Fri, 12 July 2019
Will Conan the Cimmerian help Yasmina avenge her kingly brother’s death? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.
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Today we are dipping our toe into the world of Conan the Cimmerian. Now, I decided to do this book for a couple reasons.
1) Howard’s Conan series was a very important chapter in the history of fantasy. Many authors continued the series after Howard’s death – over 50 novels and dozens of short stories of Conan were written by authors other than Howard.
2) This method of story telling, using the cycle of the hero and using larger than life archetypal characters, is something that we have largely moved away from. I’ll explain it in Star Wars:
So, in the original trilogy, you had the archetypal characters: The hero, the damsel in distress, the adventurer, the evil villain. This collection of characters are seen in millions of stories, and resonate with something deep within us. This is how storytelling has been done for centuries. This Conan story is a fantastic example of this method.
Today, we tend to demand that our characters are more nuanced, complicated, and multi-faceted. The stories that follow the same traditional pattern, using the archetypal characters, seem to not do too well. And so this Conan story is an interesting look at how it used to be done, and hopefully if parts ring a bit shallow, we can realize that we’ve become more developed in our storytelling nowadays.
And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 1 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.