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ICONS & ERB
The Archetypal Vision in the
of Edgar Rice Burroughs
My Primal Dreams of Tarzan
Icons are images of power. Jung says that our thinking with words is a mere equation from which nothing comes out but what we have put in, and beyond this there is a thinking in primordial images which are older than historical man, eternally living, outlasting all generations -- the groundwork of the human psyche. It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these ICONS.
I write these words half in a dream because here is where the icons appear.
First it was the sound of my motherís voice and the story flowed on the crystal liquid of air and time way away into forgetfulness. Then words became real upon a page and Dick spoke to Jane without sound until the time I became ill and read for weeks among fevered images of fairy tales and comic books where images and words crossed panels by leaps of meaning -- little balloons of words phasing colored pictures, yet the connections were my own.
Tarzan came thus flat and pastel Delled into being, roaming among the greens and beasts of Pal-ul-don, suggested by my suggestions, minded by my mind, made by my making. Tarzan moved thus panel to panel through pale pastel Pal-ul-don -- moved square-jawed, lined-mouthed ape-man within the shifting secure walls of panels like an Icon, like a dancer through silk screen panels of a bright Chinese garden in the sun.
On the silver screen he moved again in the flickering light of darkened rooms. Like a dream he moved again with great beasts and through the grays of jungle vines. Tarzan moved and dropped upon the spotted killer and rolled and rolled through the leaves and jungle creepers. Then came the books.
The stories and the explications, the adventures rolled on into a straight line of words and meaning, logic given to mortal man. I read and read and lived them reading; yet the panels held the vital lifeblood, the secret of the moving man.
Books were for maturity that grace of becoming a man I would be dark and dangerous yet the blocks and panels of the Icons were the world zan moved and lived in remaining there in open purity.
Then the St. John, then the Icon, opened I the Jungle Tales and beheld him more than the colored covers of Monroe. Looped he leopard with his lasso and stood straining there against the little leopard child Tarzan dressed in lion cloth skinny Tarzan a boy as I.
I was enchanted at his boyhood at his and my own possibility.
Those strange mangani of St. John comic poses oddly grinning what wonders of the dropping of one upon the back of a little panther before a brave boy with a dagger sketched in lines of magic wonder lines so clear yet so open allowing me to enter in paste myself upon the Icon perfect panels of image of a boy and beasts together in a jungle just suggested disappearing in the fading lines. Tarzan holds the beast hyena at the end of one straight arm beast man becoming beast by beast in hand.
Numa of numa lion of my soul upon a rock thus I will build my church as I have named Thee. Great dream lion none dare approach Thee Icon of beast there fulfilled.
Artingís silhouette stunned me like a Stone. I was unconscious until I saw Frazetta and a new world arrived with new conception color and image suggested Icon the image of the beast behold the man Tarzan!
[Essay #1 was written on July 29, 1999 for Bill Hillman]
BILL HILLMAN .
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