Some books leave an entire world behind them in the reader's memory. Others bequeath only a few words, perhaps a single image. Although Edgar Rice Burroughs was a hugely popular writer in his time, the traces in my mind are faint from a dozen of his novels that I raced through as a teenager. Besides a scene of young Tarzan (improbably teaching himself to read English from a picture book), for me the Burroughs oeuvre boils down to one delightful phrase which occurs repeatedly in the John Carter of Mars series:

... the incomparable Dejah Thoris ...

Dejah's transcendent beauty has inspired countless fantasy artists in their attempts to portray a pulchritude that is --- by definition --- impossible to depict. (But thanks for trying, guys!)

(see also OnIncomparables (3 Oct 1999), IncomParable (26 Sep 2000), FayawaySail (23 Nov 2000), PregnantSails (26 Jun 2001), ...)

TopicLiterature - TopicLanguage - TopicArt - Datetag20050119

(correlates: OnIncomparables, PopularityContest2005, ArgumentByItalics, ...)