul returns to the present leaving a hole in Space and Time.

In the end we learn that the whole story of Nu took place in the three mintues Victoria was unconcious.

Burroughs then turned to the sequel of The Mad King.  The reversal in sequence of The Mad King and The Eternal Lover was necessitated by the fact that after the first part of The Mad King Barney had gone to Africa so that it was now necessary to get him back to Lutha.

Thus the Mad King and The Eternal Lover are actually one novel of the History of Barney Custer.  The two books could be combined and titled something like The Adventures Of Barney Custer in Lutha and Africa.

The proper way to read the two books then is Part I of The Mad King, both parts of The Eternal Lover and then the sequel to The Mad King.

After losing Emma in Mad King Part I, Barney goes to Africa to ‘forget’ along with Butzow.  Leaving Africa we next find him and Butzow in Beatrice, Nebraska visiting Bert and Margaret and their grain mill.

If Peter of Bletz had lost rack of Barney in Africa he relocates him in Beatrice (I am informed that Beatrice if pronounced Be-at-trice).  After a failed murder attempt by Peter’s henchman Maenck Barney and Butzow return to Lutha.

As the story was written after the beginning of the Great War Austria is now attempting to annex Lutha.  Apparently ERB was opposed to Austria as he sides with the Serbs.

Having been unable to forget Emma in Africa Barney now attempts to win her hand from King Leopold.

Barney and Leopold are yet another variation on The Prince And The Pauper then.  Barney is captured trying to enter Lutha and put before a firing squad.  Miraculously escaping death he escapes the Austrians by a direct borrowing of Jean Valjean’s escape through the sewers of Paris.

He is temporarily reunited with Emma but then captured by Maenck.  Taken to Leopold he is sentenced to death but contrives to escape by exchanging identities with Leopold.  In the guise of Leopold Barney manages to save Lutha from the Austrians.  He dressed in Royal and Leopold dressed in rages the two are impossible to tell apart which replicates Twain’s story.

Barney is more seriously injured than Leiop[old so more vulnerable  and also stupidly trusting.  It should be clear that Barney and Leopold are doppelgangers of ERB.  The crux of the problme here is the struggle for Emma.  She had been promised in marriage to Leopold so that she is unwilling to disengage fromt he agreement without Leopold’s consent.

ERB writes this remarkable passage about his tow identities, the one the loser of yesteryear, Leopold, and the other the success of his present, Barney.

Quote:

‘What do you intend doing with me?”  (Leopold) said.  “Are you going to keep your word and return my identity?”

“I have promised,” replied Barney, “and what I promise I always perform.”

“Then exchange clothing with me at once,” cried the king, half rising from his cot.

‘Not so fast, my friend,” replied the American.  “There are a few trifling details to be arranged before we resume our proper personalities.”

Unquote.

One of the trifling details is the release of Emma from her obligation to Leopold.  Barney extorts the letter releasing the king placing it under his pillow.  Exhausted from his wound he then falls asleep.  Not so tired Leopold waits until Barney is asleep than recovers his clothes takes back the letter and leaves Barney to his fate.

Up to this point in 1913-14’s output ERB has been struggling to make amends with for his dismal performance in the first thirteen yers of marriage and regain her confidence.  Thus Leopold represents the old ERB and Barney the new.  As Emma has been married to ERB and is familiar with his loser persona it is difficult for her to transit from Leopold to Barney in her affections.  As they are so similar in appearance she had difficulty telling them apart.  This has been ERB;s dilemma for the last year and a half, convincing Emma that he is trustworthy and will continue to be a good provider.

ERB has confidence in his ability to continue his writing and finanical success but his future was not so clear to Emma as he continued his wastrel ways.  As she could not share his optimism she continued to be wary refusing to accord him the trust and actually the respect he desired.

Leopold in possession of the letter identifying him as Barney races to Lustadt presumably with the intent to present Emma with the letter identifying him as Barney, the man she really wants, the marrying her quickly under the false pretense thus foiling Barney.

His own plan is foiled when upon arriving at the castle in Lustadt he is shot dead by Maenck who mistakes him for Barney .  Barney then shows up claiming the hand of Emma.

He is then proclaimed king.  Emma says to him:

Quote:

“There is no other way, my lord King,” she said with grave dignity.  “With her blood your mother requeated you a duty which you may not shirk.  It is not for you or me to choose.  God chose for you when you were born.”

Unquote.

Thus with the line:  God chose for out ERB unites the stories of Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Prince And The Pauper.  The Little Prince of ERB’s early years returns to his God appointed place.  He and Emma are united.

One believes that the story and its ending was intended for Emma to observe ahd heed.  Apparently she didn’t because in the next Tarzan story, Jewels Of Opar of 1915, Tarzan and La flirt again.

Anyway The Mad King sequel rounds out the stories of 1913 bringing Burroughs’ springtime to an end.  The tragedy is that Emma couldn’t foresee that ERB had tapped into the Mother Lode.  No matter how improvident ERB would continute to be the money would always be there to continue their new life style.  Perhaps if she had surrendered to fate and Made ERB her king in fact both she and La would have been united in one figure.

It seems that the Cave Girl, The Eternal Lover and The Mad King explored ERB’s relationship with Emma fromt he beginning to the point aht ERB was minded to replace her with an ideal woman.

The notion would develop in his mind until in 1927 he actually did so.

The three sequels ended the quest of his Springtime.  His youthful enthusiasm was exhausted.  From this point on he would compose more formal novels searching for story lines.

Personally I find his post 1914 to 1920 work some of his best.   The two sequels to The Mucker yet to come are outstanding.

Female problems continued to dominate his work.  Then in 1921 he read a work on male-female relations by E.M. Hull that had a profound effect on him.  that was the novel of The Sheik.  I would like to do a review of that next before I return to the Tarzan series.

Something Of Value I

October 1, 2007

Something Of Value I

by

R.E. Prindle

If a man does away

With his traditional way of living

And throws away his good customs,

He had better first make certain

That he has something of value to replace them.

–Basuto proverb as quoted by Robert Ruark

Dedicated to

Greil Marcus

 

Part One

One Hundred Years In The Sewers Of Paris

With Jean Valjean.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sigmund Freud

And The Myth Of The Twentieth Century

1.

The Concepts Of The Unconscious And Emasculation

 

     It has been truly said that man does not live by bread alone.  He also requires a mythic foundation on which to base his actions.  In the neolithic era his mythology was governed by a Matriarchal vision of reality.  In the subsequent Egypto-Greco-Mesopotamian mythology the Matriarchal series went through a revision being replaced by an advanced Patriarchal mythological consciousness.  This system was followed by the Judaeo-Christian mythological system which endured as the basis of mythological belief until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the belief system was subverted by the emergence of the Scientific Consciousness.

     Unlike the mythopoeic consciousness which preceded it the Scientific Consciousness left no place for supernatural explanations; all had to be explained within a rational scientific framework.  This placed a great strain on a significant portion of the population which did not have the intellectual equipment to evolve.  Thus the basis of psychological comfort provided by religion was destroyed.  The code of behavior seemingly sent down from the sky had lost its validity.

     In place of an apparent unified consciousness it now became noticeable that EuroAmerican man had an unconscious or subconscious mind as well as a conscious mind.  Thus another evolutionary degree of differentiation unfolded that separated the advanced Scientific Consciousness  from the anterior Religious Conciousness.  A struggle has ensued in which advanced people are compelled to reintegrate their conscious and subconscious minds while the Religious Consciousness divided into the two camps of the Devout and the Reds resist.

     The discovery of what was known as the Unconscious began with the emergence from the Religious Consciousness during and  after the Enlightenment.  Anton Mesmer with his discovery of Animal Magnetism or hypnotism may have been the first stage.  Goethe and others carried the discussion forward until the Englishman FWH Myers isolated or identified the subconscious by the name of the unconscius in 1886.

     The notion of the unconscious as known during the twentieth century was formulated by Sigmund Freud during the twentieth century’s first decade.  Both Myers and Freud misconceived the nature of the sub or unconscious.  Myers’ conception was more generous than Freud’s and more in accordance with proto-scientific Patriarchal Greek mythological conceptions which were also mistaken but visionary.

     In Myers’ vision of the unconscious it had two aspects: the destructive aspect which he gave the Greek name of Ate and the constructive aspect he termed Menos.  Thus he recognized that the unconcious could be good or bad.

     Myers’ vision may have been based in Greek mythology.  It will be remembered that the creative god, Hephaestus, was married to the emotional goddess, Aphrodite.  Hephaestus and Aphrodite had their digs at the bottom of the sea which is to say the symbol of the unconscious which corresponds to the seeming location of the unconscious at the bottom of the mind or, in other words, the brain stem.

     Thus it is said that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, which is to say irrationality, emerged from the sea on the half shell.

     So, I suppose, love, being never rational is a subconscious decision which is one sided or a half shell.  Love may be either constructive or destructive.

     Thus also good ideas, a la Hephaestus, seem to rise unbidden from the subconscious or the depths.

     Hephaestus and Aphrodite were ancient gods dating back to the Matriarchy.  The incoming Patriarchal god, Zeus, had no part in their creation; they were solely a part of Hera the great goddess of the Matriarchy.  She was much older than Zeus but the youthful Zeus united with her in the form of a cuckoo bird who as she clutched it to her breast slipped down her dress and ravaged her.  So the Patriachy subsumed the Matriarchy.

     When Hephaestus later sided with his mother against Zeus, the great Olympian threw him from heaven laming him.  Then Aphrodite was given to him to wife.  Unbridled lust combined with creative activity, Ate and Menos.

     Aphrodite was not happy with the lamed god.  While Hephaestus was on trips to Olympus she dallied with another Matriarchal god, Ares, the symbol of uncontrollable desire or rage.  Hephaestus having been informed of Aphrodite’s infidelity set a trap for her and Ares.  He constructed a finely meshed net of gold which he suspended over his bed.

     Aphrodite, unbridled lust, and Ares, uncontrollable rage, were literally caught in the act being unable to disengage.  Thus we have two aspects of Ate, lust and rage, caught by the efforts of creativity in the depths of the sea or the unconscious

     Hephaestus called the other gods to witness.  Athene, a new Patriarchal goddess who was the counterpart and antithesis of Ares and Aphrodite turned away in disgust.  Apollo, another new Patriarchal god and the antithesis of Hermes just laughed.  Hermes, the patron god of thieves, a Matriarchal god, said he would change places with Ares in a second.  Thus, lust, rage and dishonesty are combined in one figure of Ate in the subconscious.

     The image of Ate and Menos is what Myers meant by his idea of the unconscious.  Freud, on the other hand, understood the unconscious as pure Ate.

     Both the Greeks and Myers attempted scientific explanations while Freud gave the unconscious a religious and supernatural twist.  He seemed to believe that the unconscious has an independent existence outside the mind of man which is beyond man’s control while being wholly evil.

     Opposed to morality, Freud then wished to unleash this conception of the unconscious on the world.  He was uniquely prepared to do so.  All he had to do was manipulate the symbols of psychoanalysis of which he had full control.  The question then is did Freud have deeper understandings that he concealed in order to bring about his desired ends?

     Such is the case with his conceptions of sexuality.  There is no need for him to have had deeper understanding, after all he was a pioneer opening a new field of inquiry.  On the other hand…

     Defining the unconscious was done by many men preceding Freud so that his is only one of many understandings, not necessarily the best, although today in  common belief he invented the concept of the unconscious.

     Next he chose to define the concepts of sex.  He was equally successful in this field as far as the public was concerned, although I differ in understanding the matter as I do with the unconscious.

     In analyses with patients Freud discovered that there was a fear of castration out of all proportion to actual incidents of sexual mutilation.  It follows then that castration symbolizes something other than the removal of the genitals.  I contend that it was impossible for Freud to have missed the signficance of castration as a symbol.

     Castration as a symbol represents the broader concept of Emasculation, in this case psychological emasculation.  This does occur in everyone’s life in many different manifestations while being something to really fear or avoid.  Unless I am mistaken all neuroses and psychoses depend from it.

     Understanding Emasculation is as much a ‘royal road to the unconscious’ as dreams.

     I do not accept Freud’s map of the mind but we both agree that the Ego or Animus is the key to identity.  Freud fully understood the significance of the Ego.  Thus when the Ego is challenged with an affront or insult to which it is either unable or doesn’t know how to respond to successfully emascualtion to some degree takes place.  There is no unconscious, just as there are no instincts so that a fixation is suppressed in the subconscious as a result of the affront.  These fixations produce effects, which can be grouped in categories such as hysteria, paranoia, obsessive-compulsiveness and the whole panoply of general affects.  The affects then find expression physically and psychologically, or in another word, psychosomatically.  The mind and the body is one unit.  These affects answer to what Freud called neuroses and psychoses.

     When the Ego or Animus is denied its right to assertion the denial is frequently espressed in a hysterically sexual manner corresponding to the the insult.  If the victim feels he has been taken from behind he will undoubtedly resort to anal intercourse as one type of underhanded response in an attempt to get back his own as in the case with homosexuality.  Homosexuality is Emasculation par excellence.

     The human mind is very limited in its inventiveness so all these affects can be catalogued and matched with the insult so that, absent resistance under analysis, they can easily be addressed and exorcised.  The problem is not as complicated as it has been made out.

     Freud understood so much more than he was willing to tell the goys but then he was not a scientist but a Jewish prophet.  In his Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego to which we will return he gave the game away.

     The individual can and does submerge his own ego into a, or at various times, many group egos.  Prominent among these group egos are ethnic, national and religious group egos.

     Just as the individual can be emascualted so can ethnic, national or religious groups be emasculated which the individual will share.  I mention the Jews only as the most obvious case although Negroes, American Indians or any defeated people suffer emasculation to one degree or another.

     Thus I will discuss the unconscious from a general point of view with Freud’s concept prominent while the concept of Emascultion will be discussed by my understanding based on the studies of Freud on the castration complex and group psychology.

     Bear in mind that I think Freud criminally distorted scientific knowledge for ethnic, national and religious ends.

2.

Quo Vadis?

     Born with an integrated mind, circumstances soon disintegrate the personality so that the mind must be reintegrated  to return to a state of psychic wholeness.  A sort of personal mythology is created by one’s early disintegrative experiences which form one’s dreamscape in an attempt to deal with an overwhelming reality.  However, when a person gains some control over external reality when the personality is integrated and the initial  dreamscape based on early memories is eliminated  a sort of distressing vacuum ensues that exists until a new dreamscape is formed which, while sufficient to ease the discomfort lacks the depth and substance of the fully mythologized dreamscape of childhood.  One had reached a scientific consciousness.  It may not be as satisfying but it fills the space while not controlling one’s behavior.

     Western man, Euroamerican man, as the only segment of mankind so differentiated had then to begin to work out a new mythology based on rational scientific ideas.  In other words he had to create a comfortable basis from which to understand and interpret the world.

     Thus after a couple proto-mythographies in the early nineteenth century a cluster of writers or neo-mythographers began to create a mythology for the Scientific Consciousness.

     The destruction of the Religious Consciousness began to become obvious after the eighteenth century Industrial Revolution in  England.  With the advent of steam the problem began to become acute.

     The proto-mythologers may be Walter Scott, Byron, Peacock and the Shelleys.  There is a departure in feel and style with these writers.  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein posits the scientific problem laying a foundation for the new mythology but does not itself deal with the psychological effects.

     The first mythographer to make an attempt to explain the split consciousness from my own researches was the American, Edgar Allan Poe, 1801-49.

     Poe began his writing career as a psychologically troubled man ending it insane.  Along the way he wrestled with the problem of the void in the subconscious created by the elimination of the supernatural.  His message was received by the later group of mythographers who read him without exception all being influenced by his work.

     Poe caught the great intellectual change as it emerged.  The period from 1830-1880 was the period of the great initial scientific advances that would change the world.  From Poe’s death in 1849 to the emergence of the new breed of mythographers beginning in the 1880s was a period of literary quiescence.

     Poe began his influential masterpiece The Murders In The Rue Morgue with the paragraph:

     Quote:

      As the strong man exhibits his physical ability, delighting in such excercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in the moral activity which disentangles.  He derives pleasure from even the most trivial occupations bringing his intellect into play.  He is fond of enigmas, conundrums, hieroglyphics; exhibiting in his solutions of each a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension as praeternatural.  His results brought about by the very soul and essence of method, have in truth the whole air of intuition.

     Unquote.

     By analysis Poe didn’t mean the sort of educated guesswork that had passed for analysis in the pre-scientific consciousness.  No, this was scientific analysis that disassembled a problem into the component parts revealing the secret than reassembling the problem to its original state.

     In doing so Poe revealed himself as a master mythographer as well as a scientist.  In C. August Dupin, the initials spell cad, Poe created the archetype of the eccentric madman who would be the here of countless novels.  As a projection of Poe’s own mentality Dupin and his unnamed alter ego live in a dilapidated house.  The house is the psychological symbol for self which Poe used almost to exhaustion.  As the Fall of the House of Usher prefigured Poe’s own descent into insanity as to a number of alter egos representing his sane side figure in the House of Usher, William Wilson, Rue Morgue and most notably in the System of Dr. Tarr And Professor Fether in which his sane alter ego drops his other half off at the door of an insane asylum.

     The two Dupins live in a darkened house during the day, creaking not unlike the House Of Usher, going out only into the depressed asylum of the night.

     Poe thus presents the separation of the conscious and subconscious modern man in the riddle of the murders in the Rue Morgue.  In the Rue Morgue the subconscious is represented by the Orang u tang or animal side of human nature while the conscious is represented by the sailor owner.  From Poe to at least Freud the subconscious was popularly considered a dangerous wild side of man.

     In Dupin and his alter ego versus the sailor and the Orang, Poe may have perceived the emergence of a new species much as H.G. Wells was to do at the end of the century.  Thus both men perceived that the antecedent consciousness and the Scientific Consciousness were not just matters of learning but a genetic difference although they didn’t put it that way that couldn’t be bridged.

     Both aspects were brought out brilliantly by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) in his 1880 novel: The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.  This book may properly be said to be the first true represention of the scientific myth.

     In this case the good Dr. Jekyll is the disciplined, self-controlled scientist committed to doing good in the world.  Beneath his intelligent exterior he feels the primitive wild man lurking.  The primitive of what is in fact a predecessor Homo Sapiens is very very appealing to him.  Unable to bring this aspect of his psychology to the surface by conventional means he resorts to drugs.

     Having once freed his wild side, who he names Mr. Hyde, he is unable to put Hyde back into the bottle or syringe, whichever the case may be.  Hyde assumes control of the personality which leads both aspects of the personality to destruction.  This is not unlike Freud’s notion of the unconscious.

     Thus Stevenson brilliantly prefigured the twentieth century future in which the scientist is dragged back to the level of the predecessor species through a psychological inability to take the great leap forward and turn his back on his past.

     The same sense of the alienation from a predecessor existence was evidenced in the work of a great transitional figure, H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925).  Let me say that Haggard is a much neglected literary figure.  As his topics concerned Esoterica and Africa, the former which is scorned and the latter ignored, his literary reputation has been allowed to virtually disappear.  Having read a large part of his work in the pursuit of these studies I would rank Haggard very highly, certainly among the top ten authors, possibly as high as number five.  one and two are Walter Scott and Balzac, while Dumas holds down third and possibly Trollope in the fourth spot.  Haggard is a writer of genius.

     He spent his late teens and early twenties in the South African provinces of Natal and Zululand where he acquired a vision of the difference between the first Homo Sapiens, the Negro, and the current scientific man.  As the saying goes, there’s something to be lost and something gained when you move up the ladder.

     Haggard never made it to scientific man himself being stuck in the Religious Consciousness.  He belonged to the Esoteric side rather than the Christian.  In the third novel of his great African trilogy, Allan Quatermain, Haggard examined the difference between the African and European in this manner.

     Quote:

     Ah! this civilization what does it all come to?  Full forty years and more I spent among savages, and studied them and their ways; and now for several years I have lived here in England, and in my own stupid manner have done my best to learn the ways of the children of light; and what do I find?  A great gulf fixed?  No, only a very little one, that a plain man’s thought may spring across.  I say that as the savage is, so is the white man, only the latter is more inventive, and possesses a faculty of combination…but in all essential the savage and child of civilization are identical.

     Unquote.

      In the same book Haggard also put the problem more poetically:

…he dreams of the sight

of Zulu impis

breaking on the foe

like surf upon the rocks

and his heart rises in rebellion

against the strict limits

of the civilized life.

      Here Haggard states the central thesis of Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde.  In the evolution of the species there is always a small gulf between two adjacent species: nature does not take great leaps, it moves in small increments.  Thus it may be a small leap between the two, expecially when the next transition creates not only a new variety but a new species, but the leap is backwards as in Jekyll’s case while it is impossible for Hyde to make the leap forward, nor is he capable of adjusting to the new strict limits.  Wasn’t Stevenson precocious?

     Haggard who was not of the Scientific Consciousness was left behind while his work formed the basis of the greatest of the scientific mythographers.

     Before moving on let us here consider the patron saint of the future Red/Liberal aspect of the Religious Consciousness, the Frenchman, Victor Hugo (1802-85).

Paris Is A Leaky Basket

Paris has another Paris under herself; a Paris of sewers; which has its streets, its crossings, its squares, its blind alleys, its arteries and its circulation, which is slime minus its human form.

~Victor Hugo- Les Miserables

     As Haggard was a transitional figure for the mythographers one might say that Victor Hugo created the literary foundation for the Red/Liberal faction of the Religious Consciousness.  His Les Miserables with its tragi-comic format forms the bedrock of Revolutionary beliefs.  Hugo was himself a Revolutionary.  His novel Les Miserables is the account, so he says, of the apotheosis of Jean Valjean from bestiality to salvation.  Along the way to his apotheosis Valjean makes a detour through the sewers of Paris.

     Hugo was a poet; his account of the sewers of paris is, shall we say, poetic.  In fact a scatalogical masterpiece worthy of our own Lenny Bruce.  If Lenny had studied Vic a little he would have been able to say everything he wanted to say while staying out of jail at the same time.

     One wonders whether Freud read Hugo.  There are certain similarities in style.  Certainly they both seem to have had the same notion of the unconscious.  Valjean’s trip through the sewers of Paris, he with the bleeding Marius on his back must have been intended as a representation of the unconscious.  And a very funny one at that.

     Freud would certainly have agreed with Hugo when the latter wrote:  The history of men is the history of cloacae.  From Hugo’s description of the sewers of Paris it is clear that Paris was not anal retentive.

     Freud was no less scatological in his approach to psychology than this astonishing  section of Hugo’s book.  Who wouldn’t be miserable down in a sewer; miserable enough if only your mind was in the sewer.  In Hugo one gets the same macabre, morbid sense of humor Freud exhibits in his own work.  Oh yes, read properly Freud tells a lot of jokes.  Didn’t he write a book titled: Jokes And Their Relation To The Unconscious?  Sure he did.  Knew what he was talking about too.

     The first chapter of the section of Hugo’s book, The Intestines Of Leviathan is a series of morbid one liners which are as funny as anything Lenny Bruce came up with.  Double entendre?  To say Paris is a leaky basket!  In the underworld homosexual argot of Jean Genet the term basket refers to a man’s crotch and penis.  Undoubtedly the same argot was current in Hugo’s time.  He was a student of criminal argot.  So Paris being a leaky basket is equivalent to saying Paris was incontinent, pissing all over itself.  Don’t you think that’s funny?

     And then: “The sewer is the conscience of the city.” Hm?  ‘This can be said for the garbage dump, that it is no liar.”  I ask you, does Victor Hugo know how to get down and boogie?  Let us follow Jean Valjean into the “Conscience of Paris” “which is no liar” from which Hugo says Villon talks to Rabelais.  Fabulous funny images, morbid but fabulous and funny.

     To be sure, psychology in 1862 when Les Miserables was published, had not been developed, yet notice how closely Hugo’s tongue-in-cheek, laughing in his sleeve, description of Jean Valjean’s journey through the pitch black maze of this subterranean worker’s paradise into which from time to time faint glimmerings of light enter answers to the images of Freudian Depth Psychology.  Depth psychology?  Was that a pun or play on words?

     Just imagine Jean Valjean as he enters the sewer.  Take time to construct concrete images in your mind.  After this, shall we say, harrowing of hell not unlike that of Theseus and Peirithous, from which Perithous never returned, Valjean receives his apotheosis not unlike Hercules.  One might also compare this scene with the temptation of Christ.

     Valjean is carrying the bleeding Marius on his back who might or might not be dead.  Hugo doesn’t let us know.  This might be compared to one’s old self before or during the integration of the personality.  In fact Valjean sheds Marius after emerging from the sewer from which the gatekeeper of Hell, Thenardier, allows him to emerge after being paid his obol.

     The sewer is certainly a symbol of the unconscious for the scatological Freud who seems to revel in such fecal images.  Amidst a chatty history of the sewers of Paris which Hugo keeps up as Valjean plods through the darkness always intuitively heading in the right direction, down.  He evades the thought police who are searching for him or someone just like him in the sewers.  A shot sent blindly down his gallery grazes his cheek.  Jesus!  Isn’t a man safe from harassment in the depths of his own mind?  If you think Paris is dangerous, try the sewers.

     Valjean is exhausted from his long walk carrying Marius on his back, poor suffering humanity, the sign of the cross, nevertheless with the heart of a lion he plods on.  He moves forward through deepening fluids as his bare feet sink into fecal matter “which does not lie” while Hugo carries on a charming separate conversation with we readers about little known facts of the Paris sewers.  No, the fecal matter, as well as Hugo, tells the truth however hard that may be to decipher from the material at hand as well as underfoot.

      As the fluid (also however that may be composed as Hugo is writing scatologically) rises, his feet sink up to his knees into “the conscience of the city.”  Get this!  Valjean is one of the great strongmen, he lifts the dead weight of Marius above his head on his extended arms still sucking his feet from the muck.  Hugo does not reveal whether Valjean lost his shoes during this ordeal or not but surely a while back.  Perhaps of all the details Hugo records this particular item which consumes my interest had none for him.

     Nevertheless, heedless of the the danger to her shoes, Valjean plods on.  Plod, plod.

     Now, here’s a detail of interest Hugo does record.  Feet and legs deep in the conscience of paris, Marius held above his head visualize this, the fecal fluid had risen above Valjean’s mouth and nose so that he has to tip his head back, I’m not sure this would have been effective, until only a mask can be seen rising eerily above the surface, as well as two arms and Marius.  He ain’t heavy, he’s my other self.  Seen in Stygian darkness that is.

     If we’re all in the same sewer here imagine particles of the conscience of Paris, scatologically know as turds, bumping up against the mask probably trailing behind Our Man Of The Sewer in a wake of fetid glory.

     Even in the pitch black Thenardier is watching this spectacle.  Fortunately the psychic crisis is past.  Valjean leaves the conscience of Paris which does not lie, you can say that about it, behind striking solid, er, ground.

     A striking vision of Freud’s and the Revolution’s reality.  Had Valjean been given the name Spartacus the Revolutionary vision would have been complete.  The Red/Liberals had spent a hundred years or more in the sewers of Paris before they turned this primary text of theirs into the Broadway musical of Les Miserables.  Next time you see it put it into this context of the sewers of Paris.  The songs will take on new meaning.

Part II of Something Of Value I follows.