The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith. With works

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:

15 Jul, 2018 7:10AM by Minicthulhu

“Thank you very much for your answers.… ”

14 Jul, 2018 9:17PM by jdworth

“Look up the list of stories included in the Fedogan & Bremer collection, Don't Dream; these include essentially all his horror/fantasy tales; Colossus has his science fiction, but this at times blends quite well into the horror genre as well. The one notable piece which was not included in Don't Dream is the novel Dead… ”

14 Jul, 2018 9:08PM by jdworth

“Knygatin Wrote:
> How does Guy Endore's 1929 translation of Alraune
> compare to Joe E. Bandel's translation?

No offense to Mr. Bandel -- after all, he replaced material which had been excised from the earlier translation -- but I find it to be, if you will, a bit too literal a translation; hence the language feels to… ”

14 Jul, 2018 5:19PM by Platypus

“Just read "Spawn of the Sea". It is aquatic horror, somewhat in the style of William Hope Hodgson.… ”

14 Jul, 2018 4:38PM by Platypus

“The 14 stories he published in WEIRD TALES, which probably includes much that would be in the horror vein, are:

"The Red Brain" (1927)
"The Shadow of a Nightmare" (1929)
"The Green Flame" (1930)
"Something from Above" (1930)
"The Tree-Men of M'Bwa" (1932)
"The Lives of Alfred Kramer" (1932)
"The Fire Vampires" (1933)
"Spawn of the Sea" (1933)
"The Lady in Grey" (1933)
"The Destroying… ”

Top of Page