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Howard E. Campbell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Howard Edmond Campbell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 29th district
In office
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947
Preceded byRobert L. Rodgers
Succeeded byJohn McDowell
Personal details
Born(1890-01-04)January 4, 1890
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 6, 1971(1971-01-06) (aged 81)
Political partyRepublican

Howard Edmond Campbell (January 4, 1890 – January 6, 1971) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Howard E. Campbell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the public schools and the University of Pittsburgh. He was engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Pittsburgh in 1922, and president of the Pittsburgh Real Estate Board in 1943 and 1944.

Campbell was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-ninth Congress. He was unsuccessful in his bid for renomination to run as the Republican Party candidate for the 80th Congress during the 1946. He was President of East Liberty Chamber of Commerce in 1954 and 1955. He resided in Pittsburgh until his death there in 1971.

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  • ✪ Lovecraft & Howard - Pulp! Weird Tales - Extra Sci Fi
  • ✪ A Conversation with T. Colin Campbell
  • ✪ China Study co-author T. Colin Campbell speaks with Howard Jacobson about writing WHOLE

Transcription

Time to get spooky! [ opening titles music ] Amidst the sea of pulp that washed over the newsstands every day, one in particular stood out. In fact, it even subtitled itself "The Unique Magazine". This was Weird Tales, a home for horror and the macabre, the otherworldly and the paranormal. But it didn't exactly start out that way. When it was first put into print, it was founded with the goal of being exactly what we think of as Weird Tales today. But they hired an editor who didn't really like "creepy stories". He liked detective stories, so he got stories with a twist, but he didn't really get anything "haunting". But then, one day, he received a small pile of work with a cover letter attached. This letter spent a thousand words detailing why these stories probably shouldn't be picked, then demanded that not a single semicolon should be changed if they WERE picked, and, finally, wrapped up with a well-meaning paragraph, that still basically said: "all of the writers in your magazine are bad..." "...but it is quaint that they try." This, of course, was H.P. Lovecraft. He had sent Weird Tales five stories, including "Dagon" and "The Statement of Randolph Carter." In fact it's from this letter that we learn that the Randolph Carter character is a stand-in for Lovecraft, and that the whole thing was based on a dream he had. But it is also here that Weird Tales really begins, because that editor immediately offered to commission all five. This moment is pivotal, because for all of his faults, Lovecraft had a fundamentally different view on horror than anyone else at the time. In a letter touching on the fundamentals of horror, which he sent to the founder of Weird Tales, he said: "There is only a passing horror in sordid, sanguinary gruesomeness" "in bloody axe-murders and sadistic morbidities," "what really moves the profoundest springs of human fear and unholy fascination," "is something which suggests black, infinite vistas of cryptic, brooding, half-inscrutable monstrosities" "forever lurking behind nature, and as capable of being manifested again as in the case treated." "The supreme principle of this sort of horror, is any suggestion of the major violation of some basic law of nature," "the breaking-down of the line betwixt life and death..." "...man and the other animals." This philosophy became a founding principle of Weird Tales, as Lovecraft – ever a prolific correspondent – began writing to and communicating with some of the other regulars who appeared in its pages. This idea took root that there was something more horrifying and more fascinating than gore or even death; That the idea of our fundamental understanding of the universe, and our place in it , could be wrong, might be even more frightening than mortality. Soon, Weird Tales got a new editor who was more in tune with these ideas, (All hail our betentacled overlord!) and the Lovecraft circle began to expand. with authors like August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith being featured regularly. And it was around this time that another writer, Robert E. Howard, began to spin out worlds of his own. Howard worked with the fury of a man hounded by demons and debt. In seven years he gave us: Solomon Kane, Kull the Conquerer, Bran Mak Morn, and of course, Conan the Barbarian. He also wrote countless Westerns, sea stories, boxing tales, and historical adventures. Even many of his minor characters, like Red Sonja, have acquired their place in our pop consciousness. He brought a grit and a danger to fantasy. The frenzy of his writing established the beginnings of Grimdark. He moved sword-wielding away from the medieval romances, or even the swashbuckling of many of the other pulps, and made it into something more primal, more visceral and real. For many later writers in both science-fiction and fantasy, he was an object lesson in how to write an action sequence. The economy of his prose was almost the opposite of Lovecraft's discursive writing. He was laconic where Lovecraft was verbose. But his untrained pen did far more than provide the simple, reductivist writing that you may think of if you only know his work from later interpretations. Film, television, and even comics have never really done Howard justice. His works were a commentary on civilization, on the ruin he saw brought to his hometown in Texas by the Oil Boom. His characters were not merely men of brutality. They didn't only rely on brawn alone. Almost universally, they were as smart as they were strong, using their wits as often as their swordarms. Howard was also swept up by certain ideas of the occult, like Theosophy. His most famous tales are set in the Hyborian Age. Itself named after the place the ancient Greeks thought lay behind the West Wind. He imagined this age to be the time after the fall of Atlantis, but before the beginning of any historical record we have today. Here, he could mash together cultures and places and historical periods as he wanted, creating magic and sorcery, and playing with some of those Theosophic ideas of elder civilizations and forgotten races. His work defined the "Swords & Sorcery" branch of fantasy, and was arguably some of the best of it. As such, those stories had an enormous impact on what we would later come to call "Science-Fantasy," especially the darker kind. But, as financial burdens from his mother's health began to pile up, Weird Tales itself began to falter, struggling through the Great Depression. When Howard's mother passed, he took his own life, tragically cutting short his writing career, but leaving us a legacy that would influence science-fiction and fantasy for generations to come. Weird Tales would survive, but like many of the other pulps, it would never again have quite the impact it once had. It would live on past World War II and struggle into the 50s as one continuous magazine, but its glory days were done. Still, its impact – and the impact of the writers it fostered – echo down to us today. But, we would be remiss if we only acknowledged the good side of that impact. We also have to ascribe to Weird Tales some of the racism and sexism that, inadvertently, worked its way into the bones of our favourite genres. Weird Tales published Lovecraft, who, many times in print, both in his stories, his personal writings, and his letters, expressed racist views. Howard's legacy here is more mixed, having a number of minority characters that were fully realized and sympathetic, or even heroic, but he also used race as a quick-and-easy way to define groups. Often, he would have the dark-skinned cultures be tribal and savage, while the Asian cultures would be mysterious and decadent. And this has inadvertently flowed through fantasy – especially the cheaper hack fantasy – ever since. And it was also Weird Tales that really helped to cement our "damsel in distress" tropes, and our chainmail bikinis. Even Howard, who was an avowed feminist (...for the time), wrote scenes of nearly-nude, helpless princesses, bound or chained to a rock. Largely because of an incidental fact about Weird Tales' pay structure. Y'see, Weird Tales had always set out to be a boundary-pushing, transgressive magazine. As such, unlike many of the other pulps, Weird Tales never shied away from depicting nudity on its cover. Incidentally, Weird Tales – like almost all the pulps of the time – paid more for whatever story was featured on the cover of the magazine. In what will come as a surprise to none of you... issues of the magazine which featured lurid depictions of nude women on the front... ...tended to sell better. So, over time, a higher percentage of their covers ended up involving nude and hapless women being seduced or held prisoner. Which meant that any author needing some money could write such a scene into their stories, in order to up their chances of being featured on the cover and getting that bigger paycheque. So, in the end, Weird Tales brought us things that no other magazine could, with the discovery of authors like Lovecraft and Howard. It brought the weird, the spooky, the truly cosmic horror. But it also left a legacy of some of the more troubling elements still lingering in science-fiction and fantasy. Someday, we are going to do a deep dive on both Howard and Lovecraft, but for right now, in our headlong rush into the history of sci-fi we must wend our way towards one of the other great influencers to come out of this generation of pulp magazines. Next Week: Noir, and the idea of being "Hard Boiled." [end credits music]

Sources

  • United States Congress. "Howard E. Campbell (id: C000085)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert L. Rodgers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 29th congressional district

1945–1947
Succeeded by
John McDowell
This page was last edited on 18 April 2019, at 09:57
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