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:

10 Apr, 2021 11:41AM by Minicthulhu

“I have found out the Comet issue where the story "Primal City" was originally published. There is "the dead level of life" instead of "the dead level of mortality" so it seems to me the phrase could refer to human knowledge, to things unknown, to something that is beyond experiences of everyday life.… ”

9 Apr, 2021 4:54PM by Sawfish

“Re home-schooling...

Thanks for these insights, Dale. Since I'm a parent, too, I had some of the same decisions to make, and I, too, came to these decisions with a fairly informed idea about what I'd like/not like for my daughter's education. I had been an elementary school teacher in the CA public system from 76… ”

9 Apr, 2021 12:33PM by Dale Nelson

“Homeschooling is -- at the moment -- legal in all 50 states, I believe. I fully expect the Biden administration and its fellow travelers to try to diminish this liberty. That might stir some people to defiance who have been quite so far. I don't mean -- at all -- that they… ”

9 Apr, 2021 12:19PM by Dale Nelson

“Knygatin, thanks -- I believe I read at least one or two of those back in the early 1980s. I had interlibrary loan access to (among other libraries) the University of Illinois's Carbondale campus, where, it appeared, someone had donated an Arkham House collection. I believe I got hold of both of the… ”

9 Apr, 2021 12:18PM by Knygatin

“You are right Dale. At the same time these things interrelate. If we all acted like you say, taking responsibility for our freedom, taking on our duties to the social circle, oppressors would have less chance of controlling our lives.

Till what age do you mean teaching children in the home? Is it legal to keep… ”


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