Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke

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Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke
Tarzan Alive.jpg
Dust cover of the first edition
Author Philip José Farmer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Fictional biography
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 312 p.
ISBN 0-385-03886-0

Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke (1972) is an alleged biography by Philip José Farmer, alleging the life story of Edgar Rice Burroughs' literary hero Tarzan was a real person. It was first published in hardcover by Doubleday in 1972, with a paperback edition following from Popular Library in 1973 and a trade paperback edition from Bison Books in April 2006. The first British edition was published by Panther in May 1974.

The book is written on the premise that Tarzan was an actual person with original author Burroughs having written highly fictionalized and romanticized memoirs of Tarzan, which were based on Tarzan's own life stories and adventures. Farmer is then telling the "real story". Farmer examines the psychological make up of John Clayton (Tarzan's real name in the novels) and his peers, based on close readings of the various Burroughs books, accepting some of Burroughs' concepts and rejecting others in an attempt at greater verisimilitude. Among his conceits is that, since the apes described by Burroughs had a spoken language that Tarzan learned, these animals must have been "pithecanthropoids": "a group of rare hominids who are probably now extinct" and "not great apes".

The most recent edition of Tarzan Alive includes a foreword by Win Scott Eckert and an introduction by Mike Resnick along with "An Exclusive Interview with Lord Greystoke" and "Extracts from the Memoirs of "Lord Greystoke".

The text of Tarzan Alive links the characters from the Tarzan mythos to dozens of other fictional literary characters as members of Farmer's "Wold Newton family".


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