Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Requiem


All fled, all done, so lift me on the pyre.

The feast is over, and the lamps expire.
On this day in 1936, thirty year-old Robert Ervin Howard ended his life after penning the couplet above. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that, had he lived longer, he would now be remembered in the equal of Ernest Hemingway and Jack London in the pantheon of American writers. As it is, his creations, most notably Conan, are among the most well-known in popular culture and have inspired generations of writers and dreamers of all sorts. His death is all the more sad because, by many accounts, he considered himself a failure as a writer, which couldn't have been farther from the truth.

On a personal note, I've been very ill the last few days with a late Spring cold. I'm only now starting to recover, but I'm still exhausted and achy. Expect posting to be light for the next few days more, as I try to catch up with work I need to do, as well as my various other duties.

4 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about that. Here's to hoping that your recuperation is swift.

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  2. Oh yeah, and thanks for marking the aniversary of the death of one of my favourite authors of all time.

    I still have warm memories of coming back from school when I was a kid and dropping by the local kyosk to see if the latest issue of the "Savage Sword of Conan" had come out.

    Back in those internet-less days, a dreamy kid in a small town of a small country had is eyes opened to entire news world of sword & sorcery with the tales Howard as drawn by such lumminaries as Barry Smith, Buscema and Alcala.

    Then, a few years latter a collegue from physics class would bring around a really wierd book titled "Rules Cyclopedia".

    But that's is a story for another day...

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  3. Lifted a pint at my local pub in his name this afternoon. I'll be lifting a tumbler of bourbon in his name at home this evening. The legacy of REH is something I think about, literally, every day, and in a strange way he is my hero and mentor. I am constantly amazed by what he managed to accomplish in such a short period of time - the candle did burn bright, but it burned far too fast.

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