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:

21 Jan, 2020 12:28PM by Minicthulhu

“Well, I am not saying the bunch of stories below have given me creeps but they have their “nice“ moments that have stucked in my mind somehow.

The Street That Was Not by Clifford Simak and Carl Jacobi (1941)
link

The Midnight Express by Alfred Noyes (1935)
link

The Thing In The Upper Room by Arthur Morrison (1910)
link

Golem by Gustav… ”

21 Jan, 2020 11:17AM by Dale Nelson

“Hearn's Japanese tale "Mujina" did creep me out when, as a youngster, I encountered it in one of Basil Davenport's anthologies Tales to Be Told in the Dark.

link … ”

12 Jan, 2020 2:13PM by Kipling

“1.The Double Shadow, The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis, The Dark Eidolon, Xeethra, Necromancy in Naat, The Planet of the Dead, The City of the Singing Flame, The Disinterment of Venus, A Rendezvous in Averoigne, The Letter From Mohaun Los… ”

10 Jan, 2020 7:23PM by Kipling

“"The Trail of Cthulhu" is the nadir of Derleth's Lovecraftian fiction. It's juvenile, episodic "novel" or not. As a historical and regionalist, journalist, he was a great writer. I attended one of the annual Derleth Society meetings in Sac Prairie. An actor portrayed Derleth reading his poetry and so forth. As a weird fantaisist… ”

9 Jan, 2020 11:05AM by GreenFedora

“Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm fond of Tim Powers's Declare, which can remind
> one of John le Carre in its treatment of an
> espionage theme, but is a supernatural thriller.
> I haven't had all that good luck with Powers's
> writing elsewhere, but this is something of a
> favorite.
>
Haven't read "Declare," but I found two… ”


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