As I write this, I am troubled by the friction caused by the trailing of my fingers across my chin, reclined rather than… Clined? Quite possibly. Either way, I’m not holding the classic Thinker’s pose, nor am I holding a beard.
Last week was parents’ evening for year seven – a particularly eager year – and so I was driven to shave the “designer stubble” as my girlfriend terms it (or “wizard’s beard” as I’d like it to be retrospectively monickered) and cut my hair.
Despite being better at it than my father, I have never been excessively hirsuit. That being said, I’m finding I have to shave with concerning regularity to retain the James Bond look. And so I think to Conan, and thus comes the Fantasy Conundrum of the Day*:
Fantasy Conundrum of the Day*:
Why does King Conan have a proper King’s beard, and yet Not-yet-King Conan have a smooth jawline? He is never seen to shave, nor grow any hair.
A somewhat silly notion nonetheless, albeit influenced by my current reading** of his creator’s horror stories. Robert E. Howard’s supernatural fiction shows some remove from the explicit fantasy tropes of his Conan or Solomon Kane stories, but the same tangible evil and predation. The stories read closely like his fantasy, but despite their spread across continents and eras, are ‘closer’ to the reader in the manner of their first person recounts.
The stories are good – exciting and unsettling, with a prominence of serpents, and they will put hairs on your chest. Face.
** Well, not right now. The book itself is at home, on the dining table in my library