Friday, October 10, 2003

YOUR LITERARY CRITICISM MUGGING OF THE DAY: Forager23 takes Robert E. Howard and uses him to beat J.R.R. Tolkien severely about the head and torso. The finale:

So that's 4-1 in favor of Howard: Tolkien takes a pretty significant beating, and so will any of his whiny little fans who pop out of the woodwork and try to feebly defend him. Thus speaks Forager. Seriously, though: Tolkien has become synonymous with fantasy, which is a real shame. The fantasy stories written by Robert E. Howard are completely different from the kind of books the Rings saga inspired: more vital, more vibrant, less academic, and, yes, more American. It's all right for Brits to fall for Tolkien's pastoral dreamland, but I find it strange that so many Americans fall for it, too.

The final middle finger to the Tolkien dorks is a nice touch. Hey, I've read Tolkien but never Howard--I think his rep has taken quite a beating as something you're not supposed to read as a serious science fiction fan, like E.C. Tubb or E.E. Smith or Clark Ashton Smith. But I'll have to check him out now, especially since Forager is saying it's my duty as a proud American. Well, not really. But close.

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