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View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: A Princess of Mars (part 4) (26 comments)

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  •  Though greens (so far)are degenerated (4+ / 0-)

    humans aren't they?
    That's the implication I've gotten.

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 10:22:05 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  No, not in Barsoomian myth (4+ / 0-)

      The Greens and the White Apes are considered to be original along side men who in very ancient times (and still surviving in enclaves) were and are White and Black (mostly surviving in the Lost Valley and the underground Sea of Dor in the South or the Yellow men of the far North. In this model the Red men of Helium and other cities are a blend of previous populations displaced by the drying up and atmosphere thinning of Ancient Mars.

      Not that Burroughs was much burdened by the need to create perfectly coherent back stories, any relation between E.R.B. and J.R.R.T. In this respect being coincidental, and at some point in the Barsoom series might have depicted the Grrens as a debased form of men. But it would be hard to explain their four arms in that scenario, generally the lower forms of life on Barsoom (calots, thoats, white apes) have more limbs than the higher ones suggesting that Greens if anything are intermediate forms.

      But while ERB had an active interest in paleontology and brought dinosaurs and ancient mammals into not only the Land that Time Forgot and Pellucidar series, but at times even to the Tarzan series, he clearly liked them more as story devices.nafter all nothing moves a story along like a guy riding a Triceratops or Mammoth. Or Barsoomian or Venetian equivalents.

      •  At the same time (4+ / 0-)

        There were also conflicting stories, depending on who was speaking at the time. The Red Men had their own theories on the evolution of the Green and Red Men, while the friezes in the buildings where John is first kept by the Tharks tell a bit of a different story.

        In the second book, the current generation of the white apes and plant men is discussed and there is a bit about how the first races were grown in seed pods before the diaspora which eventually led to the Red, Green, Black, White, and Yellow men of Mars.

        I always thought this was at least somewhat intentional. It showed that while the current Men of Mars valued combat technologies (like the Thark rifles that shot explosive shells for miles upon miles) they didn't value the sorts of learning that didn't have any effect on daily life, namely history other than lineages and great deeds, archeology, evolutionary biology, etc.

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