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Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
How the Series Came About
"Nkima scolded and chattered from the safety of
his master's shoulder ..." (Invincible)
Nkima was not frightened by the voice.
Perhaps he should have been.
At once he took a stick and wrote upon the ground.
He wrote for hours and hours and days and days,
but nothing he wrote made any sense.
This situation went on for months and months
and years and years.
Finally, upon a fine day in the clearest of mornings,
Nkima stopped writing.
He had finished his task,
for the entire earth was covered with his scratchings.
If one knew me well, they might say that I was obsessed with the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs because I think about them all the time. This judgment may be true.
A child was born in distant days when ten cents could buy a comic book. One day he traded all the comics he owned for Tarzan comics, and bought some more for ten cents. That child did a lot of things that still influences my life today. It’s strange that he knew I would someday become enamored with the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
There are many ways of looking at the world:
Once upon a time a young boy was taught that there was only one way of seeing things. For him, this didn’t seem to fit.
Everything he was taught seemed to fit into holes of nothing. Everything seemed like a game.
For this boy, the rules of the game didn’t make sense because he could see that all the pieces of many games had been put into one box and shaken up. It seemed to him that people who put the pieces on the board, saying, “here are the rules,” were mistaken about the game.
He knew it was best to play the pieces of the game another way. He shook out the box and made up his own rules as he went along.
The boy’s father and mother were appalled. They said to him, “This is not the way the game is played.” The boy replied, “I will be different.” His parents said, “Just wait until you grow up; you’ll see,” but the boy couldn’t see.
The boy played and played his game for many years, moving the pieces around on the board every which way he liked, but he could find no one else to play this game with him. Everyone else seemed to need rules to play the game.
Finally, the boy decided that he had been alone long enough, so he picked up a book of rules and learned the proper way to play the game. Now he had many friends who could understand his moves, but the boy always knew that this was only a single game.
When the boy grew into manhood he had been playing the game with other people for many years. He had forgotten that the rules were an artifice.
Near the end of his life, the boy put all the pieces back into the box, and he shook it with fury.
I am a poet turned essayist. Since 1995 I have written many articles based upon the life and works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Of these over 100 have been published in various places:
81 on the Internet
21 in ERB-Apa
11 in the Burroughs Bulletin
7 in other ERB based magazines
Even after this concerted effort I seem to be going as strong as ever. My interest in Burroughs has not flagged over the years, in fact it has increased with each new article I compose.
The word “compose” is carefully chosen (as is word of a poet) since I have been a musician and a teacher all of my working life. I have taught instrumental and vocal music for 33 years in the public school systems, 30 years in a single small town in Minnesota.
My teaching career is somewhat of a mask since it has been for me largely a way to earn an income to support my family. My real love since early childhood has been writing, and for nearly 30 years I studied and wrote poetry for small press magazines throughout the country. My output was much greater than my success in publication, and I gradually turned to writing for the local newspaper at which I am presently nearing my 100th feature article. This may not seem like much since I have been contributing to this newspaper for 10 years, but like all of my work it brings absolutely no money into the Adams’ household. For me, writing is a labor of love.
My two children are grown-up and away from home now, and my wife is a long-suffering soul to have put up with my “hobby” during all of our 30 years of marriage. She, like most ERB widows, tolerates my aberration for Burroughs, but has never read anything I have written about the man or his works. My library is confined to my den where I work almost daily on one project or another that has something to do with The Master of Adventure.
As you can see from my summary of publications above, I am a writer for whom the internet came as a blessing. I now have an outlet for my ramblings and “Chatterings,” as I call them when writing for Bill Hillman, that gives me a reason to continue my labors.
I turn out as many good essays on Burroughs and his writings as I am able, and I hope to be healthy enough to continue this work for many years to come. I expect that my retirement after another year of teaching will serve to increase my production, but who knows, I may turn to drawing and painting exclusively since these endeavors seem to fulfill something in me in a way that writing cannot.
After all of my years of teaching music, my enjoyment for this art has largely left me, leaving only my piano as a source of meditation. I never listen to recorded music anymore.
Poetry still comes to me in fits and starts. I still try my hand at a poem of a few lines, but the art has been largely distilled into my prose. Words still sing for me, yet I wonder if they too will someday reach the zone of silence.
Perhaps someday I will only fill the whiteness of the page with the aid of a brush filled with liquid colors. If this happens, it happens. I know I will have no choice in the matter.
Until then, my song goes on, singing the praises of the Ape-man and the far off warriors of many worlds created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
My “Chattering from the Shoulder” articles came about from a suggestion from Bill Hillman that I try to write an article a week for his internet site. Bill did not suggest that I try to do anything extensive or go to any great depth of research, but it seems that this is where these articles have gone in the first dozen pieces I have produced for him.
I have written many other more personal pieces for Hillman, including my “Icons and ERB” series that came to me one evening in that state of half-dreaming, half-waking that seems to be the area where poets often find their best ideas. Perhaps this is where my “Chattering” series will go next, yet this area of dream work is one that comes -- it cannot be forced. Only scholarly work can fit a deadline, and so I take this easier route most of the time, fitting in the poetry where I can -- lines given to the work at hand by the fickle muse.
My students often read my newspaper articles, and sometimes they tell my that my lucid prose is beyond their understanding. Of course, I think I am always being crystal clear, choosing each word with with the utmost care. Be as this may, I still aspire to the density of Robert Louis Stevenson in his essays or the arcane prose of the lapidary, Borges.
I wrote a moment ago that scholarship is easy for me. It is. I do the needed connections rapidly, combining all the knowledge I have stored from all of my reading over the years. Yet putting it down on the page is still largely a chore, so I often resort to the epigram to bear the weight of my meaning.
I am a lover of both Zen and the writings of Wittgenstein. Both schools of thought work with short sentences (or with none at all.) My teachers in college said that my prose reminded them of Hemingway, but this is only because I was reading Hemingway at the time. I am a great imitator.
Sometimes I think that my work is all a deception because I work with a hidden agenda. I write to discover things about myself.
The fact that I write about Edgar Rice Burroughs is but the chance of Fate. He was there for the boy, and the man finds him still lurking in every corner. I can no more avoid Burroughs than I can avoid my own breathing in and out. His Tarzan captured my soul in his mirror, and I am forced to perform on this side of the looking glass.Nkima
June 15, 2000
|ERBzine 0396||Chat 00||00.06.30||Introduction: How the Series Came About|
|ERBzine 0294||Chat 01||00.02.11||Disney ~ Collins ~ Toys ~ ERB Library ~ Tid-bits|
|ERBzine 0295||Chat 02||00.02.18||Tarzan and the Champion ~ Tarzan in China|
|ERBzine 0302||Chat 03||00.02.25||The Babango Cannibals ~ Heart of Darkness|
|ERBzine 0303||Chat 04||00.03.03||Wizards of California: Baum & Burroughs|
|ERBzine 0305||Chat 05||00.03.10||Seeing the Mahar|
|ERBzine 0306||Chat 06||00.03.17||Tarzan and the Jungle Murders ~ Tantor|
|ERBzine 0308||Chat 07||00.03.24||An Earth's Core Notebook|
|ERBzine 0309||Chat 08||00.03.31||Tarzan and the Castaways|
|ERBzine 0324||Chat 09||00.04.07||Land of Terror ~ Questing in Mad Old Pellucidar|
|ERBzine 0325||Chat 10||00.04.14||Savage Pellucidar: A Romp In Merry Old Pellucidar|
|ERBzine 0393||Chat 11||00.06.23||Johnny Weissmuller: Twice the Hero|
|ERBzine0395||Chat 12||00.07.07||Gladiators in ERB Novels|
|ERBzine 0397||Chat 13||00.07.14||Number 13: Monster Men|
|ERBzine 0445||Chat 14||00.07.21||Tarzan's Symbolic Cabin|
|ERBzine 0446||Chat 15||00.07.28||The Dreams of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0447||Chat 16||00.08.04||Edgar and the Lions|
|ERBzine 0449||Chat 17||00.08.18||The Lad and the Lion|
|ERBzine 0451||Chat 18||00.09.01||Search for the Lost Cities of Rome|
|ERBzine 0452||Chat 19||00.09.15||Ed's African Journey|
|ERBzine 0453||Chat 20||00.09.22||Savage Pellucidar Pt. 2: Summary & Commentary|
|ERBzine 0454||Chat 21||00.10.06||Lad and the Lion Pt. 2: Summary & Commentary|
|ERBzine 0455||Chat 22||00.10.20||The Man-Eater|
|ERBzine 0351||Chat 23||00.11.03||JC and the Giant of Mars Alt.Text Only Version|
|ERBzine 0430||Chat 24||00.11.17||Skeleton Men of Jupiter: Summary ~ Essay ~ Art|
|ERBzine 0428||Chat 25||00.12.01||I Am A Barbarian: Summary ~ Essay ~ Japan Art|
|ERBzine 0665||Chat 26||01.08.30||A Literary Investigation of Tarzan of the Apes|
|ERBzine 0666||Chat 27||01.08.30||Thoughts About The Return of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0667||Chat 28||01.08.30||Descriptive Analysis of St. John Art:Beasts of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0668||Chat 29||01.08.30||Thoughts About The Son of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0669||Chat 30||01.09.06||Psychological Investigations of Greystoke: Jewels/Opar|
|ERBzine 0670||Chat 31||01.10.18||Jungle Tales of Tarzan: A Novelistic Reading|
|ERBzine 0671||Chat 32||01.10.21||Jungle Tales of Tarzan: 12 Lunar Labors|
|ERBzine 0672||Chat 33||01.11.29||Tarzan the Untamed: Imaginative Deaths of Enemies|
|ERBzine 0791||Chat 34||00.07.23||Tarzan the Untamed: ERB's Book of the Lion|
|ERBzine 0792||Chat 35||01.12.07||OFs of OB|
|ERBzine 0793||Chat 36||02.01.29||Tarzan and the War Against the Hun|
|ERBzine 0794||Chat 37||01.12.24||The Convolutions of Tarzan and the Golden Lion|
Nkima Chat Series II Intro
Chat 26: Tarzan of the Apes
African Adv. Story
Chat 27: Return of Tarzan
Some Thoughts. . .
Chat 28: Beasts of Tarzan
St. John Illustrations
Chat 29: Son of Tarzan
Thoughts About. . .
Chat 30: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Two Psychological Investigations
Chat 31: Jungle Tales of Tarzan I
A Novelistic Reading I
Chat 32: Jungle Tales of Tarzan II Novelistic Reading: 12 Lunar Labors
Chat 33: Tarzan the Untamed:
Imaginative Deaths of Enemies
Chat 34: Tarzan the Untamed:
ERB's Book of the Lion
Chat 35: OFs of OB
Tarzan and the War Against the Hun
Chat 37: The Convolutions of
Tarzan and the Golden Lion
Chat 38: Tarzan and the Ant Men
An Infantile Romance
Chat 39: Tarzan and the Ant Men
Chat 40: Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins
A Story for Children of All Ages
Chat 41: Tarzan the Magnificent
Tarzan and the Magic Women Pt. 1
Chat 42: Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
A Study of the Opening Chapters
ERB Morphology: Tarzan Twins
ERB Morphology: Tarzan & Tarzan Twins
ERB Morphology: Jungle Tales
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
Study of the Opening Chapters
Nkima'sChattering From The Shoulder
Main Introduction and Contents Page
Tarzan and the Speed of Big Cats
|ERBzine 0104: Some Thoughts on the Structure of Tarzan the Terrible|
|ERBzine 0105: Nkima's Gallery: Analysis of J. Allen St. John's Art in TTe|
|ERBzine 0123: Tarzan the Untamed: Lions of War ~ Analysis by Nkima|
|ERBzine 0124: A Descriptive Analyis of the St. John Art in TU ~ Pt. 1|
|ERBzine 0125: A Descriptive Analysis of the St. John Art in TU ~ Pt. 2|
|ERBzine 0131: Nkima's Jungle Sketchbook|
|ERBzine 0138: Nkima's Impressions of the JCB Artwork in Tarzan & Forbidden City|
|ERBzine 0199: A Study of the “Frame” Stories of ERB|
|ERBzine 0205: Nkima's Commentary on the JCB Art in Tarzan & "The Foreign Legion"|
|ERBzine 0234: ICONS & ERB 1 - Poem: Primal Scene|
|ERBzine 0236: ICONS & ERB 2 - Nkima's Primal Dreams of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0237: ICONS & ERB 3 - A New Theory of Icons|
|ERBzine 0238: ICONS & ERB 4 - In The Image of Tarzan|
|ERBzine 0239: ICONS & ERB 5 - Sacred Icons of J. Allen St. John|
|ERBzine 0254: A Review of Fortinino Matania’s Art|
|ERBzine 0288: A Proppian Analysis of "Tarzan Jr." by David Adams (illustrated)|
|ERBzine 0315: Jeff Jones' 1998 ERB Calendar: A Spiritual Analysis By Nkima|
|ERBzine 0327: Burroughsian Language Banks (ERBapa Reprint)|
|ERBzine 0343: Comments on The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County Illustrations|
|ERBzine 0344: Commentary on J.C. Burroughs’ Illustrations for Escape On Venus|
|ERBzine 0345: Commentary on J.C. Burroughs' Illustrations for Carson of Venus|
|ERBzine 0346: Commentary on J.C. Burroughs' Illustrations for Llana of Gathol|
|ERBzine 0646: "Seafarer" Essay|
|ERBzine 0993: "Good Old Days" Christmas|
|ERBzine 1146: The Collages of David Arthur Adams|
|ERBzine 1298: The ERB / Jack London Connection|
|ERBzine 1338: The Adams / Prindle Forum|
|ERBzine 1389: Tarzan and the Speed of the Big Cats|
|ERBzine 1650: The Schweitzer/Tarzan Connection - Location of Tarzan's Birthplace|
|ERBzine 1941: A Review of David Fury's Maureen O'Sullivan: No Average Jane|
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