The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith. In cabin

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:

17 May, 2021 8:34PM by Dale Nelson

“Perhaps I should say, given my early posting, that I'd be willing to consider that there are naturalistic or "materialistic" possible explanations for these things, or at least many of them. Things that are well established now as regards physics might have seemed uncanny to people in, say, 1850. But naturalistic explanations wouldn't,… ”

17 May, 2021 5:05PM by Sawfish

“Thanks for the thoughts, Dale. When I kicked off the topic I hoped to be able to tie it to other non-material phenomena, like aesthetic appreciation, and a topic you've raised, beauty.

So I'm perfectly happy broadening out the discussion.

What you seemed to refer to are instances of phenomena that, if they exist and I'm not… ”

17 May, 2021 8:11AM by Dale Nelson

“Your "OT" label idea is good. I hope it will catch on. The "Super Thread" has served to show that there's interest in topics related perhaps only tangentially to CAS and weird fiction, and that, at this time and with these participants at least, they can be discussed without becoming sources of severe… ”

17 May, 2021 6:49AM by Sawfish

“I would like to begin by both proposing, and introducing, an adaption to our informal convention here on ED of posting eclectic topics under "The Super thread of literature, art, music, life, and the universe in general". I find that it's hard to discover what new and divergent topic is under discussion until I actually… ”

16 May, 2021 7:52AM by Sawfish

“An interesting philosophical and sociological thread. I'd like to join in, below:

Knygatin Wrote:
> Avoosl, yes I think genetics is important, both
> racial and individual. It is our cultural heritage
> on several levels, and affects our outlook and
> perspective. We can inherit certain
> characteristics and personality traits from one or
> the other of our parents, or… ”

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