Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of Robert E. Howard quotes and sayings on age, death, dreams, environment, writing, war, men, future etc.

96 Interesting Quotes By Robert E. Howard

Quick Facts

Famous As: Pulp Fiction Writer

Born On: January 22, 1906

Died On: June 11, 1936

Born In: Peaster

Died At Age: 30

Regarded as the ‘Father of the Sword and Sorcery genre’, Robert Ervin Howard was an iconic American short story writer, poet, and novelist. He was famous for creating the iconic character, ‘Conan the Barbarian’, whose cultural impact is still measured along the likes of icons such as Batman, James Bond, Tarzan, and Sherlock Holmes. His other notable works include Solomon Kane (series), The Hour of the Dragon, Worms of the Earth and Pigeons from Hell. Majority of Howard’s works made their way into the theatres, with stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Momoa playing them. Conan the barbarian also found its way into the digital spectrum with computer games and comic books. Even though he had a short life span, he will forever be etched in the memory, for creating a brand new action sub genre of ‘Sword and Sorcery’. Howard’s thoughts and philosophies inspired many writes such as David Gemmell, Matthew Woodring Stover and Charles R. Saunders. We have collected some of his famous quotes from his writings, stories, characters etc. Here are some of the greatest quotes from this pulp fiction writer.

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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

Robert E. Howard

I have known many gods. He who denies them is as blind as he who trusts them too deeply. I see not beyond death. ... Let me live while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. ... I know this: if life is an illusion, then I am no less than an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

Robert E. Howard

Over the souls of men spread the condor wings of colossal monsters and all manner of evil things prey upon the heart and soul and body of Man. Yet it may be in some far day the shadows shall fade and the Prince of Darkness be chained forever in his hell. And till then mankind can but stand up stoutly to the monsters in his own heart and without, and with the aid of God he may yet triumph.

Robert E. Howard

I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

Robert E. Howard

When a nation forgets her skill in war, when her religion becomes a mockery, when the whole nation becomes a nation of money-grabbers, then the wild tribes, the barbarians drive in... Who will our invaders be? From whence will they come?

Robert E. Howard

Break the skin of civilization and you find the ape, roaring and red-handed.

Robert E. Howard

Man is better without knowledge of things to come, for what is to be will be, and man can neither avert nor hasten. It is better to go in the dark when the road must pass a lion and there is no other road.

Robert E. Howard

What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie? I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky. The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing; Rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.

Robert E. Howard

One man's bane is another's bliss.

Robert E. Howard

Any but the most brutish of men must be touched with a certain awe or wonder at the baring of a woman's naked soul.

Robert E. Howard

My characters are more like men than these real men are, see. They're rough and rude, they got hands and they got bellies. They hate and they lust; break the skin of civilization and you find the ape, roaring and red-handed.

Robert E. Howard

What is death but a traversing of eternities and a crossing of cosmic oceans?

Robert E. Howard

If I was wealthy I'd never do anything but poke around in ruined cities all over the world - and probably get snake-bit.

Robert E. Howard

Man can be that which he wishes to be; form and substance, they are but shadows. The mind, the ego, the essence of the god-dream -- that is real, that is immortal.

Robert E. Howard

There comes, even to kings, the time of great weariness. Then the gold of the throne is brass, the silk of the palace becomes drab. The gems in the diadem and upon the fingers of the women sparkle drearily like the ice of white seas; the speech of men is as the empty rattle of a jester's bell and the feel comes of things unreal; even the sun is copper in the sky and the breath of the green ocean is no longer fresh.

Robert E. Howard

Man is still an ape in that he forgets what is not ever before his eyes.

Robert E. Howard

I had neither expert aid nor advice. I studied no courses in writing; until a year or so ago, I never read a book by anybody advising writers how to write.

Robert E. Howard

Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.

Robert E. Howard

I think the real reason so many youngsters are clamoring for freedom of some vague sort, is because of unrest and dissatisfaction with present conditions; I don't believe this machine age gives full satisfaction in a spiritual way, if the term may be allowed.

Robert E. Howard

Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.

Robert E. Howard

I never saw a man fight as Conan fought. He put his back to the courtyard wall, and before they overpowered him the dead men were strewn in heaps thigh-deep about him. But at last they dragged him down, a hundred against one.

Robert E. Howard

Before the invader sound was born, the Universe was silent and shall be again.

Robert E. Howard

Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars.

Robert E. Howard

Civilization is a network and a maze of precedences and custom.

Robert E. Howard

Some mechanism in my sub-consciousness took the dominant characteristics of various prize-fighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field bullies, gamblers, and honest workmen I had come in contact with, and combining them all, produced the amalgamation I call Conan the Cimmerian.

Robert E. Howard

Never the less, at the age of fifteen, having never seen a writer, a poet, a publisher or a magazine editor, and having only the vaguest ideas of procedure, I began working on the profession I had chosen.

Robert E. Howard

It was no ape, neither was it a man. It was some shambling horror spawned in the mysterious, nameless jungles of the south, where strange life teemed in the reeking rot without the dominance of man, and drums thundered in temples that had never known the tread of a human foot.

Robert E. Howard

Coming, as I do, from mountain folk on one side and sea followers on the other, there are few old songs of the hills or the sea with which I am not familiar.

Robert E. Howard

Rome got some peachy pastings when she tried to lick the Irish.

Robert E. Howard

I'll say one thing about an oil boom; it will teach a kid that Life's a pretty rotten thing as quick as anything I can think of.

Robert E. Howard

But the idea of a man making his living by writing seemed, in that hardy environment, so fantastic that even today I am sometimes myself assailed by a feeling of unreality.

Robert E. Howard

He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan. . . . A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things. . . . Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.

Robert E. Howard

I have no fear of the Hereafter. An orthodox hell could hardly be more torture than my life has been.

Robert E. Howard

In this world men struggle and suffer vainly, finding pleasure only in the bright madness of battle; dying, their souls enter a gray misty realm of clouds and icy winds, to wander cheerlessly throughout eternity.

Robert E. Howard

Animals are neither gods nor fiends, but men in their way without the lust and greed of man.

Robert E. Howard

It is better to go in the dark when the road must pass a lion and there is no other road.

Robert E. Howard

How can I wear the harness of toil And sweat at the daily round, While in my soul forever The drums of Pictdom sound?

Robert E. Howard

Aye, you white dog, you are like all your race; but to a black man gold can never pay for blood.

Robert E. Howard

Youngsters of this generation seem not quite so hazardous except in the way of mechanical speed, bad liquor and venereal diseases.

Robert E. Howard

But whatever my failure, I have this thing to remember - that I was a pioneer in my profession, just as my grandfathers were in theirs, in that I was the first man in this section to earn his living as a writer.

Robert E. Howard

Civilization is a natural and inevitable consequence - whether good or evil I am not prepared to state.

Robert E. Howard

When I cannot stand alone, it will be time to die.

Robert E. Howard

A kingdom is not lost by a single defeat.

Robert E. Howard

Barbarism is the natural state of mankind,

Robert E. Howard

The people among which I lived - and yet live, mainly - made their living from cotton, wheat, cattle, oil, with the usual percentage of business men and professional men.

Robert E. Howard

In the hill country, civilization steals in last, and the people retain much of the crude but vigorous mode of expression of the colonial days and earlier.

Robert E. Howard

Wits and swords are as straws against the wisdom of the Darkness...

Robert E. Howard

Time and times are but cogwheels, unmatched, grinding on oblivious to one another. Occasionally - oh, very rarely! - the cogs fit; the pieces of the plot snap together momentarily and give men faint glimpses beyond the veil of this everyday blindness we call reality.

Robert E. Howard

Don't you think that as a people, Americans have less poetry, real poetry, in their souls than any other nations?

Robert E. Howard

I became a writer in spite of my environments.

Robert E. Howard

I reckon if I ever marry, she will have to be a strong woman in a circus or something.

Robert E. Howard

What shall a man say when a friend has vanished behind the doors of Death? A mere tangle of barren words, only words.

Robert E. Howard

Barbarianism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is the whim of circumstance. And barbarianism must ultimately triumph

Robert E. Howard

The poem you sent me was as fiery and virile as anything you've ever written - or anybody else, for that matter. Especially the second part went to my brain like the flaming liquor of insanity. No one else besides Jack London has the power to move me just that way.

Robert E. Howard

All fled—all done, so lift me on the pyre— The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

Robert E. Howard

I am unable to rouse much interest in any highly civilized race, country or epoch, including this one.

Robert E. Howard

The sea-road is good for wanderers and landless men. There is quenching of thirst on the grey paths of the winds, and the flying clouds to still the sting of lost dreams.

Robert E. Howard

The more I see of what you call civilization, the more highly I think of what you call savagery!

Robert E. Howard

The printed page was like wine to me.

Robert E. Howard

The only safe enemy was a headless enemy.

Robert E. Howard

I have not been a success, and probably never will be.

Robert E. Howard

One objection I have heard voiced to works of this kind—dealing with Texas—is the amount of gore spilled across the pages. It can not be otherwise. In order to write a realistic and true history of any part of the Southwest, one must narrate such things, even at the risk of monotony.

Robert E. Howard

I'm not going out of my way looking for devils; but I wouldn't step out of my path to let one go by.

Robert E. Howard

All fled—all done, so lift me on the pyre— The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

Robert E. Howard

My body seems a mere encumbrance to me; an imbecillic wagon, hitched to the horse of desire, which is the soul.

Robert E. Howard

I have put off the past like a worn-out cloak.

Robert E. Howard

It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture, art and education, slip into writing because of their environments.

Robert E. Howard

It is not pleasant to come upon Death in a lonely place at midnight.

Robert E. Howard

I have accomplished little enough, but such as it is, it is the result of my own efforts.

Robert E. Howard

We're making tin gods out of those poor buffoons in Hollywood; I dote on movies and appreciate the scanty art therein but I consider the profession about the most debased and debasing I know.

Robert E. Howard

I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, & am content.

Robert E. Howard

By this axe I rule!

Robert E. Howard

I don't believe I ever saw an Oklahoman who wouldn't fight at the drop of a hat -- and frequently drop the hat himself.

Robert E. Howard

Life is but a web spun of ghosts and dreams and illusions.

Robert E. Howard

A woman in such an emotional tempest is as perilous as a blind cobra to any about her.

Robert E. Howard

But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood.

Robert E. Howard

A wolf was no less a wolf because a whim of chance caused him to run with the watch-dogs.

Robert E. Howard

I have known many gods. He who denies them is blind as he who trusts them too deeply.

Robert E. Howard

It is only the promise of death that makes life worth living.

Robert E. Howard

For man's only weapon is courage that flinches not from the gates of Hell itself, and against such not even the legions of Hell can stand.

Robert E. Howard

How can I wear the harness of toil And sweat at the daily round, While in my soul forever The drums of Pictdom sound?

Robert E. Howard

What always was must always be.

Robert E. Howard

Men are but men, and the greatest men are they who soonest learn the simpler things.

Robert E. Howard

Lift that scimitar against me, you Hyrkanian pig and I'll gut you where you stand!

Robert E. Howard

A true fanatic, his promptings were reasons enough for his actions.

Robert E. Howard

But not all men seek rest and peace; some are born with the spirit of the storm in their blood, restless harbingers of violence and bloodshed, knowing no other path....

Robert E. Howard

Then, since all great poets are strange in their speech and actions, he must have achieved great fame, for his actions and conversations were the strangest of any man I ever knew.

Robert E. Howard

It is an ill thing to meet a man you thought dead in the woodland at dusk.

Robert E. Howard

Every twinge of sensation, even of agony, was a negation of death.

Robert E. Howard

I see in the papers where Roy Guthrie committed suicide. Why, I wonder?

Robert E. Howard

While we may open the books of the past, we may but grant flying glances of the future, through the mist that veils it.

Robert E. Howard

I have gone into yesterday and tomorrow and both were as real as today -- which is like the dreams of ghosts!

Robert E. Howard

No man can be convinced when he will not.

Robert E. Howard

It was made from the black lotus, whose blossoms wave in the lost jungles of Khitai, where only the yellow-skulled priests of Yun dwell. Those blossoms strike dead any who smell of them.

Robert E. Howard

I have come to believe that mankind eternally hovers on the brinks of secret oceans of which it knows nothing.

Robert E. Howard