Howard Days 2012 is Just Around the Corner Essay

Six weeks from today the faithful will gather early in the morning outside the Howard House Museum and the adjacent Pavilion in Cross Plans, Texas. While many will wake bleary eyed and hung-over or tired from a long trip, a stop by Jean’s Feed Barn will leave them fortified after a hearty breakfast and ready for Howard Days to begin.This year’s Guest of Honor is world renowned Howard scholar Charles Hoffman. Charles is best known for a having written the Robert E.

Howard: Starmont Reader’s Guide 35 with Marc Cerasini. He and Marc also edited the first two issues of the journal Cromlech, which was the very first periodical publication devoted to serious scholarship and criticism of REH. Additionally, Charles also wrote, “Robert E. Howard: Twentieth-Century Mythmaker” essay for the first volume of The Best of Robert E.

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Howard and numerous essays for The Dark Man and other Howard journals, not to mention contributions to his blog. Here is an excerpt from Rusty Burke’s post at the REHupa website announcing Charles as this year’s GOH:

Chuck is one of the most formidable essayists in Howard studies. His “Conan the Existentialist,” which appeared in Amra 61 (March 1974), was the opening salvo of what has come to be called “the new criticism” of Howard, criticism that took him seriously as a writer whose work had depth and substance along with the excitement and adventure. Prior to that essay, most Howard “criticism” consisted of book reviews (though some, like those of Schuyler Miller and Fritz Leiber, showed real insight) or introductions by fans who failed to take him seriously (John D.

Clark famously proclaiming, “Don’t look for hidden philosophical meanings or intellectual puzzles in these yarns–they aren’t there.”). Chuck showed that Howard could not only provide rousing action, but rewarded closer reading as well. Patrice Louinet says, “‘Conan the Existentialist’ is the essay that made me want to study and write about Howard.

It was a pure revelation.”

In addition to Charles, there are two full days chock full of panels, tours, swap meets and the Barbarian Festival. Below is a summary secedule of events:

Howard Days 2012 Summary ScheduleFriday June 8th8:30 – 9 am: Coffee and donuts at the Pavilion, compliments of Project Pride9 am – 4 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public9 am – 4 pm: REH Postal Cancellation at Cross Plains Post Office9 am – 11 am: Bus Tour of Cross Plains10 am – 5 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open11:00: PANEL: Glenn Lord TributeNoon: Lunch hosted by Project Pride. Donations Welcome.11:00 am to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap Meet1:00 pm: PANEL: Conan the Existentialist2:30 pm: PANEL: Conan’s Birthday!5:30 – 6:30: Silent Auction items available for viewing and bidding at Banquet site6:30: Robert E. Howard Celebration Banquet and Silent Auction at the Baptist Church Family Life Center. (1 block north of the Library on Main St.

)Following the Banquet and Silent Auction: The Third Annual Robert E. Howard Foundation Awards at the Baptist Church Family Life Center.9:00 pm PANEL: Fists at the Ice HouseAfterward there will be some extemporaneous REH Poetry Reading at the Pavilion dedicated to Glenn Lord.Saturday June 9th9 am – 4 pm: Robert E. Howard House Museum open to the public.9 am – 4 pm: Barbarian Festival held this year at Treadway Park, 3 blocks west of REH House10 am – 3 pm: Cross Plains Public Library open10:30 am PANEL: REH at the Gates of AcademiaNoon to 4 pm: Pavilion available for REH items Swap MeetNoon: The Robert E. Howard Foundation Legacy Circle Members Luncheon.

Lunch & Festival Activities at your leisure during the day2:00 pm PANEL: The Illustrated Conan3:30 pm PANEL:What’s Up with REH? at the Pavilion5 pm: Sunset BBQ at the Caddo Peak RanchPlease Note: The Robert E. Howard House Museum will be open again this year on Thursday (June 7th) from 2-4 pm. No docents on duty.

For a detailed schedule and everything you wanted to know about Howard Days, mosey on over to the REHupa website.If you can’t make it to Howard Days this year, you can still contribate to the cause.

Project Pride needs donations of Howard material for the Silent Auction. Typical donations include books, magazines, old pulps, comics, memorabilia, fanzines or other publications. Other Howard items such as t-shirts, bookmarks, wood carvings, original artwork or limited edition prints or posters are also great items to donate to the auction. Instead of selling your items on eBay, you can donate them to the Silent Auction and know the money will be supporting a worthy cause, plus it counts as a donation, so it’s tax deductible. Please send your donated items to:Project PrideP.

O. Box 534Cross Plains, TX 76443ATTN: Howard Days Silent AuctionMake sure your name and address information is included since all donors are listed in a place of honor in the Howard Days Banquet program booklet.


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