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The Importance of Conan

frank_frazetta_thedestroyer [1]1,306 words

The adventure fiction of American author Robert E. Howard (1906–1936) has, in the last few years, begun to be publicized and appreciated on such a scale that it is becoming a formative element in the spiritual-ideological development of a substantial portion of American youth. Howard’s growing popularity is of some significance, because his creations are not only of high technical accomplishment and satisfying to cultivated literary tastes, but they exemplify Aryan heroic vitalism at its best and transmit basic Aryan archetypes.

Howard’s primary genre, known popularly as “heroic fantasy” or “sword and sorcery,” is actually a modern resumption of the Aryan mythology which was interrupted 1000 years ago. This class of literature began to re-emerge in the mid-nineteenth century, mainly through the efforts of Britisher William Morris (who, among many other accomplishments, translated the Volsunga Saga).

About 15 years ago, the rage for Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” series ignited the popular craze for lone-hero “dragon slayers,” and this phenomenon was soon followed by a wave of enthusiasm for the fluidly written fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien. In 1967, Howard’s “Conan” stories were released by Lancer Books, selling over two million copies worldwide since then and giving rise to a huge and continuing interest in the author’s fiction and life.

In the late 1970s the Howard cult has reached significant proportions as numerous publishers have issued almost all the rest of his works in low-priced paperbacks and in top-quality library editions, record firms have produced disc and tape versions of his yarns, millions of Conan posters by fantasy artist Frank Frazetta have been sold, and scores of comic books have been printed featuring Conan and other Howard heroes. Furthermore, Howard has been translated into all the European languages and Japanese.

Howard’s books carry a positive, encouraging message to any White with “race” within him, and they instill in receptive minds the vital, forward-leaning, assaulting temperament which empowers us to realize our inherent might and to seize the offensive in the coming world conflict between man and subman.

This is of particular importance at a time when the minds of so many young people have been poisoned by the racially incompatible ideas, viewpoints, sentiments, and values of an alien-controlled culture—the lies, fallacies, idiocies, and deceits of the hideously lethal, artificial mental world of the Jew. Through his genius Howard has provided us with a medium for re-awakening and generously nourishing our inner-Aryan essence and re-infusing ourselves with the instincts and intuitions—the crucial personal qualities—which put us back in contact with ourselves individually and collectively.

In his career, Howard wrote profusely about cowboys, detectives, explorers, and sundry adventurers, but his effect on the Aryan soul comes mainly through his lone-adventurer heroes: King Kull of Valusia; Bran Mak Morn, Pictish leader; Cormac Mac Art, Keltic chieftain; and Conan the Cimmerian, his best-known creation. Conan is the most fully developed of these characters and is a fitting paragon for White youth.

One reason for Conan’s tremendous popularity is his lifelike impress, for, despite being a super-hero, he always acts within believable human limits and has a robust sense of humor and lust for life. Additionally, he appeals to our healthy instincts with his driving energy, tireless vitality, and irrepressible dynamism: Conan strides across a wide and hostile world-continent, scattering enemies with mighty sword-strokes and winning treasures and women as he moves ever onward. Besides personifying the Faustian sense of constant forward motion, the Cimmerian, as the quintessential hero, is the antitype of the sniveling, puling anti-heroes (e.g., Salinger’s Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye infamy) with whom Jewish hacks have tried all too successfully to sicken our post-1945 youth.

And it is all the more encouraging that so many White youths are reacting against this cunning poisoning by embracing a hero whose exploits re-teach them the wild, primordial ferocity which the coming clash will demand of its victors.

What quickens the long slumbering and suppressed Aryan race-soul in the Conan adventures is their pounding action and hammering violence. The barbarian storms from episode to episode, running, climbing, swimming, dueling one monstrous beast after another, slashing through foemen, and fighting hand-to-hand to the death. An outstanding scene of savage action is the following description of Conan’s assault on some Negro pirates:

. . . A tall corsair, bounding over the rail, was met in midair by the Cimmerian’s great sword, which sheared him cleanly through the torso, so that his body fell one way and his legs another. Then, with a burst of fury that left a heap of corpses along the gunwhales, Conan was over the rail and on the deck of the Tigress.

In an instant he was the center of a hurricane of stabbing spears and lashing clubs. But he moved in a blinding blur of steel. Spears bent on his armor or swished empty air, and his sword sang its death song. The fighting madness of his race was upon him, and with a red mist of unreasoning fury wavering before his blazing eyes, he cleft skulls, smashed breasts, severed limbs, ripped out entrails, and littered the deck like a shambles with a ghastly harvest of brains and blood. (Conan of Cimmeria)

Blood-soaked horrors occur frequently in the adventures, and these inure the readership to the awful realities and the crimson gore which the future holds:

. . . But as the point sang toward his throat, Conan ducked deeply. The blade slit the back of his neck, and Conan straightened, driving his saber upward as a man might wield a butcher knife, with all the power of his mighty shoulders.

“So terrific was his headlong drive that the sinking of the saber to the hilt into the belly of his enemy did not check him. He caromed against the wretch’s body, knocking it sidewise. The impact sent Conan crashing against the wall; the other, saber torn through his body, fell headlong down the stair, ripped open to the spine from groin to broken breastbone. In a ghastly mess of streaming entrails the body tumbled against the men rushing up the stairs, bearing them back with it. (Conan the Adventurer)

The two dozen or so Howard paperbacks now available are primarily valuable because they provide a stimulus which, in an effeminate age, seeks a response in the essential virility of the White race—a virility which can lift us out of our present degradation and disunity and bind us into a tight throng of warriors who, possessed of the hard ferocity of all the ages, in a brightening fire of hate and blood-vengeance will wipe out every restraint and obstacle in our way.

Will, honor, and power are idealized and personified by Conan, the archetypal hero. He is undashed and unintimidated by any enemy or obstacle, and he moves ahead spiritedly to do the impossible—scaling sheer cliffs, undoing the spells and machinations of evil priests, or defeating unseen forces from elder ages. He is a man of “direct action,” whose keen intelligence, irresistible drive, and quiet valor power him through every danger and terror to his objective.

Conan teaches the critical lesson that intelligence coupled with will is what brings victory and survival: only when mind operates with muscle, brain with bulk, will their possessors triumph. In today’s struggle the technician must be imbued with the ancient Aryan warrior spirit if he is to defeat the Jew and the colored swarms. He must become, in short, one of Nietzsche’s “new barbarians,” that superior stock of highly evolved White men who have blended their pure, natural instincts with the scientific outlook. Howard’s Conan is a valuable catalyst in this blending of essences.

Source: Attack!, no. 52, 1977; reprinted in The Best of Attack! and National Vanguard Tabloid, ed. Kevin Alfred Strom (Arlington, Va.: National Vanguard Books, 1984), p. 84. The last few paragraphs, which deal with how to buy Conan books from now defunct publishers, have been omitted.