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:

8 Dec, 2016 8:07AM by Ancient History

“Clark Ashton Smith makes an appearance in Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows' Providence #11 - I don't think this is exactly CAS' first appearance as himself in comics, but I'm not entirely sure.… ”

3 Dec, 2016 7:20AM by Jojo Lapin X

“Knygatin Wrote:
> that stance
> makes waking life more colorful and fun

My dreams are more boring than my waking life. I have often wondered why, given my life-long interest in fantastic literature and film, my dreams never have anything fantastical in them. Unless you count elevators that behave in surprising ways (this is a recurrent theme).… ”

3 Dec, 2016 5:58AM by Radovarl

“I suppose I subscribe to the same school of thought, and I don't rule out much in principle, especially when it comes to the "natural" world. As cynical as I am about the human world, however, I draw the line at conspiracy theories in which some nefarious and nebulous group of government officials is… ”

3 Dec, 2016 1:55AM by Knygatin

“I don't believe any of these things for certain. But I keep an open mind. And I choose to turn in the direction of the fantastic, and encourage investigation there, simply because that stance makes waking life more colorful and fun, and gives me more pleasure, than turning the other way by principle and choosing… ”

2 Dec, 2016 9:12AM by Radovarl

“Knygatin Wrote:
> I always hold a very sceptical stance towards such
> fantastically ludicrous explanations which lack
> all beauty and imagination.

Yet somehow you're simultaneously not being the least bit skeptical ;-). Yes, it would be neato keen if there were giant submarine worms burrowing in the muck, but there just doesn't seem to be any… ”

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