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:

7 Jan, 2017 3:40AM by Ancient History

“All good friendships have their respectful arguments; hell, that was one of the defining characteristics of Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard's correspondence, which makes for excellent reading. Lovecraft's correspondence with Derleth was also revealing, although in a different way.… ”

5 Jan, 2017 4:05PM by Knygatin

“Thanks Ancient History. I had no idea I lost some of the correspondence when I sold that book. But I trust all will be recovered with the new volume.

I can't think of any other of Lovecraft's correspondents, beside C. A. Smith, that would inspire an equally sympathetic and stimulating communication back and forth. (Unless Lovecraft… ”

4 Jan, 2017 8:01PM by Sawfish

“What an excellent post! Thanks for you input!… ”

4 Jan, 2017 1:58PM by Ancient History

“Knygatin Wrote:
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> Martinus Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Martinus Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
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> > > I don't know how many letters from CAS to HPL
> > will
> > > be included.
> >
> > But I do now -- in his latest EOD mailing,
> David
> > says that there are "perhaps only… ”

4 Jan, 2017 2:06AM by Knygatin

“Martinus Wrote:
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> Martinus Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> > I don't know how many letters from CAS to HPL
> will
> > be included.
>
> But I do now -- in his latest EOD mailing, David
> says that there are "perhaps only 90 pieces".


The Selected Letters of Clark Ashton Smith (Arkham House) includes 33 pieces. Not sure… ”


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