The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith wearing beret.

Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), perhaps best known today for his association with H.P Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, is in his own right a unique master of fantasy, horror and science-fiction. Highly imaginative, his genre-spanning visions of worlds beyond, combined with his profound understanding of the English language, have inspired an ever -increasing legion of fans and admirers.

For most of his life, he lived in physical and intellectual isolation in Auburn, California (USA). Predominantly self-educated with no formal education after grammar school, Smith wore out his local library and delved so deeply into the dictionary that his richly embellished, yet precise, prose leaves one with the sense that they are in the company of a true master of language.

Though Smith primarily considered himself a poet, having turned to prose for the meager financial sum it rewarded, his prose might best be appreciated as a "fleshed" out poetry. In this light, plot and characters are subservient to the milieu of work: a setting of cold quiet reality, which, mixed with the erotic and the exotic, places his work within its own unique, phantasmagoric genre. While he also experimented in painting, sculpture, and translation, it is in his written work that his legacy persists.

During his lifetime, Smith's work appeared commonly in the pulps alongside other masters such H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, and E. Hoffmann Price and like many great artists, recognition and appreciation have come posthumously. In recent decades though, a resurgence of interest in his works has lead to numerous reprintings as well as scholarly critiques.

The Eldritch Dark is a site to facilitate both scholars and fans in their appreciation and study of Clark Ashton Smith and his works.

Last 5 Eldritch Words Discussion Forum posts:

20 Mar, 2019 5:33PM by Platypus

“Minicthulhu Wrote:
> This is an excerpt from "The Collected Fiction of
> William Hope Hodgson: House on Borderland & Other
> Mysterious Places".

You might as well identify the author: Jeremy Lassen. I'm not sure why his words have any particular authority.

> The final… ”

20 Mar, 2019 10:19AM by Sawfish


Thanks a lot!… ”

20 Mar, 2019 9:30AM by Platypus

“Knygatin Wrote:
> I have not read any of the Carnacki stories. (Only
> have a voice-recording of "The Hog", but have not
> listened to it yet.) I never bothered with them,
> because others said they were detective or
> adventure yarns with some supernatural touches not
> up to the quality of his other more famous work.

The… ”

20 Mar, 2019 8:07AM by Minicthulhu

“Do you know about the Australian Gutenberg mutation? It is chiefly dedicated to older horror/sci-fi/weird fiction/mystery atc.


Some other useful sites dealing with older scifi and horror (and other genres).

link … ”

20 Mar, 2019 6:58AM by Sawfish

“Knygatin Wrote:
> Sawfish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > > "Symposium of the Gorgon"
> >
> > Hah! Liked it as well! It almost seemed like
> the
> > narrative POV was a proxy for Smith, himself,
> > when young... :^)
> >
> > An "alcoholically flaming youth", indeed!
> >
> >
> >… ”

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