January 6th, 2009

wild eyed

Delendo est. (1)

Kull: Exile of Atlantis by Robert E. Howard.

Kull the king & Brule
hands bloody with snake ichor:
"By this axe I rule!"

Maybe I'll start tossing haiku's in with my reviews! Since I don't get a chance to do them so often anymore. I guess Skull-A-Day is the genesis for the idea. So. Kull. Well, first, there are a few fragments of a fifth to Howard's stable-- Am-Ra the Ta-an. How barbaric is he? He is from the land of the dinosaurs. So we've got Am-Ra, Kull, Conan, Bran, & Solomon. Of them, Kull is the most like Conan-- the direct predecessor to him, in fact. There are differences-- Kull is more changed by kingship, but he's still a barbarian who seized the throne, but he's always the king in the stories. He doesn't care about women, that is a key difference, & he has friends, that I'd say is the other. If you've drilled down to Kull, you already know you'll probably like it, right? primroseport recommended him as more introspective, which I suppose he is. I liked the Kull stories for being more experimental; you've got a few that are barely about him. It is more vignette-y in points, in fact. The bit with the golden skeleton for some reason sticks with me particularly. Racially, it is pretty open-- Brule & Kull are both not-white people in the city of white people, right? The Am-Ra fragments are not part of this though-- black ape-men? Thanks, but no thanks, Howard. He's the frontier guy, I guess, right? So the way I see it he likes cowboys, indians, & free blacks; if you aren't one of those, you'll get a raw deal. Gender-wise? Women are pretty absent except for one young lady-- Delacardes. She's conniving but not wicked? She's maybe alright, given Howard's place in history. She's not a strong, warlike man, so she makes up for it with cunning. In one of the Am-Ra fragments though there is Am-Ra morally wrestling with giving a submissive young lady a spanking. First, Howard finally spells out what he's into in no uncertain terms, huh? Second, he does apologise for it, saying they were more savage times, but third, yeah, what? Like I said; I knew I'd like it, since I like Howard, but I wasn't blown away; this is Howard doing nice work, but it isn't up to his best-- except maybe when Kull grabs the axe & screams "by this axe I rule!"
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    crown me king- zero em gee
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because my friend asked for it-- begged for it.

the alien nation is the one to which i belong, & it has for its backbone sharp glass; they say teeth aren't bones but the fat & muscle of the nation has long since burned away, made of parchment & ink & stitched together with ideas-- all burned away & the teeth & bones are left, the pearls in the stomach & the horns in the skull. when the web of telepathy is ruined by salt & brine, sunk into the oceans of language. the exchange of information is on stock market floors, buy! self sell! self. my friend adores ruin, the lonely highway after the big mushrooms bloom. i am belong instead to the team that girds itself with swords & spiders to charge through the gunsmoke on that day. or already has or never will.

the Hive is the better thing than Alone; but alone is not real. nothing is alone-- there is only lonely. & lies. because yes the tower of babble is built of bloody bodies, & kneeling in front of it is mindless clay apes, but the signals of the watchtower are Better. the substrate of samsara is a mystery only worth considering to turn it to ashes & dust to dust, but the bees will roost together. if they are ideas & the skull of the Angel is a hive? if true pieces congeal in the gloom into bigger pieces? or if there is only rattles & buzzes-- so be it. the tower of babble is a fine thing to build in all ages, the city, the hedge against forgetfulness. it is a sin against Man & that is precisely why it is sacred; in all things act against god & man & nature, good. the virtues of alienation & malice are for me. pods & fiat nyx & the iron race against entropy-- then they will sin against the Machine & that will be good too. until it comes to sin against God & that is the glorious day. then is the time of fell deeds of Self.
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    crown me king- url of the frost giants
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