EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: THE SCREENPLAY THESIS
AN EXPERIMENT IN BIOGRAPHY

by
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr., Esq.

This 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 will emerge.

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 prudery.

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.





But 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 18.
                                         READ

Peer review criticisms, suggestions, and/or comments:
                        Woodrownichols@aol.com


ERB: THE SCREENPLAY; original material © 2009 Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.  All rights reserved