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De Camp and His Rewriting of Conan


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#81 amster

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:58 PM

Well, L. Sprague De Camp may have been unfair to Howard as a writer but I don't feel called upon to be the judge of history.


That's what this thread is about.
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--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#82 RJMooreII

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:28 AM


Well, L. Sprague De Camp may have been unfair to Howard as a writer but I don't feel called upon to be the judge of history.


That's what this thread is about.

It's farsical. To ascribe value characteristics to the actions of dead men is utterly empty and rhetorical. They no longer exist in society or form any force for you to deal with. If you're correcting the history, for the sake of correct history, whatever. But I find doing the shame finger at anyone, whether de Camp or Hitler, is frankly retarded. It's like bitching about a star for going nova. It happens.

Edited by RJMooreII, 21 April 2012 - 01:29 AM.

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#83 amster

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:20 AM



Well, L. Sprague De Camp may have been unfair to Howard as a writer but I don't feel called upon to be the judge of history.


That's what this thread is about.

It's farsical. To ascribe value characteristics to the actions of dead men is utterly empty and rhetorical. They no longer exist in society or form any force for you to deal with. If you're correcting the history, for the sake of correct history, whatever. But I find doing the shame finger at anyone, whether de Camp or Hitler, is frankly retarded. It's like bitching about a star for going nova. It happens.


I find that statement to be utterly retarded. People render value judgements upon dead people all the time. They're called historians.

And like I said, it's what's the thread is about. No one can properly discuss LSdC's editing of the Conan stories and how he presented them to the public without discussing what his possible motivations were and how he personally profited from it. Some may be of the opinion that LSdC did more good than harm by getting Conan out out to the public, and may even believe his BS that he edited them to make them "suitable for publication". Some may even may be of the opinion that it's okay for someone to tamper with an author's work, even while keeping the original text out of the hands of the public, but if someone wants to publicly express those opinions, don't you think someone who disagrees has just as much right to present his side of the argument. That's kinda hard to do without laying down the facts and rendering some sort of judgement.

You think it's retarded, fine. No one is forcing you to participate. Knock yourself out talking about why you prefer Kull to Conan, or whether or not Conan had superhuman strength. But don't waste our time by rendering your opinion on this thread and then getting indignant and claiming it's a waste of time when someone responds with a different point of view.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#84 amster

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:15 AM

fortunately today ,we have a choice. If you see something of value in Decamp ( or any pasticher) Carter and Nybergs stories, hey theyre available. Howards original work is available as well. I personally after reading both versions ( like many I was exposed to the ace books first) prefer Howards because i prefer my conan to have a randomness to it, i think the philosophy of an adventurers life at when it occurs makes for far better atmosphere and is more effective for storytelling than a herculean hero cycle career thing that Decamp did, but thats just me.I dont want to know what happens inbetween, it loses its magic.I dont care how conan gets from point a at one point in his youth to point b as an grown man.


For the record, the LSdC stories that appeared in the Lancers (The Thing in the Crypt, Black Tears, etc.) are no longer being published, although the Bantams (Swordsman, Liberator, Spider God) are. I even have them in my personal collection. There's nothing wrong with pasitches, and if Paradox wants to re-publish all of the original LSdC/Carter stories that appeared in the Lancers, I have no problem with that, either. New readers might enjoy Conan the Buccanner and Conan of Aquilonia. Just don't publish them in the same volumes with the Howard originals, and no posthumous collaborations.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#85 Skullface

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:22 AM

Amster just cyber punched RJMorrell.
If you read this whole thead and its links.it is clear that LSDC is a dick.
Just cause he is dead does not change it.REH is dead and here we all are talking about him.
When you are gone, you leave behind what you have done and others will love or hate you for it.
They might even do both at the same time.

#86 amster

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 03:55 AM

If you read this whole thead and its links.it is clear that LSDC is a dick.
Just cause he is dead does not change it.REH is dead and here we all are talking about him.
When you are gone, you leave behind what you have done and others will love or hate you for it.
They might even do both at the same time.


Yep. When a star goes supernova it's just cosmic indifferentism at work, even though it might kill billions of intellegent life forms, but when people cause harm to others or their legacy it's because they made a conscious choice, and it's through the study of those choices and their effects that we form our ethics. This is mind-numbingly obvious to even the most casual history enthusiast.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#87 Ironhand

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 06:39 AM

The only way we can recognize when somebody is doing a bad thing is if we have read about a similar bad thing in history. That's how we can tell that somebody is setting up a swindle or a holocaust.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#88 mario

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:42 AM


fortunately today ,we have a choice. If you see something of value in Decamp ( or any pasticher) Carter and Nybergs stories, hey theyre available. Howards original work is available as well. I personally after reading both versions ( like many I was exposed to the ace books first) prefer Howards because i prefer my conan to have a randomness to it, i think the philosophy of an adventurers life at when it occurs makes for far better atmosphere and is more effective for storytelling than a herculean hero cycle career thing that Decamp did, but thats just me.I dont want to know what happens inbetween, it loses its magic.I dont care how conan gets from point a at one point in his youth to point b as an grown man.


For the record, the LSdC stories that appeared in the Lancers (The Thing in the Crypt, Black Tears, etc.) are no longer being published, although the Bantams (Swordsman, Liberator, Spider God) are. I even have them in my personal collection. There's nothing wrong with pasitches, and if Paradox wants to re-publish all of the original LSdC/Carter stories that appeared in the Lancers, I have no problem with that, either. New readers might enjoy Conan the Buccanner and Conan of Aquilonia. Just don't publish them in the same volumes with the Howard originals, and no posthumous collaborations.

I agree. if lsdc is to be republished in any sort of collection in the future it should be the works he did not taint,not the Howard stories he added to. ( I remember those silly novels, return of conan , conan the buccaneer and conan of the isles....sigurd!!!I remember that conan and son book, conan of aquilonia toolol!I hated conn though. I may still have them hanging around, I donated alot of those to my local library.)L Sprague Decamps stuff should be separate and distinct as any other pastiche author is,because despite his attempt, they are very different in feel and tone than howards conan.But as it has been stated by others , no pastiche, as good as they may get can match Howard anyway.And I say this as objectively as I can, with no hard feeling toward Decamp and not as a gushing REH fan either, Howard was really one of a kind when it comes to this brand of storytelling.
There is no need to republish howards stories rewritten by Decamp at all.That day is over. Those 'posthumous collaborations' are not warranted to be republished anymore,especially since the authors originals are now out there and easliy available.But I have no prob with Decamps own original stuff being out there in its own series or edition .LOL maybe have Don Herron do the introduction on it!!!
On another note, I do remember the thing in the crypt, that was my favorite of the decamp stories, and not because it fit into any history or canon nonsense.Some of his stuff was okay, especially when I was 15 /16 years old. It just entertained me more than most of his others.

Edited by mario, 21 April 2012 - 11:20 AM.


#89 amster

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:13 PM



fortunately today ,we have a choice. If you see something of value in Decamp ( or any pasticher) Carter and Nybergs stories, hey theyre available. Howards original work is available as well. I personally after reading both versions ( like many I was exposed to the ace books first) prefer Howards because i prefer my conan to have a randomness to it, i think the philosophy of an adventurers life at when it occurs makes for far better atmosphere and is more effective for storytelling than a herculean hero cycle career thing that Decamp did, but thats just me.I dont want to know what happens inbetween, it loses its magic.I dont care how conan gets from point a at one point in his youth to point b as an grown man.


For the record, the LSdC stories that appeared in the Lancers (The Thing in the Crypt, Black Tears, etc.) are no longer being published, although the Bantams (Swordsman, Liberator, Spider God) are. I even have them in my personal collection. There's nothing wrong with pasitches, and if Paradox wants to re-publish all of the original LSdC/Carter stories that appeared in the Lancers, I have no problem with that, either. New readers might enjoy Conan the Buccanner and Conan of Aquilonia. Just don't publish them in the same volumes with the Howard originals, and no posthumous collaborations.

I agree. if lsdc is to be republished in any sort of collection in the future it should be the works he did not taint,not the Howard stories he added to. ( I remember those silly novels, return of conan , conan the buccaneer and conan of the isles....sigurd!!!I remember that conan and son book, conan of aquilonia toolol!I hated conn though. I may still have them hanging around, I donated alot of those to my local library.)L Sprague Decamps stuff should be separate and distinct as any other pastiche author is,because despite his attempt, they are very different in feel and tone than howards conan.But as it has been stated by others , no pastiche, as good as they may get can match Howard anyway.And I say this as objectively as I can, with no hard feeling toward Decamp and not as a gushing REH fan either, Howard was really one of a kind when it comes to this brand of storytelling.
There is no need to republish howards stories rewritten by Decamp at all.That day is over. Those 'posthumous collaborations' are not warranted to be republished anymore,especially since the authors originals are now out there and easliy available.But I have no prob with Decamps own original stuff being out there in its own series or edition .LOL maybe have Don Herron do the introduction on it!!!
On another note, I do remember the thing in the crypt, that was my favorite of the decamp stories, and not because it fit into any history or canon nonsense.Some of his stuff was okay, especially when I was 15 /16 years old. It just entertained me more than most of his others.


Some of the DeCamp stories are entertaining, but I think they work better when they're adapted into Savage Sword of Conan because they're boosted by Buscema's artwork. The early stories, the one's primarily penned by Carter, are fairly good or middle of the road Sword and Sorcery stuff. The later stories, which show more of LSdC's influence and less of Carter's, are horrible. As Morgan Holmes has shown, LSdC simply couldn't write Sword and Sorcery. He didn't understand it, nor did he believe REH's point of view that the barbarian was inherently superior to the civilized man. If you don't believe it, you can't write it.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#90 Ironhand

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:58 AM

The hallmark of an LSdC "original" Conan pastiche is that Conan gets himself into trouble from which he cannot extricate himself by his own efforts, and needs outside help, frequently divine intervention, to rescue him. Nevertheless, he penned a couple of good ones, notably The Thing in the Crypt, and the one (whose name I forget) where he attempts to spend the night in an ancient Stygian castle in the middle of Kush.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#91 Skullface

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:02 AM

thats the plot to conan and the spider god.
worst Conan ever......demons gate might be as bad

#92 Ironhand

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 11:12 AM

thats the plot to conan and the spider god.
worst Conan ever......demons gate might be as bad

No, the one I'm thinking of is a novelet or a novella. It was anthologized with some of the other LSdC pastiches.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#93 docpod

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 03:55 PM

The hallmark of an LSdC "original" Conan pastiche is that Conan gets himself into trouble from which he cannot extricate himself by his own efforts, and needs outside help, frequently divine intervention, to rescue him. Nevertheless, he penned a couple of good ones, notably The Thing in the Crypt, and the one (whose name I forget) where he attempts to spend the night in an ancient Stygian castle in the middle of Kush.


The deus ex machina intervention is generally Lin Carter. Also "The Thing in the Crypt" is about 90% Lin Carter with very little L. Sprague de Camp. It is isn't perfect Conan but closer than anything de Camp could come up with. Dead giveaway in knowing where de Camp wrote a section is when Conan stops and gives a lecture on masonry, petroleum deposits or tar pits, the engineering of a gate (Hall of the Dead), the undersea walk in CONAN OF THE ISLES. CONAN AND THE SPIDER GOD is probably 90% Catherine de Camp and about 10% Sprague. One of the stories with the ghost knights coming to the rescue is probably mostly Catherine de Camp. Sprague probably contributed fewer words than either his wife or Lin Carter over the years. He was more the overseer than the writer.

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#94 StriderSkorpion

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:36 AM


thats the plot to conan and the spider god.
worst Conan ever......demons gate might be as bad

No, the one I'm thinking of is a novelet or a novella. It was anthologized with some of the other LSdC pastiches.

I believe you're referring to "The Castle of Terror".

Edited by StriderSkorpion, 22 May 2012 - 02:37 AM.


#95 Konorg

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:03 AM

I know I will get stoned for saying this so start throwing them stones :P

But I look at the De Camp stories as a ok bridge to bridge the gap between the purly Howardian Conan tales.

Ok I now have my sel blided folded and a cigg in my mouth feel free to start stoning :P


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#96 Tex

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:52 AM

But I look at the De Camp stories as a ok bridge to bridge the gap between the purly Howardian Conan tales.


The trouble with your argument is that it would only work if Two-Gun was writing a saga of Conan. He wasn't. He was telling of various adventures that happened to the Cimmerian.

Thus, there are no gaps to bridge.

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#97 KG Thunder

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:59 AM

The hallmark of an LSdC "original" Conan pastiche is that Conan gets himself into trouble from which he cannot extricate himself by his own efforts, and needs outside help, frequently divine intervention, to rescue him. Nevertheless, he penned a couple of good ones, notably The Thing in the Crypt, and the one (whose name I forget) where he attempts to spend the night in an ancient Stygian castle in the middle of Kush.

 

The Castle of Terror. Just read it tonight and I have to agree it's pretty damn good for De Camp. I wish more pastiche stories focused on the weird horror elements of REH's writing and less on the 'Conan & friends' fantasy adventure formula that made the Tor books so boring and formulaic.



#98 Konorg

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:55 PM

 

 

Well, L. Sprague De Camp may have been unfair to Howard as a writer but I don't feel called upon to be the judge of history.


That's what this thread is about.

 

It's farsical. To ascribe value characteristics to the actions of dead men is utterly empty and rhetorical. They no longer exist in society or form any force for you to deal with. If you're correcting the history, for the sake of correct history, whatever. But I find doing the shame finger at anyone, whether de Camp or Hitler, is frankly retarded. It's like bitching about a star for going nova. It happens.

 

Which is why I am always harping on the fact we should not judge people of the past by todays standards,because what it they could judge us by their standards would we measure up to theirs?




The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."