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Tolkien On Howard?


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#61 Nick Morbius

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:04 PM

I'm surprised deCamp didn't devote an entire chapter to himself.



haha, feel the love :lol:

#62 Ningauble

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:14 PM

I'm surprised deCamp didn't devote an entire chapter to himself.


Lin Carter wrote the introduction to the book, in which he says that one important fantasy writer has been left out due to modesty, whereupon he proceeds to devote the rest of the introduction to a presentation of De Camp. So technically speaking, I suppose you COULD say that there is a chapter on De Camp.

Still, if you can turn a blind eye to some annoying details, it's a very good book.

#63 timeless

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:24 PM

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I knew it!
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#64 Mikey_C

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:31 PM

I'm trying to stir on some action on this topic at the Tolkien Forum. I'm not optimistic about getting any information, though; someone has already posted on it last year without much of a response.
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#65 Guest_Tu for Kull_*

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:27 PM

I'm trying to stir on some action on this topic at the Tolkien Forum. I'm not optimistic about getting any information, though; someone has already posted on it last year without much of a response.


Greetings!
Yo Mikey C! You won't. I tried to ask every bloody Tolkien-ite I could email,years ago.The Society,which cost money,or did to join and every other tea-drinking,pipeweed smoking,...you get the idea.The problem is no one knows and most of the folks are gone. Well I would like to think that the good Don did sit in his study and read REH,....

Tu (Claymore anyone?)

#66 timeless

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:28 PM

All you'll get over there is swooning over Legolas and the canonization of Peter Hackson.
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:53 PM

Greetings!

All you'll get over there is swooning over Legolas and the canonization of Peter Hackson.


Hi timeless. Most if not all LOTR/Tolkien sites have calmed down after the films.Maybe we should open a thread about PJ?? And his treatment of LOTR?
I would welcome a great debate,......and a pint,...

Tu ("It comes in pints?")

#68 Fierro

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:52 PM

I have no way of proving it, but this sounded like crap to me when I read Lin Carter's book back in jr. high school. It really bugs me, too, cause it seems like some insecure need for validation of Howard by the Master. Frankly I'd be more interested in what Howard would've thought of Tolkien than in what Tolkien might have thought of Howard. I loved LOTR and still hold a place in my heart for the wonders it stirred in me when I was a kid, but I never liked the Prof himself. Cranky man and way to English for my tastes. I will probably read children of Hurin though.

#69 timeless

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:54 PM

I'll take the pint (after the week I've had.) But I've heard enough debate over the LOTR movies. PJ took his shot, made lots and lots of cash, but missed the target. I doubt CPI will do any better with the Conan and Solomon Kane movies, though I have hopes for the Bran Mak Morn project. What I'd like to see is someone do an animated rotoscope/computer Conan Howard tale based on Frazetta's art. That 'Red Nails' project looks dead in the water.

Anyway, back to the thread...the only person who has ever mentioned Tolkien being familiar with Howard was deCampy. And that just ain't a reliable source, dig? I was hoping someone had some other info, but I guess not.
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#70 Carlos

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 01:54 AM

Seeing as the Howard family has roots in Norfolk, JRRT might have been curious about REH's works. However, Tolkien was a hardcore Anglocentric and may have dismissed anything written by we American savages. Seeing how REH completed everything long before the LOTR was published, Tolkien may have been influenced by REH's works without having read them due to their influence on other S&S writers of the time. I can hardly believe that Tolkien hadn't at least heard of Howard's works(esp. CTB) before his final draft of the LOTR trilogy. I firmly believe that our favorite barbarian had probably stormed the the Ivory Tower of Oxford at least once during Tolkien's residency.
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#71 timeless

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 02:33 AM

Awful tight dates there for Tolkien to be influenced by Howard, at least by the novel-length Howard. WT serialized 'Hour of the Dragon' in 1935 and 1936. It wasn't published in book form until I think 1950. Tolkien began LOTR in 1937, though the background material dated much farther back (as did, obviously, The Hobbit.)
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#72 Mikey_C

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 12:23 PM

:D Bingo!!!

Proof positive that Tolkien at least held a Conan story in his hands:

Posted Image

Posted Image

This is an actual copy of L Sprague de Camp's 1963 Swords and Sorcery anthology, given by him to Tolkien who inscribed it "J.R.R. Tolkien from L. Sprague de Camp July 1962". It contained Shadows in the Moonlight by REH, and also H.P. Lovecraft's Doom that came to Sarnath.

However, it is a Lord Dunsany piece, The Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweler, that seems to have made the biggest (although negative) impression, as the book's owner has written a lengthy but "not very complementary critique" of it, which is included in this sale.

Is it significant, by the way, that the sole piece that seems to have attracted Tolkien's attention was the only story in the anthology by an author from the British Isles? Did he even bother to read the rest? Someone has already mentioned that he didn't like American writers. (Does anyone have a spare $3000 to buy this package so we can look at it more closely? I'd love to see where the spine is bent!)

Someone on the Tolkien Forum has pointed out that if there was a direct quote to be found from Tolkien praising REH, these would have been seized on by publishers and used as blurbs for every single Conan book. We would know it by heart by now. With LSdC in charge of CPI at that time, I expect he would have tried every strategy to squeeze such a quote out of his correspondent if he sensed that this was at all possible.

Personally, I'm more or less ready to conclude that the whole business is just an example of LSdC's wishful thinking. :(

Edited by Mikey_C, 22 April 2007 - 04:52 PM.

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#73 timeless

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 03:57 PM

Hey thanks, Mikey_C! Excellent info, excellent points. Yeah, deCampy would've enshrined Tolkien's words on every single paperback had he offered any.
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#74 Carlos

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:22 PM

Awful tight dates there for Tolkien to be influenced by Howard, at least by the novel-length Howard. WT serialized 'Hour of the Dragon' in 1935 and 1936. It wasn't published in book form until I think 1950. Tolkien began LOTR in 1937, though the background material dated much farther back (as did, obviously, The Hobbit.)


Tolkien didn't live in literary isolation. I'm fairly sure that some of his characters were influenced by both past and contemporary literary characters. Both Aragorn and Conan were past masters of living in the wilderness. Boromir is said to prefer battle and drink over having a family. REH was influencing other writers the minute he was first published. I think the before Tolkien finished LOTR, some contemporary literary characters like Conan had help shape some if not all of Tolkien's characters. Same is true of Howard's works as well of course. :rolleyes:
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#75 timeless

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:37 PM

I think Tolkien derived his influences from much earlier times (except for Worm Orobourus, Dunsany, etc.) I think he had a story in his mind and was determined that no other modern writer could get close to telling it or satisfy his telling of it.

I like the old guy. I think he was stubborn and he got it right.
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#76 deuce

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 08:40 AM

It was a book he did containing interviews/bios of fantasy authors like REH, Tolkien, Leiber etc...


Actually there are no interviews in it, just biographical articles, about E. R. Eddison, William Morris, Lord Dunsany, T. H. White, J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, plus one chapter dealing with the history of fantasy, plus one chapter discussing a whole bunch of writers that didn't get entire chapters of their own (Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, and some others). Many of the chapters had seen previous publication as independent essays. A pretty good book.

It was published several years before Tolkien died, so it wouldn't have been wise of deCamp to misquote him (for instance, his opinion of REH).


No, Tolkien died in 1973; Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers was published in 1976.


Hey Ningauble. Cool forum name, by the way. I've never owned LS & S. There are comparable resources for free, currently. That said, deCamp interviewed not just Tolkien, but Leiber as well, didn't he? The articles, in at least those two cases, were based partly upon deCamp's interviews of the authors. I believe that was where I got the "interview" part from. As to 1973/1976, I got the dates switched in my head. Still, the Tolkien estate had stalwart defenders (like Christopher Tolkien) to call "shenanigans" if deCamp screwed up and began making up quotes (and opinions) out of whole cloth. We know from his letters that Tolkien did read and enjoy American sci-fi/fantasy authors. LS deCamp didn't lie every time he opened his mouth (it just seems like it :) ). Without contradiction from the Tolkien estate, I'd say deCamp's account stands.

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#77 Ningauble

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 10:06 AM

Hey Ningauble. Cool forum name, by the way.


Thank you.

I've never owned LS & S. There are comparable resources for free, currently.


Sure. And the book isn't too expensive used, either.

That said, deCamp interviewed not just Tolkien, but Leiber as well, didn't he? The articles, in at least those two cases, were based partly upon deCamp's interviews of the authors. I believe that was where I got the "interview" part from.


Ah, OK. IIRC, De Camp mentions meeting Smith and Tolkien, and he also met Dunsany's widow. Nothing wrong with his research!

As to 1973/1976, I got the dates switched in my head. Still, the Tolkien estate had stalwart defenders (like Christopher Tolkien) to call "shenanigans" if deCamp screwed up and began making up quotes (and opinions) out of whole cloth. We know from his letters that Tolkien did read and enjoy American sci-fi/fantasy authors. LS deCamp didn't lie every time he opened his mouth (it just seems like it :) ). Without contradiction from the Tolkien estate, I'd say deCamp's account stands.


I agree.

#78 Ningauble

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 05:05 PM

Someone on the Tolkien Forum has pointed out that if there was a direct quote to be found from Tolkien praising REH, these would have been seized on by publishers and used as blurbs for every single Conan book. We would know it by heart by now. With LSdC in charge of CPI at that time, I expect he would have tried every strategy to squeeze such a quote out of his correspondent if he sensed that this was at all possible.


On the other hand, maybe not. IIRC (and I don't have Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers available right now), De Camp says that Tolkien said that "he rather liked Howard" or something along those lines. That faint praise does not make much of a blurb. "'Rather good', according to Tolkien" -- well, you can hear for yourselves how that sounds. It's lacking a certain... something. Possibly LSdC realised that as well.

#79 timeless

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 05:45 PM

Did Tolkien praise much of anything, though? He had exacting standards and he didn't much appreciate his celebrity status, other than the income he derived from it. He was no Stephen King, who pastes his approval on approximately 87% of the books published nowdays, it seems. He's got a cottage industry going in mere blurbs.
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allen Poe

It's the olden lure, it's the golden lure, it's the lure of the timeless things. - Robert Service

For the myth is the foundation of life; it is the timeless schema, the pious formula into which life flows when it reproduces its traits out of the unconscious. - Thomas Mann

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. - Norman Maclean

#80 Almuric

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 07:17 PM

I'm inclined to believe de Camp unless some Tolkien-connected can prove otherwise. I'd like to think he got a kick out of Howard's use of historical and mythological names in his stories. :lol:
"It is more than a mortal sea. Your hands are red with blood and you follow a red sea-path, yet the fault is not wholly with you. Almighty God, when will the reign of blood cease?"

Turlogh shook his head. "Not so long as the race lasts."


--- The Dark Man, by Robert E. Howard