Saturday, March 4, 2017
Why is there no good hard-core Tarzan movie? The work is in the public domain. The whole idea behind Tarzan of the Apes was a growing sense in Victorian England that the strict, prudish morals of the day were suppressing "natural" instincts. To be true to humanity, one had to strip away civilization, religion, and sexual mores and embrace the "animal".
As European exploration of Africa intensified in the 1800s, The British especially became obsessed with the Rousseausian idea of "the state of nature". What was it like to be a "natural" human being? Could this "state of nature" be identified, and a more pure, more rational, more moral human being -- free of the baggage of culture, religion, and morality -- be elicited?
Edgar Rice Burroughs thought so. The whole concept behind Tarzan was to return a human male to the state of nature, and show how much more masculine, sensual, and moral he was versus the venal, spineless, weak-willed, greedy, immoral Englishmen who accompany Jane Porter.
What Burroughs was unable to convey was the sexuality of Tarzan. Having Tarzan fuck Jane would have been declare obscenity in England and America in 1912. Having Jane enjoy sex with Tarzan, not merely procreation, would have been unthinkable to censors. Tarzan enjoying sexual relations with other men would have been beyond the pale, something so outside even Burroughs' expanded philosophy as to be, literally, unthinkable.
But this isn't 1912. So where's the depiction? I mean honestly. All we're stuck with is gonzo?