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:

21 Oct, 2019 8:16PM by stevereplogle

“Thank you for this information about "The Averoigne Legacy." I look forward to it! And now. Halloween is right around the3 corner...… ”

20 Oct, 2019 11:53AM by Platypus

“"The Island of Doctor Moreau", by H.G. Wells.
"The Five Jars", by M.R. James.
"The Squaw", by Bram Stoker.

Some weird folk-tales prominently featuring animals (via the versions I read):
"The Goblin Pony" (via Andrew Lang)
"The Hobyahs" (via Joseph Jacobs)
"The King o' the Cats" (via Joseph Jacobs)… ”

19 Oct, 2019 7:22AM by Oldjoe

“I love Bradbury's collection The Illustrated Man. Few authors have mixed the streams of science fantasy, horror, and pure wonder as effectively as Bradbury did in the stories included in that collection.… ”

18 Oct, 2019 11:01PM by Knygatin

“Minicthulhu Wrote:
> I really enjoyed "The Wind" and
> "Skeleton".

I think I read those in my late teens, part of The October Country collection, but don't remember them. I didn't really catch on at that age. I liked some of his stories, like "A Sound of Thunder" and "Frost and Fire". I loved The Martian Chronicles,… ”

18 Oct, 2019 9:57PM by Fiendlover

“Nice trip write-up! Here's mine from my first pilgrimage, which includes pictures.


And here's the second and recent trip, also with pictures.

link … ”

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