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:

22 Feb, 2018 7:26AM by Minicthulhu

“Thanks a lot for your answers.… ”

21 Feb, 2018 7:50PM by jimrockhill2001

“They are extremely uneven, but a few of the best of them are entertaining, and offer interesting insights into (and against) the mores of the time in which they were written. They also have interesting ethical twists, with the best parts of several stories being the back-story of the villain. Some of the best appeared… ”

21 Feb, 2018 6:45PM by Ancient History

“Yes, I've read them all...twice now. I actually wrote an article a while ago on Seabury Quinn and Robert E. Howard: link

The de Grandin stories...are not Quinn's best work. They are not exactly formulaic, but they were novellas starring the same protagonists, and they would have been read no more than one per month, sandwiched… ”

21 Feb, 2018 1:23PM by Minicthulhu


Has anybody read Jules de Grandin stories? I would like to know if they are worth reading. I read several stories by Seabury Quinn (not de Grandin stories) and frankly I was not impressed but he was a popular contributor to Weird Tales so it seems to me he could not be so bad… ”

13 Feb, 2018 9:29PM by jimrockhill2001

“You are welcome! I am glad you enjoyed it.… ”

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