The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith, 1960

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:

24 Jun, 2019 8:39AM by Yluos

“Platypus Wrote:
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> Yluos Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I don't think it's that hard to believe.
>
> Sure, maybe not. But as it stands,

It looks like you assume I was discussing that possibly wife-written tale, but to be honest I had little interest in that topic. I was responding solely to Minicthulhu and his… ”

22 Jun, 2019 11:00AM by Dale Nelson

“I wish we could have good critical biography of this author, by someone able to find out more about his life and who was well read outside the weird fiction genre. The biographer probably should be someone not affiliated with the conventional academic world that is so tiresomely preoccupied with literary theory. On… ”

22 Jun, 2019 10:43AM by Platypus

“Yluos Wrote:
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> I don't think it's that hard to believe.

Sure, maybe not. But as it stands, I find his wife writing it even easier to believe. One alternative not being impossible does not rule out other alternatives.

You mentioned "The Night Land" and "The Boats of the Glenn Carrig". These, as I… ”

22 Jun, 2019 10:39AM by Platypus

“Minicthulhu Wrote:
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> I have read cca. 70 short stories by W.H. Hodgson
> so far and I must say a great body of his work has
> nothing to do with the supernatural and is a far
> cry from his “standard“ horror tales.
> There are scores of Mr. Hodgson´s stories
> published in his life one would… ”

22 Jun, 2019 10:28AM by Platypus

“Ancient History Wrote:
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> So what you're saying is you have a suspicion
> based on a kinda sexist interpretation and no
> proof.

LOL. Are you trying to insinuate I'm a "sexist"? Thanks for your comment.


Yes, I have a suspicion, based on what my sense of sense of Hodgson based on having read a fair… ”


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