Today is the 77th anniversary of the death, by suicide, of an icon of American literature, Robert E. Howard. He was only 30 years old. He is best known as the creator of Conan, which is the path which I followed to know him, but his writing amounted to much more than that. He is one of those writers I return to when I need a jolt of what drew me to reading, and from there to writing. His shoulders are among a select few authors that those of us trying to capture the energy of the old pulps stand on. There are certainly better writers — who knows though how good Howard might have become — on my bookshelf, but none I like more than him.
I was fortunate to visit his home a couple years ago; you can check that post out here.
This picture is a recreation of what was on Howard’s typewriter when he killed himself:
All fled, all done
so lift me on the pyre:
The feast is over,
The lamps expire