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The Tarzan exhibition 
at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris

Press Coverage & Photos (continued)

Tarzan ! Tarzan !
Musée du Quai Branly
16 June - 27 September 2009
Curator: Roger Boulay
Roger Boulay is an anthropologist, a specialist in the art of Oceania and an exhibition curator. He was curator for the exhibition "L'aristocrate et ses cannibales : le voyage en Océanie du comte Festetics de Tolna, 1893 - 1896" (The aristocrat and his cannibals : the voyage of the Count of Festetics de Tolna, 1893 – 1896, to Oceania), held in 2007 at the  Musée du Quai Branly.

“It was as though I had been suddenly snatched back through countless ages to a long-dead past, and dropped into the midst of the prehistoric life of my Paleolithic progenitors” . . . “Tarzan thought of the fragile frontier between the primitive and the civilised”.

~ Edgar Rice Burroughs
Copyright © by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. All Rights Reserved 
This exhibition dedicated to an icon of popular culture allows the public to discover how the hero was created and decipher the myth that he embodies.

Although Edgar Rice Burroughs is the father of the Tarzan character, all those who used him in comics, film, posters, models, records, games , etc. refer to collective images and representations that are at the roots of one of our century’s strongest myths.

The exhibition looks at the origins and nature of Tarzan, as a character as well as a myth (from Saturnin Farandoul, a 1914 documentary, to Greystoke in 1983), and redefines the character as a modern hero fighting for the protection of nature.



A Loincloth to Set Parisians Aflutter
~ August 5, 2009
PARIS — Last week it was announced in Britain that “Me Cheeta,” the comic “autobiography” of Tarzan’s sidekick, now a septuagenarian, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. Leave it to the French, meanwhile, to resuscitate Tarzan only to stick him in a semiotic jungle.

Edgar Rice Burroughs's famous ape man is the subject of a summer show at the Musée du Quai Branly here that mixes old comics and film clips with children’s action figures, a stuffed crocodile and the female robot from “Metropolis.” (Don’t ask.)

This being a serious museum, there are a few genuine African totems and shields, which look as out of place in this context as Maureen O’Sullivan did, toting her banana-leaf pocketbook and wearing a pair of homemade pumps, while standing in the bush beside the loinclothed Johnny Weissmuller and two forlorn elephants in the film “Tarzan Finds a Son!”

The show has been wildly popular.

Its organizers cogitate, with Gallic élan, on Tarzan’s proto-environmentalism; his philosophical roots in Rousseau and the 19th-century nudist movement; his literary antecedents in Kipling and H. M. Stanley; and his mythological reliance on the stories of Hercules and Romulus and Remus. The exhibition also makes hay about the first words Tarzan uttered not in ape grunts but the language of civilized men: "Mais oui," the young Lord Greystoke said.

And of course there is also the sex angle. “One can expound as much as one likes in scientific speeches about his mythical and universal nature, but one always gets back to the fact that Tarzan is a half-naked guy saving white-skinned young women, lost in the jungle and wearing their party dresses, from the claws of vicious gorillas,” noted Libération, the newspaper, in its review of the exhibition. “It’s all about torrid eroticism.”

So it is.

The show is a mess, truth be told. It has wonderful drawings from bygone comic artists like Burne Hogarth and Hal Foster, and it means to use Tarzan to help dissect how Western pop culture has (mis)interpreted the non-Western “other.” But it’s displayed in cramped galleries at a museum whose theatrical, heart of darkness installation of non-European cultures as diverse and unrelated as Inuit and Cameroonians — in meandering ill-lighted spaces connoting primitive, spooky peoples — is of a piece with the antediluvian ethos of the original Tarzan.

The highborn “killer of beasts and many black men,” as Tarzan unfortunately described himself in “Tarzan of the Apes,” was conceived just before World War I by Burroughs, a former gold miner and cowboy, in a climate of American expansionism, late colonialism and institutionalized racism.

Before he died in 1950 Burroughs published about two dozen Tarzan potboilers, his fictional character becoming an increasingly fantastical figure, speaking a dozen languages while battling the teensy Minunians and dinosaurs. An easygoing guy with a fondness for golf who settled in what came to be called, thanks to him, Tarzana, Calif., Burroughs never bothered to set foot in Africa, which is why Tarzan also faced off against Asian tigers and killed lions by wrestling them into a full nelson. As Gore Vidal once phrased it, the author of Tarzan was “not one to compromise a vivid unconscious with dim reality.”

This turned out to make his work like catnip for Hollywood producers who, beginning in 1918, released Tarzan movies more frequently than Burroughs did books. They were the perfect vehicles for parading stars in various states of undress.

“In the first Tarzan movies,” said Charles Tesson, who picked the film clips for the show, “Tarzan wears a tuxedo. After Weissmuller took the role, he becomes a superhero, an abandoned child, an amnesiac, a naïf, pure but strong, très sportif.”

The exhibition’s principal curator, Roger Boulay, stressed how not just Tarzan films but also comics and books became a barometer of shifting political and social standards, in France no less than in America. The blue-blood colonialist defending Africa for white people for years played off against this country’s foreign escapades as well as its anxieties about miscegenation. Expurgated and unexpurgated versions of the comic strip were published here, one with Jane dressed for innocent French youngsters, the other with her in nature’s own to please more seasoned aficionados. An alliance of French Catholics and Communists eventually pushed through a law that, for a while, purged Tarzan from French movie theaters.

“For the Catholics it was the nudity,” Mr. Boulay explained. “For the Communists it was the fact that he was a violent, unemployed aristocrat who ate bananas.”

In America, Tarzan on screen, as he did in some of the later Burroughs books, went the way of late Dick Tracy in the funny pages. By the 1970s Tracy was battling outer space criminals on the Moon in a rocket-powered garbage can. Tarzan vanquished Vikings and ancient Romans and during World War II joined the Foreign Legion to fight the Japanese on Sumatra.

The exhibition ends with a French television advertisement for men’s perfume, directed by the great Jean-Paul Goude, from 2005. A male model joins leopards and monkeys drinking at a watering hole. “Guerlain Homme,” a voice-over intones. “For the animal in you.” It’s a throwback to the Tarzan who hadn’t yet morphed into a time-traveling Superman.

That’s one plausible explanation for the show’s popularity: fondness for a gadgetless hero from the days before “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

There’s also the cachet of the eco-warrior, which the exhibition pushes hardest and which plays well here in France: Tarzan protecting the jungle from greedy commercial interests. But Libération no doubt had it right. The Parisian boys glued the other morning to a video monitor playing a clip from “Tarzan and His Mate” (1934) didn’t seem to be rapt by the concept of environmental preservation.

The movie was the first major instance in America of censorship under the Hays Code, which cracked down on racy Hollywood fare. In this case the outrage was over a skinny-dipping scene: a body-double for O’Sullivan briefly swimming underwater buck naked with Weissmuller.

The boys stared with great scientific interest.

Tarzan turns out to be a man for all times, having swung across the centuries, through eras of colonialism and multiculturalism, austerity and profligacy.

But some things never change. 


SLIDE SHOW

Photo: Musee du Quai Branly
A movie poster from Edgar Rice Burroughs's 
"Tarzan and the Amazons," 
1945, Sol Lesser Productions.
"Leave it to the French," Michael Kimmelman writes, "to resuscitate Tarzan only to stick him in a semiotic jungle. 

Edgar Rice Burroughs's famous ape man is the subject of a summer show in Paris at the Musée du Quai Branly that mixes old comics and film clips with children's action figures, a stuffed crocodile and the female robot from 'Metropolis' (don't ask)."


A photo of Nathalie Kingston, 
from the Universal Pictures movie 
"Tarzan, the Tiger," 1929.
"This being a serious museum, there are a few genuine African totems and shields, which look as out of place in this context as Maureen O'Sullivan did, toting her banana-leaf pocketbook and wearing a pair of homemade pumps, while standing in the bush beside the loin-clothed Johnny Weissmuller and two forlorn elephants in the film ‘Tarzan Finds a Son!’ 

The show has been wildly popular."


Drawings from a Tarzan comic title 
"Sacrifice" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
"Its organizers cogitate, with Gallic élan, on Tarzan's proto-environmentalism; his philosophical roots in Rousseau and the 19th-century nudist movement; his literary antecedents in Kipling and H.M. Stanley; and his mythological reliance on the stories of Hercules and Romulus and Remus. 

The exhibition also makes hay about the first words Tarzan uttered not in ape grunts but the language of civilized men: 'Mais oui,' the young Lord Greystoke said."


Photo: Turner Entertainment Co.
A scene from 
"Tarzan the Ape Man," 1932, 
with Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan and 
Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane Parker.
"And of course there is also the sex angle. 

'One can expound as much as one likes in scientific speeches about his mythical and universal nature, but one always gets back to the fact that Tarzan is a half-naked guy saving white-skinned young women, lost in the jungle and wearing their party dresses, from the claws of vicious gorillas,' noted Libération, the newspaper, in its review of the exhibition. 

'It's all about torrid eroticism.' So it is."


Photo: Musee du Quai Branly
Drawings from a Tarzan comic 
by Burne Hogarth 
on display in the exhibit.
"The show is a mess, truth be told.

It has wonderful drawings from bygone comic artists like Burne Hogarth and Hal Foster, and it means to use Tarzan to help dissect how Western pop culture has (mis)interpreted the non-Western 'other.' 

But it's displayed in cramped galleries at a museum whose theatrical, heart of darkness installation of non-European cultures as diverse and unrelated as Inuit and Cameroonians — in meandering ill-lighted spaces connoting primitive, spooky peoples — is of a piece with the antediluvian ethos of the original Tarzan."


Photo: Musee du Quai Branly
Drawings from a Tarzan comic
by Burne Hogarth 
on display in the exhibit.
"The highborn 'killer of beasts and many black men,' as Tarzan unfortunately described himself in 'Tarzan of the Apes,' was conceived just before World War I by Burroughs, a former gold miner and cowboy, in a climate of American expansionism, late colonialism and institutionalized racism."

Photo: Museum Quai Branly
A fake gorilla looks over
a room in the exhibit.
"The exhibition's principal curator, Roger Boulay, stressed how not just Tarzan films but also comics and books became a barometer of shifting political and social standards, in France no less than in America. 

The blue-blood colonialist defending Africa for white people for years played off against this country's foreign escapades as well as its anxieties about miscegenation. 

Expurgated and unexpurgated versions of the comic strip were published here, one with Jane dressed for innocent French youngsters, the other with her in nature's own to please more seasoned aficionados. 

An alliance of French Catholics and Communists eventually pushed through a law that, for a while, purged Tarzan from French movie theaters."


Photo: Musee du Quai Branly
An 1871 engraving entitled 
“Man is descended from the apes” 
by Georges Labadit nicknamed “Pilotell,” 
showing an ape reading Darwin.
"'For the Catholics, it was the nudity,' Mr. Boulay explained. 'For the Communists, it was the fact that he was a violent, unemployed aristocrat who ate bananas.' 

In America, Tarzan on-screen, as he did in some of the later Burroughs books, went the way of late Dick Tracy in the funny pages. 

By the 1970s Tracy was battling outer space criminals on the moon in a rocket-powered garbage can. 

Tarzan vanquished Vikings and ancient Romans and during World War II joined the Foreign Legion to fight the Japanese on Sumatra."


Photo: Sol Lesser Productions
A movie poster for 
"Tarzan and the Leopard Woman," 1946.
"The exhibition ends with a French television advertisement for men's perfume, directed by the great Jean-Paul Goude, from 2005. 

A male model joins leopards and monkeys drinking at a watering hole. 'Guerlain Homme,' a voiceover intones. 

'For the animal in you.' It's a throwback to the Tarzan who hadn't yet morphed into a time-traveling Superman."


Photo: Musee du Quai Branly
A photograph of James Pierce, 
from the 1927 movie 
"Tarzan and the Golden Lion."
"That's one plausible explanation for the show's popularity: fondness for a gadgetless hero from the days before 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.' 

There's also the cachet of the eco-warrior, which the exhibition pushes hardest and which plays well here in France: Tarzan protecting the jungle from greedy commercial interests. 

But Libération no doubt had it right. The Parisian boys glued the other morning to a video monitor playing a clip from 'Tarzan and His Mate' (1934) didn't seem to be rapt by the concept of environmental preservation."


Photo: MGM A 1936, MGM movie poster for 
"Tarzan Escapes."
"The movie was the first major instance in America of censorship under the Hays Code, which cracked down on racy Hollywood fare. 

In this case the outrage was over a skinny-dipping scene: a body-double for O'Sullivan briefly swimming underwater buck naked with Weissmuller. The boys stared with great scientific interest. 

Tarzan turns out to be a man for all times, having swung across the centuries, through eras of colonialism and multiculturalism, austerity and profligacy. But some things never change."



Male Statues Representing a Leopard Man
These dolls represent a member of the West African animalistic society called Aniotas/Aniyoto or leopard men. 

Until the mid-1900s, the Anioto would dress in leopard skins complete with a tail dangling at the back, assailing people with sharp claw-like weapons in the form of leopards' claws and teeth. 

They murdered their victims and left fake animal traces around them so it would look like an animal's assault. The victims' flesh would be cut and distributed to members of the society who would eat it and thus gain "special power." 

Anioto were probably hired as killers to establish or maintain local power relations, administer secret justice and, later, dodge colonial government control.


Was Tarzan the original eco-warrior?
Belfast Telegraph ~ June 16, 2009

Moi Tarzan, toi Jane. If you visit the Eiffel Tower this summer, study the steelwork carefully, because you might see, or imagine you see, a familiar figure leaping from strut to strut.

Tarzan of the Apes has taken up residence in the Musée du Quai Branly, the museum near the base of the Eiffel Tower, which is dedicated to non-Western – or, as some people insist, "primitive" – forms of art.

Paris may seem an unusual place to find the most learned exhibition about Tarzan, also known as Lord Greystoke, ever assembled. He was, after all, an English aristocrat and orphan fostered by socially responsible apes in the African jungle. He was the literary creation of an American writer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, who never bothered to visit Africa (and was so little steeped in African studies that his ape man wrestled tigers as well as lions).

The museum has decided to de-construct the Tarzan myth as part of its mission to explore how popular Western culture understands, or misunderstands, non-Western cultures. Is Tarzan a sexist and a racist who subjugates Jane and treats black men like children? Is he a macho colonialist in a leopard-skin loincloth, rather than a pith helmet? Or was he the first ecological super-hero: a man in recyclable, locally-sourced clothes who fought to protect his pristine jungle from greedy commercial interests?

According to the curator of the exhibition, the celebrated French sociologist and anthropologist Roger Boulay, it depends which Tarzan of the Apes you are talking about. "There is a big difference between the original Tarzan of the Burroughs novels and the culturally impoverished Tarzan of Hollywood movies, starting with silent movies," he told The Independent. "The Burroughs character is complex and eventually speaks 12 languages. The movie character is often a caricature who speaks only in grunts."

Tarzan's first spoken language, in the original novel of 1912, was ape-speak – long before scientists discovered that apes do have a language. The exhibition's catalogue contains a fascinating linguistic study of the words used by Tarzan's adoptive ape clan, "the Waziris" (sic). They have 250 words, including several verbs, which are used only in the infinitive, rather like George Orwell's Newspeak. It is worth noting that Tarzan's second spoken language in the original novel was French, learned from a French officer rescued from cannibals. Paris and the Quai Branly does have a legitimate claim to Tarzan after all.

The exhibition, which opens today and runs until 29 September, explores the many links between Tarzan and popular culture, especially the 80-plus Tarzan movies (far more numerous than the Burroughs books). Some faint praise is given to Johnny Weissmüller's series of 12 Tarzan films in the 1930s and 1940s and the indestructible eroticism of some of the early, silent films.

Overall, the exhibition suggests, Burroughs and Tarzan were ill-served by the movies until the British film Greystoke (1984) reverted more or less to the original story. The exhibition includes, however, a sequence from Greystoke in which Tarzan (Christopher Lambert) scampers in a convincingly ape-like way into the bed of Jane (Andie MacDowell). That incident is not in the original book, but eroticism has always been an important part of the Tarzan appeal. The exhibition makes comparisons with King Kong and the persistently engaging myth of the white woman kidnapped by apes.

Jane Parker, a scientist's daughter rescued from marauding apes by Tarzan, is a central figure in the first Burroughs novel Tarzan Of The Apes (1912). She then largely disappears and is replaced by a series of other girlfriends, some tough, some swooning.

The most celebrated chat-up line of modern times – "me Tarzan, you Jane" – does not appear in any Burroughs book, it transpires. It was first used by Weissmüller, a former US Olympic swimming gold medallist, in the film Tarzan And His Mate in 1934. The exhibition also has a magnificent collection of original plates from Tarzan comic books. These are jumbled, somewhat oddly, with authentic African spears and shields from the museum's own collection and a cuddly-looking stuffed lion.

Tarzan was "invented" by a science-fiction writer from Chicago who hated the modern civilisation that the city represented. Unlike, say, Rudyard Kipling, Burroughs never won acceptance as a great literary figure. The quality of his actual writing is often poor, especially in some of the later books among the 26 Tarzan titles. M. Boulay points out, however, that Burroughs at his best is far more than a mere writer of pot-boilers. His African knowledge was non-existent "but he was interested only in an imaginary Africa, for the needs of his story". His books are adventure stories but they have an intellectual background and purpose. "He explores the implications of the Darwinian theory of a common ancestor between apes and man," M. Boulay said. "He explores the failings of civilisation but also the failings of life in the wild. Long before ecological concerns became common, he has Tarzan defending the natural world against human predators."

Tarzan was an American "super-hero" two decades before Superman, Batman or Spider-Man were first drawn. But he was not "superhuman" or a mutant or dependent on tricksy technology. He gained his power by combining human cunning and wisdom with animal strength and endurance. "To that extent, he is a descendent of [the 18th century French philosopher] Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who Burroughs also studied avidly," M. Boulay said. "Rousseau believed that mankind, by straying from the natural condition, had forfeited part of his true character and strength."

So there you have it: yet another French connection with Tarzan. The exhibition is, in fact, subtitled Rousseau chez les Waziri. As M. Boulay points out, the Tarzan story is rooted in one of the most persistent myths in western culture, from Romulus and Remus to Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli. What makes Burroughs's Tarzan different from the other "children of nature", he says, is that the muscular ape-man swings between the jungle and modern, Western civilisation and back again. Tarzan goes home to England to claim his aristocratic title (and polish up his languages). He then decides to throw away his top hat and go back to Africa. He is torn between two apparently conflicting worlds and eventually unites some of the best qualities of both.

In his contribution to the exhibition catalogue, another French anthropologist, Pascal Dibié, argues that Tarzan, far from being a dated and risible figure in a loincloth, is a perfect hero for post-modern times.

"We are finally beginning to realise that we are, and always have been, part of nature," he writes. "There can be no doubt that nature must be the basis of our future civilisation and that the 'nature question' is the most important, political question of the 21st century. Tarzan, if he is still supple enough to grab a new branch, is far from dead."


Tarzan! examines how Europe saw Africa
Paris's famed Quai Branly Museum uses fiction to explore attitudes
Reuters ~ June 23, 2009
The exhibition "Tarzan" at the Quai Branly museum in Paris, is being held from June 16 to September 27, 2009. The museum organisers say the show aims to unpick the myth of the archetypal wild hero created in 1912 by the American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. "For a good part of the 20th century, popular culture has got its inspiration from the non-European world," said Stephane Martin, director of the Quai Branly museum. "This is a good synthesis of the way popular culture has looked at Africa."

Created in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a restless former soldier, prospector and publicity agent from Chicago who never set foot in Africa, Tarzan was an instant success, with over 20 novels translated into 56 languages, thousands of comic strips and dozens of films. But Tarzan's jungle realm, populated variously by helpful apes, savage cannibals, tigers, sultry beauties clad in leopard skins and the lost descendants of Roman legionaries, is a purely imaginary product of early 20th century America. "Burroughs was a fantastic sort of sponge, soaking up all kinds of stories, random facts and images," said Roger Boulay, the exhibition's curator. He drew on a hodgepodge of influences ranging from the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Rudyard Kipling and the story of Romulus and Remus, twin founders of Rome who were suckled by a wolf.

The exhibition features photographs, books, original plates from many of the comic strips by masters of the genre like Burne Hogarth, as well as a special stand where visitors can try to win a trip to Africa by imitating Tarzan's famous cry. But the exhibition shows Burroughs' hero was far more articulate than the tongue-tied hunk of the screen -- son of a British aristocrat who spoke English, French, a smattering of Latin and the language of apes. More>>>


Tarzan!, Musée du quai Branly, Paris
Financial Times ~ June 30, 2009

When Edgar Rice Burroughs was 35, he decided to try his hand at pulp fiction. He’d already been a soldier, a railway policeman and a pencil sharpener wholesaler. Inspired by the pulp magazines in which his pencil sharpeners were advertised, he concluded that he could write stories "just as entertaining, and probably a whole lot more so".

His first novel, serialised in 1912, was set on Mars. For his second (sic), he chose another "alien" territory: the African jungle. Burroughs, who lived in Chicago, had never been to Africa. Nonetheless, one of the most enduring fictional icons of the 20th century was born. Tarzan was a sensation, swinging effortlessly from novel to comic book to cinema screen. Since 1912, Tarzan and the Apes has been translated into 56 languages, while the character has spawned almost 15,000 comic books and 42 feature films.

A new exhibition at Paris's Musée du quai Branly tracks Tarzan's impact on popular culture. Curator-anthropologist Roger Boulay spent 18 months amassing hundreds of items, ranging from first editions of the novels, which he acquired on Ebay, to a stuffed crocodile and a tunic made of panther fur from Mali. He is most interested in the power of association: how cultural iconography is played out in different eras and media.

One of the first objects in the display is an arrangement of glossy miniature toys: a plastic Batman, a Catwoman and a Tarzan glued together like an ultra-contemporary triptych. Boulay made this himself, and has placed it close to a painting of Hercules by Toussaint Dubreuil, dating from 1618, and some suspended Disney figurines. Clearly, they are related, these strapping, sinewy superheroes. The overlapping genres – painting, sculpture, promotional toy – testify to the easy translation of myths across time, the appeal of an archetypal figure, in this case the superhuman navigating a hostile natural world.

The highlight of the exhibition is a treasure-trove of original comic storyboards, including those by the master illustrators Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth, alongside a room devoted to the Tarzan films. The hand of the censor is evident in both media, as the eroticism inherent in the myth became too outrageous for regulators. There is a beautiful scene censored from the 1934 film Tarzan and His Mate, in which Jane swims naked underwater, while a 1947 storyboard showing a topless Jane appears with the revised version, in which she is more modestly attired in a leopard-skin bikini.

Elsewhere, a huge figure of King Kong, borrowed from the promotional department of Peter Jackson’s 2005 film, signals not only our post-Darwin obsession with primates, but also the repetition of a familiar scenario played out in the Tarzan stories, and the Kong movies: the vulnerable white woman snatched by a primitive beast. A more explicitly transgressive version is also on show, a first edition of the 1925 erotic novel Ouha King of the Monkeys, in which a millionaire's daughter falls in love with an orangutan.

Disappointingly, Boulay does not interrogate the disturbing context of these images. As Alex Vernon points out in his book On Tarzan, they reflect a deep-seated anxiety over interracial relationships, extending from colonial times into the mid-20th century. Burroughs neutralised the issue by making his ape-man the descendant of British nobility, allowing Jane a relationship with a primitive "other" while protecting her from its real implications.

Raymond Corbey, an anthropologist and specialist in the ape-man phenomenon, says that if the exhibition does not unveil the “true” Tarzan, it is not necessarily Boulay’s fault. “These images of Africa as the ‘other’ are deeply ingrained in European cultural identity,” he argues. “It’s very hard for a curator to overcome that. The rhetorical force of the images is so strong it can overpower any attempt at deconstruction.”

The exhibition is in many ways fun – it is visually exhilarating and light-hearted. But in celebrating a western pulp version of Africa, Tarzan! seems at odds with the ethos of the Musée du quai Branly, which opened just three years ago with the express purpose of displaying non-western art. Boulay insists this is the point: his focus is the myth of Africa as perpetuated by the Tarzan stories, not the reality. But in bypassing Tarzan's more troublesome elements, the museum has missed an opportunity. The ape-man character and his continued popularity is ripe for deconstruction. In 1999, Disney created a Tarzan who exists in an Africa without Africans; black characters were entirely removed from the narrative. Perhaps the studio didn’t know what to do with the deeply racist presentation (???) of Africans in Burroughs' novels. In itself, this cultural evasive action is fascinating, and could have been usefully explored. Instead, the exhibition ultimately schools us in nothing but the power of myth itself.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Web Ref

Web Ref
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MORE MEDIA REFERENCES
Musée du Quai Branly site

Musée du Quai Branly Explores the Myth of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan
The Original Sexy Beast
King of Apes Swings Again
Myth of Tarzan under scrutiny at Paris show
Tarzan, King of the Apes, swings into Paris museum
Tarzan Swings into Paris
Tarzan, the Leopard Men and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris
Paris Tarzan Exhibit: I Was There
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