The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith, 1960

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:

22 Jan, 2018 5:04PM by Ancient History

“Yes, he bought it.… ”

22 Jan, 2018 1:52PM by Platypus

“Kipling Wrote:
> So when you say
> "seems to justify his treatment of the verb
> "shew", but later point out that "context
> matters," you are having it both ways instead of
> acknowledging Joshi's error.

Ah, no, sorry. You've misunderstood me, and I suppose that's probably my fault. By "seems to justify" I merely meant… ”

22 Jan, 2018 1:10PM by GreenFedora

“Ancient History Wrote:
> About five months back, someone messaged me on
> Reddit saying that he thought he'd found one of
> Clark Ashton Smith's sculptures in an antique shop
> in Rhode Island. So he sent me a picture of the
> find: link
Did he buy it after he found it? 95 freakin' dollars...I'd'a paid three times… ”

22 Jan, 2018 6:23AM by JamesGBoswell

“A loathsome cult utilizes the unmentionable, accursed tome the Necronomicon in a blasphemous ritual to awaken Great Cthulhu so he may inflict mortal terror and torture upon all living beings of the Earth. Sherlock Holmes must stop the cult's evil, abnormal machinations to commit hideous acts of vengeance and murder in the name of Cthulhu,… ”

21 Jan, 2018 7:12PM by Kipling

“Platypus Wrote:
> Kipling Wrote:
> > Not that it matters much, but I also
> disagree
> > with the decision to place quotation marks
> around
> > book titles, which technically adds errors.
> And
> > what's up with the half-quotes ('Necronomicon')
> on
> > III-519? So what if HPL used quotation marks
> > around book… ”

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