Ray Bradbury: Tarzan, John Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the Long Mad Summer of 1930

Tarzan

Bill Hillman of Erbzine has shared a nice article written by Ray Bradbury.  Here is an intro and link — nice read!

Tarzan, John Carter, Mr. Burroughs,
and the Long Mad Summer of 1930
By Ray Bradbury
Introduction to The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges
In the summer of 1930 if you had got off a train and walked up through the green avenues of Waukegan, Illinois, you might have met a mob of boys and girls running the other way. You might have seen them rushing to drown themselves in the lake or hide themselves in the ravine or pop into theatres to sit out the endless matinees. Anything, anything at all to escape . . .

What?

Myself.

Why were they running away from me? Why was I causing them endless flights, endless hidings-away? Was I, then, that unpopular at the age of ten?
Well, yes, and no.

You see my problem was Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan and John Carter, Warlord of Mars.

Problem, you ask. That doesn’t sound like much of a problem.

Oh, but it was. You see, I couldn’t stop reading those books. I couldn’t stop memorizing them line by line and page by page. Worst of all, when I saw my friends, I couldn’t stop my mouth. The words just babbled out. Tarzan this and Jane that, John Carter here and Dejah Thoris there. And when it wasn’t those incredible people it was Tanar of Pellucidar or I was making noises like a tyrannosaurus rex and behaving like a Martian thoat, which, everyone knows, has eight legs.

Do you begin to understand why in Waukegan, Illinois, the summer of 1930 was so long, so excruciating, so unbearable for everyone?

Read the full article at ERBZINE.

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