Tarzan Alive

13 Oct

First, admin…

THIS BLOG WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS AS I AM DISCUSSING AND ANALYZING THE ENTIRE BOOK OF TARZAN ALIVE BYPHILIP JOSE FARMER.  IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE DETAILS OF THE BOOK, DON’T READ THIS BLOG.

Now, onto the fun part…

First off, yes, Win, I see it’s different than a crossover, but I still consider it to be one.  It’s just a very complex one, with many of them slipped in so subtly and so purposely that one has to pay attention to get them.

And yes, I get it.  Reading through the first few chapters, I found myself saying, “Oh, I see now.”  LOL
I spent 8 hours reading this book and never got bored.  Farmer (I won’t call him Phil, as I didn’t know him sadly as some of my colleagues were fortunate enough to) has a great writing style that almost had me convinced at some points that this really was a biography.  LOL

I now desire to seek out the original Burroughs books because Farmer made them sound so exciting, and also to compare them to both Farmer’s book and also to the movies (and cartoons) that I loved during my youth.

I am really glad that Win sent me this book, I’m glad that Win and others scolded us for not having read it, and I’m glad I came up with the Wold Newton Book Club to force me to read it.  (Yes, I think I’m awesome.  I did create my own Facebook fan page, after all.)

Now for some notes I jotted down as I was reading, that I wanted to bring up here.

First off, Farmer mentions that the stories of Sherlock Holmes are actually inspired by three different men, but I haven’t seen this brought up anywhere by WNU scholars.  Does he go into this further in the addendums that I haven’t gotten to yet or in another book?  Is there any scholarly articles that I can seek out on the websites that go into this?  (If so, I’ll add them to my personal reading list.)

Farmer states Fu Manchu is not a real person, or inspired by a real person.  First off, we know that he is real in the WNU, and also, he was inspired by a real life person in our world.

Cheetah is said to be fictional, a product of the movies, and of course, Farmer would think that.  Burroughs would think that.  Even Tarzan would think that.  But I’m sure I read in some scholarly article, maybe by Dennis E. Power, that the Johnny Weismuller films were inspired by Tarzan 2.  By Tarzan 2, of course, I refer to when Tarzan went to the past, then lived out his life through the present day.

The most amusing part of the book (so far) was the inclusion of WC Fields in the WNU.  How come this hasn’t been brought up more?

Farmer discusses the truth of Atlantis, claiming that the fabled land of ancient past isn’t what what the legends say, but he apparently didn’t have the knowledge from Howard’s visions, and has discounted the urban legends about the man with wings on this feet that single handedly sunk nazi subs during WWII.

His explanation on how the blacks were the last to evolve is very much in the thinking of 1971.  Today however, most scientists in that area seem to believe that life actually began in Africa, which is the opposite of what Farmer says the 1971 scientist believe.

Farmer claims that Pellicudar doesn’t really exist, but I’m sure I’ve seen many references to it in Crossovers.  Was Farmer wrong, even in the world of his making?

Even though the text does not imply that La is Ayesha, the chapter title does.  I wonder if it was a clue for those paying attention.

I also found it interesting that Farmer himself incorporated previous articles of the style Farmer has made famous (at least in our circle).  Farmer thus made these essays retroactively part of his world.  But of course, why not?  He also incorporates the fiction of others into his world, and that’s something we continue to do.

Well, that’s a start, I guess.  I can’t wait to hear what others who read it for the first time thought, and also what those who had read it long ago have to say.

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