Letter to H. P. Lovecraft

From Clark Ashton Smith

[42] [c. 16 June 1934]

Salt-pale desert of Dhir,
at the hour of the
multisonous beating of
invisible drums.

Dear E'ch-Pi-El:

[. . .]

[. . .] I have done what I could toward elucidating the genealogy of Tsathoggua, and am sending Ar-E'ch-Bei the result of my delvings into the Parchments of Pnom, the chief Hyperborean authority on such matters. Pnom has much more to say about Tsathoggua than about Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth; but no doubt you have access to other records, mainly concerning these entities; and I'd be glad of more specific information about them. As I am pointing out to Ar-E'ch-Bei, Pnom's account of Ts. can be reconciled with the legendry told to Zamarcona in "The Mound". The myth, through aeons, was varied in the usual mythopoeic fashion by the cavern-dwellers, who came at last to believe that merely the images of Tsathoggua, and not the god himself, had emerged in former cycles from the inner gulf. Ts., travelling fourthdimensionally from Saturn, first entered the Earth through the lightless abyss of N'kai; and, not unnaturally, the Yothians regarded N'kai as his place of origin. Undoubtedly the god now resides in N'kai, to which he returned when the ice overwhelmed Hyperborea.

[. . .] Glad to hear that "The Colossus" [2] was up to sample. My drawing for it was pretty lousy, apart from the demons. [. . .]

Yrs., under the civic seal of Yoth,


  1. The genealogy Smith sent to Barlow was published as "The Family Tree of the Gods" in the Summer 1944 issue of The Acolyte; it has been reprinted in Planets and other Dimensions (1973). It was meant to reconcile certain facts about Tsathoggua mentioned by Lovecraft in his ghost-written tale, "The Mound".
  2. Smith's "The Colossus of Ylourgne" (Genius Loci (1948)).

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

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