The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith Painting by Natalae Bixby Carter, 1946.

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:

14 Nov, 2018 10:15AM by Sawfish

“Here's one I hope the readers here will like:

The Scallion Stone, by Basil Smith.

An atmospheric tale using the cozy "fireside re-telling" technique about an odd "stone" that relates back to St. Cuthbert of Northumbria.… ”

14 Nov, 2018 8:38AM by Sawfish

“I respect your decision, but would like to weigh in on the side of leaving politics at the door, so to speak.

Me, I come here to get away from the unresolved rancor I find on virtually all other forums. But as I said, do as you wish--you have every right to do.

All the best.… ”

13 Nov, 2018 11:39PM by Knygatin

“Sawfish Wrote:
> I think he was an appointed functionary to some
> Native American tribe(s) in Canada. Appointment by
> the government, apparently.
> So probably not Apache...

Lovecraft frequently discussed politics in-between in his letters, and Clark Ashton Smith was not completely averse to it either. John Buchan was a politician. So if there is anywhere E.D.… ”

13 Nov, 2018 7:34PM by Fiendlover

“I think working your way through the poetry section at Hippocampus Press is a great place to start. Wade German is awesome as is Ann K. Schwader, K. A. Opperman, Adam Bolivar, Fred Philips, ad Michael Fantina (who just recently passed).… ”

13 Nov, 2018 4:57PM by Sawfish

“I think he was an appointed functionary to some Native American tribe(s) in Canada. Appointment by the government, apparently.

So probably not Apache...… ”

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