The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith 1915

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:

12 Feb, 2017 1:41PM by Ancient History

“In the 1985 fanzine "The Arkham Sampler" (named after the Arkham House periodical of the same name, and issued as a companion or supplement to Etchings & Odysseys), vol. 3 no. 2 fan artist William Ehmann, Junior assayed three graphic adaptations of weird works - Clark Ashton Smith's "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" and "Ubbo-Sathla,"… ”

10 Feb, 2017 9:00PM by Geoffrey

“Though I read it only once years ago, I remember enjoying the 1929 novel, The Greatest Adventure by John Taine (the pen name of Eric Temple Bell). It is set in Antarctica, but is more of an adventure story than a horror story.… ”

5 Feb, 2017 1:15PM by GreenMan

“"The Terror" by Dan Simmons. 2009, so perhaps it hasn't had time to become a classic yet, but it is, as the blurb says "...a novel that will chill you to the core.… ”

4 Feb, 2017 8:03AM by wilum pugmire

“The Madness of Cthulhu, edited by S. T. Joshi, was initially dedicated to new stories that pay homage to At the Mountains of Madness and take place in polar regions; although, in his Introduction, S. T. confesses that not all ye tales follow the initial editorial theme. It has some superb stories nonetheless.… ”

4 Feb, 2017 3:45AM by Knygatin

“Avoosl Wuthoqquan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This board was the last place on earth where I
> would have expected a reference to The
> Residents...

But why is that, precious?

I would rather expect, that those obsessed with plunging the genuinely weird and terrifying in literature, would also be attracted to hearing weirdly measured notes in music that disrupt the senses.… ”


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