The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith wearing beret.

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:

24 Jul, 2016 8:31AM by Martinus

“The Averoigne Chronicles is available now: link … ”

20 Jul, 2016 3:49AM by ArthurB

“Aha! That would be an excellent start - thank you.… ”

20 Jul, 2016 3:45AM by Martinus

“There is a list of when most of the fiction was written, included in The Freedom of Fantastic Things and Clark Ashton Smith: A Critical Guide to the Man and His Work.… ”

18 Jul, 2016 4:53AM by ArthurB

“Hello folks,

I am trying to see if anyone has produced a detailed chronology of CAS's written work with a focus on when different stories, poems and essays were actually written. I can turn up reasonable information on when things saw publication, but obviously even during CAS' own lifetime a lot of time could elapse between… ”

17 Jul, 2016 10:27PM by Jeff Gilleland

“Here is a Great new article about our favorite subject. link
Download Issues of “Weird Tales” (1923-1954): The Pioneering Pulp Horror Magazine Features Original Stories by Lovecraft, Bradbury & Many More
Some of these PDFs of CAS are quite good. link
Enjoy… ”

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