Scott Tracy Griffin Comments ERB-APA #41: A Reply

Thanks for your comments in ERB-APA #41 and I would like to make a reply to some of your statements.  You wrote, "However, if you throw out ERB's 1888 date, you are not as literalist as I believed."

Scott, I can not agree with your comments here.  First of all, I am definitely a Burroughs literalist. The difference is, you and Alan, base your beginnings on one lone passage, and some descriptions. "We know only that on a bright May morning in 1888, John, Lord Greystoke, and Lady Alice sailed from Dover on their way to Africa."  ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.  The funny part is you believe this one statement with all your heart, although you can not make an 1888 chronology that runs consistent with the storyline as described by Burroughs.

On the other hand I base my 1872 chronology beginning upon another passage.  It is also provided by ERB, the author.  "I do not say this story is true, for I did not witness the happenings which it portrays, but the fact that in the telling of it to you I have taken fictious names for the principal characters quite sufficiently evidences the sincerity of my own belief that it may be true."
ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

It is obvious that ERB, the narrator, is going to protect the Greystoke's identity.  It goes much deeper than merely changing the Greystoke's names.  These many protection ploys have been pointed out countless times throughout the years.  Way before my time.  Since my 1872 theories are based on a written passage wrote by ERB, the narrator, I feel I am as much as a Burroughs literalist as I ever was.

Secondly you wrote, "An 1872 date totally eliminates the possibility of automobiles, which are an intrinsic part of the chapters of Tarzan Of The Apes."   I do not agree with you here either, Scott.
The truth is an 1872 chronology can not have autos as exactly described by Burroughs.  An 1872 chronology can definitely have autos.  They are, however, electric or steam.  You need to read my article printed in ERB-APA #17.

You go on to say, "While I feel that ERB's word is definitive, there are times when he contradicted himself, an we must choose which version we want to believe."  The last part of that statement bothers me somewhat.  You don't just choose a version if you want to be right.  What you do is compare what is said in one passage to that which is said in several other passages.  Then you insert that information into the storyline ERB, the author, wrote.  If you tell the same story Burroughs did you are most likely right.  If you have to change Burroughs' main storyline you are probably wrong.

When we start discussing the three perspectives you must keep in mind.  The importance is not which perspective you believe in, but when you talk to others, let them know which perspective you are talking about.  This is what most disagreements are anyway.

  1. Edgar Rice Burroughs nonfiction life and the history of his works.
  2. The Tarzan series is a part of the 'Burroughs Universe' which has either time distortions, is a parallel dimension, Tarzan and family are time travelers.
  3. Tarzan is a real life man, living on our earth as we know it.

The cabin site.  You have misunderstood my writings if you think I stated Tarzan's cabin was located in Portuguese Angola, for a fact.  What I have always declared is that Burroughs implied in several passages that Tarzan's cabin was in Portuguese Angola and so, therefore, to remain consistent with ERB, the author's, story I have used Portuguese Angola in my 1872 chronology.  As I stated earlier ERB, the narrator,  is trying to protect the Greystoke's identity, so it could be very true the cabin is instead in Gabon, as you and Farmer suggest.  Mapping Tarzan's Africa is not what I write, however.

Next you write.  "You don't explain why d'Arnot's French cruiser was in Portuguese waters off Angola (instead of farther north, off French Equatorial Africa, where it belonged.)"  In an article printed in ERB-APA #37, I explained this confusing puzzle.  If you do not have access to these articles I will pass on the information at a future request.

In your closing you state, "It seems to me that you pick and choose what to believe somewhat, in throwing out ERB's 1888 date - why not throw out Clayton's geographic estimation, since he was certainly no cartographer?'  I did not base my sole judgement on Clayton's comments.  Burroughs offered other passages which continues to support Clayton's claim.  This information is also provided in ERB-APA #37.

Now for your question.  "Exactly how old was Tarzan when Kala adopted him?"  It doesn't matter if you use the 1872 chronology, or the 1888 chronology, Kala adopted Tarzan the day after his first birthday.  "A year from the day her little son was born Lady Alice passed quietly away in the night." ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.  "The last entry in his diary was made the morning following her death," ERB-Tarzan Of The Apes.

James Michael Moody