We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes.
The “punch” of a truly weird tale is simply some violation or transcending of fixed cosmic law — an imaginative escape from palling reality — hence phenomena rather than persons are the logical “heroes”.
I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film.
Boileau said that Kings, Gods and Heroes only were fit subjects for literature. The writer can only write about what he admires. Present-day kings aren’t very inspiring, the gods are on a vacation and about the only heroes left are the scientists and the poor… And since our race admires gallantry, the writer will deal with it where he finds it. He finds it in the struggling poor now.