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Volume 0294

Chattering From The Shoulder #1
By Nkima
February 11, 2000

"Nkima scolded and chattered from the safety of his master's shoulder ..."  (Invincible)

Trashin' the Camp

The clever Disney visual adaptation of Phil Collins' song is admittedly a MTV-style video that for some fans a disturbing break in the flow of the story line.  However, as it has been pointed out by others, this is simply a time-honored technique of Disney features since "Steamboat Willy."  The fact of the matter is all of the songs are treated in this stand-alone video manner, making them suitable for cutting and pasting to a future Disney Sing-A-Long videotape.  Actually, the only real difference in treatment is the fact that "Trashin' the Camp" is the only song in this movie that is frankly comic, a feature that is surely not foreign to the style of Edgar Rice Burroughs by any means.

Lawrence Dunn notes in an e-mail that this song may be a Disney version of a Dum-Dum, which is reasonable given the kinder and gentler Disney translation of the entire Tarzan story.  I thought the episode was very well done given the suggestibility of Collins' percussion and scat singing score.  A lighter moment was called for at this point in the action since the film was meant to appeal to children as well as adults, and given the delighted response of said children, it was obviously a successful addition.

On another note:  I found the "Trashin' the Camp" scene to be an authentic view of ape behavior; more so than the fact that the apes quite easily spoke in English.  Jane Goodall had a similar problem with her chimpanzees at the Gombe camp.  Here is a brief description of how they tried to protect the banana boxes.

"And the chimpanzees were becoming more impossible in camp.  J.B.  had learned to dig boxes and wires out of the ground, so that Hassan had had to sink the boxes in concrete and lay expensive piping between box and handle for the wire.  Then J.B. had dug up the pipes, so they had been put in concrete too.  And Figan and Evered had started trying to pry open the steel lids with strong sticks; occasionally, if the wire was too slack, they succeeded.  Even worse, from Kris's point of view, increasing numbers of the chimps had followed David's lead and begun wandering into his tent, taking his clothing and bedding.  Finally he
had organized things, stowing any material into tin trunks or stout wooden boxes.  Then Goliath had started a craze for chewing canvas.

Little groups of chimps had sat around tearing up and chewing chair seats, flaps of tents - - even Kris's camp bed had been destroyed.  And now, he told us, during the last few weeks it had become fashionable to chew wood; the back of one of Hassan's homemade cupboards had gone, and the leg of a wooden chair. There was also rather alarming news:  some of the bolder chimps had begun to raid the huts of the African fishermen and taken their clothing."  (In The Shadow of Man, Jane Goodall, page 92).

Disney Tarzan Video & Toys

I was rather surprised that the Disney Tarzan videotape had completely sold out in our little prairie town within a couple of days.  When I drove over to buy one, they were already history, so I just dialed up trusty old Amazon.com.  I guess this movie had a wider audience around here than I imagined, but then it was a new Disney flick and a great babysitter.

I get a kick out of the bibliophiles who scramble after all the Disney Tarzan toys.  I suppose they will be worth some real money fifty years from now, so I should have collected them for my children's retirement, yet somehow I can't get beyond book collecting.  Even here I have run up against the stone wall of storage space.  I can only hide so many plastic boxes in the attic, and I've already participated in the "Trashin' the Camp" of my in-laws "treasures" to know what happens to "miscellaneous stuff" after you are gone.

Trashin' The Tarzans

Since Flem is reading all of ERB's works in a single year, I wonder if he might find some specific relationships amongst these "other" novels with his beloved Mars Series.  Surely the Tarzan Series is not simply a desert  between the peaks of the Mars novels.  He has already hinted that he finds some of the novels to be at least tangentially related in theme, but I would like to hear more of his insights since his project is worthy of note.

ERB's Library

Like many fans I have long wished for a listing of ERB's private library.  Many of these books can be inferred from obvious references in his novels, his letters or newspaper articles, or from notations in Porges.  In a phone conversation with George McWhorter some months ago, he told me that he has a listing of the books that ERB kept upon his writing desk.  George also referred me to the list of books ERB consulted for the writing of "I Am a Barbarian," which he  lists at the beginning.

History of England by George Macaulay Trevelyan
Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus
The Tragedy of the Caesars by S. Barring-Gould
The Early Empire by W.W. Capes
Travel Among the Ancient Romans by William West Mooney
The Private Life of the Romans by Harriet Waters Preston and Louise Dodge
Rome and the Romans by Grant Showerman
Life in the Roman World by T.G. Tucker
The Roman Empire by H. Stuart Jones
Roman Society by Samuel Dill
Women of the Caesars by Guglielmo Ferrero
The Private Life of the Romans by Harold Whetstone Johnston

Texts we many assume in ERB's library:

Through the Dark Continent by Henry M. Stanley
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Book of the Lion by Sir Alfred E. Pease
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo by Lieutenant-Col J.H. Patterson
Is Nature Cruel? by J. Crowther Hirst
Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Gallic Wars by Julius Caesar
The Aeneid of Virgil
Metamorphosis by Ovid
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes tales by Doyle
The Face in the Pool; A Faerie Tale by J. Allen St. John
Bulfinch's Mythology
Lieut. Gullivar Jones:  His Vacation by Edwin Lester Arnold
The Time Machine (and other stories) by H.G. Wells
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
The Oz books by Frank Baum (ERB's good friend)
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard

*** Nkima's Tid-Bites ***
"A butterfly or a luscious grub might suddenly claim his attention from the depths of brooding . . ." (Invincible)

"Quote of the Week" Like Father-Like Son

   "You may go on toward civilization, and I will return for the treasure. I can go very much faster alone." (Tarzan in Apes, Chapter 25)

Korak winced.  "You are wounded.  You could not make the trip," he said. "I can go much faster alone."  (Korak in Son, chapter 24)

John Carter Notebook

1.  According to Livy (33)  Numa Pompilius established the twelve Salii, or Leaping Priests, in the service of Mars Gradivus.  They were given the uniform of an embroidered tunic and bronze breast-plate, and the special duty was to carry the ancilia, or sacred shields, one of which was fabled to have fallen from heaven, as they moved through the city chanting their hymns to the triple beat of their ritual dance.

2.  The sanctity of an oath had more power to control their lives than the fear of punishment for law-breaking. (34)

3.  In Stanley's "Through the Dark Continent" Vol.1, page 240-41
"Mtesa marched on foot, bare-headed, and clad in a dress of blue check cloth, with a black belt of English make round his waist, and -- like the Roman emperors, who, when returning in triumph, painted their faces a deep vermilion - - his face dyed a bright red."



David Adams
Nkima and his friend, David Adams, would like to hear from ERB fans
davidadams@willmar.com

Nkima's
Chattering From the Shoulder Columns
by David Adams

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