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Showing posts by: Darrell Schweitzer click to see Darrell Schweitzer's profile
Thu
Aug 18 2011 3:00pm

The Creator of Conan, Part 3: Not Just Conan. What Robert E. Howard Wrote

Part three of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

All considerations of talent and natural inclination aside, writing was important to Robert Howard for two reasons. Strictly controlled and home and resenting it, he couldn’t have lasted very long at any job where he had to obey someone else. Temperamentally, he had to be a freelance writer. After high school, he made a pact with his father, that his father would pay for him to take a bookkeeping course at a local business college. Afterwards, he had one year to prove he could make a living as a writer. Failing that, he’d have to become a bookkeeper, a career in which Robert would doubtless have gone stark raving mad very quickly.

Fortunately, he got to be a writer, but it was a near thing.

[Read more]

Wed
Aug 17 2011 3:00pm

The Creator of Conan, Part 2: The Death and Life of Robert E. Howard

Part two of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

Robert E. Howard committed suicide at the age of thirty. While that no more sums up who he was and why he matters than it is adequate to say that William Shakespeare was a guy with a receding hairline, Howard’s self-destruction looms large in any consideration of him. Early on June 11, 1936, as his mother lay dying, Robert Howard asked the attendant nurse if she would ever recover consciousness and the nurse said gently, “No.” Howard then stepped outside and got into his car. No one present thought anything of this, because he made a daily run into town (Cross Plains, Texas) to pick up his mail. But then a shot rang out. Robert slumped over the steering wheel. He had shot himself above the right ear, the bullet passing out the other side of his head. He died eight hours later, without regaining consciousness. His mother died the next day.

[Read more]

Tue
Aug 16 2011 3:06pm

Robert E. Howard: The Creator of Conan

Weird Tales #20Part one of a three part series. Check back at this link to read them all.

Know, O Reader, that long before anybody thought of making a Conan movie, long before Arnold Schwarzenegger was born or Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #1 appeared on the newstands, in 1932, to be precise, the world’s most famous Barbarian sprang to life in the pages of Weird Tales magazine under the byline of Robert E. Howard (1906-1936). Any suggestion that Conan is the work of many hands — some reference works will say “Robert E. Howard and others” is rather like saying Sherlock Holmes was created by “A. Conan Doyle and others.” No, there have been subsequent pastiches, reinterpretations, and movie adaptations, but the real, 100% bona fide Conan is Howard’s.

[Read why]