A Review

The Prague Cemetery

Part II

by

Umberto Eco

Review by:

R.E. Prindle

Umberto Eco

Part II

Tracing The Racial Memory

     For what is history but the attempt to remember or reconstruct the racial past and therefore one’s own pre-history.  For as the ancients said:  The unexamined life is not worth living.  Where better to begin than with the origins of life.

The key fact of existence on earth is that the planet is a huge dynamo generating an electro-magnetic field.  In other words the core of the planet is moving at a different rate of speed than the outer layers.  There could be no life without this fact.  The movement of the core also generates  a combination of the elements hydrogen and oxygen we humans call water which is extruded to the surface creating the oceans.

Isaac Asimov describes the human body as big sack of water where H2O comprises  very nearly the whole body.  So, in contradiction to the ignorant Semitic model ‘dirt’ has no part in the composition of the body.

It is said that the early atmosphere was 100% hydrogen.  Thus the extrusion of water and its evaporation must have freed oxygen atoms.  As air is 21% oxygen, that fixes the origin of life at the time when oxygen displaced hydrogen in the atmosphere to the extent of 21% at which level it remains today.  That also means that if the percentage varied by very much life as now constituted could not survive.

All matter can be deconstructed into its constituent chemical atoms, primarily four gases.  While hydrogen and oxygen are the bases of life forms, a dozen or so other trace elements are used in the amounts that were in the sea when life began.    All were therefore dissolved in water.  It therefore follows by a chain of those atoms proto-life was formed.  As life is activated by electricity it follows  that electricity was imparted from the electro-magnetic field, the sun or possibly activated by an electrical charge from lightning in conjunction with the electro-magnetic field.

Thus life, a single cell, was formed in the ocean waters which as everyone knows is salty.  Hence human are salty.  From then in some mysterious process not yet discovered the single cell evolved into all the myriad forms of life that have been and are.  At some point ocean forms evolved into land forms which became increasingly complex until one has the human form the most evolved and complex of all.  Just because the process can’t be described in full as yet doesn’t mean that Evolution isn’t a reality.

The Thought Original World Island

The World Island, Pangaea, is said to have to have begun breaking up 250 million years ago.  The planet is said to be about four billion years old so in all probability the land mass was not the same for that entire time period.  Pangaea was an intermediate period.  As the planet is essentially a top spinning freely in space all the rules of physics pertaining to tops apply.

If you have a water filled top with solid bits in it when you spin the top the solid bits will be drawn to the upper hemisphere.  This is what happened to the land mass of the earth.  The rotational stresses were such that the surface cracked into large plates that began drifting North.  Hence today the land mass forms a circle around the North Pole.  Above Russia and Siberia  long transverse islands have pulled away from the main mass to gravitate further toward the Pole.

The Disintegration Of Pangaea

Africa occupies the central position of Pangaea so that as the continents moved they were essentially split off from Africa.  Asia moved up and curved around the Pole.  The Atlantic Rift separated North and South America moving them to the North and West.  India split off moving East and North to collide with Asia forcing the great transverse mountain range of the Himalayas up.  And of course Indonesia and Australia trailed out across the ocean to their current stations.  Antarctica was drawn South to form that Pole.

As the parcels separated whatever life there was must have traveled on their respective parcels.  Thus, even though it may be said the life began in Africa the various life forms must have evolved separately on their land masses.

Full Displacement

There have been several mass extinctions not least of all that which occurred  at the end of the last ice age when, for instance, many life forms including horses, mastodons, saber tooth tigers and possibly humans disappeared from the Americas.  Huge death rate.  The remains of least tens of thousands of mammoths were killed and in Siberia and the American North frozen quickly enough and permanently enough to preserve their flesh which was still edible, although gamey, when the bodies were unearthed in recent times.

As this disaster occurred as recently as probably ten thousand years ago it must have left a memory trace in the traditions of humans

We are told that Homo Sapiens came into existence about 150- 200 thousand years ago in Africa.  This may possibly or probably be true but it cannot be stated positively.  What can be known is that the earliest remains of  Homo Sapiens have been found in Africa.  At any rate at the beginning of the Age Of Leo dawned, Ages are how the ancients kept track of immense reaches of time, every part of the Earth bore some human population.  These populations were in different evolutionary states.  The least evolved human species was in Africa.  The East of Asia was populated by Mongols who are evidently a sterile branch of the human species.  Europe had a population but not a large one of Neanderthals and various human races while the population flooded out of the previously exposed Mediterranean Basin gathered around the shores of the sea, most notably at the effluence of the Nile.

Now, the ancestors of the Folk of which Eugene Sue speaks were centered somewhere in Central Asia probably around the Aral Sea.  This was the great hive from which the Aryans were to spread across the World.

There are many, many legends of these distant times such as Atlantis, the land of Mu and Shambala., the last of which was located in Central Asia.  These legends must have some basis in fact; the imagination of man is incapable of creating anything out of whole cloth; whatever man believes must have been suggested to it by actual circumstances.

While little is known of the actual origins of the Aryans that can be ascertained as fact is that beginning around the year 2000 BC the Aryans began to move out of their hive lands.  We know that they moved West into the Middle East and South into India.  There is no reason not to believe that bands or hordes didn’t also move East into China.

The first migrations into India and the West did so with a fully developed religious system or world view, a Weltanschauung.  This means that the system and view were well developed in the Hivelands before the Aryans began their migrations.  Thus the similarities between the Hindu religion and the Homeric religion were probably deviations from the old time Hive religion adapted to their specific new conditions.

It is possible that there was cross fertilization  between India and Greece but since the entire North from Greece to Northern Europe to Iran/Persia and India were invaded and dominated by the Aryans I think it is just as likely that the core beliefs were common to all the Aryans shifting forms to adapt to religions established in the occupied areas.

Thus while I can offer no proof, I think it probable that Shambala did exist and that it was the Aryan home citadel.  In legend Shambala was on an island in the middle of a lake in what is now the Gobi Desert.  At the end of the ice age both the Caspian and Aral seas were much more extensive than they are while the Gobi may have been wet also.  It seems more probable that a temple city may have been on an island of either of those two more expansive seas.  Still the legend is the legend.  Increasing desiccation would in any event have forced population dislocations in Central Asia.  In any event about the year –2000 the Aryans began to move.  However they were located, whether strung out from the Himalayas to the Caspian or whatever, one branch crossed the Hindu Kush down into India.  Wherever the Aryans went they wrote these huge long Weltanschauungs, at least after writing reached them which they don’t seem to have had on their own.

Because the Indian books were written in Sanskrit and because Sanskrit was determined to be the most ancient Aryan language words common to the Aryan languages were said to be derived from Sanskrit.  This needn’t be the case.  I think it more likely that  since all Aryans derive from the same stock the language was their common inheritance from the Hivelands.  Thus while there may have been contacts between Greek and Indian the similarity more likely reflects the common religious heritage of both peoples.  Thus, the Indian Aryans wrote their huge corpus while at about the same time the Greeks were composing their own version of the national epic in Greece and Troy.

Over the centuries the various hordes descended into Persia and Anatolia while when the Scyths appeared in Southern Russia they were then nomadic rather than settlers.  Assuming that the Aryans of the Shambala period were sedentary it follows then that climatic conditions forced the Folk into a different economic niche.  That the Scyths were of the same Aryan stock as the Greeks is evident from their metal working.

Scythic Goldsmithing

After the Scyths we have the Celtic migrations many of whom ended up at the End of the World in Ireland.  Along the way they caused havoc in Anatolia where they were known as the Galatians, harassed the Greeks, gave the Romans the willies from their settlements on the Po and finally became the Gauls of what would become France then came the German tribes who would establish themselves in Northern Europe.

When the Aryans migrated into more populous areas they lost their identity.  Probably mere hordes, those who reached China were completely absorbed just as later Jewish migrants to China being few in relation the Chinese were also absorbed.  Depending on the size of the Indian contingent they were able to shape the mores of the India with its huge Black population  but were absorbed racially.  The caste system came into existence as a result of the Aryan’s desperate attempt to maintain racial purity.

Even in the Middle East the Aryan influence has been diluted and all but extinguished.  The Aryans of Iran are now adherents to the alien Semitic religion of the Arabs.

Over several centuries the Aryan tribes were able to conquer the Romans but in the process destroyed the Roman Civilization bringing about the long social reorganization of society known as the Dark or Middle Ages.  It is here in the German or Frankish conquest of France that Eugene Sue must begin his novel of The Mysteries Of The Folk.

It’s a pity the novel has never been translated into English because Sue must cover the whole of European history including the period of the Crusades.  The Indian and Greek epics had long been written when the now European Aryans began the third great national epic, the story of Chivalry of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.  This is one huge story.  The Vulgate-Lancelot alone runs to several thousand pages with numerous very long branches.

Now, the roots of the Arthurian epic still date back to the Homeric epic while receiving input from myths and legends from the Aryan Hivelands.  There is then continuity from the very beginning, so to speak.

The Arthurian epic is a curious European recreation of the Indian books and the Homeric cycle with a Semitic add layer of course.  In addition to curious crises at the intra changeover of the Piscean Age.  We are not talking of the personal astrology of the newspapers here.  Astrology was once a serious part of astronomy. We are talking of the great Astrological religious system that began development eons ago.  If you wish to believe Sumerian mythology or sources it has vague memories of tens of thousands of years previously.  I have no reason to question the veracity of these Sumerian sages.  An age, of course, is one twelfth segment of the Great Year of 25 thousand something years.  Thus after the cycle of twelve ages Pisces will once again return.  The symbol of Pisces is of two connected fish swimming in opposite directions, perhaps indicating Dionysian androgyny.  Thus halfway through the age the archetype of the age changed from the male domination of Jesus to the female archetype of Mary in Southern Europe and Diana in Northern Europe.   This actually happened.

In the South Mariolatry emerged while in the North Diana replaced Merlin in Pagan circles.  According to the legend Vivian (Diana, Artemis) The Lady Of The Lake, charmed Merlin into revealing all his magic to her.  Once she obtained it she threw a hex on Merlin entombing him either under a rock or in a tree.  Thus Diana replaced Merlin as the pagan archetype of the Piscean Age.  Artemis in Greek, Diana in Latin and Vivian with the Norse, the Virgin Huntress, Mistress Of the Animals and The Lady Of The Lake who abhorred the company of men, became Northern Europe’s ruling archetype or Anima while the Virgin Mother became that of the South.

Having eliminated Merlin, Vivian then kidnapped Lancelot as a boy (because she was the Virgin Huntress and couldn’t bear her own son) taking him to her enchanted palace beneath the lake where as the Alpha female she taught him to be a preeminent knight or the Alpha male in Arthur’s court.  Arthur was a creature of Merlin but lost the use of the latter’s magic when he was entombed.  Thus Arthur was unprotected against Vivian’s purloined magic.

As Lancelot was Vivian’s or Diana’s  creature there had to be conflict between the two halves of the Piscean Age.  That was naturally caused by a woman, Arthur’s flirtatious wife, Guinevere.  As a result the golden age of the Round Table came to an end.

The Arthurians were acquainted with some Homeric traditions that I have not found in the mythological sources.  Thus the Arthurian cycle was a continuation in the mold of the Homeric cycle.  Vivian or Artemis in Greek, was traced back to the Greek Peloponnese or Lacedaemon.  Lacedaemon means the Demon or Lady Of The Lake.  So Diana, in Roman Myth or The Lady as she appears in Dumas’ Three Musketeers.  But, I can’t find any extant record of the myth.

Arthur and his characteristics can be traced back into the Caspian and Aral Hivelands of the Aryans so that the three traditions come together in the Arthurian cycle of Europe.  The cycle also combines Gallic legends of Britain bringing in that great Aryan race.

This is the rich stew then that Eugene Sue had to work with in his mysteries of the Folk.  My ancestors and yours.  The Arthurian cycle was active from c. 1060 to 1300.  Malory is a late compilation.  When the Crusades ended  and the Templars were suppressed the period ended.  Thus the second half of the millennium began.

We will skip the intervening history until the great European upheaval of the Enlightenment and French Revolution.

Eugene Sue

2.

The Jews In Europe

     As Eco’s story is centered around the Jews concerning the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus case it will be necessary to say a few words concerning their history to set the stage.

I hope I have demonstrated the persistence of the racial memory in my brief tracing of the movements of the Aryans.  Their motif is the scientific explanation of nature which they have pursued with varying success in all their movement from the Hivelands to India and Great Britain and from there to North America and Australia and New Zealand.  The scientific goal has never been lost sight of.

There is no other people on Earth with a stronger racial memory and an inflexible but criminal will than the Jews while at the same time, like the Aryans, they have recorded their goals in print.  They too persist doggedly in the attempt to realize their plan.

Briefly the place and time the tribe came into existence can be pinpointed if their writings are accurate.  That place was Ur of the Chaldees and the time was the transition from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries c. 2000 BC.  Their pedigree goes back no further than that.  They are an artificial Semitic creation; they have no roots in antiquity.

Challenging the authority of the Chaldean astronomers the Jews were expelled from Ur for their impertinence.  Thus they were born of disappointed expectations; their future was cast; they were doomed to disappointed expectations.

However they knew how to push their luck to the limit; call it chutzpah.

Skipping over two thousand years of conflict we find the Jews established throughout the Roman Empire challenging the Romans for supremacy.  Defiant of Roman authority even in the capitol Rome, the Jews taxed their fellows sending the gold to Jerusalem which they established as their capitol contra Rome.   Hence the famous Rome-Jerusalem dichotomy.  While their prophet Jesus counseled them to cede temporal authority to Rome- render unto to Caesar that which is his and unto God his own- open rebellion began which was crushed, the people killed or dispersed, Jerusalem leveled with Jews being forbidden to set foot in the city again.  An early version of the final solution.

Briefly, we next find the Jews in Spain.  Here the Roman Catholic Church has established itself and for superstitious reasons granted the Jews an invaluable monopoly, that of loaning money at interest.  A one of a  kind gift.  Wheedling their way into another monopoly, that of being royal tax farmers, they did indeed farm their Spanish cattle, not unlike the Greek and Italian situation today.  This was an intolerable situation that took a long time to culminate but in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain.  This was a crushing blow for them.

Due to the Spanish expulsion and various other expulsions Jews migrated into the sparsely inhabited area of Eastern Poland which then included Byelorussia  and the Ukraine, later to be called the Pale Of The Settlement.

Then, the worst catastrophe ever hit the tribe.  The Northern Europeans began to assert their birthright of free inquiry while at the same time rejecting the Judaeo-Christian incubus.  It was called the Enlightenment.  Aryan scientific thought asserted itself against the Semitic stultification throwing the Semitic religions- Christianity, Judaism and Moslemism- into an atavistic status of a prior and lower intellectual state.

The Enlightenment would quickly result in the French Revolution which was to change the course of both Jewish and Aryan history.  With the Revolution came the emancipation of the Jews.  They were placed on an ‘equal’ footing with the Europeans.  Emancipation was more quickly achieved  in France while in Central Europe it moved in stages reaching fulfillment after the 1848 revolution.

It was then that Europeans became aware that equality was a one way street; it was not what the Jews were after.  In the reaction about 1875 the German Wilhelm Mars invented the term anti-Semitism and the stage was set for the Protocols of Zion and the Dreyfus Affair.

In the wake of the Revolution Eco’s heroes Eugene Sue and Alexander Dumas were born whose novels filled Eco’s imagination and memories with their fantastic works.

We’ll move in that direction in Part III.

A Review

 THE PRAGUE CEMETERY

 By

 Umbert Eco

 Review by R.E. Prindle

 Eco, Umberto: The Prague Cemetery, A Novel, 2010, Houghton Mifflin, NYC

Part I: Prologue

 Little Bags Of Memory

 

Umberto Eco As Atlas

In this novel Eco attacks the dark subconscious mind of nineteenth century Europe. It was the moment when Europeans discovered the difference between their conscious and subconscious minds. As a historical novel Eco mines his fifty thousand volume private library to construct his story. His sources range from Dumas and Eugene Sue at one end to George Du Maurier and J.K. Huysmans at the other. At this point in history, other than Dumas I presume the other authors are virtually unread if not unknown. Fortunately I have read most of Eco’s sources with my more modest five thousand volume library.

Eco seems to have a very fond spot in his heart for George Du Maurier and I found his treatment of the author most interesting.. Du Maurier was a long time contributor to the English humor magazine, Punch in both text and artworks through the heart of the nineteenth century. The illustrations Eco uses in his novel are very reminiscent in style to those of Du Maurier. Indeed, Du Maurier is very seductive both artistically and literarily. When he was turned down for the editorship of Punch he was crushed, turning away to write and illustrate his subtly fantastic three novels Peter Ibbetson, Trilby and The Martian, the last finished just before his death in 1896.

Like Eco Du Maurier lugged a lifetime of memories, literary and personal through his novels. I’m still working my way through his sources, or favorites at least. Du Maurier was a Bohemian artist in Paris at about the same time as Henri Murger who wrote his fabulous description of Bohemian life, The Bohemians Of The Latin Quarter that was turned into Puccini’s opera, La Boheme. DuMaurier found Murger’s description of Bohemian life repellent to his own sensibilities so he romanticized the nearly same story into the lovely fairy tale of his own version, Trilby. Trilby was a sensation of its time and remains a classic.

Eco has read and thoughtfully considered Du Maurier and while Du Maurier tended to romanticize painful or repellant memories into order to create a fairy tale existence for himself all that sunshine seems to cover a bitter undergrowth. Eco who astutely perceives this was led to parody him in Eco’s own fabulous first chapter of Prague that is a hilarious stand up comedy routine worthy of the mordant, sick humor of Lenny Bruce. Eco then makes his character Dr. Du Maurier the chief of an insane asylum parodying Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson while reversing the roles of Ibbetson and the Duchess of Towers in the character of Diana Vaughan. Very nice bit of inside humor on the part of Eco.

While I make it a rule to not recommend books, a rule I often violate, if you’re reading this I presume you’re simpatico. I heartily recommend any of these sources of Eco if you haven’t already read them.

Obviously Du Maurier’s novels holds a special place in Eco’s heart and a well merited place both in his and mine. However, Eco gives precedence to two of the greatest French novelists of the nineteenth century, Alexander Dumas and Eugene Sue. As it happens I revere both authors as much as Eco. Dumas’ most famous titles are still widely read while Sue’s much less so or, perhaps, not at all.

Eco mentions Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and The Count Of Monte Cristo and the French Revolution novels centered around the magician Cagliostro or by his other name, Joseph Balsamo. I first read The Three Musketeers as a youth while I have reread it again along with first time readings of Monte Cristo and the Cagliostro series within the last ten years.

What Eco is doing in the Prague Cemetery is writing his version of a Dumas novel. While a good novel Prague falls far short of Dumas. What Eco lacked that Dumas had was a collaborator of the quality of Auguste Maquet who researched and worked up the material in outline so that Dumas could concentrate on composing the dramatic touches of the story. This allowed Dumas a much wider scope and deeper detail that brought out the fabulous myth of Three Musketeers or the huge scope and depth of Monte Cristo and the Revolution novels.

I’ve read reviews of Prague where Cagliostro is apparently thought of as a Dumas creation. Oh no, Dumas could write historical novels to place alongside his role model, the great Walter Scott, or as a model here for Eco. While novels, Dumas’ Revolution stories are accurate as history. Cagliostro was a real person. Such a collaborator as Maquet might have given Eco room to expand his horizon and widen the scope of his novel to include for instance the rise of psychology and the discovery of the European unconscious while introducing some of the stage hypnotists and magicians such Robert Houdin, the model for the subsequent Houdini who used his name.

Eco’s novel is OK but he could have made it much better. The Simonini dual personality touch is a surface probe of the unconscious that had real potential perhaps bringing in the Society for Psychic Research but I think the execution of Simonini was weak and not properly developed. Still the character was a nice stab at Dumas’ and more especially the unbelievably fantastic Eugene Sue. What a madman. One could think him insane but I choose to believe he was touched by the divine afflatus. Sue, if mad, had the madness of the gods. If Dumas was more than human, Sue far exceeded Dumas. I have never read anything that comes near Sue’s The Wandering Jew or The Mysteries Of Paris, especially the latter which probes the outer limits of sanity.

The unfortunately named Wandering Jew will drive off most American readers who have been conditioned to avoid anything concerning Jews lest they be considered anti-Semitic. Although as Eco points out the hidden hand of the Jesuit priest Rodin that haunts the novel from beginning to end is one of the most terrifying apparitions in all literature and Sue was the master of terrifying images.

Both he and Dumas were obsessed shall we say by the historical memory. Eco himself is obsessed by memory as am I. I have that in common with these writers. I have explored my personal memories in several novels I have post the internet and most of my essays here on I, Dynamo are concerned with ordering the historical memory. Eco sought to recapture the memories of his youth in his previous novel The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana. Both Eco’s and my own efforts are much after the fashion of George Du Maurier. I would recommend Du Maurier highly except that it takes some dedication to understand the luxuriant beauty of his work; his three novels have to be read several times to acquire his intense longing to never lose his memories, taking them with into the Great Beyond. But, if you are of a like mind and feel up to it, have at it.

So, Dumas proposed to novelize the whole of French history, the racial memory and had a magnificent go at it. The guy is really spectacular. Eco mentions also the last novel of Eugene Sue, The Mysteres Du Peuple which is has yet to be translated; as Eco says he labored through the French. Apparently Sue took the task he set for himself quite seriously as Eco says the story is quite complex and I imagine very long. Mysteries Of Paris itself is three volumes or about fifteen hundred pages.

The title translates as I see it, The Mysteries Of The Folk. As Eco says Sue begins his story with the Frankish invasions of the fourth to sixth centuries, then tells his story along two family lines one Frankish, one Gallic. This would be a prodigious feat of historical and racial memory, an explosion of Sue’s past educational imprinting in both society and school. This would be especially important to him as both he and Dumas were of the first post-Revolution generation of which they very likely heard many first hand reminiscences growing up while reading reams of memoirs. As the Revolution was primarily racial in character, Gauls versus Franks, this would give added poignancy to Sue’s search to retrieve the history of the two races.

So, what Eco seems to be doing in the Prague Cemetery is carrying the personal, racial and historical European memory forward from the work of Dumas and Sue. How well I think he did it will be in the concluding part of the review. First we have to take a huge memory detour in order to bring the historical and racial memories from the beginning back up to Dumas, Sue, and Eco and late nineteenth century history. When I say huge detour, let us begin our magical memory tour at the beginning, Pangaea.

Part II will follow.

A Review

The Mysteries Of The Court Of London

by

George W.M. Reynolds

Review by R.E. Prindle: First published in ERBzine

Collecting is a peculiar form of insanity.

I had it in boyhood,

Stamps, coins and postmarks.

E.R. Burroughs- Creator Of Tarzan Speaks

LA Times, Jan. 7, 1923

     Stamps, coins and postmarks.  Looks like the bug had a pretty firm grip on Our Man In Tarzana.  As one of the afflicted I have to agree with ERB.  Collecting is a form of insanity.  I think it even possible to depict collecting as a disease on the same order as alcoholism, kleptomania or obesity.  Definitely a personality disorder.  It’s about time we had medical recognition and federal finanicial assistance.  Our problem wouldn’t get any better but we’d have more money to indulge it.  Why send all that money overseas when it could be better spent at home?

     I don’t know if I have ever been ashamed of the affliction but I have certainly been embarrassed by it.  ERB is being slightly disingenuous when he modestly says he had it in boyhood.  How did he cure himself?  Endless hours of analysis or did he take the twelve point program of Collector’s Anonymous.  Perhaps there’s a pill of which I’m unaware.  You know what I’m talking about don’t you?  I know how he felt.  I conquered my mania too.  There are all kinds of things I no longer collect.  But…my library does keep growing.  I might as well confess it all;  I’ve got that under control too.  I no longer just buy books to be buying books; I only buy books for functional purposes now.  Of course my mind has a very broad definition of functional.  My most recent purchase was George W.M. Reynolds’  Mysteries Of  The Court Of London.  What a buy!  One title but it comes in ten volumes.  Another two feet of nonexistent shelf space eaten up.  Did I like the book?  Oh yeah!  What an unexpected bonus.

     The title was found in Burroughs’ library so I wasn’t too surprised that I like it.  I’ve found that Burroughs has impeccable literary taste.  I’m pretty broad on literary too.  Of course that it is in the library is why I obtained the set myself.  I really like the picture of  Burroughs- the man who conquered the collecting mania- sitting at his desk in front of a massive array of compeletely filled bookshelves.  One more won’t hurt as the alcoholic said.  Yeah, sure, ERB used to suffer from that peculiar form of insanity.  He tries to dignify his book collecting by saying he no longer reads fiction.  He only read fiction as a kid.  Cured himself of fiction at the same time as collecting, I suppose.  Ah, the ‘sins’ of our youth.

     Does he really think buying non-fiction rather than fiction means he’s not collecting?  Listen to ERB in his own words trying to justify and dignify his book collecting.  LA Times 1/7/23:

And then there are magazines such as the Geographic, Asia and Popular Mechanics.  These three constitute an encyclopedia of liberal education for adult or child that arouses a desire for more knowledge and fosters the habit of reading.

     ‘Arouses a desire for more…’  I get it.  Yes, ERB does collect but there’s a good reason for it as well as the real reason.  He’s improving his mind.  I know where that excuse is at and it beats drinking.  You can bet the old boy was lugging several hundreds of pounds of magazines as he moved fifty times in fifty years or thereabouts.  Geographics are heavy in more ways than one.

     You see he was getting a liberal education.  He was reading high tone stuff (haut ton in French) like the National Geographic (spoken of familiarly as the Geographic), Asia, (nice touch, shows breadth of interest), and Popular Mechanics (proletarian touch).  The trio of magazines pretty well reflects the contents of his own novels.  Well, what about fiction?

     I am fond of fiction, too, although I don’t read a great deal of it.

     No.  However…

     And I have my favorites.  Mary Roberts Rhinehart and Booth Tarkington are two of them.  When I read one of Mrs. Rhinehart’s stories I always wish I had been sufficiently gifted to have written it, and then when I read somethingof Tarkington’s I feel the same way about that.  I have read “The Virginian” five or six times [this is within twenty years] and “The Prince And The Pauper” (N.B.) and “Little Lord Fauntleroy”  as many.

     Gee.  That’s all literary fiction; how about the guys he really liked: Baum, London, Haggard, Doyle, Sue and Reynolds for instance.  Too close to pulp, not enough dignity to mention in a Times article.   The amount of fiction he read from 1920 to 1924 was fairly impressive.

     My studies have compelled me to read a lot of fiction in the attempt to understand ERB and let me say this, the man had unerring taste in exciting fiction.  The Mysteries Of The Court Of London is one heart pounding book.  No one would ever confuse it with the National Geographic, Asia or Popular Mechanics though.

     Reynolds could ramble on too.  The work is composed of two series of five volumes, each series twenty-five hundred pages long.  the internal evidence in Burroughs’ work is that he read it before 1910.  There are at least three clear references to the First Series:  the house on the Thames that Norman and De Vac lived in was based on the mid-wife’s house in Reynolds.  The segment of the Mysteries concerning the Monster Man contributed a great deal to ERB’s Monster Men, while the abduction of the baby by the Monster Man lent itself to Baby Jack’s abduction in The Beasts Of Tarzan.  Burroughs’ vision of London, which he never saw, is probably drawn from Reynolds although various other British authurs such as Doyle would  also have been influences.

      The series of novels would have been only fifty years old when Buroughs read it, so he was fairly close to the times if seven thousand miles or so from location.

     I couldn’t find a Reynolds Society on the internet although the books are not that easy to find nor all that cheap.  I bought the only complete set offered, otherwise it would have been impossible to assemble a complete set from the partial list offered.  Reynolds must therefore be in demand by the cognoscenti.

     George Reynolds was born in 1914, two years after Dickens, being 32-35 years old when he wrote this huge wook.  To write such an extended novel requires a capacious and inventive mind.  The novel comprises hundreds of characters and thousands of incidents each individual in its depiction.  That Reynolds should have had the experience and the ability to organize it as the novel indicates at such a young age is nothing short of amazing.

     Politically Reynolds was a Red.  He was affiliated with a political organization known as Chartism.  As the novel was written in magazine installments to coincide with the Revolution of 1848 the appearance is that Reynolds’ intent was to irritate the people into open rebellion.  If so, he failed.  He was opposed to the monarchy and called for its abolition.  The work is a diatribe against George III and George IV.  Reynolds’ hatred of the pair actually disfigures the novel.  He compares George III to Caligula and Nero but fails to show in what way the monarch resembled either Roman.  As Reynolds was born in 1814 while George IV died in 1830 and the events covered are in 1798 and 1814 he couldn’t have been a witness of the times.

     In his lifetime Reynolds was more popular than Dickens.  Perhaps the topicality of this novel precluded the success Dicken has subsequently enjoyed.  The comparison would  be that between Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan.  While the novel was reprinted in limited editions to at least 1912 there is currently no full reprint available.

     I find the novel compelling; to use the old cliche, the novel is a page turner volume after volume, thousand pages after thousand pages.  The work is masterfully planned, events in the first dozen pages are worked out fifteen hundred pages or more later.   Indeed the central mystery is concluded at the end of the work five thousand pages on.  The detail and variety never tire.  the mystery and detective elements  preshadow Doyle and the entire twentieth century.  Police personnel turn over on a regular basis, everything is always fresh and sparkling.  Scenes and characters are vividly drawn.

     Altough Burroughs drew the line at modern sex novels,  Mysteries is a sex novel par excellence.  The entire novel is drawn against the sexual escapades of the characters.  If you like mildly smutty novels this one is for you.  The influence of the novel on Burroughs may be most pronounced in this respect.  Reynolds goes into detailed studie of male-female relations.  Each volume of the first series is subtitled after a heroine.  Thus the action depends on the harassment of worthy females by, well, lecherous unprinicpled men.  The worst of the lot and the character who holds the novel together is Prince George the future Regent and King.

     Reynolds’ men stop at nothing when they come across a desirable female; abduction, threats, force, in a word, rape is their stock in trade.  They are aided by procuresses who run establishments, in the most respectable shipping districts that double as brothels.

     While Reynolds is not as graphic in his sex scenes as writers are today his descriptions of capacious bosoms is tantalizing enough.  His ladies must have had strange diets because he speaks of ‘glowing orbs.’  Quite tactile in his way.  Frazetta would have had a field day illustrating Mysteries.  Reynolds’ descriptions reminded me of nothing so much as Frazetta’s women.  Frazetta’s own voluptuous but virtuous portrayals were based on Burroughs descriptions so I would have to think Burroughs’ imagination was fired by this endless procession  of stunningly voluptuous beauties.

     Then too, the frequent abductions and threatsof ‘fates worse than death’ by the villains in Burroughs’ work exhale the aroma of Mysteries.

     Reyonld’s use of darkness and labyrinthine passages, locked doors and whatnot seem to be reflected in Burroughs’ work.  One most appealing trait of Reynolds that ERB must have enjoyed was the former’s use of slang and thieves cant.  Burroughs also delights in underwold slang and various dialects.

     This immense work can be considered a very early roman a fleuve not unlike some of Dumas’ work, that Burroughs also read,  or even as a prototype of Marcel Proust’s.  I believe Burroughs saw it that way.  Seen that way Burroughs created four roman a fleuves influenced by Reynolds’ Mysteries.  Tarzan, the Mars series, Pellucidar and the Venus series.

     The Russian Quartet of Tarzan may be based directly on Mysteries from the nautical scenes to London and Paris.  Indeed, the Quartet may be considered a separate roman a fleuve within the Tarzan oeuvre.  His portrayals of London and Paris show Reynolds’ influence.

     Just as Reynolds’ volumes in this novel portray a series of adventures cut off after about five hindred pages then resumed in the next volume, Tarzan’s adventures beginning with the Jewels Of Opar display the same characteristic.  After the Russian Quartet Tarzan is just one long novel or roman a fleuve.

     The Venus series is just a long story broken up into five volumes.  It could just as easily be bound in one volume with consecutive pagination and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

     The John Carter on Mars series exhibits the same traits although less clearly.  Pellucidar in nearer in concept to the Venus series.  So all the series show an endless series of barely connected adventures held together by a common cast of characters with the stories going nowhere.  They just end.  Princess of Mars is the most obvious case.  Mars just runs out of air like a flat tire which might mean that Burroughs just didn’t have an ending or that he had temporarily run out of ideas and had to recharge.

     While Burroughs is charged with using coincidence to excess, once again he may have just been emulating Reynolds.  The latter is shameless in his use of coincidence.  At one point while visiting a dangerous villain in a lawless area Reynolds’ detective, Larry Sampson, needs a disguise.  A disguise store is very conveniently located just across the street.  The owner is in cahoots with Sampson even though doubling as a criminal.  He provides Sampson with a disguise and the story continues.  Is it any wonder that two or three shipwrecks occur on the same stretch of coast on which Tarzan’s parents landed?  Burroughs learned the use of improbable coincidence from a master.

     So in addition to borrowing specific incidents from Reynolds Burroughs also borrowed the basic plan.  Combining Mysteries Of The Court Of London and Eugene Sue’s Mysteries Of Paris one gets down to the bedrock of Burroughs’ influences.  but the man’s ability to absorb influences and incorporate them into his work from the beginning indicates that the man was a real book worm reading a lot of fiction.  As we know he was also an athlete the man must never have had an idle moment.

Part II follows.

 

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.