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‘I, Who Have Died Twice’
A PRINCESS OF MARS - FULL AudioBook | by Edgar Rice Burroughs, read by Thomas Copeland
Thomas Copeland might be the best reader I have heard, and is ideal for this story.
John Carter is the uncle of the author, a man that has never seemed to age, who has built a tomb for himself that may only be unlocked from the inside and is absent for long periods. After he dies suddenly, the former Confederate cavalryman’s body is entombed. One day there will appear a manuscript, written in the hand of the late John Carter, concerning his adventures on an alternative Mars named Barsoom, which was E.R.B.’s most well thought out fantasy setting.
The literal basis for this, the first in the 11 Barsoom books, was the belief in the spirit’s ability to transcend, not only death, but the gulf of space. This type of occult belief was common in the early 20th Century.
The allegorical basis of the story was that, for a real man of noble character, it would be better to die to the industrial world, and live only in a dreaming state in some fulfilling land of the mind, than to linger as a mere cog in the vast gearbox of modernity. John Carter makes the fantasist’s argument against settling for the zeitgeist.
Listen closely to the description of the green men of Mars, which reads like an anthropological tract, tinged with grim humor. Even as Barsoom serves as the savagely fulfilling alternative to modernity, on Barsoom, the green men serve as the primal alternative to the decaying high civilization of Barsoom. Burrough's alternative Mars is an argument against modernity, and when the protagonist appears there, he finds out that Martian natives have even been conducting their own debate.
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