Letter to H. P. Lovecraft

From Clark Ashton Smith

[38] [c. late January 1934]

Hour of the dawning
luminosity in the
sunless gulf of

Dear E'ch-Pi-El:

[. . .]

Returning to Merritt, [1] if you will give me his address, I'll be very glad to send him a copy of The Double Shadow gratis. I am glad to know that the Averoigne stories appealed to him. [. . .]

[. . .]

I am glad the drawing for "The Weaver" appealed to you. The reproduction was not all bad, to judge from the copies on local news-stands. [. . .] "The Witchcraft of Ulua", for which I could have done something especially good, will appear as a filler, sans illustration, in the Feb. W.T. I hope W. will give me a chance at the "Silver Key" sequel — probably he won't want a drawing for it till two months before the publication date.

[. . .]

I finished, after a fashion, the long-deferred "Chain of Aforgommon", and have already had it turned down by Pharnabosus, on the plea that "it sagged as a tale toward the end", whatever that means. Pharnabosus ordered a drawing for "The Death of Malygris". This I have just finished, and am inclined to think it is the best of my W.T. illustrations so far. [. . .]

[. . .]

Yes, I shall assuredly endeavor to collate the texts of Valerius Trevisus and Carnamagos when I write that tale of Regio Averonum. [2] Regarding Kranaos of Alexandria, there are those who maintain, if I mistake not, that his somewhat ambiguous though terrible suggestions referred to the inhabitants of primal Thule rather than to the Averones; but since the Averones were tainted with a dark strain of Hyperborean ancestry, it is possible that he included them by implication in his black shadowings of the unmentionable. . .

[. . .]

I thought you would like that page of felines! All of them were beauties! I don't think I have ever mentioned my two cats — the black and sinister witch-cat, Simaetha, and the roistering Maltese, General Tabasco. Simaetha, in her wanderings, must have lapped up an alchemist's elixir — I have really lost track of her age. Her somewhat baleful aspect is heightened by a permanent oblique list of head and neck, acquired many years ago in a most heroic and protracted vigil at the mouth of a rat-hole. The devoted animal stayed there for days without moving!

[. . .]

Yrs for the pilgrimage to Chorazin,


  1. A. Merritt, fantasy author.
  2. Possibly "The Oracle of Sadoqua", outlined in The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith (1979) (Item 48, p. 21).

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

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