Vivanco - Tarzan - Chapter 05
Avant-garde or Savant-garde
The Eco-Tourist as Tarzan
A. David Napier
The Call of the Wild
I don't feel safe in this world no more.
I don't want to die in a nuclear war.
I want to sail away to a distant shore,
And make like an ape man.
The Kinks, "Apeman"
Every adventure novel at some level owes its successes to our shared perceptions
about how the dignified person (as far back as Homer's Odyssey)
behaved under trying circumstances in alien places. By the eighteenth century,
such trials were socially formalized in what came to be known as the
grand tour, an extended journey in which any gentleman of means was meant
to show his mettle by carrying his manners to places where they might be
unusually tested. Like a controlled experiment in the laboratory of life,
such journeys depended upon specific and sometimes extreme conditions.