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▶  More from Blog A Well of Heroes
The Thrall Let Fall
A Well of Heroes: Outline


“Conn the thrall let fall a huge armload of logs before the cavernous fire-place and faced about to meet the gaze of his somber master.”

-Spears of Clontarf

In charting one writer’s impressions of Robert E. Howard’s diverse body of heroic—and often fragmentary—literature, over the course of multiple volumes, the adoption of a thematic, rather than chronological, genre-based, or protagonist-based treatment of the subject has been developed. Below is the scheme by which each volume of the series shall be written. The concept is to examine one major work according to all seven of the mythic dimensions that were the mainstays of Howard’s approach, and to focus more austerely—though by no means exclusively—on the most prevalent dimension of lesser works. The series is expected to run to five volumes.

1. Well of Heroes: essays on Robert E. Howard’s use of the mythic dimension

2. A Marcher of Valhalla: an extensive impressionistic review of one of Howard’s novella- or novel-length works, beginning with Almuric and ending with The Hour of the Dragon. A thumbnail version of the review of these major works will also be present in this or another volume

3. Trails: fiction strongly focused on the protagonist’s relationship to the environment

4. Barbarism: fiction set beyond the bounds of civilization

5. Civilization: fiction expressed in decadent settings

6. Race: fiction strongly focused on race and ancestry

7. Dream: poetry, as well as prose fiction strongly focused on the dreamscape

8. Gulfs: fiction that is informed by a dread of the extra-human dimension

9. Cataclysm: fiction which focuses on a protagonist caught up in a paradigm shift

10. Cairns: Third-person impressions of Howard’s fiction

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