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:

22 Sep, 2014 3:42PM by Ancient History

“In the June 1934 issue, Weird Tales published "The Woods of Averoigne" by Grace Stillman, a poem inspired by the stories of Clark Ashton Smith. To the best of my knowledge it's never been reprinted, but I prevailed upon a friend of mine, and managed to get a scan of it, which you can view… ”

21 Sep, 2014 12:18PM by wilum pugmire

“Ahab Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "You are not alone in your reaction to S. T.'s
> blogs, and such reactions delight him. He simply
> doesn't care what people think of him
> personally."
>
> Non-sequitur.
>
> If he really doesn't care what people think of him
> then what people think of him should not delight
> him.

Humans are so… ”

21 Sep, 2014 9:14AM by Ahab

“"You are not alone in your reaction to S. T.'s blogs, and such reactions delight him. He simply doesn't care what people think of him personally."

Non-sequitur.

If he really doesn't care what people think of him then what people think of him should not delight him.… ”

21 Sep, 2014 8:25AM by wilum pugmire

“Ahab Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well thanks for letting us know that Klinger is
> playing his silly "Sherlockian game" in this
> annotation. Will definitely not waste my money on
> this book.
>
> Since you bring it up, I am one of those people
> who think S.T. Joshi is doing himself little good
> in his recent postings. … ”

21 Sep, 2014 8:11AM by Ahab

“Well thanks for letting us know that Klinger is playing his silly "Sherlockian game" in this annotation. Will definitely not waste my money on this book.

Since you bring it up, I am one of those people who think S.T. Joshi is doing himself little good in his recent postings. He may know a… ”


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