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:

23 Sep, 2017 9:44AM by pegana

“The collection entitled "51 Tales" reprinted by Newcastle as "The Food of Death" The stories are extremely short and filled with many layers of meaning if one cares to look for them. The story "Charon" is particularly powerful I think. But again, for those looking for stories without hidden depths Dunsany may… ”

23 Sep, 2017 2:02AM by Knygatin

“pegana Wrote:
> ... Dunsany could say more in a
> two paragraph story than most writers could in a
> lifetime.

What story collection(s) are you thinking of in particular?… ”

22 Sep, 2017 6:47PM by Sawfish

“For those who haven't read the Jorkens stories, you have a treat in store.… ”

20 Sep, 2017 12:51PM by Ancient History

“It is an excellent edition, of the same high quality as Pegana Press' edition of The Age of Malygris.… ”

20 Sep, 2017 8:45AM by pegana

“Dunsany's work has a breadth of vision and style throughout his career that wasn't defined by one genre. HPL never moved past two dimensional characters and his ability to instill real belief in menace and horror was spotty at best. Clark's prose has amazing music and interest to me and he could and did… ”

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