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Dear Leland:

  I was sorry to read Blish's remark about the attention paid to ERB in RQ being a waste of critical effort ... I imagine that there are plenty of avenues open, scholarly journals and such, which give all the opportunity the Joyceans need to express themselves. So I can't see why Blish should be against us ERB-fans having fun when we don't object to his joys in working out the four-dimensional crossword puzzles of Finnegans Wake. If his main objection is that there isn't much ore to be mined in ERB, then he obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. If he objects on the ground that Joyce is so much more "literary,' so much more complicated, and that the education to be derived from working out the FW crossword puzzle is so much broader than that from working out ERB, then he has valid objections. But I believe that ERB is as deeply "mythic" as Joyce, although Joyce was a conscious mythogragher and ERB wasn't. I submit that the unconscious mythographer may go deeper even than the conscious (and self-conscious) mythographer. He may not cover the same territory; he may not appear to claim so much horizontal territory. But vertically he is greater; his roots go all the way into the cerebellum....

  All this is leading up to a dream I had two nights ago. I'd been sick for two weeks, very sick, and started to convalesce. Then we had visitors, and I injudiciously drank some vodka. And I woke up at three o'clock with a headache from the recent smog and a slight buzz from the vodka. I stayed awake for an hour and then fell asleep. And I had a dream.

  Somebody--some misshapen pale and burry old man, the thing that alternates with various female figures in my dreams as my mentor--was explaining, to me just who Bloom really was. Bloom according to this shape-shifting somewhat nasty old man, was an allegory of Oom Paul.

  How is that? I asked.

  Easy. Take Bloom apart. That is, take the letters of his mame apart. Rearrange them. Oom bol. Devoice the initial bilabial of the second syllable. Oom pol. Equals Ooom Paul.

  But, the old man said, Oom Paul, in turn, is only an allegory representing Jesus Christ.

  How's that? I said.

  Bloom was the Wandering Jew, or the wandering jewgreek. Oom Paul went on the Great Trek. Bloom and Oom Paul belonged to groups which were oppressed by the British. Oom Paul was a wanderer. And a wonder. Er.

  And J.C. is only an allegory for St. Paul. Jesus was Jewish, he wandered around Dublin for God and was, in a sense, the father of Paul. Uncle Paul, once known as Saul of Tarsus (tarsier? tarsal? connected with that part of the body which enables one to wander) did not die in Rome but led the Lost Tribe of Isreal to Britain, where the Israelites became the British.

  But Bloom is descended from the Israelite British and is now disjected and rejected from their main body, he having lost his ancient faith. And so the allegory comes around fullcircle, and Bloom has circuitously become an allegory of himself.

  Believe it or not, this is how the dream went. The logic therein is tenuous and distorted, but that is how a dream works.

  What origins does this dream have? I don't know, except that I had been trying to connect Joyce with ERB. You probably know that ERB, when writing Tarzan of the Apes, originally titled Tarzen as Bloomstoke. Later on, he changed Bloomstoke to Greystoke.

  It doesn't take long to establish that ERB published Tarzan of the Apes before Joyce Dublished parts of Ulysses. So ERB couldn't have intended to connect the Wandering Tarmangani of Africa with the Wandering Jew of Dublin. I had played with the idea that ERB was splitting up the world of humanity with Joyce. ERB was showing us the Superman; Joyce, the Everyman. But I've failed to establish that either writer knew of the other, let along collaborated in secret or otherwise. ertainly, if there is any derivation, Joyce would have derived from ERB, who is clearly prior in time of creation (and publication).

  My theory is that ERB coded certain names so that scholars could some day ascertain, if they were detective enough, the identities behind the coded names. So Bloomstoke did lead me into strange paths (as did Greystoke) but not towards Joyceland. Where it led me will be the subject of an article, "That Extraordinary Greystoke Family."

  However, it seems improbable to me that a writer with the cosmic scope of Joyce could have overlooked Tarzan. Surely, somewhere in the universe of Finnegans Wake, there is a reference, however ingeniously concealed beneath a multileveled pun, to a hero even greater than Finnegan. I'm not competent (in 1970, at least) to dig this out. But I wonder if some learned Joyceans, such as Mr. Blish and Judy-Lynn Benjamin, couldn't ferret out this reference for me? Perhaps they've actually read it a dozen or a hundred times and never realized what they were seeing because they weren't looking for it. One of the beauties and the joys of Finnegans Wake is that something many times reread may suddenly blaze with a hitherto concealed revelation. The relays clicks and the covert circuit is operating. Calloo! Callay!

  I await the disclosure of the passage about the Immortal Ape-Man. And if the Joycean scholars won't take up the challenge, then I'll have to do the work myself. Our exagmination round his tarzanification for ingumination of Work in Regress...

  May Your Doublends jine. Vah!

  Philip Josť Farmer