The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

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:

3 May, 2016 6:46PM by K.A. Opperman

“Ah yes, I see the film was mentioned before--apologies! Please consider supporting this project!!!

link … ”

3 May, 2016 6:44PM by K.A. Opperman

“I'm unsure if this has been posted about here before (if it has, I apologize!), but I urge all of you to consider supporting this groundbreaking documentary on The Emperor of Dreams himself. Filmmaker Darin Coelho Spring needs your help to fund this wonderful project which, when completed, will surely help cement Smith's reputation for… ”

2 May, 2016 6:28PM by Ancient History

“Don't forget the nine postcards in Hail, Klarkash-ton!. For anyone interested in the CAS/HPL correspondence as currently published, I've got entries up on wikithulhu with abstracts for everything in the Selected Letters of HPL and CAS as well.… ”

2 May, 2016 6:23PM by Ancient History

“In the just-released The Art of Horror, in the chapter "The Old Gods Waken" there's a nice reproduction of CAS' The Typhoon and his drawings for Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear" (along with mention of the unused ninth drawing, Gryphon Gazing Upon the Gulf.)… ”

2 May, 2016 11:44AM by Martinus

“I have checked -- there are 88 items (presumably both letters and postcards) from HPL to CAS in Selected Letters. That still leaves 151 items that aren't in SL.… ”


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