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Queen Of The Black Coast


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#41 PFunkJAzz

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 01:12 AM

Was that really offensive? I doubt your indignation was any greater than mine upon reading QotBC.


I understand where you're coming from. When an author who's been dead for 60 years writes a story that you find racially offensive about black people, its an unforgivable sin which justifies changing his text to make it more 21st century PC. But when you say something racially offensive against whites, its perfectly okay because you're just evening out the playing field. Always the double standard. How about taking some personal responsibility for your own words?


What are you tallking about? I already acknowledged the statement was racial. I'm not blaming anybody. I just don't think my statement offended you as much as Howard's writing offended me. I am not blaming Howard. He's a damn good writer. Some of his writing fills me with outrage. Being upset about a work of art is as acceptable as loving it.
Save that double standard remark for someone who wants to play the "blame game" with you. Right now you're playing with yourself.

Finally, I don't deny Jews have been persecuted here and around the world. I'm fully aware of their plight in the South and how they joined with the Civil Rights Movement and actually seeded the NAACP. Whether we agree being Jewish is a race or religion is immaterial; I'm all for solidarity and am fully cognizant of their history, so we don't need to get into that discussion on this board; of all places.

#42 amster

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 01:48 AM

What are you tallking about? I already acknowledged the statement was racial. I'm not blaming anybody. I just don't think my statement offended you as much as Howard's writing offended me.


I'm sorry, how exactly is that not a double standard? You being offended by REH justifies you being offensive to others on this board?

Finally, I don't deny Jews have been persecuted here and around the world. I'm fully aware of their plight in the South and how they joined with the Civil Rights Movement and actually seeded the NAACP. Whether we agree being Jewish is a race or religion is immaterial; I'm all for solidarity and am fully cognizant of their history, so we don't need to get into that discussion on this board; of all places.


That's funny, I wasn't aware that I was getting into that discussion. I brought up the matter of Belit's ethnicity in direct response to your comment, "Alas, Howard would never have envisioned an inter-racial romance with Conan as a true equal". So no, the issue of whether Jewish is a race or religion is not immaterial to what was going on in the mind of REH when he created the character of Belit. Obviously, neither is historical context, which you also brought up with this quote, "a common excuse for Howard's attitudes is he was a white southern male in the 30s and that's how they thought".

Edited by amsterdamaged, 16 December 2008 - 01:55 AM.

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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--

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:07 AM

Hi all!
Ye-ha!I missed a donnybrook,didn't I! :lol:

There is a wonderful thread were we have debated in Was REH a racist,......in the Robert E Howard thread,...
Let me say this,if you find REH's works 'unacceptable' do not read him.Got it? :rolleyes:

Kevin (have a Holly-Golly Christmas!)

#44 amster

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:29 AM

Let me say this,if you find REH's works 'unacceptable' do not read him.Got it? :rolleyes:


Amen.
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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--

#45 Fernando

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 01:57 PM

Maybe my following question is a silly one, but I've readed two translations into Portuguese of QotBC published here in Brasil, as well as two e-texts of "Queen", and I never found any mention about Conan and B?lit had sailed together during 2-3 years... :unsure:

#46 amster

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:21 PM

Maybe my following question is a silly one, but I've readed two translations into Portuguese of QotBC published here in Brasil, as well as two e-texts of "Queen", and I never found any mention about Conan and B?lit had sailed together during 2-3 years... :unsure:



You're right, it doesn't explicitly say how long they sailed together. 2-3 years sounds like a reasonable estimate IMO.
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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--

#47 deuce

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:10 PM

Maybe my following question is a silly one, but I've readed two translations into Portuguese of QotBC published here in Brasil, as well as two e-texts of "Queen", and I never found any mention about Conan and B?lit had sailed together during 2-3 years... :unsure:



You're right, it doesn't explicitly say how long they sailed together. 2-3 years sounds like a reasonable estimate IMO.


That estimate originated with the Miller-Clark chronology.

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#48 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:10 AM

Thought I'd say a few words about the things I liked about "Queen," but then I began reading over the thread and discovered you guys have been engaged in some serious (dare I say heated?) debate. I feel like a guy who showed up at the Battle of Verdun with a picnic basket.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#49 amster

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:13 AM

Thought I'd say a few words about the things I liked about "Queen," but then I began reading over the thread and discovered you guys have been engaged in some serious (dare I say heated?) debate. I feel like a guy who showed up at the Battle of Verdun with a picnic basket.


Nah, its all good. Please share what you liked about QotBC. I for one would like to hear 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--

#50 perfectpawn909

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 05:28 PM

Again, returning to these stories I haven't read since I was a preteen in the mid '80s, "Queen of the Black Coast" by far has been my favorite. I don't recall my thoughts on it as a kid, but as an adult I found it to be the only one that still held up a firm literary value. Sure, Howard's usual antiquated dialog modifers are in full effect, as is the racism with his usual depictions of the black characters (has anyone ever noticed that Howard was always sure to mention that black warriors fought naked?? Hmm...Calling Dr. Freud...), but somehow this story overcomes all obstacles.

#51 Taranaich

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 01:08 AM

has anyone ever noticed that Howard was always sure to mention that black warriors fought naked?? Hmm...Calling Dr. Freud...


No need to bother Dr. Freud when he's busy. :P

Many warriors in antiquity went nude in combat: in addition to African tribes, the early Greeks, Celts and Germanics were known to fight unclad. This even extended to colonial times in some cases, and indeed modern times, as in the case of Joshua Blahyi. Howard was just taking his cues from the historical sources of the time.

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#52 perfectpawn909

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:39 PM

has anyone ever noticed that Howard was always sure to mention that black warriors fought naked?? Hmm...Calling Dr. Freud...


No need to bother Dr. Freud when he's busy. :P

Many warriors in antiquity went nude in combat: in addition to African tribes, the early Greeks, Celts and Germanics were known to fight unclad. This even extended to colonial times in some cases, and indeed modern times, as in the case of Joshua Blahyi. Howard was just taking his cues from the historical sources of the time.


I know what you're saying. I'm a fellow history buff myself. I just found it amusing that in practically every instance REH always makes note to mention that any black warrior on the field fights in the nude. Did Carter and De Camp cut any of this stuff out of their decades-later "fix-ups?" I can't remember, probably because I read these as a kid, back when I didn't know any better.

#53 duaneshadow

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 05:56 PM

As a partner and true equal? Most were tavern wenches, slave girls and sluts; not powerful strong women. Some of the exceptions being the Devi Yasmina and maybe Queen Taramis and Valeria, but the first two were really damsels-in-distress.


dude, you've just invalidated your whole argument with that one word.
'why does he have to be a misfit? Why can't he be handsome and kind?'

'You're still a dreamer girl'.

#54 Taranaich

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:23 PM

I know what you're saying. I'm a fellow history buff myself. I just found it amusing that in practically every instance REH always makes note to mention that any black warrior on the field fights in the nude.


Well it isn't just the blacks: Stygian Charioteers and prostitutes, Pictish women, slave-boys, the Black Ones, witches, and people in captivity are referred to as naked. I'd say it's more of a case of Howard implying the men of the Black Kingdoms to be on a primal level of savagery like the Picts, but for whatever reason they eschew even loincloths, going completely naked. It could be argued that it's because they're "less advanced" than the Picts, but I don't think that's the case, since their technological level is about on par with them.

Did Carter and De Camp cut any of this stuff out of their decades-later "fix-ups?" I can't remember, probably because I read these as a kid, back when I didn't know any better.


I'm unsure, to be frank, but I don't think so: unless De Camp found the nudity undesirable or ahistorical I don't think he'd cut it out.

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#55 deuce

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 05:16 AM

All the Ku$hite nations during Conan's era seem to have had some level of native ferrous metallurgy. The Picts took 500 more years to acquire the same thing.

As for those hilarious, Freudian, naked Ku$hites, a perusal of the sub-Saharan African travelogues of RF Burton (whom REH read and admired) will turn up several examples (or near enough) of "naked warriors". Strangely enough, most of tropical Africa is pretty damned hot. Going to war with just a spear and shield and little else did have some practical advantages. Also, weren't Nubian warriors depicted in Egyptian art as naked, from time to time?

My two lunas. :)

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#56 Taranaich

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:11 AM

All the Ku$hite nations during Conan's era seem to have had some level of native ferrous metallurgy. The Picts took 500 more years to acquire the same thing.


Naw, that's the stupid way. Before Arus came along, Picts did it the smart way: they didn't bother coming up with the technology themselves, they just pilfered it from Aquilonians, or bought it off Zingarans! :P

Plus the Ku$hites had some level of stone architecture: even if it was adopted/taught by Stygians, it was still present. I'm sure the Keshani, Puntans and Zembabweians had some architectural advancement too.

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#57 perfectpawn909

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 08:02 PM

I'd say it's more of a case of Howard implying the men of the Black Kingdoms to be on a primal level of savagery...


So basically you're saying Howard had the same views as the average Texan...? :lol:

#58 Taranaich

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:20 PM

So basically you're saying Howard had the same views as the average Texan...? :lol:


That's a can of worms I'd rather leave on the shelf, thanks very much. :ph34r:

In any case, all that matters in a Hyborian standpoint is that Howard envisaged his fictional country populated by a fictional ethnicity as being on a different level of technological and sociological development from places like Aquilonia. This is perfectly reasonable: the southernmost Black Kingdoms are full of isolated kingdoms, and the nearest "big" civilization - Stygia - has many traditionally ancient Egyptian trappings.

And, of course, the fact that the Ku$hites find work as mercenaries even in Hyborian lands shows naked black warriors are useful enough even in the more metallurgically advanced kingdoms, and the Black Corsairs are the terrors of a sea that has fleets of carracks, means that technological sluggishness does not necessarily equate to being a pushover - a sentiment also seen in Howard's Picts, Cimmerians and Nordheimr.

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#59 Roquefort Raider

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:07 PM

I'm impressed by the depth of the many notes you people have made!

Their abundance bring two things to mind: first, how rich this story is -something that, in hindsight, applies to pretty much all of Howard's Conan tales. Many seemingly throwaway lines in QotBC suggest that Howard had a very detailed idea of what his Hyborian world was. I'm convinced that it is this attention to historical, cultural and geographic detail that make Conan so lifelike, compared to his many imitations.

Second, and I apologize if this seems trite, is what a good job Roy Thomas did in fleshing out the B?lit backtory in the 1970's comic-books. Many of the very valid questions and concerns raised here were addressed by Thomas, and given at least a semblance of plausibility (connection to Asalun royalty, hatred of Stygians, status as a goddess in the Southern isles, etc). The central role given to N'Yaga was also very clever, and helped make B?lit a little more human than the really bloodthirsty woman she was in QotBC. N'Yaga's role as the brain behind the B?lit legend and his devotion to his ward furthermore compensated for the racial insensibility (to use a polite euphemism) of the original tale.

The Poul Anderson B?lit was nowehere near as interesting, and I suspect that the upcoming Dark Horse B?lit won't be either.

#60 Fernando

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 01:37 AM

I don't know what can I expect about upcoming QotBC's new adaptation, but after seeing the 23th page of Conan The Cimmerian #9, it seems the B?lit's "clothes" will be more faithful to REH than in Marvel version. ;)

Other things I hope for the DH's adaptation (and wich weren't developed by Roy Thomas) are:


1) Conan's first meeting with Sakumbe;

2) The Black Corsairs searching the Treasure of Tranicos, as mentioned by Zarono in The Black Stranger;

3) Conan roaming by the unknown lands at south of the Black Kingdoms, and going to Negari.

Edited by Fernando, 18 April 2009 - 12:59 PM.