EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: THE SCREENPLAY THESIS
AN EXPERIMENT IN BIOGRAPHY
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr., Esq.
screenplay thesis is an unfinished work in progress not meant
for publication; it is posted on this website for peer review
only. This screenplay is a literary experiment in which the
life and work of Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) are portrayed as
occurring in a parallel universe. Many things will be familiar
to those familiar with the life and work of ERB, but many things
will be unfamiliar because they never happened in our universe.
In comparing the two universes, it is hoped a greater truth
The screenplay’s thesis is that ERB was the undisputed
King of Pulp Fiction in the early part of the Twentieth Century,
and thus, arguably, the most influential writer of fiction in
modern history. As we approach the February 1912 Centennial
of Dejah Thoris: a Princess of Mars, it is high time ERB’s
achievements are recognized in the history of Amercan literature.
Thus, to test our experiment in biography, both the life and
work of ERB are portrayed in a modern graphic pulp fiction style,
in contrast to the early pulp fiction style that was heavily
censored and influenced by Victorian morality and Puritanical
Ernest Hemingway’s childhood is a classic example of this
type of prudery. He grew up in Oak Park, a wealthy suburb of
Chicago, and was forced to dress and look like a little girl
when he was a small boy as part of a Victorian experiment to
feminize small boys and stamp out their male aggression at an
early age. ERB fought against this monstrous invasion of the
male psyche by offering bold, aggressive, violent male heroes,
as well as competing moralities. He was Nietzsche with a cowboy
hat, both guns blazing at the Victorian facade.
It is extremely unlikely, for obvious reasons, that this screenplay
would ever be made into a real motion picture.
this screenplay does not have to be made into a real motion
picture in order for it to be experienced, for it is also a
mental experiment: it can be viewed in the imagination.
As in a
3-D picture puzzle where you stare at a two-dimensional picture-pattern
and your imagination creates the 3-D effect, a like effect can
be created in your imagination by reading this screenplay in
the following manner:
Imagine yourself in a state of the art IMAX theater with 3-D
glasses: you are aware that you are in a theater, that there
are other people in the audience, but your focus is on the screen.
Imagine then that what you are reading on the page is exactly
what you are seeing and hearing in the theater. Within ten pages
you should start seeing and hearing the movie as your imagination
becomes an integral part of the process.
Since what you are watching and hearing is taking place in the
present, the screenplay is told in the present tense. Characters
are capitalized the first time they appear, as are all sound
effects. If something is read on the screen it is underlined.
Good luck and enjoy the movie.
Silence all cell phones.
No part of this screenplay may be reproduced in any format without
the express written permission of the copyright holders.
WARNING: Material is of an adult nature; this literature is
not intended for minors, and under no circumstances are they
to view or possess it in any format.
I certify under penalty of perjury that I am over the age of
Peer review criticisms, suggestions, and/or comments: