Friday, August 29, 2014

About Robert E. Howard

The Phoenix on the Sword

"Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars - Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyberborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west."

As I've written here, Robert E. Howard is my favorite writer, of all time.  He wrote Fantasy, Horror, Adventure, Westerns,  and Boxing stories, perhaps more.  He lived in a time when those genres were considered lower forms of writing, and were often called Pulps.  Pulp is a term that refers to the cheap type of paper used for their publication.  Times have changed, and there is more respect for genres, but Pulp isn't a bad collective term, but it fell out of fashion, along with use of the format of using pulp style paper.

Robert E. Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) lived on this earth 30 years only, ending his life, tragically, when learning that his mother went into a coma that she was unlikely to return from.  He couldn't face life without her, apparently and chose to end his life.

He typed this passage from a poem to accompany his passing.

"All fled, all done, so lift me on the pyre;
The feast is over and the lamps expire."

Taken from the poem "The House Of C├Žsar" by Viola Garvin

Queen of the Black Coast

"He shrugged his shoulders. "I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom's realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer's Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."

ENJOY an assortment of great covers of the works of Robert E. Howard

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