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:

3 Mar, 2021 12:45AM by Cathbad

“;)… ”

3 Mar, 2021 12:44AM by Cathbad

“More than likely. They probably came in different sizes, too (ie, small, medium and large).… ”

2 Mar, 2021 4:40PM by Sawfish

“I always thought that they were ready-made and in stock, like kitchen cabinets.… ”

2 Mar, 2021 3:25PM by Cathbad

“I mean, how hard can it be to make a crucifix?… ”

2 Mar, 2021 3:21PM by Cathbad

“Re Wolfe. I actually much preferred the Starbridge Chronicles by Paul Park (the first two books, anyhow) which are very similar tonally to Wolfe (ie, vivid, literary, opaque) but which I found much more engaging.

Re Christ. I do remember some work of literary fiction (not The Last Temptation) which covered Christ's early years and had… ”

Top of Page