The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith by R K Lewis,1977

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, 2018 9:38PM by Sawfish

“Pharpetron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey, thanks Sawfish and Dale. I’m glad you both
> approve of the post.
>
> I have not been back east since I was a
> kid/teenager, and then I was only in the big
> cities, so I haven’t really experienced the
> ‘feel’ of the areas HPL wrote about. Indeed,
> on the day… ”

14 Dec, 2018 4:11PM by Pharpetron

“Hey, thanks Sawfish and Dale. I’m glad you both approve of the post.

I have not been back east since I was a kid/teenager, and then I was only in the big cities, so I haven’t really experienced the ‘feel’ of the areas HPL wrote about. Indeed, on the day I went out to… ”

14 Dec, 2018 11:38AM by Minicthulhu

“Here is a short list of less familiar (or, at least, what I consider to be less familiar) horror/weird/sci-fi/fantasy fiction that one can find online.

Finis by Frank Pollock (1906)
link

Out Of Silence by Erle Cox (1914)
link

An Exchange Of Souls by Barry Pain (1911)
link

Master Of Falleyn Years by Vincent O´Sulliven (1921)
link

The Midnight Express… ”

14 Dec, 2018 11:11AM by Dale Nelson

“That's rough, if HPL was unable to pay for food to support a cat. I'm imagining that, in his day, it would have been more acceptable than in ours, just to feed the animal -- i.e. I'm supposing that HPL would not have felt he'd better have the cat spayed or neutered, etc. … ”

14 Dec, 2018 11:01AM by Dale Nelson

“I appreciate this site steering away from political debate.

I'd have some interest in what,if anything, is known of CAS's politics; but then I would be more interested in knowing where he bought his shirts, pants, and shoes.… ”


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