The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith by R K Lewis,1977

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:

18 May, 2019 3:06PM by Satampra


I have been looking for "Flower Valley " by J. S. Whittaker for a long time.

Would you be so kind to share "Flower Valley" for me ?


I'd be very grateful for your attention

Alex… ”

17 May, 2019 9:06AM by Yluos

“Ah! Thank you so very much!… ”

16 May, 2019 11:27PM by Knygatin

“It is described here: Moarian, and New Latin Moaria

Similar sounding exotic names are Maria (plural word for the dry basins on the Moon and planets) and Moria (used by Tolkien).

The Latin word Mare, meaning sea, is the source word from which all the others are developed, I believe.… ”

16 May, 2019 3:49PM by Yluos

“In A Voyage to Sfanomoë, Smith mentions two fabulous countries called Moaria and Antillia, though he describes nothing of them. He mentions Moaria once more in The Infernal Star, as a land which sunk to the ocean floor in the "southern sea."

I'm aware that Antillia is a mythical land of the Seven Cities archetype and… ”

16 May, 2019 7:10AM by Knygatin

“Sawfish Wrote:
> Having read the entire speech, I find that I must
> disagree with your assessment ... He
> mentions control over public information in the
> context of our opponents in he Cold War, and this
> was not directed at the American press, but rather
> was used as a contrast to it. The main thrust… ”

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