Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Blog A Well of Heroes
‘Only the Wall’
The Gladiator and the Lady by Robert E. Howard
Reading from A Word from the Outer Dark, pages 95-6
This well-knit poem of two verses, the first 8 lines, the second 6 lines, treats with three subjects, intertwined often in Howard’s expressed psyche:
-Barbarism as a naturally human social expression and civilization as corrupting compromise between human expression and our material obsession.
-A belief in the existence of many Aryan races, rather than the single indistinct economic race of the “Whiteman” that his contemporaries were so obsessed with, making him something of a throwback to an 18th century man.
-That civilization, as a key to its function, economically and hierarchically, place barriers between men and women who might naturally be bested suited for one another, usually by economic-based class mechanisms.
A sample of The Gladiator and the Lady is quoted below:
“When I was a boy in Britain, and you were a girl in Rome,
Forests and mountains lay between, and the hungry wrestles foam.
Today naught lay between us, only the wall at least,
That guards the proud patrician from the slave and the dying beast.”
Howard’s every story and poem, all heroic, some whimsical, some comedic, most horrific, seem bound by one overriding message, that Civilization secures us against the harsh realities and experiential promise that shaped our ancestors, and that we are diminished by the coddling of our masters, but more deeply by the internalized assumption implicit in our social structure that we are superior to our forebearers, when we are scarcely worthy to claim their patrimony.
A Well of Heroes
A Well of Heroes: Two:
Literary Impressions of the Prose and Verse of Robert E. Howard
prev:  'A Critical Mass of Men'     ‹  blog  ›     next:  'An Old Soul'
eBook
the world is our widow
eBook
the first boxers
eBook
when you're food
eBook
behind the sunset veil
Add Comment
TWSSeptember 16, 2019 8:09 PM UTC

This it's the central theme of Howard, civilization is a mental physical and spiritual degeneration.