Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tarzan in Alberta...Almost

"The sun is an impartial old devil. He shines with equal brilliance upon the just and the banker, upon the day of a man's wedding or upon the day of his death. The great African sun, which, after all, is the same sun that shines on Medicine Hat, shone brilliantly on this new day upon which Tarzan was to die." - Tarzan the Magnificent, chapter 19, Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1939

For obvious reasons this passage jumped out at me when I read it over lunch today. How much notoriety must Medicine Hat have had in the 1930s for ERB to choose it as a point of ironic comparison to Africa?

1 comment:

Stephen Fitzpatrick said...

No less a poet than Rudyard Kipling immortalized the place in 1907, saying, “This part of the country seems to have all hell for a basement, and the only trap door appears to be in Medicine Hat.”

I wonder if Burroughs perhaps read the quote, or if Kipling's mention was sufficient to embed it in the heart of the adventurer soul in that early part of the century.