The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith

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 Feb, 2016 5:34AM by Ancient History

“"The Demoniac Goat" is in The Shub-Niggurath Cycle (though it is not a Mythos story), but yeah, otherwise he's a bit obscure. I happened upon a copy of Unholy Relics in a hole-in-the-wall bookstore.… ”

7 Feb, 2016 5:09AM by Minicthulhu

“Ken K. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the anthology "H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird
> Tales" are a couple of reprints from, yes, Weird
> Tales magazine which I have never encountered
> elsewhere. The two which impressed me the most
> are "The Night Wire" by H. F. Arnold, and "Beyond
> the Door" by Paul Suter. The latter story, in
>… ”

7 Feb, 2016 5:05AM by Minicthulhu

“Ancient History Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> M. P. Dare's "Unholy Relics," "The Demoniac Goat,"
> and "The Nymph Still Lives" all from his 1947
> collection Unholy Relics; the stories are all in
> the style of M. R. James crossed with Arthur
> Machen's Mason & Dyson tales.

M. P. Dare is a new name to me; in actual fact, I… ”

6 Feb, 2016 9:27PM by Ken K.

“In the anthology "H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales" are a couple of reprints from, yes, Weird Tales magazine which I have never encountered elsewhere. The two which impressed me the most are "The Night Wire" by H. F. Arnold, and "Beyond the Door" by Paul Suter. The latter story, in particular, has a… ”

6 Feb, 2016 2:03PM by Ancient History

“M. P. Dare's "Unholy Relics," "The Demoniac Goat," and "The Nymph Still Lives" all from his 1947 collection Unholy Relics; the stories are all in the style of M. R. James crossed with Arthur Machen's Mason & Dyson tales.… ”


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