The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith 1958

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:

14 Dec, 2017 8:16PM by Zabdamar

“Pulchrum est paucorum hominem.… ”

14 Dec, 2017 8:14PM by Zabdamar

“Thanks for the information.

I take exception with LaVey elevating Crowley to the lofty heights of Baudelaire and Smith. After all, we're about a man who wrote a collection of homoerotic drivel titled 'White Stains'.

The poor chap should've stuck to rock climbing...… ”

14 Dec, 2017 3:46PM by Ancient History

“The new tribute anthology is out: link

Some original poetry, fiction, and artwork, and some nonfiction stuff - including some postcards from Smith to Lovecraft, and an article on Arthur Machen's review of CAS. Good stuff!… ”

7 Dec, 2017 2:13PM by Ancient History

“It is a good title, and lots of great material. I'm still working on correlating the letters in DS with those published in other sources - Joshi & Schultz re-dated several (and noted why, natch) so it's not as straightforward as I was hoping. Once I get that sorted, though, I can get started on… ”

7 Dec, 2017 10:03AM by Knygatin

“Oh, and I must say that the chosen title for the book is really excellent! At first I was a little confused, but when one muses over it, Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill is of course absolutely perfect!… ”

Top of Page