A Review

Themes And Variations

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs

#15 Tarzan Triumphant

by

R.E. Prindle

Preface

     Over many years I have searched for the point where myth and science join.  It was clear to me for a long time that the origins of science had their deep roots in a particular myth, that of invariance.  The Greeks as early as the 7th century B.C. spoke of the quest of their first sages as the problem of the One and the Many, sometimes describing the wild fecundity of nature as the way in which the Many could be educed from the One, sometimes seeing the Many as the unsubstantial variations being played on the One.  The oracular sayings of Heraclitus the Obscure do nothing but illustrate with shimmering paradoxes the illusory quality of “things” in flux as they were wrung from the central intuition of society.

     Before him Anaximander had announced also oracularly, that the cause of things being born and perishing is their injustice to each other in the order of time, “as they meet,” he said, for they are bound to atone forever for their mutual injustices.  This was enough to make of Anaximander the acknowledged father of physical science, for the accent is on the “Many.”  But it was true science after a fashion.

Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigaing The Origins Of Human

Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth, p. viii,

Giorgio de Santillana, 1969

Giorgio de Santillana

1.

     The five Tarzan novels from Invincible to Lion Man form a unique quintet within the oeuvre.  Together they are just shy of twenty-five percent of the twenty-one Tarzan novels published during Burroughs’ lifetime.  If one excludes the late and unrelated Foreign Legion they are a fourth of the series.  Twenty-five percent within four years.  One might well ask what was going on in Burroughs’ life during these momentous four years.

     With the possible exception of City Of Gold all the novels deal openly with recognizable current events.  Invincible deals with the Soviet Communist menace which is continued as one of the themes of Triumphant.  The mainspring of Triumphant is Cecil Rhodes’ old dream of a Cape to Cairo route.  In this instance realized, as improbable as it might have seemed to Rhodes, as an air route.  The hope of the air route was first explored in 1918 and was about to be realized shortly after Burroughs wrote this book.

     ERB also throws in a bit about Chicago hoodlumism with a tip of the hat to Al Capone.

     Tarzan And The Leopard Men deals with the African Leopard Cult that was in the news at the time.  City of Gold is about ERB’s marital problems while Tarzan And The Lion Man concerns the recent and sensational MGM expedition to Africa to film Trader Horn.  Both before and after these novels Burroughs wrote pure, well, almost pure fantasy.

     The reason for the change isn’t clear; however, the thirties mark another change in novelistic styles so Burroughs may have been adapting to new circumstances.  If so it was the third stylistic change he was successfully meeting although it would be his last.  He had melded a turn-of-the-century style of the teens when he began writing, then adapting his style to that of the Jazz Age of the twenties.  After a good start in the thirties the ground slipped from beneath his feet with his style becoming somewhat dated.  By the forties he was finished although Foreign Legion makes a game shot at a stylistic evolution.

     Perhaps more importantly, ERB changed because he wanted to be taken as a serious writer.  He was simply tired of being known as an ignorant boob writing from the seat of his pants.  For all the seeming frivolity of his fantasy themes they are based on very solid scientific and knowledgeable themes.  They are imbued with an intense mythological acumen, while presenting a new mythology for the current age.  They do deal with classical themes such as the One and the Many.  Burroughs tried to organize experience into a new mthological structure which was desperately needed then and no less today.

2.

     Consider Giorgio de Santillana again:

     Today’s children, that impassive posterity to whom all reverence is due, know where to look for myths, in animal life in the Jungle Books.  In the stories of Lassie and Flipper, where innocence is unassailable, in Western adventures arranged by grown ups for the protection of law and order.  Much of the rest sedulously built up by mass media is modern prejudice and delusion, like the glamour of royalty, or the perfection of super detergents and cosmetics; super-stitio, leftovers.  So one might be tempted to say.  Actually however, no particle of myth is left over, and we have to do only with a deliberate lie about the human condition.  Tolkien’s efforts at reviving the genre, whatever talent employed, carry as much conviction as the traditional three dollar bill.

     Quite right.  Burroughs had the handle on true mythology while being able to create the governing myth of the Aquarian Age.  Triumphant is laden with myth.  In truth Burroughs is not the light-headed, simple-minded writer that even his most devoted fans and admirers want to think him.  He doesn’t want to parade his knowledge or get involved in abstruse discussions; he is writing seeming pure action novels,  The Master Of Adventure, as his fans like to say, for a pulp magazine audience that primarily wanted to be thrilled.  One may criticize Burroughs for it but he is never short on thrills or spectacular effects.  One may guffaw at some of his heroes’ exploits as I surely do but your eyes are still popping.  There’s a lot more under the seeming simplicity.  Much of it would have been recognized at the time giving the ‘knowing’ reader the satisfaction of being in on what ERB was really talking about but as the topicality faded away the succeeding generations  of readers could see only the action.

     The first sentence of the preceding novel, Invincible, explains ERB’s approach:

     I am no historian or chronicler of facts, and furthermore, I hold a very definite conviction that there are certain subjects which fiction writers should leave alone, foremost of which are politics and religion.  However, it seems to me not unethical to pirate an idea occasionally from one or the other, provided that the subject be handled in such a way as to impart a definite impression of fictionizing.

     In this series of five novels in a bid to be taken seriously, perhaps rather than conceal his knowledge by a ‘definite impression of fictionizing’ he was making a bid for intellectual recognition by ‘exposing’ his serious interests to some extent.

     The background of Triumphant is solidly based historically and in current events.  ERB was always seriously interested in aviation.  Indeed, his life as an adult would span the first lift off at Kitty Hawk to supersonic jet flight over a period of a mere forty years.  That might do something to your mind.  the concept of speed changed  in his lifetime from Barney ‘A mile a minute’ Oldfield to a fifteen mile a minute jet fighter plane.

     Commercial flight as we know it today was non-existent in 1930.  The DC3 was still five years distant.  A flight from Cairo to Capetown involved several layovers and even train trips if air connections were not established between certain points.  Yet, such a route was a major advance while being exciting news.  Ya gotta remember making a crystal radio set at home was still a substantial achievement marking one as an electrical wizard.  At the same time television was on the horizon, nearly a reality.  In such a flight Burroughs had a sure fire topic.

     He combines elements of an earlier 1918 attempt and the establishment of an air route at the time of writing.  In 1918 shortly after the War ended the British got right on realizing the hope of a Cape to Cairo dream.  Great Britain had acquired the German African colonies as part of the Versailles Treaty so that they were then in control of a continguous corridor through East Africa.  The acquisition of Tanganyika (Tanzania) filled the gap.

3.

     Four separate pilots set out from Cairo for the Cape.  The attempt was not entirely successful, but by 1932 it was.  Burroughs then selects as his imaginary pilot Lady Barbara Collis, an English aviatrix on a solo flight.  she seems to be somewhat off her course flying over Ethiopia but then that might be expected.

     The way Burroughs’ mind worked he usually has real models for these roles if you can figure them out.  In this case I think Lady Barbara incorporates three different women.  The only significan aviatrix I can locate is Amelia Earhart.   She became in 1928 the first woman to fly the Atlantic.  She was part of a three-man crew but gained notoriety.  In 1930-31 she was preparing for a solo Atlantic flight a la Charles Lindbergh from Labrador to Paris.  She did cross the Atlantic but was forced down in an Irish cow pasture not reaching Paris.  That was after the book was written so ERB would be relying on her 1928 flight and preparations for the solo flight.

     A second personality conflated with Lady Barbara may have been the famous evangelist and founder of the Four Square Church, Aimee Semple McPherson.  I have a framed picture of McPherson in my collection.  Evangelism may also have been on Burroughs’ mind from his recent reading of Elmer Gantry by  Sinclair Lewis.  According to ERBzine Burroughs objected to Lewis’ forcing his atheism on the reader.  Here one of his purposes may have been to show Lewis how it’s done.

      Aimee Semple McPherson hit LA at about the same time as Burroughs.

     By 1923 she was so popular she opened her 5000 seat Angelus Temple while beginning to broadcast over KSFG-K Four Square Gospel.  And then a the height of her fame on May 18, 1926 she vanished after swimming in the Pacific.  This and the following events during which several people died created a sensation no one in the country, and certainly LA, could miss.  Not an ERB who was passionately interested in religion anyway.  One wonders if he visited the Angelus Temple for Sunday services.

     Aimee turned up in Mexico where she said she had been held captive after being abducted.  But, apparently the pressures of success had been too much for her and she attempted escape into sex and a love tryst, which is a normal psychological reaction to unbearable stress as ERB himself was discovering.  The disappearance and subseqauent events had continued into 1927 and 1928 so that ERB’s capacious mind was filled with the wonder of it all.  Thus Lady Barbara disappears during the flight onto the mystery escarpment to reappear months later on the arm of Lafayette Smith.  Same story.  I think it likely ERB was thinking of both women while a third influence is almost certainly Dorothy Sayers, the mystery writer and creator of Lord Peter Whimsey.  Burroughs hits at it by mentioning that the story does not concern Lord Wimsey but does concern his daughter, Barbara Collis.  This  probably refers to Dorothy Sayers and her creation, Peter Wimsey.  When ERB admired a writer he wrote them into the story somehow.  He was generous that way.

     And then there is Danny ‘Gunner’ Patrick of the Chicago Underworld.  His name indicates he is Irish so he may be supposed to be associated with Dion O’ Bannion’s gang rather than Capone and the incipient Outfit.  ERB privides an intriguing if overly sympathetic portrait of the gangster.  One wonders if he had met models at this time.

     In connection with Patrick, which begins an interest in organized crime that extends through Swords Of Mars and the its Guild of Assassins, Murder Inc. was established at this time so that by the date of 1933 it would seem that ERB brought Murder Inc. into the corpus.

     Then there is LaFayette Smith himself.  Named after General Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame and recently brought to mind by General Patton who said, as he stepped foot on French soil, ‘Lafayette, we are here.’  The young geology professor may be be taken as an alter ego of Burroughs himself as he taught geology at the MMA.  Sort of the man Burroughs might have been had he the self-discipline to have gone to college.  ERB apparently sincerely regretted he had not gotten a degree as a number of his alter egos are college graduates, such as the Old Timer of Leopard Men who graduated from his brothers’ alma mater, Yale.

4.

     As noted Burroughs had taught geology as an instructor at the Michigan Military Academy.  He was still following the subject closely as he grouses that geologists had as many opinions each about as accurate as the weather forecasters.  Still, knowledge was developing at a break neck pace that would lead to our substantailly complete knowledge of today.  It’s too bad that ERB couldn’t have held on to 1965 or so.  A man of his intellect would have seen things.

     Burroughs not only combines all these threads and strands but in his prologue he reaches for his most daring concept yet.  It’s only a page so let’s look at it closely.  The opening sentences:

     Time is a warp of the tapestry which is life.  It is eternal, constant, unchanging.  But the woof is gathered from the four corners of the earth and the twenty-eight seas and out of the air and the minds of men by that master artist, Fate, as she weaves the design that is never finished.

     A thread here, a thread from there, another from out of the past that has waited years for the companion thread without which the picture must be incomplete.

     But Fate is patient.  She waits a hundred or a thousand years to bring together two strands of thread whose union is essential to the fabrication of her tapestry, to the composition of the design that was without beginning and is without end.

     That attitude informs all of Burroughs’ work; a study of the One and Many, and is the reason I am such an admirer.  Given Burroughs Classical background that apparently made such a profound impression on him one is reminded of Penelope at her web as well as the three Greek mythological Fates themselves- the three daughters of Night– Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.

     Clotho the spinner, Lachesis the apportioner, Atropos who cuts the string that ends the web and life.

     And then Burroughs begins to indicate how events occurring thousands of years previously would provide the strands of time to bring his story together into a recognizable pattern, the warp of the web, while th woof is the improbable bringing together of such disparate persons as Tarzan, Gunner Patrick, Lafe Smith, Lady Barbara and Jezebel, ERB’s prophetically named first Golden Girl.  Florence is into the picture.

     The ancient protagonist is a disciple of Paul of Tarsus, Angustus of Israel.  At the death of Paul in Rome the paranoid Angustus decides to flee into the Heart of Darkness, Africa.  Along the way he picks up a Nordic slave girl who will bring in ERB’s evolutionary theme.  Then up the Nile into the Heart of Darkness.

     In this story, all roads lead to Midian in the crater of an extinct Ethiopian volcano.  In his way ERB who speaks frequently of coincidence denies the concept in favor of Fate the Inexorable.  As Freud would say, there is no coincidence– one thing leads to another.  Once set in motion the ball may be deflected but it cannot be stopped except by the cessation of Time– the non-existent but all controlling element.

Part two follows.

 

A Review

Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

The Chessmen Of Mars

Post II

Part I

The Dance Of Barsoom

See Post I for Intro.

 

     The twenties were a difficult financial period for ERB, indeed, as was the rest of his life to be.  The substantial sums he had made in Chicago were spent before he left.  ERB had saved nothing.  He arrived in LA with no other resources than his current income.  That income was very substantial by any measure but unequal to ERB’s massive spending capabilities so that at the time he wrote Chessmen he was already strapped for cash and headed for deep debt.

     Always envious of the fabulous sums paid Zane Grey by the slick magazines ERB wanted to sell this story for ten thousand dollars to one of the big slicks.  There were no takers so that the story went to the pulps for thirty-five hundred.  Adding insult to injury he was told that the stories were too preposterous to be considered.

     Part of ERB’s literary problem was that genre categories were not yet well developed.  H.G. Wells’ early sci-fi efforts were labeled Fantasias, a term that could be understood by the literary arbiters, while still considered what we would call today, literary fiction.  Even George Du Maurier’s  trilogy of essentially science fiction novels- Peter Ibbetson, Trilby and The Martian have never been considered anything but literary fiction.  They are three terrific stories of psychological dissociation  while it would seem certain that Burroughs read them and was probably influenced by them.  I can heartily recommend them.  Very choice.

     So the genres were taking shape at the period but had not yet evolved as they would during the thirties, forties and fifties until today fantasy, horror and sci-fi dominate the fiction best seller lists.  If Chessmen was thought preposterous in 1920 one wonders what his critics would have thought of such movies as The Exterminator or The Predator.  God, those people were so awkward and unevolved.  Well, it’s the price you pay for being an innovator.  Remember what the Pope told Galileo.

     So, ERB was stuck in the pulps.  Perhaps smarting from this rejection ERB would try to break out of his pulp rate with several realistic novels.  the first was The Girl From Hollywood, a very decent attempt at a literary novel, that ERB’s long time publisher refused to publish.  Following in the burro tracks of Zane Grey ERB wrote a couple of Westerns only one of which he could get published at the time.  I read a lot of Westerns in the fifties while a kid.  I thought ERB’s efforts were as good as what I read then.  They’re all potboilers, even the so-called classics.

     He even attempted a couple of Indian epics that I found so-so but I know other people who liked them a lot.  Not so critical as myself, I guess.  Oh, right, he couldn’t get Marcia Of The Doorstep published either.  So he was type cast as a sci-fi/fantasy writer.  At least he knew he could do that very well.

     Zane Grey wrote some pretty strange Westerns.  He himself was quite a womanizer and his novels pander quite successfully to the distaff side.  He knew women well.  Probably that was why he was paid those great prices by the Saturday Evening Post et al.  Oh heck, ERB was just too outre for the Post.

     In Chessmen ERB gives feminine appeal his best shot.  I would imagine he was trying to reach the ladies when he describes Tara’s fabulous bath.  Either that or he was trying to titillate us boys.  Worked with me.  But let’s assume he was trying to broaden his appeal as the title was offered to the slicks.

     Chessmen was based on his three favorite novels as are all his books- The Viginian, Prince And The Pauper and Little Lord Fauntleroy.

     Thus Tara teases Papa John as her ‘Virginian.’  We are then introduced to Gahan of far Gathol.  ERB presents him first in his princely guise as, indeed, he is a prince of Gathol.  ERB chooses to present him as a fop dressed all in diamonds and platinum.  Tara forms an ill impression of him as she thinks no real fighting man  would dress in such a fashion.  Shortly Gahan will exchange his dress duds for the plain leather gear of the Martian mercenary thus changing from prince to pauper.  Of course he will resume his role of Prince by novel’s end.

     Fauntleroy was born to the manor in England but spent his youth learning what it meant to be a real American boy before reassuming his English title.  Ah, American dreaming.

     Recalling his battle for Emma’s favors with Frank Martin Tara has been betrothed since at least young girlhood to Djor Kantos whose father is friends with the family.  So like ERB Gahan has to overcome this parental resistance.  Speaking of Frank Martin Chessmen is the only novel I can recall in which the hero doesn’t get bashed on the head two or three times.

     At the ball being given Djor Kantos fails to claim Tara in time for the first dance so that Gahan leads Tara in the Dance Of Barsoom.  Some sort of Grand March.  ERB explains that before Barsoomian youths can attend balls they have to first have learned three formal dances- The Dance Of Barsoom, that of their country and that of their city.  After that they can take up stuff like the Martian equivalents of the Grizzly Bear, Bunny Hug, Charleston and Black Bottom.  Kids being kids on Barsoom the same as on Jasoom.

     While the concept is quite charming one wonders of the source.  Burroughs himself was no slouch concerning the hit parade.

     I think we can trace the rigamarole back to the patron saint of old timey music, Henry Ford.

     Amongst all his many other enterprises Henry was revolted by the music and dances of the Jazz Age as the twenties are sometimes known.  Even though his very own flivver is billed as being responsible for some new objectionable habits and traditions Henry clung stubbornly to the old.  Thus in full revolt against the Jazz Age Henry was promoting the dances and music of his youthof around, oh say, 1880 or so.

      Ford had begun his publication of the Dearborn Independent in 1920 making him a newspaper man also.  It seems clear from internal references in Marcia Of The Doorstep that ERB was following developments in the Independent.  He would then certainly have learned of the evils of the new music and the virtues of the old.

     Just as Henry Ford was trying to rivive the old dances on Jasoom, on conservative, behind the times Barsoom Jazz has never even been given a chance.  The Dance Of Barsoom is just as fresh and lovely as the first time it was danced millennia before.  Martian kids didn’t mess with tradition so much so Gahan led Tara in that lovely old relic of Mars- The Dance Of Barsoom.

     Pledging his love during the dance Gahan was sternly rebuffed by Tara.

     The preliminaries finished the story begins in earnest.

     The following day Tara is fascinated by a cloudy stormy sky which is such a rare occurrence on Mars that she had never seen one before.  As I mentioned in the intro ERB borrows the next sequence from Baum whose Dorothy was wafted to Oz on a tornado.  Tara ascends into this tornado like storm where her flier is caught by the winds and she is driven before them.  When she lands she had been driven like Dorothy to Oz to a far land that has been all but forgotten if it had ever been thought of.

     The hero and heroine of Chessmen are Tara of Helium and Gahan of far Gathol, or rather, they are the Anima and Animus of ERB.  ERB always writes Anima and Animus novels.  As dreamers will he may have recognized the X chromosome or Anima in the green pastures of his sleep or, it is quite possible that as a Latin scholar at Chicago’s Harvard School he was required to read the myth of Psyche and Eros from Apuleius’ The Golden Ass.  I only mention a couple of possibilities.  He may or may not have been familiar with Psyche and Eros but he was certainly familiar with the fairy tales derived from it such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

     While Apuleius is given credit for the story his version is certainly only a redaction of the tale or philosophical speculation dating much further back in history.  The Ancients were well familiar with the concept of both the male and female versions of the Anima and Animus.  In popular mythology the male chromosome is represented by the Goddess as X chromosome and the Bull as the y.  The female is represented by the two snakes as in the pictorial representations of Crete.  It will also be remembered that the Greeks imported Cretan priests to manage the Apollonian shrine at Delphi.

     The myth is that the two aspects were once united then driven apart wandering the world in search of each other.  Duly at long last they do find each other are reconciled and allowed by the Goddess of Love to reunite.  Thus the stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty evolved from Psyche and Eros and who knows how many other stories besides those of Burroughs.

     The question is was Burroughs only following a plot line, a pattern he had absorbed or was he consciously aware of what he was doing?  Had he thought the problem out?  Just as Tarzan and Jane were apparently mismatched in Burroughs’ dreamscapes so were ERB and Emma in real life.  In Tarzan And The Golden Lion Tarzan and Jane had no sooner returned home from Pal-ul-don than Tarzan fled to his Anima in far off dreamland Opar leaving Jane/Emma to more or less shift for herself in a very dangerous world.  Misfortune usually hit her too.

     In ERB’s dream couple of John Carter and Dejah Thoris the Anima and Animus seem to be united although we see little of Dejah Thoris in the series and not at all in this novel.  Even their son who may represent ERB is not present at all.  Even with Carter and Dejah Thoris the classic separation and reuniting form a major part of the Martian Trilogy.

     In this dream tale with Tara and Gahan ERB follows the classic formula- separation, the long pursuit and final reconciliation.  He appears to know what he is talking about but since he never discussed his ideas on the subject we can only infer that he did or doubt or deny that he did.  The psychological motifs he expresses throughout Chessmen leads me to believe he did.

     What are dreams and what is a dream story?  Freud originated the rational approach to dream interpretation.  ERB gave some thought to the problem.  Once can’t be sure he had read Freud’s Interpretations Of Dreams although in his short story Tarzan’s First Nightmare ERB used elements contained in Freud’s theory to explain the causes of Tarzan’s nightmare.  At the very least we can say that dreams and nightmares from which ERB suffered all his life were of great interest to him.  In the thirties he would buy at least one book on scientific dream interpretation.

     What is the basis of dreams?  It can only be experiences combined with memory.  That’s it.  Think about it.  You don’t have to look any further.  Nothing mysterious about them.  The basic problem can be expressed in the question of what is the unconscious or subconscious.  Is it some ultra mysterious process of the mind that can’t be penetrated, understood or accurately located?  Is it as Freud believed an organ independent of the body and mind yet which somehow controls the actions of the individual from outside him?  Or, once again, is it merely a combination of experience and memory, a faculty for interpeting the experiences of the day?

     Freud touched on a key concept when he realized that the mind, which never rests, processes the incidents of the previous day in the sleeping and dreaming state.  Burroughs also takes this approach in Tarzan’s nightmare whether he picked it up from Freud, Sweetser or realized it himself.

      In point of fact experience happens to us so rapidly and from so many angles at the same time that it is impossible for the conscious mind to process it all as it is happening.  Can’t be done.  So, it follows that the subconscious or back up mind retains, as it were, photographs of the day’s activities that it reviews in sleep for either discarding, repression or action.  How many times have you awakened with possible solutions to problems facing you?

     The problem with the subconscious mind is that analysis of situations is affected by fixations, more expecially by the central childhood fixation.  Childhood is that perilous time of life when the inexperienced mind is subject to being presented with challenges for which it has no programmed or immediately adequate response.  Defeated in analysis the challenge is encrypted and encysted in the subconscious where it interprets all similar challenges through the lens of the defeated challenge and response.  Thus all those strange compulsive behaviors we have.

     As it chances we know Burroughs’ central childhood fixation.  That was when he was eight or nine and he was challenged on a street corner on the way to school by a twelve year old Irish bully.  Terrified ERB broke and ran apparently thereafter branded as a coward.  Thus the central theme of his work is fight or flight and the state of cowardice.  He examines the matter endlessly throughout the entire body of his work.  These elements are all especially prominent in Chessmen.

     We know that ERB was stressed to the breaking point as he wrote in 1921.  Whenever he was stressed his personality fragmented, splitting at least once.  In Chessmen the Kaldanes are two separate entities, the physical Rykors and the mental Kaldanes.  Tara and Gahan, the ritual Burroughs’ surrogates are driven apart by the terrific storm.

     This is a dream story abounding in dream images.  One can provide an analysis of the storm scene based on the incidents occurring in ERB’s life at the time.

     The image presented to us is of this very rare Martian storm of very high winds as in a tornado.  Tara although warned against it takes her flier up.  Perhaps ERB was warned against buying Tarzana, I would certainly think that Emma was at the least apprehensive.  Tara navigates well beneath the clouds but wants to be in a cloud where she has never been before, i.e. Burroughs buys Tarzana.  Here she is buffeted about so to escape she rises above the cloud or storm where the winds abate.  But she has to get back down so she must reenter the storm.  She is then taken by the winds tumbled head over heels by their extreme violence arriving half dead in the land of the Kaldanes.

     Now, how does this represnet ERB’s actual situation in dream images.

     ERB left Chicago under one presumes, sunny skies.  His original intent was to buy twenty acres to raise hogs.  Instead he bought over five hundred acres.  He then began a massive building and improvement program with what appears to have been a substantial payroll and a not very well thought out plan.  He overspent his income so that by 1921 his bills must have been greater than his income forcing him to borrow.  He found he had neither the skills nor the talent bo be a ‘Gentleman Farmer’ so that he was forced to auction off most of his tools, implements and livestock in an effort to raise money and cut expenses.  Also at this time his sources of income came under attack as the movies refused to film his intellectual properties while his royalties also came under attack.

     In what I consider a purely defensive move he was forced to incorporate himself assigning all his income, copyrights and what not to the corporation in an effort to secure the means of his livelihood by putting his income beyond the reach of his creditors.  In what I consider a questionable move he subsequently transferred a portion of Tarzana to the corporation.  So, shortly after this storm broke on his head he became merely an employee of his corporation.

     At the time he wrote Chessmen then he was caught in the turbulence of this storm he had created.  Unable to get back down as with Tara he tried to rise above it in some way but was forced back into the problem where he was being blown along head over heels no longer in control of his affairs.

     In the relative calm of 1924 he wrote Marcia Of The Doorstep that chronicles and looks back at this period.

     Tara’s flight then is ERB’s day to day situation presented in dream images.

     The rest of the book deals with past and present in a series of dream images to which  we proceed.