Friday, December 15, 2006

Conan the Barbarian (and Texan)

Here I am minding my own business, reading the Wall Street Journal’s on-line OpinionJournal. There I discover an article about Conan the Barbarian by John Miller. Of course, I’m going to read it. The article is about Texas author Robert E. Howard and his creation of Conan. Miller mentions a new biography of Howard, “Blood and Thunder,” by Mark Finn.

Mark has recently moved to our fair city, and I’ve had a few conversations with him. Mark takes pains in his book to show Howard as a Texas author. I was intrigued to discover that Conan was greatly influenced by the Texas lore of oilmen and gunfighters. When Conan describes himself, it is quintessentially Texan: “I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.” For better or for worse, Conan is a Texan (mainly better).

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