I would like to take a moment to organize the content and direction of the Tarzan Series within the context of Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant.
It is close onto a century now since Edgar Rice Burroughs burst onto the international literary scene. He was not literarily well regarded by the intelligentsia. In the language of the time, he wrote adventure novels. They were thought of as sub-literary. In our times after literature has evolved from Burroughs' time into its various genres that didn't exist as such back then he would more properly be designated as a fantasy or sci-fi writer.
Even though very great minds wrote 'adventure' stories their work is usually classified as sub-literary relegated to the teen section. There has certainly never been a more profound writer than H. Rider Haggard nor is his literary style inferior in any way to 'literary' fiction. Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs all had a great deal to offer. If it is necessary to say so their work has remained popular while most literary heavyweights are unknown and unread in non-specialist circles today.
Edgar Rice Burroughs is not usually accorded the dignity of being ranked with even the above adventure writers. It pains me to say it but I think the literary consensus is that Burroughs is a semi-literate lightweight trash writer with no other value than 'entertainment' or a diversion for men and women who haven't quite grown up yet. I receive sniggers and raised eyebrows whenever I am forced to admit I write what I hope are scholarly essays on Edgar Rice Burroughs. I have to scramble to find any scrap that will give me a little dignity. But that's not the way I see it myself. The way I see it is that there are two groups of people who do take Burroughs seriously. The small group of which I am a member that sees something of value lying like a huge diamond in the tall grass and a much larger group of Left-Liberals who correctly see Burroughs as a threat to everything they wish to believe.
Burroughs' publishing career has not been well researched or examined. The research I have done leads me to believe that ERB was exploited with his career being sabotaged from the start at McClurg's. Although McClurg's seem to have had no intent to promote his work from the beginning they nevertheless tied him up with a contract that went on forever. Compare it with MGM's contract twenty years later.
Ten years after ERB's death with the firm of McClurg's on the edge of bankruptcy ERB, Inc. had to buy out the contract. This is all so contradictory it boggles the mind. Rather than attempting to maximize sales and therefore profits McClurg's took the opposite approach minimizing sales while reducing profits both for themselves and ERB to the lowest possible level. If it hadn't been for movies Burroughs' benefits from his efforts would have been minimal.
From 1914 to 1919 politics do not seem to have been involved; there is some other reason for McClurg's behavior. Then from 1919 to 1924 ERB's relationship to the Liberal Coalition took form. His Under The Red Flag of 1919 let the Reds know where he stood politically. Also in 1919 he was felt out by the American Jewish Committee for his stance on Semitism. He failed this test by taking an insubordinate stance. So from 1919 to 1924 he seems to have been under attack from the Left. He remained defiant through his Marcia Of The Doorstep with its very reasonable criticism of Semitism but then he seems to have been overwhelmed by economic pressures that were exacerbated by his own poor decisions.
While McClurg's should have been supportive of their, or what should have been their walking gold mine, they strangely continued to get in his way.
Burroughs wanted his reissues to be sold at a dollar but G&D and McClurg's adamantly insisted on 50 cents which gave ERB a very small return. Why McClurg's should have resisted the higher price that would have doubled their own return must remain a mystery. A dollar doesn't seem unreasonable to me but there seems to have been an intent to restrict Burroughs' income as far as possible.
By the late twenties the Liberal Coalition was also actively interfering in Burroughs' career. There seems to have been a blacklist against making Tarzan movies. As Hollywood was controlled by the Coalition it was possible to restrict Burroughs' income from movies to zero.
The blacklist was broken in 1927 when Joseph Kennedy's FBO Studios made a Tarzan film. ERB also began searching for another publishing arrangement. Not finding anything satisfactory he took the last ditch recourse of self-publishing. He established the Burroughs imprint. As this act was taken just as the stock market crash of 1929 took place the move was fraught with dangers.
Now freed from publishing restraints does it seem like a coincidence that the first title under the Burroughs imprint was Tarzan The Invincible? Or that it was followed by Tarzan Triumphant? Perhaps taking vengeance for 1919's snub of Under The Red Flag, Tarzan The Invincible is a full scale attack on the Communists in general and Joe Stalin in particular.
Perhaps also responding to 1924's rejection of Marcia Of The Doorstep the succeeding novel, Tarzan Triumphant, parodies the Jewish religion while making some not so subtle comments about big noses and receding chins. Either book would be difficult for the Liberal Coalition to misunderstand.
While Burroughs would publicly proclaim that he undertook self-publication because he was too greedy for high royalties, privately he complained that McClurg's refused to promote his books, turning them over immediately to reissue houses depriving him of his just royalties..
I'm sure the industry understood the irony of his first reason while the second is too true.
Tarzan The Invincible is both a defense and a counterattack. Burroughs himself said that defensive wars could never be won. One must take the offensive. With Invincible he was doing just that in what was in fact a literary and cultural war.
The power arrayed against him was terrifying. The Reds could prevent the publication of his books through regular channels. I believe they did. ERB publicly said he took up self-publication in the relentless pursuit of the dollar. What else could he say? One doesn't go around saying people are out to get you. That's giving your enemies ammunition.
Ask, is it a coincidence that the first novel under the Burroughs imprint is a direct attack on Liberal Communism? A work that almost certainly would not have been published by any mainstream publisher, including McClurg's? There isn't a Freudian in the world who believes in coincidence. I sure don't. Burroughs launched his publishing effort in 1930 the year after the beginning of the Depression in 1929. The guy was either crazy or knew something other publishers didn't wish to acknowledge.
When he met his former publisher, Joe Bray, of McClurg's after the crash he sneeringly told of Joe Bray complaining about business that his was doing very well with the Burroughs imprint and he was. In the height of the depression Burroughs' books turned a profit. That was a profit no publisher ever seemed to want. McClurg's certainly never exploited this literary goldmine.
Was it political? Well, Burroughs' first publishing venture, Tarzan The Invincible, certainly was. And remember Invincible must have caused a reaction. The Reds had to say among themselves something like: 'Don't worry we'll get that bastard yet.' It had to be, nor did his even more sneering Tarzan Triumphant smooth anything over. Think about this for a moment; lit it sink in; this is open warfare. There must have been retaliation. What was it? The Reds did not cease their campaign of vilification during his lifetime nor have they ceased to this very day nor will they cease until either the Reds or Tarzan is triumphant.
I have discussed Richard Slotkin's Gunfighter Nation several times previously. Slotkin in his book tries to pin the responsibility for the My Lai massacre in Viet Nam on Burroughs. He uses nearly seven hundred pages of fine print to try to prove that My Lai is the result of Burroughs' writing. The guy's got a job at a prestigious university too.
While one can discount the hysteria of Liberal academics heavily no one necessarily attacks someone who they do not consider a threat. So what Bibliophiles have to ask themselves is whether there is a basis for the Liberal reaction or not. Was ERB free of political content, an innocent entertainer, or not?
I think my analyses of Tarzan books so far shows that Burroughs had a much more serious political intent than is commonly thought. Underneath the wing and buck, the old soft shoe of the entertainer is some very serious thought and reflection. Also his means of expression itself is the very antithesis of Liberalism.
Burroughs writing does reflect the sea change in world history noted by such academic analysts as Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard. Whether ERB ever read these thinkers or not there is no conflict between their conclusions and his own. ERB is of the same mindset so on that basis Richard Slotkin is correct. None of the three writers is either wrong or evil it's just that Liberals think any opinion but their own is inherently evil in intent and ought to be censored. I say censor the censors.
Liberalism is a religious reaction against the Scientific Consciousness. Their core constituent, Judaism's, sole purpose is to defeat Science and reimpose the religious yoke of absolute conformity to its religious ideal. As I've noted American Liberalism which evolved from the pseudo-Hebrew sect of Puritanism is in complete accord. Combined with the fundamental Christians, who pursue an Old Testament program not much different from the Liberal agenda and the insurgent Moslem fundamentalists, the challenge to Science and all that Burroughs represented is formidable.
The determined effort to plow the concept of Evolution under is a supreme threat to the whole Scientific Consciousness.
Of course the Liberals talk peace while as the Old Testament proclaims, peace, peace, everyone cries peace but there is no peace. There is no peace anywhere on Earth and there never will be.
Burroughs realized that war was inevitable. He decried the disarmament movement and applauded preparedness. In Triumphant he make the wry comment that the Chicago gunner, Danny Patrick, and his fellow criminals believed in preparedness always having a gun with them.
Burroughs accepts a world of conflict, nor so far has the world disappointed his expectations. As he says the only good defense is a terrific offense. Defensive wars cannot be won. I believe he has been proved right there too. Whether you're looking at John Carter, Tarzan or any of his protagonists you will see that they never barricade themselves. They are always on the offensive, nor do they hesitate to kill as part of that offense. My god, Tarzan ripped a man's head off in Ant Men.
His Beyond The Farthest Star posits a world of never-ending war. Prefigures the Cold War in its way. Any concept of 'peace' is merely a temporary cessation of hostilities; war by other means. The Liberal, Slotkin, may lament such a reality but being a man of 'peace' making endless appeasements and concessions to belligerents can end only in disaster to oneself. There aren't any America's left to bail civilization out; that possibility ended with WWII.
I think it fair to say that in today's war situation versus the Moslem and Mexican invasions ERB would take the aggressive position of throwing them out.
As the Shona state explicitly, and believe me the Mexicans and Moslems are no different from them, if you need to hear it from an African there are those who dominate and those who are dominated, which is another way of saying perpetual conflict. Either Americans will dominate Mexicans and Moslems or they will be subservient to them. Need anyone go further than to look at the state of both Matabele and European in Shonaland? It is a given that Burroughs would rather dominate as Tarzan does at the end of Invincible. If you've got to fight you might as well win.
Let us never forget that Burroughs participated in the opening of the Frontier and he saw its closing. He lived through the two most devastating wars in history. One must fight or die was the lesson he learned. Tarzan still lives.
And then we must deal with the persistent charge of racism brought against ERB. One finds it difficult to understand what Liberals mean by the term 'racism.' There is nothing more inherent in human nature than pride in one's own kind. In that sense all peoples are racist. What then? Racism is the natural state of affairs. Certainly Liberal heroes like Robert Mugabe and the Shona are as racist as could possibly be, yet, he and they are Liberal heroes. There must be something else going on.
Liberals themselves are responsible for passing racial laws that would have staggered the imagination of Adolf Hitler. Someone whom they say they despise. Whereas Hitler called his laws what they were, Liberals are more adept at disguising their intent, still, they appropriately call their laws 'hate' laws which is exactly what they are. The unspoken assumption behind them is that 'White' males 'hate' everyone who is neither white nor male, excluding homosexuals, and that they therefore have to be socially isolated and denied.
The apparent belief is that only White males are capable of' 'hating' while the rest of the world is a loving brother and sisterhood. Of course such a notion leaves the Moslem attack on the Twin Towers unexplainable as well as the Shona extermination of Matabele and Europeans.
Hey fellas, it's the exception even multiple exceptions that prove the rule, isn't it?
I have no doubt that ERB would have been opposed to such ridiculous racial laws no matter what language was used to disguise them. He does seem to have been aware of the dangers of the evolutionary collision of the human species. ERB was an evolutionist. His novels explore evolutionary possibilities in enormous variety and detail. While much of his speculations and jokes seem ridiculous in the light of current knowledge at the time of composition most if not all of the speculations would have appeared to be not that far fetched, even possible.
At the least Burroughs was on the side of Science at that time when the controversy really raged, while even today over fifty percent of Americans reject evolution in favor of religious explanations, that's one hundred fifty years after Darwin, while the Moslem invasion of the world is rapidly spreading the slime of superstition over scientific knowledge. As I understand it has progressed so far that I could be put in jail in France, Germany or Austria for blaspheming the prophet and Allah by referring to their atavistic religion as 'the slime of superstition.'
Within just a very few years since 9/11 an intolerant superstition like Moslemism has overturned the scientific attitude of the Enlightenment. May Chirac burn in hell forever and a day. If Blair and President Bush don't back off, them too. Don't any of these guys listen to what people are saying about them?
As I have noted, by the second decade of the twentieth century more sensitive minds perceived the sea change in the relationship of the various human species. Among these in fiction were Sax Rohmer with his Fu Manchu stories and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Prominent in non-fiction were Madison Grant and his Passing Of The Great Race and Lothrop Stoddard's Rising Tide Of Color.
At the risk of repeating myself, I flatter myself that at least some Bibliophiles have been reading my stuff for the last couple years, let me place a quote from Darwin here that clearly explains what happens when similar species compete for the same territory on the same economic basis. Darwin: On The Origin Of Species, Chap. III, Para. Struggle For Existence-- Struggle for life most severe between individuals and varieties of the same species:As species of the same genus have usually, but by no means invariably, some similarity in habits and constitution and always in structure, the struggle will generally be more severe between species of the same genus, when they come into competition with each other, than between species of distinct genera. We see this in the recent extension over parts of the United States of one species of swallow having caused the decrease of another species. The recent increase of the missal thrush in parts of Scotland has caused the decrease of the song-thrush. How frequently we hear of one species of rat taking the place of another species under the most different climates! In Russia the small Asiatic cockroach has everywhere driven before it its great congenor. One species of Charlock will supplant another, and so in other cases. We can dimly see why the competition should be most severe between allied forms, which fill nearly the same place in the economy of nature; but probably in no one case could we precisely say why one species has been victorious over another in the great battle of life.As we are certain that Burroughs read the Origin Of Species we can be sure that he read the above passage. If it struck him as forcibly as it strikes me then we share the same basic outlook on life and the passage shaped his way of looking at the intra-genus conflict between Homo Sapiens species.
As all agree Homo Sapiens has an African history of 150K to 200K years, most assume, and this is only an assumption, that the First Born of Homo Sapiens were black because the indigenes of Africa today are black. This may or may not be true, we have no way of knowing, but let us assume it is. There are no people in Africa today who can absolutely trace their descent unbroken from the Last Hominid Predecessor or the first specimen of Home Sapiens. No one knows what the individual looked like or what his mental constitution was compared to the various African races of today.
It therefore follows that over that course of a very long history peoples have been exterminated to make way for others innumerable times. One wave of rats, one wave of cockroaches after another have succeeded for a moment to be replaced by others in due time. This is how evolution and nature work. Homo Sapiens is not outside either history or nature and it is foolish to act as though it were so. One must understand the natural process and adjust one's actions to it.
To use the Shona example. The Shona are not indigenous to the soil. At one time they must have exterminated and displaced a predecessor people in what they now consider 'their' territory. Beginning about 1830 the Ndelbele Zulu as an incoming wave of new people began to exterminate and displace them. There is no difference between this Ndebele invasion of Shonaland and the Moslem and Mexican invasion of the United States. Nature is red in tooth and claw. What can one say?
Had the Matabele not been interrupted by another wave of incoming people, the Europeans, (color and race have no bearing on this issue of Nature and evolution) the Zulus would have completed the process and today the Shona would be at best a memory. But the succeeding wave of Europeans did come crowding after the Matabele. So far Darwin's thesis is correct. One species of rat drives out another. Had the Europeans behaved normally they would have exterminated their predecessors and driven them before them.
But here evolution throws in a clinker. The Europeans were evolutionarily more advanced than the Blacks. While the fact that the evolution of the human species is continuing is clear from the visual physical evidence, scientific research has proven it beyond any quibble. So, even though those at the turn of the century lacked the evidence to prove their case they were right. The most obvious evolution is taking place in the brain and it is not taking place in each human species. Only one species is evolving while the others are sterile. Hard thing to accept but it's true. Thus Europeans had developed consciences that prevented them from doing what Nature commanded them to do. Instead they set themselves up as a parasite class believing they could control the blacks without special intermixture forever.
As Burroughs would have noted this put them on the defensive and no defense outlasts a good offense as the Shona have proven. Thus the Shona having been given breathing space reorganized, regained the initiative and won the dominant position. They are doing the Natural thing exterminating or driving out both the Ndebele Zulu and the Europeans. If you won't fight or can't, you lose.
So, you have the Darwinian struggle for existence presented to you in plain terms in a human context that cannot be misunderstood. No rats or cockroaches as necessary examples. One must be intolerant of other species. One must be a 'bigot' as the Shona are or go under.
Now, not having the will and perhaps no longer having the power to do as Nature commands Europeans attempted to retreat, to withdraw within their own territories. As anyone knows they all come out at the first sign of weakness. One would have to be stupid or utopian not to realize that. As a consequence Europe and America are being invaded by the other human species in the Darwinian sense. I mean, folks, they call evolution science. Science means knowing. Anyone who does not act on certain knowledge is foolish or, perhaps, too religious.
However in the first two decades of the twentieth century the Liberal ideology was formed by the weakest and lamest members of Western civilization. Not understanding actual differences between the human species, even denying them on religious grounds, they used conscience as a weapon to first emasculate themselves, and I mean this in the literal sense, and then they shamed those who knew better into silence.
Among those silenced were Grant, Stoddard and Burroughs. Although all these men were initially very influential telling Americans the nature of evolution and its consequences their reputations were dismantled. By the beginning of WWII Grant and Stoddard were regarded as mere 'racist' cranks.
It is time to debunk their debunkers. The wheel has turned. Bunk is bunk and shouldn't be tolerated by anyone.
Burroughs who hadn't left himself quite so open was provoked into acts of defiance so that sanctions could be applied against him much as had been done to Henry Ford. Ford is another whose reputation should be rehabilitated much as Khruschev rehabilitated the reputation of various Communists after the death of Stalin. The tool preferred by the Liberal Coalition to discredit someone was the charge of 'anti-Semitism', a religious charge be it noted.
The most potent weapon in the Liberal religious arsenal is the term 'anti-Semite.' It is used liberally usually combined with Fascist to defame and control an opponent. Oddly enough they couldn't make it stick on Burroughs. Even Slotkin in Gunfighter Nation only hints that ERB might have anti-Semitic tendencies.
I know it is unpleasant to discuss the Semitic issue but I think the time has come to discuss the issue head on especially as Burroughs was and is involved to a much more serious degree than might be apparent at first blush. The problem of Asia, from whence the Semites come and Europe has roots in prehistory. Indeed it is a tale of two species. This is one of those eternal conflicts that will not be settled until one side annihilates the other much as the Shona are doing in Zimbabwe to their competitors.
In ancient days both the European Greeks and the Mediterranean Egyptians were in a constant conflict with what the Egyptians referred to as 'the vile Asiatics.' The Asiatics were vile not on the basis of race but because of the differing view of life of the two species. As regards the Egyptians and the Semites one or the other had to be exterminated. If you know anything of Egyptian history you will know that few true Egyptians still survive. The Semites have exterminated the true Egyptians.
Thus the related species of HSII, the Egyptians and HSIII, the Europeans found the Semitic species unassimilable. We are back to Darwin's competing species of rats and cockroaches. In the religious terms in which the problem is usually stated one says the animosity is racial or in other words, moral; in scientific terms one says that it is genetic or special. In other words, the problem is much deeper than mere surface appearances. It extends to the genetic development of the brain. The Semite cannot understand as any other human species understands and vice versa.
Thus the current problem in the Sudan between Negroes and Semites which is genetic or biological can only be resolved by the extermination or expulsion of the other. The whole course of this new African conflict can be projected historically and scientifically. It may be delayed but it cannot be stopped. There is no question as to what course the conflict will take.
Why Liberals choose to make an issue of Darfur while they ignore the South Sudan and Zimbabwe and South Africa where genocide is also going on is known only to themselves. It is absolutely necessary to analyze the matter in scientific rather than emotional or religious terms. These are not matters of race but species. The mental capabilities of the Negro, the Semite and the European are different and irreconcilable. An unpleasant fact, perhaps, but true.
The conflict between Europe and Asia or the Semites and Indo-Europeans began according to legend with the Semitic abduction of the European woman Io from Argos. The history of the Mediterranean in ancient times was the perpetual warfare between Europeans and Asiatics or Semites. At one time the Semites seemed to be besting Europeans and then turn about. For the long Hellenic and Roman period the Europeans seemed to have won. But, and this is a big but, they failed to exterminate or drive the Semites out. A very bad mistake.
Two things happened. The Jewish Semites began a peaceful infiltration of Europe which came to a head in the long Jewish wars that lasted from 66 AD to 135 AD. The Jewish Semites were militarily defeated in their homeland but came to spiritually dominate Europeans through the Judaeo-Catholic religion.
None of this struggle went unobserved by the Semitic peoples of the Arabian peninsula. In the seventh century the Arab or Ishmaelite branch of the Semitic species led by Moslem ideology which had its base in Jewish ideology overran North Africa, large parts of the Eastern Mediterranean into the steppes of Asia and over the Hindu Kush into India. The Indo-European Persians, now known as Iranians, were Islamized or Semitized which they remain today. They were stultified hence their ridiculous position today.
The southerly Egyptians, the native Copts, are on the verge of extinction or what the modern world fondly describes as genocide. There are few surviving Egyptians today.
Thus the Hellenic-Roman hegemony was reversed.
The Semitic Arab incursion into Europe which was a continuation of the multi-thousand year conflict between Europeans and Semites was defeated by Charles The Hammer at Tours in the heart of Europe. Over the next nearly thousand years the Moslems were expelled from Western Europe but they advanced in Eastern Europe.
From the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492 the southern Med if not the Med itself was controlled by the Barbary pirates. During that period Europeans supinely submitted to a slave trade that greatly resembled that of sub-Saharan Africa. Even as Negroes were being transported to the Americas countless Europeans were captured on European soil, transported to Africa and enslaved. So, the Africans have no cause to complain of Europeans. Some people whine some people don't,
No one European State was strong enough or determined enough to clear the seas of the Moslems while they were unable to concert a united attack. The piracy and enslavement continued until France annexed Algeria in 1830. Rightfully so.
In Darwinian terms it is quite clear that the struggle was one of the replacement of one population by another. Thus when France conquered Algeria it behove them to either exterminate or drive out the existing population replacing it with Europeans. They ought to have relentlessly warred on every North African people until North Africa was once again European.
The attempt to coexist was a defensive war that could only end in defeat. The defeat was adjudicated by General De. Gaulle in the nineteen sixties. The French stupidly and erroneously thought the war was over, but, in reality, the momentum shifted once again to the Semites.
As noted by Lothrop Stoddard the Wahabi Moslems went onto the offensive. No longer able to compete militarily with Europeans they resorted to guerilla warfare, something the West now chooses to call terrorism, combined with an infiltration of Europe using their reproductive capabilities as a weapon. The situation now is a replica of the 3000 BC infiltration of Sumer. Hence the balance of power of the age old war between the Semites of Asia and Europeans has once again shifted toward the Asiatics.
As the Libyan, Moamar Qadaffi gloated in May 2006 there are fifty million Moslems in Europe. Europeans have the option of fighting or submitting. He knows whereof he speaks. As the war will now be conducted on European soil with the certain loss of the entire cultural superstructure of the last two thousand years there seems little chance of any European resistance. Notre Dame will be renamed and become a mosque.
If there is resistance then Burroughs' prophecy of a flattened Europe turned Black over the centuries is a distinct, nay, certain probability. In addition to their submission to the Wahabi Arabs, Europeans seem incapable of resisting the Black Moslem invasion from sub-Saharan Africa. Thus once Blacks and Moslems have the strength they will undoubtedly follow the ancient plan of killing the men and keeping the women. Need I point to Haiti after the rebellion of the slaves as an example? Within three or four generations both Arabs and Europeans will be absorbed by black Africa.
Any discussion of the problem is now impossible in Europe as the blackest censorship has been imposed on dissent. Astonishing that the Enlightenment could disappear just like that, isn't it? Anyone who dissents from the Semitic program is liable to imprisonment, heavy fines or both. The term Semite includes both the Jewish and Arab branches.
Once the Moslems are powerful enough to direct the European military it will mean the end of Israel as that State will be completely encircled by Moslem powers with irresistible might and control of all land, sea, air and satellite communications.
With European technological war materiel at their disposal the Moslems will be able to isolate the United States by depriving it of oil or with the huge and growing population in the US sabotage any war effort if threatened. Let's have a round of applause for the brilliant leadership of Chirac, Blair and President Bush not to mention the morons of the US Senate.
Burroughs foresaw the results of the West's waffling before the Communists, the Moslems and perhaps the Africans but he was prevented from examining the problems too openly for fear of bringing the Liberal Coalition with its charges of anti-Semitism down on his head. Both he and Henry ford were having a tough fight for survival. W.R. Hearst.
Burroughs had already called attention to himself by questioning a survey sent him by the American Jewish Committee in 1919. It seems apparent the survey drew his attention to Jewish matters which he had ignored up till that time. This resulted in the character of Bluber in Tarzan And The Golden Lion as well as several characters in 1924's Marcia Of The Doorstep. As the AJC would have considered these characterizations 'anti-Semitic' - the publication of the book was prohibited. Censored, as it were.
Probably as a result of questioning the AJC survey he was put under surveillance. While a number of movies had been made from his books in 1921, movie making from his novels ceased reducing his income potential drastically at a very critical time. For whatever reason there was a hiatus in the production of Tarzan films that lasted until 1927. It is only fair to assume that Tarzan had not lost his box office appeal which is the usual Hollywood cover for blacklisting. One also imagines that Burroughs would have leapt at any movie money. Indeed, in 1922 the Stern Bros. and Louis Jacobs, a trio of Jewish movie makers, bought the rights to Jungle Tales Of Tarzan and Jewels Of Opar for $40,000. This was a very decent sum to spend yet the movie makers made no effort to make movies. Whether Burroughs was being disciplined for being 'anti-Semitic' or not can't be determined for certain at this time.
Hollywood was notorious for being a Jewish industry. W.R. Hearst was one of the few goys making movies. D.W. Griffith was being increasingly marginalized. In the interim then, the noted 'anti-Semite' Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of the future president John F. Kennedy, formed, or bought, FBO Studios. The story of this multi-cultural struggle for dominance has never been adequately researched for obvious reasons, but what with the Ford conflict with the Semitic Jewish culture flaring in the foreground it is not unlikely that there was a great deal of maneuvering in the background. It will be noted that when RKO was formed which incorporated FBO Studios the R for Radio from RCA and KO for Keith Orpheum were retained while FBO was deleted. The R and KO were Jewish concerns while FBO had been a great goyish disrupter.
Nevertheless, as Burroughs was blacklisted by Hollywood which the Hollywood historian Neal Gabler describes as a Jewish empire, it is noteworthy that an 'anti-Semite' broke the blacklist making Tarzan movies again. It would have been the equivalent of Dalton Trumbo being allowed to script movies under his own name again in the 1960s.
The blacklist broken, the Stern Bros. and Jacobs then decided in 1928 to exercise their rights to the two Tarzan novels to release Tarzan The Tiger and Tarzan The Mighty. Calling Tarzan a tiger may have been a slam at Burroughs who erroneously introduced tigers into Africa in the magazine version of Tarzan Of The Apes.
The silent era of movies over MGM produced the first talkie of Tarzan in 1932. Watch the dates.
Now, in both Tarzan The Invincible and Tarzan Triumphant Burroughs takes undisguised hits at Communism, pointing fingers and naming names; in Triumphant he continues his open attack on Communism and covertly ridicules the Jews in his portrayal of Midians with their enormous noses and receding chins. Both attributes are well known caricatures of Jews. Was this a gratuitous insult or was he responding to insults to himself?
If he had been given courage by the presence of Joseph Kennedy and FBO Studios then he might have relaxed his vigilance a little. However his open and blatant attack would not have been unresented by Judaeo-Communists. While Hollywood had always been run by the Jews, by 1930 Communists had also made much more serious inroads than is usually admitted. In other words, ERB's well being in this multi-cultural war zone depended on his sworn enemies. As both a goy and a counter-revolutionary ERB was odd man out. It could not possibly be any other way.
There can be no question that he would have to be gotten for what could only be seen as egregious insults to both Communists and Jews. In fact, the two were nearly one. The question then was how best to get Burroughs short of outright assassination. The blacklist had already been broken by Kennedy but possibly a movie could be made to make his great creation ridiculous. Destroy him in that way, you see.
Thanks to technological marvels like DVDs it is now possible to study old movies at will. I have the set of the six MGM films. I have viewed Tarzan Of The Apes a number of times.
Bearing in mind that Burroughs was in a struggle with both Communists and Semites as exemplified in 1930's Tarzan The Invincible and 1931's Tarzan Triumphant while being surreptitiously listed as an anti-Semite by the American Jewish Committee, I think it worthwhile to speculate on the intent of Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg's productions.
Having watched the movie a number of times while bearing Invincible and Triumphant in mind I have come to the conclusion that the movies' ulterior motive was an attempt to ridicule the Big Bwana into oblivion. We all know that ridicule is a most effective weapon. It was undoubtedly thought Tarzan could be destroyed in this manner.
MGM did not negotiate to obtain rights to any particular story but, and this is important, they bought the right to use the characters as they thought fit. Thus as the movie poster picture in Bibliophile David Fury's Kings Of The Jungle on p. 63 published by McFarland, it is stated that the movie is 'based on the characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.'
In other words, this is not the Tarzan you know if you've been reading the series for the previous twenty years. This is not the Tarzan of Invincible and Triumphant. Oh no, no. This is Tarzan the Defeated, Tarzan the Buffoon.
The vision is no longer Tarzan Of The Apes but Tarzan, The Ape Man. A subtle but important shift in emphasis. Tarzan is no longer a man raised among apes he is a man who is an ape. The fabulous brain of Tarzan which allowed him to master reading and writing with only the aid of a picture book, that allowed him to learn new languages instantly has now been replaced by an inarticulate moron who does five minutes of 'me Tarzan, you Jane.'
This was free love in the jungle between a hunk and a babe. Apparently it slipped by unnoticed at the time but was picked up thirty years later by an astute librarian. Tarzan and Jane are no longer married in the movies, Jane just began cohabiting with Tarzan because he was such a handsome hunk. Fortunately she, he or both were infertile. Thus Tarzan was subtly defamed, his universality removed. His audience constricted by that much.
Having slipped this bit past the censors, as incredible as it may seem, in the next movie, Tarzan And His Mate, not wife but mate, you know, a live in, MGM included the famous nude swimming scene that did not get by the censors.
Both of these items would have the effect of defaming Tarzan and constricting his audience. A certain type of viewer would be offended by the these items and refuse to see the movies while another type would be gratified by such items and drawn to the movies but lower the quality of the audience. Thus by degrees Tarzan movies would gain the reputation as porn flicks. Porn is porn even if it is Tarzan so you aren't going to let your kids go to porn movies nor are legitimate first run theatres going to show them.
Thus MGM was well on their way to making Tarzan porn before the censors forced a change in plan. There was nothing Burroughs could have done about this as he, or rather his office manager signed away all his rights to his characters.
The MGM poster then portrays Tarzan as a criminal freak:Mothered by an ape-- He knew only the law of the jungle-- to seized what he wanted!The 'to seize' is in attention grabbing italics.
Mothered by an ape is ambiguous but repulsive. It could mean that Tarzan was fathered by a human on an ape or it could be so obscure as to be meaningless. If you were familiar with the books you could probably guess what was intended but if you weren't who knows what it could mean to you. Remember the first volume, Tarzan Of The Apes, was no longer in print even in 1930 so the original story couldn't even be bought. The later volumes don't recapitulate his birth and raising so there may have been actually few who knew the whole story. We are led to believe that the MGM Tarzan is completely lacking in morality. If he wants something he just steals it. Not the Tarzan I know want to emulate.
The director was W.S. Van Dyke who had just had a major success with his Trader Horn, another African picture. That one had been phenomenally successful and Tarzan is billed as "Another Miracle Picture directed by W.S. Van Dyke, Creator of Trader Horn Van Dyke was certainly not the creator of Trader Horn as the movie was adapted from the book by Trader Horn, there was such a man, thus in a way Tarzan, The Ape Man is subordinated to W.S. Van Dyke and Trader Horn.
What is called 'the adaptation' was done by someone called Cyril Hume. As the dialogue was written by Ivor Novello I presume that both the storyline and the alterations to Tarzan's character can possibly be attributed to Hume.
There is little on Hume on the internet but a New York Times review that was cribbed from All Movie Guide. It says '...During the 1920s, Hume proved a worthy rival of Fitzgerald with such lost generation novels as Wife Of The Centaur and Cruel Fellowship.' An interesting couple of titles in relation to this Tarzan movie. The review then goes on to say '...During the 1930s, he was principal writer of MGM's "Tarzan" films, bringing prestige to these escapist exercises by treating them with dignity and respect....' That's one man's opinion anyway.
As we all know the attributed movie writer frequently has very little to do with the finished script so we will assume that Hume's script went through many revisions by many minds with perhaps different agendas than his. One wonders why Ivor Novell, who was a well known playwright of the time was brought in to do dialog. Apart from the Tarzan yell, with which Novello is given no connection, that seems to be the major portion of the dialog along with the famous 'Tarzan-Jane' sequence, there seems to be little dialog that an amateur couldn't have written.
The net result is a movie that seriously demeans Tarzan as conceived and portrayed over fifteen novels. In order for their ridicule to be successful MGM did have to produce a movie that someone would go see. They were apparently successful beyond their wildest hopes or fears as the movie was described as a "surprise" hit and an enormous grosser.
If it was a surprise hit then one can discount the publicity that the movie cost a million dollars to produce. There are no well-known stars in the movie, while much of it is footage left over from Trader Horn which had already been amortized with the rest being shot on lot. If the movie cost MGM a quarter of a million I would still be astonished.
In their attempt to ridicule Tarzan they were too clever by half. The character of Tarzan may not been that of the books but audiences still found it satisfying, especially the yell.
Those of us who have read the books have always been uneasy with those MGM movies although Johnny Weismuller was perfectly cast in the role of the Ape Man.
So, while the NYT reviewer may believe Cyril Hume brought 'prestige to these escapist exercises by treating them with dignity and respect....' there are dissenting opinions other than mine.
Another interpretation was that of the first movie Tarzan, Elmo Lincoln, who commented to ERB "the house seemed to think it was a comedy. Why do they portray Tarzan without dignity?...with the right treatment and portrayal, Tarzan could be a romantic, thrilling character, and still have the sympathy of his audience... I don't like to see him treated as a clown..."
Elmo Lincoln and I both see the MGM version in the same light, while I have to question the interpretation of the NYTimes reviewer. I think Lincoln was right, the movie was a comedic effort meant to defame the persona of ERB's great creation and thus destroy Edgar Rice Burroughs. After all ERB, Inc.'s publishing arm was dependent on the sales of Tarzan.
By 1932 the troublesome ERB had learned which side his bread was buttered on so he publicly endorsed the MGM movies, after all this was big money, bigger than any other sources of income combined. It may be said then that just as Henry Ford recanted and apologized for offending the Jewish Cultural entity in the ongoing culture wars so Burroughs bent the knee to Liberal suzerainty.
As ERBzine reports, privately Burroughs had other thoughts:Daughter Joan Burroughs revealed: "Dad found it hard to reconcile himself to the movie versions of the Tarzan stories and never did understand the movie Tarzan. He wanted Tarzan to speak like an educated Englishman instead of grunting. One time we saw a movie together and after it was over, although the audience seemed enthusiastic, my father remained in his seat and kept shaking his head sadly."So Burroughs and Lincoln both resented the screen adaptation based on the Tarzan ERB had created.
There was nothing Burroughs could do about it. His rights had been signed away by his agent Ralph Rothmund. Rothmund must have been aware of the tension between Burroughs, Communists and Jews yet he essentially gave the courthouse away. He placed Burroughs in the hands of his enemies. He gave Tarzan to MGM stripping Burroughs of his only weapon and asset. Why? Did he contact MGM or did MGM contact him? Why did he negotiate behind Burroughs back presenting him with a fait accompli? Why not tell his employer, I've got this deal worked out with MGM. Do you want to take it?'
Presented instead with a check, Our Man seduced by vain desires went out and bought five Packard automobiles. Ah, ERB.
Did he repent of this deal? I believe so. Trapped by the contract his only way of retaliation was a futile one through his novels.
Can it be a coincidence that Tarzan And The Lion Man written over February to May of 1933, published by ERB, Inc in book form on September I, 1934 (Septimus Favonius BB #55 p. 34) ridiculed MGM, Irving Thalberg and Trader Horn. The second MGM movie Tarzan And His Mate was released on April 16, 1934. Bear these two dates in mind, the movie was released five months before the book leaving time for a revision of the book text.
Certainly severely wounded by the MGM adaptation of Tarzan Burroughs had been beaten. He had lost the culture war between himself the Communists and the Jews. Having lost control of his character in the vital field of movies his only recourse was to lampoon MGM in a book which he did in Tarzan And The Lion Man. Strangely his illustrator St. John chose this book to experiment with an unrepresentative cover that was believed to have killed sales. Thus this magnificent achievement was undersold.
The novel recounts W.S. Van Dyke's movie making in Africa, telling it in a ridiculing manner. MGM's version of Tarzan is portrayed by a character named Stanley Obroski, perhaps a takeoff on Johnny Weismuller, who is a pale imitation of the real Tarzan. Burroughs makes a careful comparison showing what a joke the MGM Tarzan was. In a fit of pique he kills the fake Lion Man off.
One of the most interesting characters is Balza - The Golden Girl. After escaping from the Valley of Diamonds she joins the movie company where she cavorts about in the nude. This scene has baffled me but if one remembers that in Tarzan And His Mate Maureen O' Sullivan is stripped by Tarzan followed by the nude swimming scene, the novel makes sense. ERB had seen the movie in April of 1934, possibly an earlier studio screening, and incorporated the changes in his text for the 9/1/34 release date.
So his retort against MGM while ineffective made for what must rank as one of his very best efforts.
Just as a side note while this struggle was going on in Hollywood Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt became President of the United States in March of '33.
One of FDR's first deeds was to recognize the USSR regime of Joseph Stalin. In late 1933 a chubby little ex-draper's assistant acted as a go-between for Stalin and Roosevelt. Having first visited Stalin, Wells carried his messages to Roosevelt. Thus under the very eyes of the world some very important communications were passed back and forth. Nineteen thirty-three was also the year the former draper's assistant H.G. Wells wrote his Shape Of Things To Come.
These things can't be stated with absolute certainty but the character of God -- the formerly handsome Englishman -- is certainly based on the pompous little H.G. Wells.
Thus while I at first objected to Slotkin's accusations against ERB, barring the My Lai stuff, I think I am beginning to see ERB's relation to the cultural wars between Communists, Jews, Liberals and Conservatives. There is more going on here than meets the eye.
But let us look at some of the religious aspects of this interesting situation: The religious war between Semitism and the Astrological Religion as represented by Tarzan Of The Apes.All pagination 1964 Ballantine Edition
E. Prindle's Themes And Variations
The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs
#14 Tarzan The Invincible (11 parts)
Time On His Hands
Through The Dark Continent With ERB
Multi-Culturalism In Tarzan The Invincible
Six White Men In Search Of An African Empire
Inside the Gates of Opar
Outside the Gates of Opar
Red, White And Black
a. Politics: The Entertainer
b. Religion: Standing On Promises
c. Love is a Huring Game
Tarzan the Invincible
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