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 REH and the fevered ego

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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 24 Dec - 19:50

Something really bothers me, while reading about Robert E. Howard... Is that boring and never ending complaining about his death, and how victimized is his character portrayed... Shit. Things like "civilization killed Howard"...

Well, sorry but HE killed HIMSELF... I'm not sure if we people really know what "suicide" means...

And there is allways a defense of his "sanity". Apparently, he was paranoid with some "enemies" who wanted to kill him, reason why he allways had a gun in his pocket. A lot of articles try to "clean" his name saying he wasn't crazy and so... Again, I wonder why. If he really had any kind of mental disease, that makes him not worthy of respect? What is this about, really? I dunno if he was sick or not, though clearly a man who blows his brains off is not what one could call "sane". Apparently, he knew what he was doing, but the pressure that makes him do that is something he couldn't handle with. That is something that the fans look like can't accept. "He was a real macho", a "Virile dude", who simply "Didn't fit in the modern world". Fuck that. Evil or Very Mad

This is simply ego sickness. The man wasn't that strong in the end. So what. We human beings are weak and powerless sometimes. So what. I find that much more respetable than the silly idea of him being Conan in the 20th century, who he wasn't.

Really, I can understand fans' efforts, and I truly believe they have their best wishes doing that, but I personally dislike the result.

What for me is clearer, is he suffered a severe depression. And interestingly enough, I suffered depression by the time I used to read his works. I think it's the reason why I really dont enjoy his works anymore, I feel somehow it's a jerking off and nothing more. Sorry, i'm not denying his talent -obviously I find great treasures in his creations- but I smell his own self-pityness under all his epic words, and I don't find that too attractive. Howard suffered from his ego, which is what cause depression, ultimately. Hewas too in love with his idea of himself -the lonsesome cowboy/barbarian, whose dignity is bigger than life- and by the time he had to say goodbye to this character, or killing himself, he choose killing himself. Well, I say choose, though I wonder if he really had an option.

The ego kills. Not the fucking "modern civilization" or whatever other external enemy we want to find to justify REH's suicide.
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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 24 Dec - 20:55

Oh sure, he was a fanatic in real life, a real loner type but the kind that will go postal eventually. The other problem are some of the fans, they cross over into fanaticism. Well I think some of the CONAN.com fans are as fanatical as some members of Stormfront. They take Howard as some form of god and place him into that "Nordicism" realm by broading it to "Kelticism"(reality Anglo-Saxonism in disguise). Believe me, I got into battles with some of the RE Howard Purists(ie fanatics) on IMDB.com, and they will bring up race and ethnicity and claim alotve things..because they dont like Romans-- like Howard supposedly didnt. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Thu 25 Dec - 0:19

REH was a nut-job for sure!...But I think his works have long been overlooked and underrated due to the stigma surrounding his death. And I think that is totally unfair, there have been other prominent authors whose work is widely celebrated in spite of the fact that they also committed suicide (Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway to name a few...). Maybe his work cannot be compared to theirs, but they are excellent nontheless. The bottom line is that Conan would not exist if not for REH, much less the genre of Sword & Sorcery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy as we know it today. I think he was an old-fashioned writer with a penchant for prose who was way ahead of his time. Yes, REH was quite eccentric, he certainly suffered from depression and perhaps a handful of other psychological disorders as well. But like the saying goes "The star that burns the brightest burns twice as fast"...His greatest works perhaps never came to fruition due to his premature death.

Of course, none of that justifies or glorifies his death in any way. By any standards, that's the wrong way to leave this world. Life is a struggle and you've got to fight your way through it. Lord knows I've had my own personal setbacks, tragedies, and events that have changed my life in many ways forever. I've hit the bottom, just like many people have. I've had to deal with deep depression and insurmountable odds too. And I'm not trying to brag in any way, because it wasn't pretty getting through it all. And some of the things I've done to fight through it all are pretty shameful as well.

I don't post that much on Conan.com anymore because of the very problem you stated Cromulus. Every now and then I will post something, I did the other day and received several messages afterward saying "welcome back". I'm not a REH purist, but like I've stated before, I do consider myself to be pseudo-purist. That is to say that I accept anything Conan related as long as it is consistent with the spirit of REH's original vision of the barbarian. And yes, that does include the "Conan the Barbarian" movie (My all-time favorite movie ever by the way!).

I don't like to bash other people, but some of those guys over at Conan.com are full of themselves and full of SHIT as well! A lot of them think they know it all when it comes to Conan, REH...whatever. Some guy from Sweden even attests that Conan is not a "Barbarian" at all. Apparently he doesn't like the word "Barbarian", and it has a very negative connotation in his native tongue. I told him that something must be lost in translation between English and Swedish to which he almost conceded, but still maintains that Conan is not a barbarian! That is why I like this site so much, it seems to be a smaller group of fans who aren't intent on forcing their opinions on everyone else or trying to insult other Conan fans. And there has been a lot of insults hurled over there. I swear, sometimes I have felt like a Barbarian trying to argue with "civilized" people over there.

I suppose that outsiders would consider any of us who subscribe to these forums as "fanatics"...that's O.K., I've been called far worse.
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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Thu 25 Dec - 2:43

See, I absolutely agree, the man's works have been underrated by stablished criticism and also overrated by fans. The truth is in between, somehow. He had great virtues and great defects, as a writter. Judging the person is absolutely pointless, and it only serves as a way of relfecting each one's ego, and subjetive self shit. Seeing the man as clearer as possible, objectively, is verty useful when studying the literary work, but you need to forget about whorshipping him or add adjectives like "epic" or "glory" to his acts in life. A lot of the fans appear to be (or started being -as myself-) teenagers who can't help but reflecting themselves in the writter. When they defend their ideas, it's like they are really defending themselves. Maybe it's not that they wanna bash other people, i'd like to thimk, they are simply defending themselves from what they felt it was an attack -which really wasn't-.

Now, I think this is the main defect of REH, and the reason why is not respected by the critics.

Because, none who knows the 10% of his work can deny he had an amazing creativity, imagination, and intelligence. Also, a great sense of the rythm, a very rich visual descriptive languaje, and very energitized passages -which really makes the body of the reader shaking-.

BUT, he was far way too identified with all his creations. He took himself -and his heroes- far way too seriously. That is a proof that he suffered from his ego. The identification with the psyche of his characters is too sticked. There is no place for breathing, between the author and the characters, and that narrowness and anguish is something that I allways felt while reading him. There is no place for interpretation, you know. Everything is like it's written, and that's all.

That is his first mistake as an author. And reason why is so interesting to analyze him and trying to see behind the courtain, because he never went there, so it's like a virgin land. There every fan likes to plant their seeds, some makes interesting trees, some makes trees of shit.

As I said, I truly feel there is a big tree of shit planted in the "Who REH was" land, and I dislike it. I don't think the man needs to become a legend, nor I think it was what he really was looking for when killing himself. If you kill yourself, it's cause there's no hope at all. If there is hope, you wait to see if someday happyness really comes. It's what I believe.

So, glorifying people doesn't help. Really. It's better to see people with open wide eyes, clean, without judgement. Then, the light and the gold, if it's there somewhere -and usually allways there is some- appears, and that is really the truth and the treasure.
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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Thu 25 Dec - 7:50

I agree with you guys and nothing more I can really add there.

This is my own personal experience:

But amazingly, I find alotve the "Purists" to be nasty, one dimensional and flat. Their knowledge is normally extremely limited and repetitive, their basically like robots and go into "repeat mode" once backed into a corner. The bulk of their knowledge of history is low brow to say the least. I also got in some trouble on TAF, because I didnt wipe Arnold's ass after he became Governor of California back in 2003. CONAN.com gave me a underhanded Perma-Ban for no reason other than supporting the movie and debating their elite circle jerker members and TAF took a below the belt shot at me in their News section with a comment like , "Arnold blows smoke in Croumlus' face". So I saw both extremes of FANaticism at play back in 2003 and I wont ever return to those forums and even IMDB I stay away from now, since this forum opened.

I like alotve the subjects Howard did, stuff like History, Anthropology, Archeology and Esotericism, Religions and all of that too-- so I kinda like some of the stuff he wrote even if I dont agree. But at the end of the day, the guy was trying to make a buck and his writing style was clearly influenced by other more prominent authors and even directly plucked from Mythology, and many of his stories were recycled, the stuff they blame DeCamp/Milius for ect, Howard was guilty of as well....
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axerules
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Fri 26 Dec - 20:36

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
But amazingly, I find alotve the "Purists" to be nasty, one dimensional and flat. Their knowledge is normally extremely limited and repetitive, their basically like robots and go into "repeat mode" once backed into a corner. The bulk of their knowledge of history is low brow to say the least.
You can't make generalizations only on your personal experience. It's possible to be a REH-fan AND to be well acquainted with history....some members of Conan.com are graduated, others even taught history. (Me included)
I don't think I belong to the "full off themselves and full of $hit" category. And I'm active on their forum.
Which doesn't mean that I approve how some people treated you or Maelstrom over there.

BTW, WHY did this thread degenerated into denigration of the REH forum??
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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Sat 27 Dec - 4:28

Hm, I don't think that was the intention. No, please, if we are really into that, let's stop it now. We can't generalize, absolutely. I just guess the guys here needed to express their frustration and that's all, and they absolutely have the right to. I am concious that a lot of dudes from Conan.com -you could be one of those- are way much more cultured than me, in history and specially about Robert E. Howard. The guys there, -sometimes I like to read some of their material, because sometimes I find very interesting details- and the guys are really into the topics. So, all my respects to all of them as a colective, in any way we can't consider this site being better than theirs, nor worse. Just different places.

Actually I wasn't talking about ANYBODY, but as the way the character of REH has been drawn and the connotations it wears -that glorification of his persona- which the most of the fans accept and even whorship, defend, and feed. That was I am sick of, that is what makes me feel rejection. Not the guys themselves, you know. And of course, nothing about you at all.

Just some things to consider, like being excessively focused in just one thing, it usually is equal to a very limited vision of the object. It's rare to find a REH fan -or a whatever fan- who can allow himself to speak about the defects of his whorsipped one. You know. They are not objective. That I found reading the most of articles about REH, which 90% of times tried to say: "Poor REH, he was a victim". Well, this is so simplistic that hurts. Also: "Poor REH, he is not respected by the critics". Well, so what, why do fans need him to be respected by the literary critics, I wonder, why? Do they need to have the aproval of someone to feel fine with what they read?

You know, that shit about "REH vs THE WORLD" is absolute egotistic crap. And the stablished REH thing is pretty much into that, which I dislike. The eternal war, you know, the eternal complaining, the eternal shit about HIM this and HIM that... Just let it go. He was a man, like you and me, with the same stuff that make humans us all, also with the individual characteristics that made him be who he was... Nothing less, nothing more.

You know, it's not about being against noone, it's just a matter of taste. I don't buy that, but it doesn't mean i'm right. I think i'm right, but I could be not. And there would be no problem.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Sat 27 Dec - 6:12

About the "victimization" of Howard, the other day I was watching an interview to C.G.Jung who was psychologist who studied Freud and then he had some disagreement with his theories -in my opinion, Jung is way much more interesting and positive than Freud, even though without Freud he couldn't have reached the point of knowledge he ended having-. The interview had been unreleased since the time it was recorded in the 50's, mostly because Jung's disagreements with Freud, who was hugely popular and thought Jung could be a threat for his success.

Well, so what is the fucking connection with the topic of the thread? Razz Jung in some moment talked about the characters each people have -it's not that persons can be really "labelled", you know, but there are certain ways of behaviour that each of us usually "use" more often- and he mentioned the "instictive introverted". Is a person who is more used than others to spend a lot of time in his own fantasies, even considers them being more important than the outside world. That kind of person usually has troubles when communicating with other people, as they have a kind of language that can be found too bizarre by other persons, and quickly label that person as "cazry". For example, this kind of people use a symbolic way of speaking, very poetic, like:

-Doctor, I have a black snake in my stomach.

This was what a pacient of Jung told him, whn asked by the reason why he went to see him. Jung, amazed, said "what??". And the pacient replied, very quickly:

-Oh, not literally, you know!

So, this kind of persons can only feel "safe" in their own personal world, because there noone can judge or insult them.

He also said that in the United States, this kind of persons have a very difficult life, because the culture praises the extroverts but rejects the introverts. This, inmediatly, made me think about this thread and REH.

Well, I must add that it also happens in Spain, the extroversion is considered a virtue while the introversion is usually consider a defect. Like, the only "real" thing is the outside world, and fantasies and dreams ain't real. But, they are. Fantasies are something, they are fantasies, as has a value as what they are. In REH's case, he was more introvert than hell, still his fantasies have made off books, comics and movies. All of those are real.

So, wasn't Robert E. Howard succesful? Highly succesful, inseed. And not because he came into creating comics or movies or stuff, but because he did developed a world in his mind, and gave form to it. That is the essence of succes, not the public or critics acceptance -that is great but in another way-.

Was he happy? We can assume he was, mostly while creating. Did he suffer? Yes, he suffered a lot, still as Maelstrom well said we all have in one way or another go trhough some hell or another. His choice of endind that way belongs to him. All that pain and suffering, belongs to him. We each of us have our personal cross. His ended when blowing his head off. So, please stop carrying that morbid masochist image of him like a badge. It's disgusting.

One day, some REH fans will use a revolver as the main symbol of his worshipping... And it will symbolize the hate against the world which assasinated his REH, and so and so. Lol. Scary movie, isn't it? Laughing

Fans of the world: REH killed HIMSELF. He couldn't accept who he was. Ok? He hated himself, so HE was the first one to know he wasn't sane. Ok? Respect the man's choice, and accept there was something wrong with him. HE PROVED IT.

I strongly believe it's the only way of being really fond of him, and so.
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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Sat 27 Dec - 10:09

axerules wrote:

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
But amazingly, I find alotve the "Purists" to be nasty, one dimensional and flat. Their knowledge is normally extremely limited and repetitive, their basically like robots and go into "repeat mode" once backed into a corner. The bulk of their knowledge of history is low brow to say the least.
You can't make generalizations only on your personal experience. It's possible to be a REH-fan AND to be well acquainted with history....some members of Conan.com are graduated, others even taught history. (Me included)
I don't think I belong to the "full off themselves and full of $hit" category. And I'm active on their forum.
Which doesn't mean that I approve how some people treated you or Maelstrom over there.

BTW, WHY did this thread degenerated into denigration of the REH forum??

Yeah but said I found alotve them, I never said all or generalized completely. Besides I also mentioned TAF pulled similar stunts because they didn't like too much free speech or negative Arnold talk, least back in those days as I dont know if they changed their attitudes now. So it wasnt directed completely at CONAN.com. Regarding forums, they're only as good as it's moderators and administrators.

Howard was a good writer, but I dont think he was fantastic, did I like him sure he wasnt bad. But the topic is about his mental health, which clearly wasnt too shabby. He couldve been involved with that Price woman, but for whatever reason wasnt. He had a strange connection to his mother which made him homicidal.

Moreover I think both Turd and I criticized Arnold and Milius as well during all our CONAN chats. Laughing
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Chrysagon
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Mon 5 Jan - 8:36

Back to REH standardized vision of a completely mad person. He was surely an original, but please don't be fooled by the reputation created around him mainly by Lyon Sprague de Camp in is bibliographical book "Dark Valley Destiny". This was basically made to explain that REH was crazy and that we were that Sprague de Camp was here to clean is works (and justify what he has done). The book emphazizes every bit of REH life in that sense. The guy was sure an original, but the more I learn about him the less I find him crazy.
Sprague de Camp also wrote a book about H P Lovecraft and tried to diminish him also.
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Flaming Turd
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Mon 5 Jan - 13:53

Chrys, nobody said here nothing like "completely mad person".

A "completely mad person" very probably wouldn't be able to step out of his house, as very roughly said, that is a person who doesn't live in reality, 100% of the time. It wasn't the case of Howard, he knew the difference between reality and imagination, and I didn't say he was "sick" because of any of his -call it original, call it bizarre- behaviours, that doesn't mean any kind of sickness at all.

A "sickness" in the way I am talking about is any kind of tendency -mostly unconcious and therefore, uncontrollable- to self destruction.

Depression, for example, is a well known today sickness. In biological terms, it has no practical use, as it makes the body decay, and prepares the person to -hypothethically- die. Depression is a desire of dying, ultimately. Though is weird it really ends in suicide, the seed is there somewhere. Like any other disease -like a virus-, the objective is simply the destruction.

I am not into depicting the man in any kind of sthereotype, not even into the dude who dress like a cowboy and goes shooting his own shadow. I don't buy that, as I don't buy the silly Lovecraft thing about him loving walk every night through cemeteries, smelling the air trying to get some inspiration for his next work. Still, I do believe both guys did those things. But, so what? I don't believe that makes an sthereotype out of anyone, unless I, myself, wanna buy it. Those were sure anecdotic stuff told to create a "legendary" aura around the writter and so, which surely can be very attractive for teenagers, but believing this makes the whole picture is very naive.

It is very interesting what you say about the creation of the first sthereotype, by De Camp, and the reason why he modeled it that way. I even would love if you can tell more about that, surely you have way more knowledge of real facts than me, about Howard. From there is easy to realize why the aparition of the REH purists, and the continuous trying of "cleaning" his name. Still, if what you say is true, this is a cleaning of JUST the sthereotype created by the De Camp's book, not really a cleaning of the true facts about REH. I tell you, I haven't read the De Camp's shit and still find the ACTUAL image of REH very out of place... by reasons previously explained. I believe you are into finding the virtues and true deep of the man, I have no doubt about it. But, as an observer, please tell me if you really think the most of REH fans aren't attracted not because of his human virtues, but mostly because of his freaky shit and ultimately because he fucking blow his brains out in a car after writting a gothic haiku because he was somehow in love with his mother and couldn't endure she just died.

Honestly, this kind of shit works, just see Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison and thousand of other IDOLS who become IDOLS not because their artistic/humanistic values -which only too well had- but because their morbid aura, legend, and EGO.

This is what I am absolutely sick of. How we people -including myself, I have an ego with the size of Godzilla Embarassed - we support and feed the worst parts of artists and totally are ignorant about the true virtues. And everything comes from a glorification of the ego, that is, the "character".

Problem with Robert E. Howard is fans are too way absolutely in love with his character -describe it as you prefer, you surely would be way more accurate than me-, but you know what i'm talking about, that "dark poet with soul and muscles of a barbarian, lonesome and ultimately too sensible for this world"...... Well, sooooorry, but I really feel we are loosing the really ugly stuff of all of this, like, let's say, some little psychotic touches and a formidable Edipus complex, to saly the least.

I am not saying the man was THAT or was THAT. Not white or black. C'mon, just take a look at the whole picture. You don't need to choose a side, that "love him or hate him", that "us or them" thing is disgusting.

And finally, friend, calling someone "mad" or "sick" isn't an insult. That would be like insulting somebody calling him as "deaf" or "blind" or "you have a cold".
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Mon 5 Jan - 14:25

Again, I want to add that even though I may sound cruel, I am really not. But you know the spanish sentence, "Dale al César lo que es del César", roughly translated as "Give to the Caesar what belong to the Caesar". Because fans of REH really feel some kind of "connection" with him -I have no doubt about it- and admire and even love his works, so admire and even love the man, they are allways trying to be faithful to his "essence".

And I understand, because I felt that once, that fans are really in love with the glowing of the man's creation, because it glows like gold. His creation was bigger than life, no doubt about it. But REH had a huge amount of pain and suffering down deep in his soul, and that suffering is also inside -or behind- the glow. Fans who are blinded by the glowing can't see that, but it's there.

Maybe it was the suffering of a time -soon the "great depression" of the cpuntry will come- maybe it was simply the suffering of REH and his familiar world, maybe it was a combination. But there was a huge pain in this man's psyche, so huge he couldn't handle with it and ended the way it ended.

AND, fact it, that pain SHOULD have ended THERE. Because when I sound cruel, is because I believe fans aren't respecting the man's choice. It was his choice, and no matter you or me or whoever believe it was a wrong choice, it was HIS choice and it was HIS pain and it was HIS solution. He was sure of what he was doing. But ONLY HE was sure of what he was doing, only HE and nobody else in this whole wide world -including his closer relatives- will ever understand his choice. And that's the way it should be.

Because rationalizing or explaining or SUPPORTING -like A LOT of fans DO!!!- his suicide is a way of methaforically taking the man's pain and make it my own. If REH is a victim, then it means he was killed by an enemy, then if there is an enemy, it means there is a war, then if there is a war, it means I must kill or be killed... And what exactly is the enemy? Well.... Mmmmhhmmm.... the world!!! Sure, the world killed Howard, civilization killed Howard. So, I am at war with civilization, with the world, with everybody who doesn't think as I do..... Shit...... It's the attitude of a lot of REH fans...... also i know is the attitude of A LOT of other people... Rolling Eyes

When, really, the only true enemy, the only thing that killed REH, was himself, was his character, was his ego. His ego pulled the trigger, because his ego was what hold all that suffering he experienced and turned it into something worthy -sure, i'm God's lonely man, my duty is to suffer- but truly, suffering shouldn't be the duty of any living being in this planet. That of course is something the ego will never accept.

The "ghost" -not literally of course- of REH is too loved by the fans. They embrace his pain and suffering and do the same thing he did: glorifying the suffering and the ego and make idols with it. It's like some kind of ghostly possessio, like the great depression of the 30's still alive and fucking:



How can this be? Well in psychological terms is hard to explain but in methaphorical terms we all know the ghost stories where the evil spirit needs living bodies to go inside and exist. The suffering of Howard finds living bodies who are sooo pleased of holding it... puker C'mon, surely the guy loved life also. It's the reason why I liked the movie "Whole Wide World" that much, because there the man was portrayed with a lot of compassion and love, as a sick dude, with a great disease, also with a great mind, and a great heart.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Tue 6 Jan - 8:24

I completely agree with you 2000 %

I didn't know REH fans were glorifying his suicide or his pain. In my opinion it is ridiculous, just as thinking that to be a great artist one has to be alcoholic, or mad or just unhappy (maybe it leads to some things that sometimes inspire an artist but that is not a prerequisite !).

When I learned in 1982 (was 12 at that time) that he comited suicide because he had lost his mother, I smiled. What ? The guy who created Conan commited suicide ? That sounded impossible for me (I was young and didn't know a lot of life, suicide seemed like giving up fighting).
What I personnaly love in REH is his works, not the man, and especially Conan, who triumphs with his strengh of will. That is the model to follow in our lives I suppose, even if our minds has mostly replaced the swords. But that is just my personnal thought.
REH had a problem with death (leaving the house when his beloved dog Patch was about to die, very nice to abandon his friend in hard times !).
He also maybe couldn't imagine his life without his mother and continue life with his father, they had very bad relationship (that is not showed in the movie). Some even argue that the father could have had abused of young Robert.

About Sprague de Camp's way to diminish authors in order to put himself at first place on the stage, I can't tell you much because my knowledge comes mostly from discussion with REH french experts like Patrice Louinet and Simon Sanahujas. For example Sprague de Camp insisted that REH was mentally retarded and only entered school at the age of 8 ! But every kid went to school at the age of 8 in Texas at that time.
I shoul try to find a copy of Dark Valley Destiny, but I guess that won't be easy today. A recent biography by Mark Finn ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Thunder-Life-Robert-Howard/dp/193226521X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231229734&sr=8-1 ) is reputed to be of good quality.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Tue 6 Jan - 13:45

Turd, the biggest thing with the type of fans your describing is that what they want is the pedestal value. They want Howard to be put on equal grounds as Lovecraft or Tolkien, whom are alot more popular in the genre and perhaps popular culture. If you ever notice, before it was Milius, they hated DeCamp and this sorta thing was going on in the 60's, 70's and early 80's, a time when VERY few couldve been acquainted with unadulterated Weird Tales Howard.


You had Stout, Cobb, DeCamp and Milius addressing the "purists" back when the movie was about to be released, so all of this stuff was going on for YEARS prior to the movie and this was an age before mass media and the internet. In fact many purists dont like Frazetta as well. They dont like these guys because they see them as trying to steal from Howard or take away his fame which rightly belong to him(and even them). The strongest character they have a interest in is primarily CONAN, I think their knowledge outside of this character and with this character is superficial. I honestly do beleive they worship the cult of personality or cult of the fictitious character.

"Purists" dont even like Marvel. Back when I was on CONAN.com(not sure if its the same now), they had this posh and dandy attitude, where they tried to kinda segregate the fans of CONAN and those that "Knew/Read True Howard" were the big shots at the top, least in their minds. And that was why I was ultimately banned, they didnt like anybody challenging them or remotely criticizing Howard. CONAN begins and ends in the 1930's, it ends when Howard died..nothing outside of that exists for those types. All the old prints were like bibles or something, fuck knows.

But when all is said and done at the end of the day, its not Howard they love, its their own memories or impressions of the character(they may even feel they are the character or are Howard like that aura stuff you spoke of), which they feel are stolen by DeCamp ect. So it may be more about themselves than Howard, for lack of a better word, they're parasitic.

Honestly I dont have problem with DeCamp, I actually enjoyed some of his re-writes and the guy brought Howard back into the limelight and perhaps reached more people than Howard himself did in his own peak and lifetime. I think just that some people were/are under the impression he was conducting book burnings in Berlin.

The Whole Wide World is a very sympathetic portrayal of Howard and an excellent movie. But whether it to is accurate I dont know, I never read the book which is normally different from the movies and Price liked him.

But I'm glad unabridged Howard stories are avaible more now because of the internet, but when I read them, I dont find it a drastic improvement over the lancers, comics or especially the classic movie. But thats me.

*One more thing is that, all these people stand to make a PROFIT no matter what and have their own version of reality, I dont think any of them are bargains persay.. whether its the authors, editors, Hollywood or the bookpublishing company or the small time fan that wants to take credit for reintroducing R.E. HOWRD to the world at large ect. And like you said before, there is huge EGO's involved.

PS

One of the things I found interesting is that the LOTR films are considered masterworks by anti-Milius fans, but to Tolkien enthusiasts, the movies were a disgrace. How many of the anti-Milius fans push for Peter Jackson post LOTR or even Ridley Scott since Gladiator? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 1:42

Hey guys,

I have been keeping my feeling out of this for a while, but i just thought I'd add why.
I have been on Conan.com, and I have experienced basically the same attitudes reported here already. I do agree with most everything said here, but I worry that we may be giving a parallel view with equal haughtiness. Really the actions that the, dare I say, "Trolls" over at various forums have taken speak for themselves when anyone goes there, and I feel it shouldn't be mirrored here. Though great for PM chat, I would hate to have someone come here and see equal "bashing" of the other side of the coin. It's just my opinion; Which is something i am glad to be able to freely giver here without the fear of another flame war via purist fervor.... Conan
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 8:22

We must retain that since Sprague de Camp, a lot of people tried to make money, sometimes successfully, on REH works. I don't think that Sprague de Camp did that for the love of the art, since he rewrote a lot of stuff, saying Conan was just for fun and that nothing much was to be found in it. As I believe Howard is not the biggest writer of all times, I think his stories (at least some of them) can talk about more than just big guys killing evil guys.
Entire companies were founded just to make profit on Howard, and I believe that adapting Howard stories to modern audiences is a good thing. But when you create other stories, that's an other thing isn't it ? Isn't that just making money ? When it is made in the same way that Howard did, and well made I have no big problem with it. But when it is visibly just putting a "Conan" label on any shit I don't like it. Milius film is not following strictly any Howard story but it respect the "spirit" of the character. And many comics do that too. A lot don't.
What about a cartoon "Conan baby" which could tell us how he discovered the customs of Cimmeria in a Harry Potter type of stories ? I guess you get my point.
A lot of people are mixing a lot of things in their fandom. For many it is basically a way to have a life, in a very religious manner. One day they'll discover the other sex and go to a more adult way of seeing heroic fantasy books and fiction in general, that is just for what they really are. People are dying every day for stupid reasons, kids are slaughtered in the name of religions, territories or nations. Just ignore people (very young people I suppose in most cases) who are ready to fight (with their keyboards, of course) for irrelevant reasons. Didn't go to conan.com for years, I don't miss it.
Was my humble opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 9:38

Chrysagon wrote:
I didn't know REH fans were glorifying his suicide or his pain. In my opinion it is ridiculous, just as thinking that to be a great artist one has to be alcoholic, or mad or just unhappy (maybe it leads to some things that sometimes inspire an artist but that is not a prerequisite !).

No, of course is not, an artist feeds on every face of life between the dark and the light, one needs to know the whole spectre, imagine a painter who only knows the 50% of colours.

Quote :
REH had a problem with death (leaving the house when his beloved dog Patch was about to die, very nice to abandon his friend in hard times !).

Yeah, looks like death was something he couldn't really handle with... I think he had a poem somewhere, called "Lines written in the realization that I must die". Yeah, I found it, and say thigs like:

Twilight gathers and none can save me.
Well and well, for I would not stay.
Let me speak through the stone you gave me:
He never could say what he wished to say.

Why should I shrink from the sign of leaving?
My brain is wrapped in a darkened cloud;
Now in the Night are the Sisters weaving
For me a shroud.


Knowing that he was really afraid of facing death, this poem is very brave. I guess he was trying to accept his mortality, which is something that the teenager ego denies -as we all who ever were teens can remember Razz -. Accepting mortality is one basical step into mature age. Still, there is a lot of complaining in the poem, for my taste, with a lot of "the forms dissapear, the words are forgotten" and so and so... Anyhow, I believe it was a strong try of going through it.

Besides, it is highly interesting to compare his death fobia with the enemies his heroes face: usually they are nothing less than examples of "Death" in its many classical and mythological variations, see the "Skull Face" dude or "Thulsa-Doom" and so and so. Those are heroes who were literally stronger than the very same death. It is a very early myth, and is very common in the teenage psyche. On the other hand, his heroes DID become stronger than death, as they are known today, 75 years later.



I don't think you can say REH was a coward because he had phobias, or fears. Usually a phobia is something that strong and deep that the will can't beat -without proffesional help-. As I said, I believe it's better when we forget about judging. Sure the man was brave in other aspects of life.

Quote :
Some even argue that the father could have had abused of young Robert.

Never heard about that! I just wonder who "argue" that and why, you know, I can argue right now any theory I want and spread it through the media... Still, if that was the case it would really explain the rage and hate of Howard against the world -which really was against his father- and also to a lot of other parts of his character. If it was the case, it's not strange that a guy as sensible as his, who passed through abuse as a child and wasn't able to remember -or make it concious- ended killing himself. But this is just a rough guess. A child abuse has a lot of very dramatic consecuences and, I don't know... The fact that he never -as far as I know- came into abusing of any weak creature makes me think he didn't suffered something like that -usually the abused NEED to abuse others, to find some peace-. As far as I know REH was nothing of a sadistic, he was into brutality -kicking the asses of his opponents- but not into cruelty -enjoying causing pain in others-.

What are your personal thoughts?

Quote :
For example Sprague de Camp insisted that REH was mentally retarded and only entered school at the age of 8 ! But every kid went to school at the age of 8 in Texas at that time.

Lol! Really? It's hard to believe coming from a fantasy writter! Someone who really looks down on the creative mind and the imagination... A lot of creative minds found problems in school and it has nothing about being idiots, but mostly with social communication or lack of attention and so. I am not sure about this but they said Einstein was a retarded during school years. Well. I don't believe the IC of the Texan buddies of kid Howard was higher than his. If De Camp really claimed that he was really into creating an artificial image to be better off with it.


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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 9:55

Quote :
I have been keeping my feeling out of this for a while, but i just thought I'd add why.
I have been on Conan.com, and I have experienced basically the same attitudes reported here already. I do agree with most everything said here, but I worry that we may be giving a parallel view with equal haughtiness. Really the actions that the, dare I say, "Trolls" over at various forums have taken speak for themselves when anyone goes there, and I feel it shouldn't be mirrored here. Though great for PM chat, I would hate to have someone come here and see equal "bashing" of the other side of the coin. It's just my opinion; Which is something i am glad to be able to freely giver here without the fear of another flame war via purist fervor....

I know what you mean. Still, one can't control what other people do. Besides, I am personally not afraid of what other people do. I am mature enough to answer an agressive attack, and also enough to say sorry If I was disrespectful to anyone. Indeed I am not -and I don't think none of us is- talking about anyone but about certain things we don't like, and it's not from Conan.com, but from the way REH is portrayed. There is no problem with Conan.com at all, it's a forum of people who talks about a topic they like and do it, same as any other forum. There are certain things that happen there, and why can't we talk about it? These facts happened, Cromulus and others were banned and they have the right of talking about it. But again, this is not a claim of "how bastards the guys from Conan.com" are or shit like that. If we really believe conancompletist is the best forum ever, we are really mad Laughing . Nah, I am not into that game and if it really happens I won't play it, I tell you honestly.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 12:27

The "abuse" theory is developed by one of the french scholar I mentioned. But that is just a theory. About cruelty you are right, Howard's characters never really showed any (Conan murders the guy his girlfriend cheated him with and who also gave him to the local forces in "Rogues in the House", and he almost does the same with the captain of the boat in "Pool of the Black Ones"). People being abused does not always do the same in return, and see Howard Characters like Solomon Kane : he crosses earth from Europe to Africa to avenge a girl he doesn't even know. This character wants to make justice.

Even if people went late to school, they were educated by their families, creating great differences. Howard's Mother and some other family members raised him in love for story telling. At a time they also had a quarter black cook lady who told him stories of vaudoo !
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 15:49

Chrysagon wrote:

About Sprague de Camp's way to diminish authors in order to put himself at first place on the stage, I can't tell you much because my knowledge comes mostly from discussion with REH french experts like Patrice Louinet and Simon Sanahujas. For example Sprague de Camp insisted that REH was mentally retarded and only entered school at the age of 8 !

WOW! I had never heard this about "LSD"-Camp. I never really had a problem with reading his stuff before, but if this is true...what a FUCKING DICKHEAD! That's just really pathetic for someone to take another author's works (and a dead one at that), twist them around, shake and stir, add and delete, etc. Then make a big profit off of Howard's original character and assume much undue credit to boot!...Let's see now...what original works did "LSD"-Camp ever come up with on his own that are worth mentioning...

...I'm drawing a complete blank.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 17:39

I know both Roy Thomas and DeCamp were pro-movie before and while it came out, and then criticized afterwards to separate themselves for whatever typical media/hollywood reasons.


As far R.E. Howard goes, I would like to see documentation on that. As I know DeCamp was heavily criticized by pro-Howard detractors. The father abusing one, probably also goes with the theory he had a sexual incestuous relationship with his mother I saw around too over the years.

Also does anybody remember there was rumors of some Howard correspondence to Adolf Hitler some time in the early 30's? So there is alotve crazy stuff floating around out there.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Wed 7 Jan - 18:10

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:

Also does anybody remember there was rumors of some Howard correspondence to Adolf Hitler some time in the early 30's? So there is alotve crazy stuff floating around out there.

EDIT: bad jokes calls bad comedians


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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Thu 8 Jan - 8:03

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
Also does anybody remember there was rumors of some Howard correspondence to Adolf Hitler some time in the early 30's? So there is alotve crazy stuff floating around out there.

In letters to HPL, Howard criticize Hitler and Mussolini, explaining that they are real threat to democracy, as HPL was seing them as very interesting. And Howard was not especially a racist, not more than average people in Texas at this period.

Some also says that Howard was a virgin. That is not true according to unpublished letters to one of his friends mentionning a brothel he was regularly visiting in Brownwood.

Nothing seems to accredite an incestuous relationship with his mother, but it is certain that this relationship was extremely strong.

Howard suffered the fact that not only a lot of people tried (and still does) to make money on him and then distorted reality to make him a kind of freak ; but also that a lot of people LOVE freaks and can project their own fantasies/fears/hopes on that kind of so-called "poètes maudits" as we say in France (doomed poets).

I am afraid Howard was more "normal" than a lot of people think. But that doesn't sell as good as a tortured hyper sensitive man in love with his mother to teenagers.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Thu 8 Jan - 19:48

Surprised Howard was pro-Democracy, his writings seem very anti-Establishment anti-everything really to the point of romantic primativism Howard was very much into Aryanism was was quite Racist even. Lovecraft's racism is more touched upon because he's more famous.

But really nothing Howard wrote couldn't of been found in either Burroughs or the socialist, H.G. Wells.
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PostSubject: Re: REH and the fevered ego   Fri 9 Jan - 7:49

It is reported that Howard was a democrat and never missed programs on the radio about it.
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