The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith, 1960

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:

21 Oct, 2014 8:14AM by calonlan

“UC Berkeley would probably like to buy them for their Calif. poets collection -… ”

21 Oct, 2014 8:11AM by calonlan

“I would suggest you need to chat a bit with me before finishing your perspective - I am the last living person who knew Clark, both before and after his marriage - it is possible I may be useful to you.
Dr. Farmer… ”

20 Oct, 2014 10:20AM by wilum pugmire

“The book seems to be selling extremely well and has proved very popular. Readers new to Lovecraft now have a really excellent, handsome, critically informed edition to serve as introduction to this important writer. For those of us who have been reading H. P. Lovecraft non-stop for years, this new edition brings back… ”

13 Oct, 2014 3:22AM by JRod

“I'd like to see your paper, jrwarlock@gmail.com

Thanks!!!… ”

9 Oct, 2014 8:19PM by K.A. Opperman

“I am really looking forward to reading this one, when finances permit the purchase. It's high on my list!… ”


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