Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Conan stories and novels are decipherments, by Howard, de Camp and their successors, of pre-Pleistocene inscriptions. One preglacial people were horse nomads or maybe Centaurs. Serpens was ruled by snake worshipers or possibly by snakes.
A wandering barbarian adventurer would lack civilized values and virtues. His wars would be merely destructive, not also diplomatic. Tireless himself, he would march his troops so fast that they outran their supplies and were too exhausted to fight. He would lack finesse in both social and sexual intercourse. (Some) women would run towards him but even faster away from him. He would alienate allies and depress the economy by destroying wealth. The most prudent course for any civilization is to ensure that he supports their enemies, not them!
This satire is followed by an essay on heroic fantasy which I will reread next.