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:

22 Mar, 2018 10:22AM by Platypus

“John Buchan's "A Journey of Little Profit" would count as a weird story. It also has some dialect, though nearly so thick as "Thrawn Janet". It can be read on google books in THE YELLOW BOOK, vol. 9 (1896). I don't see it on your list, though it may have been retitled.… ”

22 Mar, 2018 6:47AM by Platypus

“"Fullcircle" is a story that's been put in anthologies of "Supernatural" stories of John Buchan. However, I just read it online (Blackwood's Magazine 1920 on Google Books) and it does not qualify, IMHO. The idea that the house is haunted by a mystic influence is more of a romantic metaphor than it is… ”

20 Mar, 2018 12:16PM by Minicthulhu

“Platypus Wrote:
> Are we looking for novels, or only short stories?

Short stories, though the one dealing with memory loss was a longer one. (cca. 30 pages)… ”

20 Mar, 2018 10:43AM by Jojo Lapin X

“Platypus Wrote:
> I think William Shakespeare spelled it "weyard"

Also "weyrd" and "weyward."… ”

20 Mar, 2018 7:01AM by Platypus

“I think William Shakespeare spelled it "weyard"… ”

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