Robert E. Howard, the American Frontier, and Borderlands in the Stories of Conan the Barbarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract



Much has been written about the influence of the American frontier on Robert E. Howard and how this can be seen in his writings. An interesting focus for some of this work has been Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis and, more specifically, Richard Slotkin’s critique and reworking of this “frontier myth.” This article suggests that another critique of Turner’s thesis, that of Herbert Eugene Bolton’s borderlands theory, also offers a fruitful interpretative framework through which to view the Conan stories. To this end, it analyses specific Conan tales, with a particular focus on “Beyond the Black River,” to explore the ways in which the world of Conan exhibits borderlands traits. It concludes with some reflections on the implications this might have for the inception of the sword and sorcery genre more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-353
Number of pages15
JournalExtrapolation
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

myth
genre
river
Barbarians
Borderlands
Sword
J.M.W. Turner

Cite this

@article{8992718ba2bd4daa83fb7e6b9c627e97,
title = "Robert E. Howard, the American Frontier, and Borderlands in the Stories of Conan the Barbarian",
abstract = "Much has been written about the influence of the American frontier on Robert E. Howard and how this can be seen in his writings. An interesting focus for some of this work has been Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis and, more specifically, Richard Slotkin’s critique and reworking of this “frontier myth.” This article suggests that another critique of Turner’s thesis, that of Herbert Eugene Bolton’s borderlands theory, also offers a fruitful interpretative framework through which to view the Conan stories. To this end, it analyses specific Conan tales, with a particular focus on “Beyond the Black River,” to explore the ways in which the world of Conan exhibits borderlands traits. It concludes with some reflections on the implications this might have for the inception of the sword and sorcery genre more generally.",
author = "{Van Duinen}, Jared",
note = "Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Extrapolation. ISSNs: 0014-5483;",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.3828/extr.2016.18",
language = "English",
volume = "57",
pages = "339--353",
journal = "Extrapolation",
issn = "0014-5483",
publisher = "Kent State University Press",
number = "3",

}

Robert E. Howard, the American Frontier, and Borderlands in the Stories of Conan the Barbarian. / Van Duinen, Jared.

In: Extrapolation, Vol. 57, No. 3, 2016, p. 339-353 .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Robert E. Howard, the American Frontier, and Borderlands in the Stories of Conan the Barbarian

AU - Van Duinen, Jared

N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Extrapolation. ISSNs: 0014-5483;

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Much has been written about the influence of the American frontier on Robert E. Howard and how this can be seen in his writings. An interesting focus for some of this work has been Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis and, more specifically, Richard Slotkin’s critique and reworking of this “frontier myth.” This article suggests that another critique of Turner’s thesis, that of Herbert Eugene Bolton’s borderlands theory, also offers a fruitful interpretative framework through which to view the Conan stories. To this end, it analyses specific Conan tales, with a particular focus on “Beyond the Black River,” to explore the ways in which the world of Conan exhibits borderlands traits. It concludes with some reflections on the implications this might have for the inception of the sword and sorcery genre more generally.

AB - Much has been written about the influence of the American frontier on Robert E. Howard and how this can be seen in his writings. An interesting focus for some of this work has been Frederick Jackson Turner’s frontier thesis and, more specifically, Richard Slotkin’s critique and reworking of this “frontier myth.” This article suggests that another critique of Turner’s thesis, that of Herbert Eugene Bolton’s borderlands theory, also offers a fruitful interpretative framework through which to view the Conan stories. To this end, it analyses specific Conan tales, with a particular focus on “Beyond the Black River,” to explore the ways in which the world of Conan exhibits borderlands traits. It concludes with some reflections on the implications this might have for the inception of the sword and sorcery genre more generally.

U2 - 10.3828/extr.2016.18

DO - 10.3828/extr.2016.18

M3 - Article

VL - 57

SP - 339

EP - 353

JO - Extrapolation

JF - Extrapolation

SN - 0014-5483

IS - 3

ER -