The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Issue 0664
The Many Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
Chattering From The Shoulder
Part II

David Arthur Adams

Introduction to a Series by Nkima
"Messing About with the Tarzan Books"

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
(the Water Rat in Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows")

Having reached that glorious age when one is able to lay aside one's labors and loll about all day in the bliss of retirement, I was searching about for something to do with my time when it suddenly occurred to me that I might pass the hours by rummaging around in the Tarzan books and see what might be still uncovered in each one of them.

Many things have been written about the events in the life of Tarzan in many interesting  accounts.  I am happy to say that some of these wayward scribblings have even come from my own pen over the years, yet I am sure that the last word has not been written about any of them.

With this idea in mind, I decided to write a series of pieces, one on each of the Tarzan books in the canon.  My intention in this little group of writings is not to give a clear overview of the terrain because this has been done before but to bash about in a serendipitous manner and see what strikes my fancy as I pick up each volume.  With this method in mind I began writing and came up with the following thoughts about the first four books.

Tarzan of the Apes - an early African adventure tale - who wrote this type of story before Burroughs?  I was not looking so much for literary influences as to search out a general type of literature set in Africa as the Dark Continent became revealed to Western consciousness in modern times.  It seems that Haggard was the man who started it all.

The Return of Tarzan - Having just finished a piece on "La of Opar and Her Relatives" for my next ERBapa submission, I decided to look into the possible origins of the Waziri tribe as another area I had not investigated.

The Beasts of Tarzan - Seeing again the wonderful J. Allen St. John illustrations, I decided to write a brief description of each one.

The Son of Tarzan - I decided to revisit my old 1997 piece on "The Memoirs of an Ape-Child" and see if my ideas and attitudes toward Korak had changed over the years.

For me, the interesting thing about this project is that I am not approaching it with a single vision in mind but with a spirit of finding something new in each story as it occurs to me in 2001.  I am not trying to write the last word on these stories, and indeed it is likely that the last word will never be written by myself or by anyone else -- thank God.  The Tarzan books are a treasure trove of adventures that can be mined again and again by men and women, boys and girls, and not only for the ideas that fill these marvelous pages, but for the exciting visions of sheer adventure that take us away into fantastic worlds beyond our our mundane existences wherever we may live, whatever our ages.

And so instead of messing about in boats as the Water Rat advised, I plan to mess about in the Tarzan Books over the next year or so and see where the currents of these strange rivers may bring me to at last.

June 23, 2001

Nkima's Chattering From The Shoulder Series II
ERBzine 664
Nkima Chat Series II Intro
ERBzine 665
Chat 26: Tarzan of the Apes
African Adv. Story
ERBzine 666
Chat 27: Return of Tarzan
Some Thoughts. . .
ERBzine 667
Chat 28: Beasts of Tarzan
St. John Illustrations
ERBzine 668
Chat 29: Son of Tarzan
Thoughts About. . . 
ERBzine 669
Chat 30: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Two Psychological Investigations
ERBzine 670
Chat 31: Jungle Tales of Tarzan I
A Novelistic Reading I
ERBzine 671
Chat 32: Jungle Tales of Tarzan II Novelistic Reading: 12 Lunar Labors
ERBzine 672
Chat 33: Tarzan the Untamed: 
Imaginative Deaths of Enemies
ERBzine 791
Chat 34: Tarzan the Untamed: 
ERB's Book of the Lion
ERBzine 792
Chat 35: OFs of OB
ERBzine 793
Chat 36:
Tarzan and the War Against the Hun
ERBzine 794
Chat 37: The Convolutions of 
Tarzan and the Golden Lion 
ERBzine 795
Chat 38: Tarzan and the Ant Men
An Infantile Romance
ERBzine-e 796
Chat 39: Tarzan and the Ant Men
Lacanian Analysis
ERBzine 843
Chat 40: Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins
A Story for Children of All Ages
ERBzine 396
Nkima'sChattering From The Shoulder
Main Introduction and Contents Page
ERBzine 844
Chat 41: Tarzan the Magnificent
Tarzan and the Magic Women Pt. 1

Issue 0664

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