Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

The Triumph of Barbarism over Civilization

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We should also consider the predominant theme in most of Howard’s original tales: the triumph of barbarism over civilization. Howard saw a certain noble beauty in the simple ways of the barbarian, and considered them superior to the decadence of the civilized world (he and H.P. Lovecraft actually exchanged a series of renowned letters that debated the virtues of barbarism vs. civilization). Conan was by no means a philosopher or a man of deep thoughts, but when the story came back to Howard’s predominant theme, Conan proved himself more than capable of elucidating his thoughts on what he wished from life. Conan was never stupid; he lived life through his body as opposed to his mind because that’s what appealed to him. When he needed to use his mind though, he was more than up to the task. Obviously, in his later years, when he became king, necessity demanded he modify his ways, but as we witness in “Phoenix on the Sword,” the barbarian is always lurking just beneath the surface.

A brief history of Conan. Via MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm

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