The applications are to blameAll the people do all dayIs stare into a phone (Placebo, Too Many people)

“Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!” (Chief Seattle)

When rock stars were myths (Sandi Thom, I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker)

Machines were mice and men were lions once upon a time, Now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time (Moondog)

Time is an illusion (Einstein)


It’s well known REH was slightly dysfunctional, being very close to his mother, and this may have gone together with his ideal of a simpler, more poetic reality, spirits of ancestors (old folk songs).
Of course, I'm aware of the Oedipus complex and all of that, and that's an interpretation. The poetic sense of reciprocity, that all things balance, belongs more to an illogical world. It’s a simpler world, because it exists in balance and not through strict logical interpretation. The simplicity is more a primal truth, more iconic and not one of complicated analysis (see link to Alphaville on Post 3). The idea that opposite tendencies define one another is quiet a poetic one, but it applies to a world which is disordered. You could say Greek tragedies are the archetypal dysfunctional families. Oedipus killed his father; Elektra is besotted by her brother Orestes, who kills their mother Clytemnestra.

That may read slightly enigmatically, but it basically means you are living in a disordered world, not an ordered one. A disordered world is not one of systematic cause-and-effect. There are two sides to reality and, actually, the way an artist of REH’s calibre interprets things is more through contrast. Conan is, as Karl Edward Wagner writes, “someone who isn’t tied down by laws and rules, who does what he wants to do and does it well.”

Contrast cuts through logic and lets in expression, whereas arguably psychoanalysis stops expression. If, as in previous pages, the world of contrast is different to one of logic and more or less outside it, then its poetry and rhythm are not tied to a psychological interpretation.
REH invented the Hyborian Age out of whole cloth - profligate, erotic, wild - a place unbounded by laws and rules. In the genre he invented, civilization and barbarism exist in a state of balance. It's almost as if one defines the other. In Red Nails, Conan and Valeria are the mercenary barbarians aiding the Techultli on their ageless feud; in Beyond the Black River (written just before), Conan is almost a civilizing influence. See comment by Marc Cerasini

"The ancient world was everything we are not" (see THINGNESS). Its operating principles in practice were balance, elegance, rhythm. It was governed but not ordered. The big difference is in descriptions, because you are seeing a world that is defined largely by contrasts.

This means for a start that it's a simple, iconic world where contrast cuts through logic with a wandering line that you see in artists' depictions. It is irresolvable between black and white. Contours are modeled with change of light and shade. The line of light and shade goes round figures, buildings, landscape.

I go into this in great detail here

REH's poetic descriptions go back to this iconic reality
The grim Iron Tower stood apart from the citadel, amid a maze of narrow streets and crowding houses where the meaner structures, appropriating a space from which the more fastidious shrank, had invaded a portion of the city alien to them.. Not a long distance from it, lost in a tangle of partly deserted tenements and warehouses, stood an ancient watch-tower, so old and forgotten that it did not appear on the maps of the city for a hundred years back. (Hour of the Dragon, Sphere page 81)
They came into a bare courtyard, grown with straggling grass, and with a well in the middle. Shacks for the men-at-arms straggled about the bailey wall and women, slatternly or decked in gaudy finery, looked from the doors. (Page 109)

The pagan or medieval world is outside the complicated maze of logic. It’s a world of action. As Schwarzenneger said of Conan (Milius, 1981), “If you take time to think it will be too late” (The Barbarian in Babylon, printed in Savage Sword #48, 1979). I tend to think a certain freedom comes with this attitude. As REH himself writes in a letter, “To hell with the psychologists and city-bred psychoanalysts.”

The world of action seems to free the mind of encrustations of cause-and-effect – which is what psychology is. In other words, psychoanalysis can be a neverending circle of cause-and-effect, while action just gets things done. What you are doing is creating a sense of presence. It's irresolvable because it's not a logical and ordered world. Now, what I'm really saying is that psychoanalysis and politics - as opposed to GOVERNMENT - are inventions of a logical world. In other words, iconic force (poetry) is a balance of opposite tendencies and cannot exist in a logical world. See THINGNESS (Sisterhood of Steel).
The world of action is untidy, coarse and fecund, and there is a certain freedom associated with it. The poetry that comes with untidiness disentangles one from the cause-and-effect of psychoanalysis. REH was writing about iconic and lustful things. In the covers of Weird Tales by Margaret Brundage, along with sword and sorcery are nudes, flagellation and the occasional hint of lesbianism.

Sprague de Camp is on record as saying there is a sadistic attitude to women, which I tend to think misses the point. In the more simple world of action, sadism is a natural response when you’re not going to just sit down over a pot of tea and have a war of words. The Sapphic side of Weird Tales fits completely naturally with lustful and action-oriented adventures. The tales and characters and settings are iconic, lustful, heroic.