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What Would REH Have Thought of JRRT and Later Authors?

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#21 RJMooreII


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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

Objectively speaking, Tolkein and Howard were influenced by many of the same sources. European and qausi-oriental mysticism and adventure tales were all clearly important, as were many similar historical events (the Celtic and then Germanic invasion of the Roman Empire, the tradition of Anti-Orientalism in English high-adventure).

As in many fantasies and myths, genealogy is destiny. In Conan's case it's more anthropological, in Tolkein's case more royal; but the origin of this kind of thinking is in European and middle-eastern stories and religions that involve a lot of divine-descent for special characters ('foretold by prophecy' is almost the exact same trope, etymologically).

I think Howard would have recognized what Tolkein was doing and where he was coming from; what he would have thought of JRRT's writing style and books I have no idea. Certainly both men loved poetry, epic and modern. Howard tends to have rather compact tales with driving highlight incidents, and Tolkein's stories are basically an excuse to use setting material (being a Game Master is pretty much like trying to do both at once).

He would have liked like Jack Vance and his Dying Earth novels

Tales of the Dying Earth is probably the best satire on S&S ever written, and it's also good in its own right.
After Elric, Kull and Conan, Cugel the Clever is the tops.

Edited by RJMooreII, 22 April 2012 - 10:01 AM.

"Never trust a wizard - even in death." - Grognak the Barbarian