First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Webpages in Archive
Greeting all!! Well, I am now fully readjusted here in Saint Louis, and I am very thankful things are normal once again! Sorry to have missed last issue, but I am ready for this ish!
I sent personal mailing comments to all members in Christmas cards that I mailed in Mid December. I thought a personal note would be more appropriate. I do read all the submissions, but sometimes, reasons unknown, time somehow flees before me! <g> I intend to make more effort in making the mailing comments in future.I wanted something personal for ERB-APA so I sent a Christmas card to all members, waiting listers, and ERB inc. I just jotted a short personal note in each card in lieu of the missing mailing comments from the past three issues. Personal messages just mean more.
One of the themes that instantly grabbed me in reading ERB, and the Tarzan stories in particular, and that element is the "lost city" or "Lost race" story. That totally arrests my attention every time! I just love reading yarns about "modern" persons coming across a lost city where time has stood still for centuries!! Happily, the Tarzan books are just loaded with lost cities, and more importantly, TWIN lost cities!!! You remember them, right? The same ancestry, but divided into two different cities usually at war with each other when not honoring an age old period of truce for trading purposes.
Most of the "Lost Cities" in Tarzan appear in groups of lost cities (tribes) like Pal-ul-Don, Twins like Nimnr, and singles like Chicten Itza in Castaways. My interest has been more for the dual lost cities than for lost valleys with similar tribes like the Xujans in Tarzan the Untamed.ERB-DOM ran a series of articles examining the lost cities of the Tarzan books by John Flint Roy in 1970 - 1971. I have reviewed these articles, and reread each book featuring twin lost cities to express my views and opinions! I am very grateful for the time payment purchase of a near complete set of ERB-DOMs for all the scholarship they contained especially on the "lost city" theme! For this submission I am using my collection of G&D editions of ERBs Tarzan books for reference numbers. OK?? Now advance to the past!
The Return of Tarzan. In Return we encounter the first lost city, and the most exotic - Opar! A lost colony outpost of Atlantis still awaiting the seasonal throngs from the motherland of Atlantis. An Atlantis long since dead under the waves. ERB has LA, the High Priestess explaining to Tarzan the history of Opar, and the Mother nation to the North. Atlantis is not mentioned itself, but Tarzan infers it by LA's descriptions. Return has Tarzan in Paris, in a duel, in French North Africa, and his familiar jungle within the first two-thirds of the book. It is very fast paced jumping from adventure to adventure. The most favourable view of Arabs is to be found in Return. Then Tarzan finds the Waziri, and through them - Opar.
Opar, at first sight from a distance, seems a magnificent city of antiquity. The closer Tarzan gets to Opar the more pronounced the ruin is exposed. The occupants of Opar are small gnarled men with long beards and crooked limbs, but the women we meet are beutiful like La. Then Tarzan meets La. He is tied to the alter of sacrifice, and LA is very stricken by his perfect form. Here was the man of La's dreams, but he was not for her. This leads to lots of interplay in subsequent visits to Opar by Tarzan.Tarzan returns next in the fifth book, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, where he suffers the first amnesia attack. Tarzan's third visit, Tarzan and the Golden Lion, we discover that there is another lost city with Opar - The Valley of the Palace of Diamonds. Revolt is in the air, and LA is forced to flee for her life. Tarzan goes with her as protector questioning what lies in the direction opposite that which Tarzan comes to Opar?
La tells Tarzan these are hereditary enemies of Opar, and none who are taken down that trail ever return. Where Opar mined Gold and Jewels for Atlantis the adjoining colony mined the diamonds. No priestesses or other higher caste were in the Valley when the great calamity occurred to Atlantis, but, rather, lowly overseers, and slave labor. In the spanning eons of time the Opararians mated with monkeys the workers in the Valley of Diamonds mated with gorillas. Both learned the language of the grafted new blood.Both Opar and the Valley of the Palace of Diamonds were colonies of Atlantis that had degenerated to a pitiful shadow of their former selves. However, ages of stored wealth was abundant. Enough to ruin the world economy, but Tarzan kept these lost cities hidden. Tarzan makes one final visit to Opar, and that was in the fourteenth book, Tarzan the Invincible.I wish Tarzan would have made at least one return visit to the Valley of the Palace of Diamonds, but ERB had other lost cities for Tarzan to "discover." My mind still wonders at what could have been had ERB brought Tarzan and Opar to some kind of a conclusion. Alas, he did not. Now we have pastiche writers getting into the act writing new yarns featuring LA and Opar. I foresee more in the coming years.
I love Opar, and to a lesser extent its twin city of the Valley of the Palace of Diamonds. Opar is so exotic as is LA the high priestess! I have always been a sucker for anything involving Atlantis, and having Tarzan find two lost colonies thrills me every time I read them!! They are ALWAYS a GREAT read for me!!!
Pal-ul-don is a lost race featuring several differing species of quasi-humans in more than one "city." Some are cliff dwellings, while others live in stone huts. There is no twin lost cities here, but a fascinating lost land of dinosaurs and missing links. This, naturally, is Tarzan the Terrible.
Tarzan and the Ant Men is where we meet the next lost twin cities. The smallest persons with the longest names! Tarzan goes exploring, and flies over a thorn boma that seems impenetrable. Yet another accident, and Tarzan is captured by a race of Amazons. He quickly escapes, and finds himself being attacked by ant sized people. Tarzan meets Gulliver's Travels? The ant men are about 18 inches in height, and dwell in beehive like multiple family dwellings. Tarzan is shrunk to ant size by a noted scientist. It, however, is temporary, but how temporary is an unknown factor. Tarzan dwells in the city of Trohanadalmakus, which is perpetually at war with the neighboring Minunian city. The beehive buildings are huge, and number thousands among the structure's resident's. The antelope like horses are unbelievably swift, and Tarzan enjoys the archery and lance skills of the Minuians. The story moves quick, while forcing the reader to sound out the sesquipadelian names of persons and places within the story. There is also a caste system of warriors, nobility, merchants, farmers, and slaves. Unlike the disputable caste system of Hindu India a person can progress from caste to caste in the Tarzan story. A good read, and ERB had his imaginative juices flowing well when he wrote Tarzan and the Ant Men.
Now we come to my favourites in the twin lost city stories; the British Knights of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, the Roman Legionaries of Tarzan and the Lost Empire, and The famous Cities of Gold and Ivory that appears in Tarzan and the City of Gold. Here is the best of ERB's Lost cities of duality!
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle is fantastic, and I revel in the action and the humor. This novel is just plain great, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every reading- maybe 50 plus?! The story is familiar. A safari with two differing white men. One hunts with a camera, and the other is a bigot full of self importance hunting with an express rifle. As usual the bigot antagonizes the Africans to mutiny with his brutalizing ways. They split up ordered by Tarzan, with Blake as Tarzan's guest, and Stimbul being ordered out of the jungle by the most expeditious means. Ibn Jad and his menzil of cut-throats, murderers, and slave raiders add spice to the story. They are seeking the Leopard City of Nimnr. They have no idea how easy it is to enter the Cities, and that nobody ever leaves! The Arabs live amid intrigue and internal strife, which adds still more spice and undercurrent to the story. Entering Galla country they are forced to free all their Galla slaves, but plan duplicity when they leave. James Blake finds his way to Nimnr, and he thinks himself in a lunatic asylum at first, but the truth does eventually dawn upon him. He falls in love with the Princess Guindala, and defeats Sir Malud in a personal combat. The quaint 12th century language is a nice touch along with the warring cities of Nimnr and Sepulcher. Nimnr feeling the crusade has NOT ended, while the City of the Sepulcher are the backers expressing the crusade as being ended.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle has everything! Romance, action, a great tournament of 12th century knights, evil Arabs stealing treasure, and Tarzan. Tarzan as an British knight was quite interesting to read, funny too. Then add the humor, which has always made me laugh and you have a great story! One of my all time favourite Tarzan stories! The mention by Blake of many being knightly at the present time was fascinating, and the mention of Sir Jack of Dempsey being very knightly even in defeat always struck me with pride. I have seen the biopic on Jack Dempsey's life with Treat Williams as Dempsey several times, and that helped me understand that part of the book more. We must read all ERB books in light of the period of time it was written, AND the period of time the stories take place!! Give me the past every time!!!
The next book in sequence was just as great as its predecessor. I have always loved reading Tarzan and the Lost Empire, and took my online personna of Erich von Harben from it. We move from British knights of the 12th century to Roman Legionaries of the late first century. ERB is taking us backwards in time for Lost cities. Although prior to Lord of the Jungle lost cities were prehistoric in nature.
Erich von Harben frequently hears the legends that a white tribe dwells in the bowls of the Wiramwazi Mountains, and one day just decides to seek them out for himself. Ah, good old curiosity! Just like Ibn Jad hearing the legends of the Treasure city of Nimnr from a "learned seer." Erich von Harben is the son of an African missionary, and he stayed there with his father and sister when not in European schools. Von Harben was very different from his classmates. He studied dead languages and the history of the forgotten past. These were not only intriguing, but they fascinated him beyond reason. Von Harben dreamed of being a Citizen of Rome and other ancient civilizations he read about in his studies.! He was a dreamer as well as a geek, nerd, or egghead. Sounds like my schooling?
Doctor von Harben enlists Tarzan's aid in finding young Erich von Harben whose safari had returned without him causing alarm. Tarzan and von Harben enter the valley of Sanguinarius at opposite ends thus entering each a different one of the twin cities. Tarzan in Castra Sanguinarius, and von Harben arrived in Castrum Mare.While some areas of life in Castrum Mare are very familiar to what von Harben had read, but others, like the gladiators, repulsed him as being vastly different from all that he had imagined! Erich had culture shock. He realized that all was not recorded in history books, and that many things were romanticized into clean and nicer visons than they actually were. Erich saves Flavonia, a noble daughter, from the unwanted attentions of the adopted son of a Caesar. Engaging his wrath throughout the story until the patricianÕs destruction at the book's end. The scene at the baths is my all time favourite here. Von Harben sees Flavonia in the pool, and following a short running dive and a few fluid strokes appeared at her side. Fulvus Fupus witnessing this decided he could do as well, but belly flops. He exits the Baths coughing and sputtering in mortification and anger. He had been shown up by his own folly! I LOVE IT!!!! The Emperor of the East, Vladius Augustus, makes von Harben the librarian of the Imperial library, and will, in time, write the history of Vladius Augustus' reign. Unfortunately the scheming of Fulvus Fupus gets Erich imprisoned in the Colosseum dungeons to fight to the death at the upcoming games.Tarzan wins the admiration of Maximus Preaclarus in stopping the unwanted advances of Fastus (Caesar's son) from his intended. Tarzan is captured, escapes, and captured again. He is a favourite at the games, and his jungle trained fighting ability aides his life's preservation. All ends well with a new Caesar on the throne of both Castra Sanguinarius and Castrum Mare, and more freedom and equality for all in the valley. Hopefully the two cities will stop their eternal warring, and just engage in trading peacefully. Erich von Harben weds Flavonia, and she leaves the valley with him to live in the "outer world" of the jungle with the von Harben family.
Both Lord, of the Jungle and Lost Empire are historically based lost cities, and unique in ERB's Tarzan adventures. Opar is a colony of Atlantis, but that is prehistory with precious little researchable knowledge to draw from. Rome and Britain of the Crusades have abundant material for research, and ERB evidently did some research on these two books. Following Lost Empire Tarzan does a cross over, and goes to the Earth's Core (Pellucidar). Then it is the last trip to Opar in Tarzan the Invincible. Sadly, it is the last we see of La and Opar. They just grab my imagination every time.
Tarzan Triumphant is the fifteenth Tarzan book, and the first one I read in the Ballantine series in the 1963 ERB Boom. We have two lost cities of cave dwellers. They are descendants of first century Christians, and an epileptic. The cities of Midian. Over nineteen hundred years ago Augustus, an epiletic from Ephesus, left his homeland, fled down the Nile River into the Ethiopian mountains. With him went a blonde slave girl from Northern Europe. The young Ephesian was zealous follower of Paul (Saul) of Tarsus, had become mentally unbalanced, and fled to Africa fearing religious persecution from the Romans.Here, once again, ERB is poking fun at organized religion illustrating two groups who believe everything the same save one item of contention. One group believed that the apostle to the Gentiles (non Jews), Paul, had dark hair, while the other group swore that Paul's hair was blonde. This nit pluckiness that was prevalent in ERB's time is still with us today! Some of the contention is just as foolish too. Generations after generations deviated from the faith. Christ was forgotten, and Jehovah (YHVH) and Paul were all that remained. Paul, Saul of Tarsus, was a member of the Sanhedrain, well educated, and a Jew of pedigree. He had dark hair like everyone else. Tarzan travels North to check on a band of raiding Shiftas. He appears as Lord Passsmore as well as Tarzan. Sprinkled into the story is Lafayette Smith and "Gunner" Patrick. While NOT one of ERB's best this book did totally arrest my attention!! Lost cities, and the dual lost city aspect were shown with plenty of action and sub-stories. Still entertaining!
The next story ranks right up with the most entertaining, and that is Tarzan and the City of Gold. Tarzan finds Shiftas with a strangely garbed white captive. They seem unable to communicate with him, and vigorously try. Tarzan steals the captive, and learns his language. He is Valthor, a noble of Athne, of the City of Ivory.Tarzan agrees to help Valthor search for his home, and learns of a twin city, Cathne, the City of Gold. A two week truce yearly for trade was the only interruption from war these cities had. Other than training elephants for work and war, Valthor tells us very little of Athne, but we learn a great deal about Cathne.Fording a rushing river Tarzan is swept away to Cathne, and is caught climbing the walls to escape the storm. He is falsely accused of bring sent to assassinate Queen Nemone. Tarzan is to be executed until Nemone sees Tarzan in the flesh. She is possessed by love at first sight. Love burns white hot within Nemone almost from the first.The Cathneans worship a large old lion named, Belthar, and seem to be descendant from Greeks somewhere along the line. The clothing seems Greek, and the Greek unit of money, the Drachmas, are mentioned. ERB does NOT specifically say these cities are Greek, but I think we can infer Greek lineage in their past. The book is full of memorable characters. We have the usual rat, Erot, and the noble Gemnon. Phobeg, the blowhard, and Nemone the sultry. M'Duze, the harridan and Tomos provide plenty of evil. Once again Tarzan fights in the arena games winning cheers, and freedom, along with many wagers for Nemone.Nemone informs Tarzan that her life, and that of Belthar, are intertwined. When one dies the other will as well. When Tarzan is to be the prey for the Queen's Grand Hunt Jad-Bal-Ja shows up, and kills Belthar as he is overtaking Tarzan. Nemone stands in a stupor seeing their god dead, and a much larger, and finer, lion standing over his carcass. She swiftly slides a dagger in her heart to fulfill the prophecy of the entwined lives. Tarzan is drawn to Nemone by some strange force, and more I think than he is to LA. Several times she begs Tarzan to "Love me!" Tarzan is spared by the appearance of M'Duze, and finally the spell is broken when Nemone throws herself at Tarzan's feet. Tarzan and the City of Gold has always had a special lure and fascination for me. I have read it as a single book many times when not reading the Tarzan series. I still wonder about the Greek ancestry, and I still enjoy rereading this book!!
The last book having twin lost cities is Tarzan and the Forbidden City. However, the late published book was a radio story decades earlier. It features Paul D'Arnot who is not mentioned since the original orign tales of Tarzan. "Professor Huck" Porter has postulated that it be read much earlier in the sequence of Tarzan books. Maybe Huck will make that sequence available in these pages and online in the near future??? This book is a rescue mission to find Brian Gregory lost in Africa. Ashair and its rival Thobos dwell on opposite shores of a lake filled extinct volcano of Tuen-Baka. There are many references to ancient Egypt, and several places bear Egyptian names in the story. ERB throws his sense of humor fully into the ending of Forbidden City with the Father of Diamonds NOT being a glittering jewel, but a large piece of coal. The faces of all the captives fall to the floor when the truth of what they risked their lives for is made known. Utterly hysterical unless you were a prisoner in a cell looking at the Father of Diamonds!!! These twin cities are separated religiously into warring factions. The lake is named "Horus" and is considered as holy by both cities. A priest says that the cities were founded about 3,000 years ago, which adds credence to their Egyptian orign.Both cities have navies that plow the holy lake Horus, but UNDER the lake is the holy temple on the bottom. Priests must don breathing apparatus to walk underwater to the temple built over an air geyser that makes living under the lake possible.This is a good story, but it is better read much earlier in the Tarzan series as the erudite Professor has suggested.
I have always been impressed by lost cities that abound in the Tarzan books, and of special interest were those lost cities that were really two separate cities making a city-state. Cities always at war with each other, with a certain time of peace for trading. ERB was a Master at this presentation! From fan readings I see many fans are put off or "burned out" by the endless string of lost cities (single and double). I never tire of them!
These are among my most favourite of the Tarzan tales, and among the favs of other wild eyed Tarzan fans like Steve Servello (Thoar). I am also obsessive regarding history. Many hours I dreamed of Knights, Romans, and other ancient peoples. I read stacks of books on these historical ancients and medievals. I haunted the local library and read every Classics Illustrated comics I could get my hands on for tales of knights and historicals.
I discovered other pulp authors, and soon was visiting other lost cities all over the world, and many in Antarctica. My appreciation of ERB's lost cities has never abated, and each reading is almost as fresh as my first reading! Fortunately I read so many other books between Tarzan and other ERBs that they are almost new as I switch genres. Especially after reading Sherlock Holmes ERB is quite refreshing and new again. It is a kind of magic I suppose! So, I have shared my love of twin lost cities with you. I know there are differing opinions among our ranks, but these are mine. I am looking forward to issue 75, and all the differing views of ERB and his works!
Umgawa!!! Happy Reading!!!
Amateur Press Association
Members ~ Reprints in ERBzine
51 - 100
Early Years: 1-50