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Posts Tagged ‘Solomon Kane’

Reductionist arguments rejecting an author’s work are easily found while wandering across the internet (sword in hand, I suppose), or even in general conversation: Dostoyevsky and Milton are terrible because of their misogyny crops up frequently, as if one particular element often arising from historical or geographic context will negate the entire literary output of an author.  However, with acknowledged classics critics are at least willing to acknowledge that there’s more to a work than just that one problematic thing.  In genre works, that forgiveness tends to evaporate.  Thus, I’ve only known Chinua Achebe to actually insist Joseph Conrad is most assuredly not classic literature due to his depictions of Africa (primal, savage, uncivilized, driving white men to madness…), but most arguments don’t take the path of “Joseph Conrad’s stories are horrible and you’re horrible for liking them” despite the racist undercurrent to much of his work.  However, this is exactly the sort of treatment showered on literature not espoused by Howard Bloom, that is, literature that’s not actually literature.  Robert E. Howard falls pray to this for his apparent misogyny (to which I would direct you to Jessica Amanda Salmonson’s review of “The Sword Woman”), but much more often, for his racism.  Bringing up racism and Robert E. Howard has always been touchy for Howard’s fans, mostly because it can’t be denied.  Yet the fact critics take this is the sole defining feature of his work seems a tad close-minded, and follow exactly the sort of reasoning I mentioned above:

“Robert E. Howard’s stories are horrible because they’re racist and you’re a horrible racist for liking them.”

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And then he mistook Big Bird for an Akaana.

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Solomon Kane

I’d hate to be a Telus employee right now.

(Hmm, for some reason this got posted a day early.  WordPress has some explaining to do.)

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