2019-08-04 08:21:12 UTC
Considering when they were written, this seems a bit unfair to me.
However, I do know that one of the _later_ Tarzan novels contained something
that I did view as morally objectionable. However, I don't recall there being
any controversy about it, the way that Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold or Starship
Troopers have led to controversy.
One reason for that may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs, being taken less seriously
as an author than Heinlein, is also taken less seriously as a threat of
corrupting peoples' values.
Another could be that the later Tarzan books went downhill in quality, and so
they're not read as often.
Memory didn't serve me well enough to identify the specific book, but Google
It turns out the book was Tarzan the Untamed.
Oops, no, it wasn't - this thing by Burroughs was from a later novel, and just mentioned in passing in a discussion of the book Tarzan the Untamed.
That was a fairly early Tarzan book, not buried in the end of the series. There
was one other thing about it that might be found objectionable today: it was
first published just after World War I, and presented an extreme and stereotyped
portrayal of its German villains.
The other book that I'm thinking of, however...
Including Google Books in my search finally turned up my answer: Tarzan and the Lost Empire.
This book featured what was to be a very common motif in many of the later
Tarzan novels: Tarzan encounters not one, but two, lost cities deep in the
African jungle, and there is some contrast between the two cities that plays an
important role in the story.
In _this_ book the contrast is this: both cities took a severe approach in their
criminal justice system to dealing with crime. However, one of those cities (Castrum Mare) is nearly crime-free, while the other one (Castrum Sanguinarius)
Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.
I suppose I'm biased. It's not as if, in 1919, Burroughs had the cautionary
example of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to inform his sensibilities
away from this particular manifestation of Social Darwinism.
But, in any case, it disturbed even the stunted vestiges of moral principles
that I have. I guess you can't count on Burroughs to walk away from Omelas.