The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith wearing beret.

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:

15 Apr, 2014 2:44PM by PerspectiveDesigns

“Well right now I have the oldest type of kindle which probably wouldn't have the TOC then. But next year I'm planning on getting either a Kindle Fire or some other tablet which should be able to use the TOC.… ”

15 Apr, 2014 1:55PM by jimrockhill2001

“If EMPEROR were the first Smith collection I had encountered, I would have been happier with it, because it is by no means a bad collection; I simply do not find it as strong as several others. As it stands, however, the arrangement of stories by publication date is misleading, and I thought Smith did… ”

15 Apr, 2014 12:52PM by weorcstan

“Uh oh! A friend with the extra large kindle for large print (not the Fire, the black and white one) says the TOC is still not in his. It is in my paperwhite. It would appear to depend on what kindle you have.… ”

15 Apr, 2014 11:59AM by Jojo Lapin X

“jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was not all that happy with the selection for
> EMPEROR OF DREAMS myself.

But there is a quite a lot of it. You could rip out "The Theft of Thirty-Nine Girdles" and some admittedly even worse stuff and still have a huge number of stories left. I understood the original question to be… ”

15 Apr, 2014 8:15AM by PerspectiveDesigns

“That's a great idea! I don't think I could live without a table of contents. I'll probably buy the kindle editions now, and in the future I can get Lost Worlds and Out of Space and Time. Thanks for all the help everybody!… ”


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