The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith. In cabin

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:

29 Sep, 2014 5:30AM by faunus

“Sorry to rekindle an old debate, especially one so heated, but it seems to me that we have a somewhat messy situation regarding Lovecraft's texts at the moment. On the one hand we have the old Arkham texts that are still available, although predominately in paperback. These texts introduced textual errors in the form of… ”

26 Sep, 2014 7:28AM by pegana

“Pegana Press is releasing a new handprinted and bound gathering of unpublished and uncollected stories from Lord Dunsany. With a rare H.S. Sime illustration frontispiece.

Limited to 80 numbered copies and available for preorder. More information available through the website.… ”

24 Sep, 2014 6:09AM by Ahab

“wilum pugmire Wrote:

> Humans are so irrational, tra la!

I would agree with you that people can at times act quite irrationally. Even intelligent, rational persons can fall prey to their irrational impulses. Joshi's recent posts unfortunately exemplify this all too well.… ”

23 Sep, 2014 6:02PM by Ancient History

“I can't find mention of it in his published letters, but that period's not well-accounted for.… ”

23 Sep, 2014 12:17PM by SleeBaudrons

“I wonder if there is any record of what CAS thought of this poem ?… ”

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