Conan: The Master of All Circumstances
by James Harting
MY PREVIOUS POST, Robert E. Howard’s story “The Last White Man,” proved very popular. Here is a stray thought or two that I had concerning Howard’s most-famous character, Conan the Barbarian.
Although it was not published until 1967 (31 years after Howard’s death), “The Vale of Lost Women” is a classic Conan story — and it is explicitly racialist. At one point, Livia, the White heroine, berates Conan:
“You care naught that a man of your own color has been foully done to death by these black dogs — that a white woman is their slave!”
After some incidental back and forth, Conan responds:
“You said that I was a barbarian,” he said harshly, “and that is true, Crom be thanked…But I am not such a dog as to leave a white woman in the clutches of a black man…”
Conan goes on to kill Livia’s Black captor, and to then save her from a monstrous supernatural demon, which Conan terms “a devil from the Outer Dark” and whom the primitive Negroes worship as a savage god.
In 1881, Friedrich Nietzsche published a small book that is almost completely unknown and unread today. In archaic German it was entitled Morgenroethe, which is variously translated as Dawn, The Dawn of Day or Daybeak. In it, he comments that of all of their many mythological heroes, the ancients Greeks admired Odysseus the most. This is because he was able to “master all circumstances,” that is, whatever man, nature or the Gods threw at him, Odysseus was always triumphant. (See Dawn, Section 306.)
And so it is with Howard’s Conan: he is a master of all circumstances: he defeats all opponents, natural and supernatural alike. And he always gets the girl. Is there a healthy Aryan man anywhere who would not like to be Conan if he could?
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Source: Do Right and Fear No One