Dramatic readings and a return to my normal life


tarzan and sabor, the lioness
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

The morning after BlogHer and WoolfCamp, I spent some time in bed with Moomin reading to me from a comic-book edition of Tarzan illustrated by Burne Hogarth. I love to hear his dramatic readings of purple prose; he sounds like an old-time radio announcer or a voiceover on a 70s superhero cartoon. This is probablly not an accident since I do play old radio Lone Ranger episodes (downloaded) and Rook watches a ton of cartoons off Netflix with him.

So it’s 7:30 am and I’m in the bottom bunk, curled up with a ton of stuffed animals, hearing:

As he drew the taut bowstring, the great cat sprang. The silvered missile leaped to meet her in mid-air. As quickly as Sabor hit the ground, Tarzan whirled and sank another shaft, and a third… lightninglike, struck her in the eye. In a screaming rage the onrushing body bore him down; but even as he fell, his powerful knife struck again and again before he realized his mighty adversary was dead.

A wave of exultation swept over Tarzan of the Apes.

I like to think that he is getting excellent lessons in prose style from this. Am I wrong? And will he like the Odyssey? I think so! It’s not far off!

Later I was trying to give him a pin from BlogHer, a little button with the dinosaur from Lulu.com. An extended conversation on “cool” followed.

“Mom, this is not cool. Not Cool. NOT COOL. It is CUTE.”

“But it’s still cool! It’s a dinosaur reading a book, for God’s sake! Look, I’m putting one on my backpack.”

“It is cute. It’s smiling. It is not MIGHTY.”

“How do you know? You can be mighty and still smile.”

“A mighty dinosaur does not know how to smile. It’s always stomping on things.”

“It might smile after it had a really really good day stomping on cities and eating people and fighting with other dinosaurs. It would be so happy and relaxed, afterwards, that it might smile and read a good book. It could be mighty sometimes and happy at others.”

“No. And I will tell you why. Mighty dinosaurs were before cities and people! Mom! You know that!”

“Yes… I did… just seeing if you were on your toes.”

If this makes us seem too fight-and-might obsessed… He is also strangely concerned with how he’s going to grow up and save manatees from motorboats. I’m not sure why manatees rather than something smaller and cuter – maybe because they’re huge and yet helpless, and they eat cabbages.

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3 Responses to Dramatic readings and a return to my normal life

  1. Christina says:

    Good lord. I read that Burne Hogarth adaptation of Tarzan at least twenty times at a formative age; just seeing that art is enough to give me severe flashbacks to elementary school. If it includes a history of Hogarth's art and the strip, I have the same edition.I found mine in my grandparents' house in the Netherlands, of all places; where did yours come from?

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