The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith. In cabin

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, 2017 10:16AM by Minicthulhu

“Once I wrote an email to T.S.Joshi because I wanted to know why he had never mentioned an obscure horror writer Robert Murray Gilchrist in his works. To my surprise, he answered me. :-)… ”

16 Mar, 2017 11:56AM by Kipling

“wilum pugmire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> S. T.'s editorial work on Lovecraft's text has
> been outstanding and passionate and supremely
> intelligent. It has me looking at images of
> Lovecraft's typed manuscripts, and this has me
> wondering. Lovecraft seems to have enjoy'd getting
> his revision clients to type up his stories as a
> form of payment for the revision… ”

15 Mar, 2017 3:32PM by deuce

“Just a little remembrance of the Old Gent on this, the 80th anniversary of his transition. I think CAS did a fine job with this poem.

H.P.L.


Outside the time-dimension, and outside
The ever-changing spheres and shifting spaces -
Though the mad planet and its wrangling races
This moment be destroyed - he shall abide
And on immortal quests and errands… ”

13 Mar, 2017 10:15AM by wilum pugmire

“S. T.'s editorial work on Lovecraft's text has been outstanding and passionate and supremely intelligent. It has me looking at images of Lovecraft's typed manuscripts, and this has me wondering. Lovecraft seems to have enjoy'd getting his revision clients to type up his stories as a form of payment for the revision work he did… ”

12 Mar, 2017 12:47PM by Ancient History

“Yeah, because the guy that randomly comes to a Clark Ashton Smith forum to bitch about a few particular words in how S. T. Joshi edited the work of H. P. Lovecraft is fit to call others dense. Did you get kicked off of a Lovecraft forum or something?… ”


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