Edgar Rice Burroughs on the "Tarzan Theme"

Avatar has re-energized my affection and appreciation for the great adventure novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars and according to James Cameron a principal source of inspiration for Avatar. One thing that Burroughs and Cameron have in common, I think, is a unique and perhaps intuitive ability to grasp the mythic structures that cause their stories to resonate astonishingly across disparate cultures.

An Evening With Danton Burroughs, Grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs

Earlier this week I wrote about comparisons between Avatar and the great planetary adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs, particularly the John Carter of Mars series which is currently in production with Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Toy Story) directing. As a teen I truly fell in love with Burroughs’ stories, which in those days were being reissued on paperback by ACE and Bantam Books. I was living Germany, an Army brat, and I ordered the books in the mail and would be sent into near ecstacy when a US Mail Jiffy Bag with 4 or 5 books in it would arrive.