The Gridley Wave #314 ~ November 2008
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New Tarzan Academic Study Published
Alex Vernon, author of On Tarzan, began writing to us three years ago, asking such questions as why Red Book published the death of Jane in its first issue of the pulp magazine serialization of Tarzan the Untamed in 1919. As most of us know, ERB’s wife, Emma, insisted that her husband bring Jane back to life, so he does as she suggests before sending the concluding chapters to All-Story Magazine (“Tarzan and the Valley of Luna”) in 1920. Red Book only published the first 13 chapters of the story. Mr. Vernon has done a thorough job of research, so we are anxious to read his book! 
... "Ye Editor"
The publisher describes On Tarzan as "a sometimes playful, sometimes serious, and always provocative consideration of the twentieth century's best-known fictional character. It is also the first book-length investigation of a century's worth of Tarzan's incarnations and our varied imaginative responses to them. As Alex Vernon looks at how and why we have accorded mythical, archetypal status to Tarzan, he takes stock of the Tarzan books, films, and comics as well as some of the many faux- and femme-Tarzan ripoffs, the toys and other tie-in products, the fanzines, and the appropriation of Tarzan's image in the media. Tarzan first appeared in 1912. To ponder his journey from jungle lord then to Disney boy-toy now is, as Vernon writes, to touch on 'childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, especially for the male of the species; on colonialism and nationhood; on Hollywood and commerce, race and gender, sex and death, Darwin and Freud. On nature—is Tarzan friend or  foe? On imagination and identity.' Vernon exposes the contradictions, ambiguities, and coincidences of the Tarzan phenomenon. Tarzan is noble and savage, eternal adolescent and eternal adult, hero to immigrants and orphans but also to nativist Americans. Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan story is racist, but Tarzan himself is racially slippery. Although Tarzan asserts his white superiority over savage Africans, his adventures flirt with miscegenation and engage our ongoing obsession with all things primitive. As the 2012 centennial of Tarzan’s creation approaches, the ape-man’s hold on us can still manifest itself in surprising ways. This entertaining study, with its rich and multilayered associations, offers a provocative model for understanding the life cycle of pop culture phenomena.”

"An elegantly written foray into the cultural jungle that has grown up around Tarzan." —Matt Cohen, editor of Brother Men: The Correspondence of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Herbert T. Weston

"On Tarzan is a wonderful read . . . a great introduction to cultural studies, to American studies, and also to the 'American Century.' The book hinges neatly on Vernon's continual discovery of paradox and/or contradiction both within relevant contexts (gender, sexuality, colonialism, etc.) and across them.” —Kevin Kopelson, author of Sedaris 

University of Georgia Press (October 15, 2008), 256 pages, $22.95 paper, $59.95 hardback.
Paperback ISBN-10: 0820332054; ISBN-13: 978-0820332055. 
Hardback ISBN-10: 082033183X; ISBN-13: 978-0820331836.


Francis Lacassin (1931-2008) Dies In Paris
We have lost a good friend and French Tarzan expert with the recent death of Francis Lacassin on August 12, 2008. He was known internationally as a leading authority on popular culture, with a specialty in Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Pictured below are two of his best known works on Tarzan, containing excellent coverage of the film actors, comic book artists, and book illustrators. 

Back in 1996, Danton Burroughs arranged for me to be featured in a French TV documentary by "Les Films du Village," along with Francis Lacassin and Philip José Farmer. The documentary was called "Moi, Tarzan" and had an ingenious format: a narrator, supposed to be a Waziri chieftain, is seen stalking through the corridors of Greystoke Castle. He opens three different doors which lead into three different rooms, in each of which Lacassin, Farmer, and myself, relate a different facet of the Tarzan legend. The film director, François Christophe, found the narrator, Med Hondo, working as a bartender in a Paris pub and liked his face so much he offered him the job! 

We learned of Lacassin's death from Camillo Moscati, our Italian Burroughs Bibliophile who has been featured several times in the BURROUGHS BULLETIN and GRIDLEY WAVE. He had arranged to meet Lacassin at next month's pop culture convention, so was surprised and saddened to learn of his death. And so were we. He was a fine example of the international appeal of Edgar Rice Burroughs who captured the imagination of fans around the world. 

... "Ye Editor"
Published by Dreamland Press in 2000, 
Lacassin's La Legende de Tarzan
has a preface by Burne Hogarth and 
many photos of Tarzan artists and actors.
Bizarre, a popular culture journal edited by Lacassin, 
published this 1963 special issue devoted to Tarzan 
which contained 100 pages of Tarzan actors, 
comic strips, and book illustrators. 
Denny Miller is featured on the magazine's cover.

Gary W. Bryant sends us a poster created at New River Community College, where he works in the library. 

Using software from the American Library Association, the library has created "READ" posters just as they do with celebrities and are putting faculty and staff on the posters with their favorite books, authors and subjects. The posters are then displayed in different locations on campus. 

Gary says, "I decided this was my chance as a Burroughs Bibliophile to support ERB and Tarzan. The photo and computer work is by our staff graphic designer, Rick Maitri. While I’m not much to look at, I think he did a great job."

The Gridley Wave #314 ~ November 2008
Published monthly for the Burroughs Bibliophiles as a supplement to The Burroughs Bulletin. Edited by George T. McWhorter,
The Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection, William F. Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292.
© Copyright 2008, The Burroughs Bibliophiles. E-mail: Telephone: (502) 852-8729.

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