Letter to H. P. Lovecraft

From Clark Ashton Smith

[34] [c. late September 1933]

Obsidian block before
the hut of Ezdagor on
Mt. Voormithadreth.

Dear E'ch-Pi-El:

Thanks for the picture of the Carlsbad subteruanea! It certainly looks like an adytum of that Hyperborean underworld through which the Csmmoriom magistrate and mighty hunter of Voormis, Ralibar Vooz, hero of my latest yarn, [1] was conducted on an extensive tour by a wizard's familiar in the shape of a night-flying archaeopteryx!

I read with vast enjoyment and envy your account of the Quebec visit. I can well imagine the likeness to Vyones and Ximes, and wouldn't be surprised to meet the bishop Azéderac or the abbot Hilaire in that Place d'Armes of which you enclosed so inveigling a view.[2] I am sure that werewolves might howl at certain times of the moon in the environs of such a city. The sunset that you describe must indeed have been impressive. The only effect of a remotely cognate sort which I ever saw occurred a year or two ago, and I don't remember mentioning it in my letters to you. In this case, the rose and salmon hues of a vivid sunset were reflected in the east, toward the Sierras, on the upper domes and battlements of a huge mass of blue-black thunder-cumulus, which, from time to time, was riven with forked lightening-bolts. It was magnificent and unforgettable; but there was no accompanying rainbow as in the effect that you saw.

[. . .]

[. . .] Lumley [3] is certainly a rare avis, and I wish sincerely that there were more like him in this world of servile conformity to twentieth century skeptics an materialism! More power to the heresy he avows! [. . .]

[. . .]

Yours for the resurgence of R'lyeh,


  1. "The Seven Geases" (Lost Worlds (1944)).
  2. Vyones and Ximes are cities mentioned in Smith's stories set in Averoigne; Azéderac and Hilaire are characters appearing in "The Holiness of Azéderac" (Lost Worlds (1944)) and "The End of the Story" (Out of Space and Time (1942)), respectively.
  3. William Lumley, correspondent and revision client of Lovecraft.

From: Clark Ashton Smith: LETTERS TO H. P. LOVECRAFT, edited by and footnotes by Steve Behrends (July 1987) Necronomicon Press.

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