John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life. She did not see me at first, but just as she was disappearing through the portal of the building which was to be her prison she turned, and her eyes met mine. Her face was oval, and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiselled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper colour, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully moulded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.

She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.

The above is the very first description of the incomparable Dejah Thoris, as seen through the eyes of earthman John Carter in Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars. It's an image that I absolutely adore, and that has stuck with me for oh these many years. In many ways, when I first read this book when I was nine or so, Dejah Thoris was the second woman (after my mom, of course!) I fell in love with. I have just finished re-reading the book for the first time in at least fifteen years or so...and I've got to say that this is one of my favourite moments in the book and one of the memorable descriptions that Burroughs engaged in when writing this book.

Incomparable indeed.
Tags: books, dejah thoris, edgar rice burroughs, reading

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