The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

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:

24 Mar, 2015 4:28PM by shivapashupati

“Gee! Now my copy has just lost some of its shine and luster... Thanks just the same, "Ancient History"!… ”

23 Mar, 2015 6:44AM by Ancient History

“Ran across this the other day and decided to share; it's a beautiful hand-made cover for an old Clark Ashton Smith book. Link to image.

Clark Ashton Smith, Planets and Dimensions, Arkham House Mirage 1973.

Marbled paper millimeter binding with black goatskin strips at head and tail. All edges graphite, Handsewn white silk endbands. Gray handmade paper… ”

21 Mar, 2015 2:29PM by Kipling

“The selection seems nearly unexceptionable although I would like to see "The Plutonian Drug" included. Also I think that "The Chain of Aforgomon" is better than "Genius Loci"-- a more original treatment of the supernatural and, like "The Plutonian Drug", more interesting technically in its denouement.… ”

15 Mar, 2015 10:07AM by Jojo Lapin X

“Nobody seems to have commented on the fact that "Sadastor" is not actually in the finished product.… ”

12 Mar, 2015 4:40PM by wilum pugmire

“It will be excellent to see ye there next month. I had planned to stop attending conventions due to poor health; but this one is only one and one-half days, so I think that won't exhaust me. S. T. is going to drive a few of us to Portland, so we'll be arriving… ”

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