Vivanco - Tarzan - Chapter 04 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Vivanco - Tarzan - Chapter 04

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Tarzan and the Lost Races

Anthropology and Early Science Fiction

In the realm of popular literature, the incipient science fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (roughly from 1870 to 1939) is of special interest for anthropology. Unlike the science fiction of more recent times, such early works had terrestrial rather than extraterrestrial settings.1 Three dominant motifs were those of "lost races," "future wars," and "early man," and some writers, notably Edgar Rice Burroughs, combined all three. These motifs have great potential for the revelation of popular attitudes toward the "other" during the period, and indeed since then. Much of the imagery of such literature constitutes a transformation of the "noble savage" idea, seen through the eyes of writers and readers who were conscious of the implications of evolutionary theory. And indeed, anthropological treatments of alien cultures can themselves be seen as analogues of the "lost race" romance.

Tarzan and the Lost RacesAnthropology and Early Science FictionAlan Barnard In the realm of popular literature, the incipient science fiction of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (roughly from 1870 to 1939) is of special interest f
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