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:

30 Mar, 2020 11:00AM by kojootti

“It would help if you explained what authors and stories you know so that no one suggests what you've already read. It's not easy having to guess everything, but I have a few suggestions, some of which aren't commonly read by weird fans. I'm not listing any Lovecraft stories because most people familiar with weird… ”

30 Mar, 2020 6:57AM by charaina

“I guess I should also specify what other works/authors....… ”

29 Mar, 2020 8:34PM by charaina

“Ah, I should have mentioned that I'm familiar with Smith's awesome stories and descriptions. I was asking to see what else is out there, both for armies of monsters and stories with a large number of different creatures...… ”

29 Mar, 2020 8:27PM by kojootti

“Do you mean stories that are specifically about an army of monsters? Or do you mean stories which happen to feature a large number of different creatures? If you meant the latter, then many of Clark Ashton Smith's stories are crawling with strange creatures, perhaps best of all his "City of the Singing Flame", "The… ”

29 Mar, 2020 6:29PM by charaina

“This is kind of an esoteric query, but I was curious as to what stories or novels have good descriptions of a number of monsters/strange beings/aliens between their pages - be it an army, litany, etc. of such things. I appreciate any information, as I hope to find more obscure works in the process....… ”

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