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2. Birth of the Ape-Man

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Tarzan the Untamed
Tarzan the Terrible
Burroughs had written his first novel "Under the Moons of Mars" the previous year and Metcalf had snapped it up. This exotic tale of love, war and adventure on the red planet was popular with All-Story readers and demonstrated that Burroughs was a master at describing action and creating colorful atmosphere. Metcalf thought Burroughs would be a natural for writing an Ivanhoe-type story of Merrie Olde England. Burroughs accepted the challenge and probably made Metcalf's head spin when he produced "The Outlaw of Torn" in two weeks! Metcalf made Burroughs' head spin by rejecting the novel. The ease with which he had written and sold his first story had given Burroughs the sense that he could make a living as a writer; the fiasco with "The Outlaw of Torn" deflated his dreams. The writing game was not for him.

But Metcalf offered encouragement and suggested Burroughs write what he wanted rather than what the editor suggested. And so Burroughs outlined the tale he wanted to tell: "The story I am on now is of the scion of a noble English house - of the present time - who was born in tropical Africa where his parents died when he was about a year old. The infant was found and adopted by a huge she-ape, and was brought up among a band of fierce anthropoids.

"The mental development of this ape-man in spite of every handicap, of how he learned to read English without knowledge of the spoken language, of the way in which his inherent reasoning faculties lifted him high above his savage jungle friends and enemies, of his meeting with a white girl, how he came at last to civilization and to his own makes most fascinating writing and I think will prove interesting reading."

Interesting reading indeed, and a story now known worldwide. But as Burroughs wrote out this tale, with a fountain pen in longhand, he was only interested in thrilling the All-Story readers. The story came easily from his pen, but Burroughs didn't like the name he had thought up for his jungle hero: Zantar. Doesn't sound quite right; scratch it out. Next up: Tublat-Zan. Ugh. Even worse. The third time proved the charm, as Burroughs wrote:

First appearance of Under the Moons of Mars in All-Story pulp magazine
Outlaw of Torn appearance in New Story pulp magazine

Penguin edition ~ 1990
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar ~ Jungle Tales of Tarzan ~ Tarzan the Untamed ~ Tarzan the Terrible

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar ~ Jungle Tales of Tarzan ~ Tarzan the Untamed ~ Tarzan the Terrible


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