I loved both Tarzan articles in [recent RQs ] and plan
to use them as sources if I get a contract for a book about Tarzan (similar in plan
to Baring-Gould's Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street). Keep the Tarzan articles going,
if possible. They're illuminating and stimulating. Clarkson N. Petter, Baring-Gould's
publishers, turned down my Tarzan project, by the way, because they said that there
couldn't be enough scholarly or speculative articles about Tarzan to justify such a
book. They're wrong, of course, but I can't convince them otherwise.
I agreed whole-heartedly with most of Jim Harmon's article.
But several statements of his need correcting.
First, I did not regard my views as dumfoundingly radical when
I gave the Baycon speech. Most of the ideas have been around a long time. What was new,
or radical, if anything was, was the statement that we'd better start reconstructing our
ecenomy NOW or we'll die soon in our own garbage. Physical and psychic garbags. Also, man
ignorant though he still is, does have the knowledge and materials to create an economy
of abundance. And he now has some idea of how to develop the potentiality for good in the
very young. And some idea of how to create an environment where the full potentiality of
the human being can be develeped, if that human being so wishes it. (See the stimulating
Ecstasy and Education, for one thing.) I did like, and agreed with, his comments
on the "gun clubs." It's obvious that my speech not only aroused the reactionaries, which
is to be expected, but revealed also that a number who were regarded as liberals are,
actually, fossilized. And scared of the idea of change.
Jim Harmon may be right about fandom, but I believe in giving it
a chance. We'll see what happens when my first document about REAP is printed and
distributed...I've been handicapped by lack of time so far...Morever, I'm slowly and
carefully working out the first statement and spending much time in researching economics,
psychology, education, finance, sociology, etc. But if I get a good response to the first
document, or even a slightly encouraging response, then...I'll go it as a full time fiction
writer. And have, I hope, more time to spare in developing REAP.
[...Relative to]Harlan Ellison...I remember being present at the
Midwestern many years ago when Harlan dropped a sack of water on Jim's head from Jim's
hotel-window. Jim charged, like Roosevelt up San Juan Hill, up the steps, found the door to
his room locked...I remember Jim knocking the door down with his fists Šla Doc Savage's
buddy Renny. I also remember the cope carrying Jim off, and the hat being passed around to
pay for a new door and to keep Jim out of the hoosegow... Those were the days! We had exciting
conventions then. Things happened to make the blood race. Wooden doors and iron men then.
...Personally, the Harlan Ellison I know is not one to be
worshipped (what man is?). But he's certainly on to be loved, and if I were to recite his
deeds of charity and compassion, and these with no thought of repayment. So I'll stand up for
Harlan..any day, admitting at the same time that he has faults and weaknesses (as who hasn't?).
Jim's last line is excellent. With his permission, I'll quote it
in the REAP document.
Philip Josť Farmer
About this incident I recall Bill Blackbeard's suggestion that pieces
from the Door be sold as relics (like slivers from the True Cross), souvenirs of those
grand old days when, as P.Schuyler Miller might say, Conan could have lived again. But
I'm happy to report that Jim and Harlan have patched up there differences, so there'll
be no further news of trouble between them.