Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


14.12.06
  Guilty Pleasures

It's all Scott Oden's fault.

Since I like David Gemmell who in some ways is a legitimate heir of Robert E. Howard (his Druss. fe., is a typical epic hero who has his brother in Ajas from the Illiad rather than in the characters of a Guy Gavriel Kay or Tad Williams), and want some action and bloody fights, I thought Howard's books could be fun, despite the fact they're often (de)classed as Pulp Fiction. Thus I used some of my Christmas book money to buy books about Conan and Bran Mak Morn. Call me shallow; I can quote from the Illiad, War and Peace and Daniel Deronda any time to prove I'm not. *grin*

On a serious note, not only the Illiad but also Beowulf, the French epics and the Song of the Niblungs feature the same sort of larger than life heroes and bloody battles, and they're classified as Literature and ended up in the canon. It's all in the eyes of the beholder.

I'm sure Howard's books will prove the total opposite of Jacqueline Carey's alternate Kushiel-Europe. Which I found interesting as well. Or an interesting variant to the above named Guy Gavriel Kay's take.

The editions are well made and contain a lot of material besides the stories, like notes, first drafts, and illustrations. Worth the 12 € each, I think.
 
Comments:
Robert E. Howard was one of my earliest introductions to sword and sorcery adventure and the start of my love affair with the subgenre. d:)
 
So I'm not the only one. :)
 
How fun!
Love the cover - and love a good adventure book!
 
What's shallow about liking a good story? These look fun.
 
Lol Carla,
I'm supposed to read Literature with the occasional allowance for Historical Fiction or a good Mystery, and Tolkien seems to be considered sort of a classic by now - but Sword and Sorcery, big guys with muscles? That's as bad as Romance.

Not that I listen to those people. :)

Sam,
the books have a lot of cool illustrations, esp. the Bran Mak Morn one (in Conan there are a bit many scantily clad buxom lasses).
 
Ah, my corrupting influence widens :) See, Gabriele, the thing about REH is he created the genre of sword and sorcery -- much like JRRT created modern epic fantasy. And, he's a far better writer than his pulp background would have you believe (those stories were written in the 20's and 30's and still stand up well today).

Oh, JRRT read a few of the Conan stories and declared them to be "entertaining" (I get the feeling he didn't mean that as a dig, either).
 
Lol, and still the stories of Tolkien's Silmarillion have more in common with Bran Mak Morn than with a good deal of what's published in Fantasy nowadays. What I often miss is the 'heroic' in the heroes. There's a tendency to overdo the personal issues and make the characters whimpy. Bernita had a good post about this yesterday.

My characters have issues but they don't run around Thomas Covenanter style and whine about their life every page of the novel. Usually, they have things to do, like fighting an enemy or surviving as outlaw. :)
 
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The Lost Fort is a blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK and other places, with essays on Roman and Mediaeval history illustrated with lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes. You may also find the odd essay about geology or Mediaeval literature.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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