Letter to August Derleth

From Clark Ashton Smith


Auburn, Calif.
Apr. 14th, 1937

Dear August:

In going through old letters and papers, I came across the April, 1921 issue of The United Co-operative, in which "The Crawling Chaos" was originally printed. This I am enclosing. HPL wrote the beginning and end, as indicated on margins; the main portion being Mrs. Jackson's. Re the latter, I can't tell you much: I know only that she wrote verse as well as prose, and was associated with HPL in amateur journalism, Her verse dealt largely with homely New England themes. Though HPL's portions of "The Crawling Chaos" are the best, the style is quite surprisingly sustained throughout Mrs. Jackson's part. [. . .]

[. . .]

Letters recovered now total 160 or more, I found the 1935 letters, which belong among the most important.

[. . .]

I am pleased to hear that the sculptures continue to attract so much favorable attention. I am writing to Sloane, and offering him a copy of The Double Shadow if he hasn't seen it. . . . On second thought, I'll mail him an inscribed one anyway. As to a volume of my stuff, I suppose there is no harm in trying, It makes me pretty sick to remember that at least five publishers asked HPL to submit story-material for a possible book and then turned it down. It is curious how ready people are to admit the worth of a writer after he is dead, and how goddamned cautious they are about it while he remains alive. Death seems to bring about a sort of crystallization, so to speak. . . . As for me. I am pretty tough, and come of a hardy and long-lived ancestry. I'll survive my present difficulties. What the future holds, I am not sure. But I have made up my mind to quit California at the earliest possible date.

[. . .]

Yours ever,

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

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