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Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Postwar Tarzan

Last week I noted that Tarzan's adventures could have continued indefinitely, given his immortality. Readers' last glimpses of the canonical occur during and just after the Second World War, and I find myself wondering what might have happened later in Tarzan's life, given the events of the second half of the twentieth century. The last book, Tarzan and the Castaways, might have been followed by:

Tarzan in India
Set in 1946, Tarzan travels to India, fights tigers, rides Indian elephants and is probably pined over by a beautiful Indian princess. Tarzan, as a British peer, is somewhat discomfited by India's march toward independence, but is won over by a brave Gurkha warrior.

Tarzan in Hollywood
In the summer of 1949, Tarzan, Jane, Korak and Meriem visit Tarzan's old friend Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs, growing old and fearing the spectre of death, passes a secret to Tarzan - a secret that requires the ape man to navigate the treacherous waters of the film industry!

Tarzan and the Undersea Kingdom
In 1955, Tarzan finds himself aboard the first atomic submarine, the Nautilus - and while under the north pole, discovers the mythical underwater domain of Atlantis!

Tarzan and the Algerians
In 1958 Tarzan's affection for France and experiences with Arabs tempt him into taking the colonialist side in the Algerian war. But the conflict's complexities, along with his experiences in India, prompt Tarzan to broaden his worldview.

Tarzan the Fearless
In 1962, Tarzan averts nuclear holocaust by infiltrating the Soviet Union.

Tarzan and the Moon Maid
By the early 1970s, the race for the moon has been won by the Americans. But when NASA discovers evidence of a mysterious Moon Maid, they recruit the legendary Tarzan on the strangest adventure of all - within Earth's moon!

Tarzan, Lord of the Urban Jungle
By 1985, Tarzan's African estate is an island of wealth on an impoverished continent. Seeking investors, Tarzan travels to New York, where he must match his jungle wits against wily and treacherous stockbrokers.

Tarzan, Warlord of Africa
In the 1990's Africa is torn apart by war, encroaching upon the peace and prosperity of Tarzan's estate and the Waziri tribe. No stranger to useful violence - that of self-defence or the hunt for food - Tarzan is nonetheless reluctant to take up arms in war, for, as ever, he holds most of civilization in contempt. But he cannot allow his beloved Africa to be torn apart, and having made up his mind to make war, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, is determined to finish it - on his terms!

Tarzan and the New Millennium
The world - and the jungle - grow smaller, and Tarzan and family are left wondering if they still have a place. Older, wiser, less sexist, less racist, Tarzan leaves the jungle behind and takes his place as a British peer, hoping to build a better world while following the rules of civilization - but can he hold the beast at bay? Should he?

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