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:

24 Apr, 2015 1:42PM by SeventhSon

“I like Lovecraft but I do think his style is far from perfect, first he does so much useless adjective excess, that I was often bored reading his work even for the first time. His Dunsany's imitations show his limitations as a "poet". On the other hand, I could learn CAS's best stuff by heart,… ”

11 Apr, 2015 2:38PM by pegana

“After hearing Donald Sidney-Fryer reciting CAS over the phone I was struck by how verbal and beautiful it was when spoken out loud. So I've done an audio dramatization of one of my favorite short pieces which was included in our edition of Poseidonis Cycle I.

The storycast can be found here. (If you… ”

5 Apr, 2015 1:31PM by Kipling

“Oh, I see. Nevertheless, it seems worth clarifying here that the tale somewhat lacks the consistently "smooth beauty of narration" that REH ascribes to CAS's fiction in general. It isn't awkwardly flawed-- like HPL's "Whisperer in Darkness" for example, which asks the reader to accept the narrative premise that all the lost letters from Wilmarth… ”

5 Apr, 2015 11:48AM by Martinus

“MORE SPAM!… ”

5 Apr, 2015 10:12AM by Jojo Lapin X

“I hate to be the one to break this news to you, but the book has already been published.… ”


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