The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith at 19.

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 Aug, 2019 2:36PM by Minicthulhu


Has anybody read something by the author L.A. Lewis (1899-1961)? I had never heard of him till I found a mention of him in an article today. He wrote some weird stuff that seems to be something worth reading, namely "Tales of the Grotesque: A Collection of Uneasy Tales" and "The Tower of Moab".… ”

17 Aug, 2019 11:40AM by Minicthulhu

“Never mind. I get it. Thank you.… ”

17 Aug, 2019 11:31AM by Dale Nelson

“-- Sorry -- "for emphasis," not "form emphasis."… ”

17 Aug, 2019 9:46AM by Dale Nelson

“Minicthulhu Wrote:
> Out of curiosity, why did Machen use "do make
> with"? Why did he simply not write "make with"?

He's quoting, isn't he? But I suppose the "do" is there form emphasis.

Scolding parent: "You do know that you can't play till you finish your chores."… ”

17 Aug, 2019 8:12AM by Minicthulhu

“Out of curiosity, why did Machen use "do make with"? Why did he simply not write "make with"?… ”

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