The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith Painting by Natalae Bixby Carter, 1946.

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:

5 Oct, 2018 12:31AM by Minicthulhu

“Last night I read a great story about madness called "The Scarlet Flower" (1883) by Vsevolod Garshin. It takes place in an asylum and the main character is a lunatic who believes the scarlet flowers growing in the asylum garden contain all the evil of the world so he tries to get them and destroy… ”

28 Sep, 2018 11:39PM by Minicthulhu

“It is easy to get.

link … ”

28 Sep, 2018 5:35AM by CletusG

“Can you share it with the rest of us or tell us how to get it, Minicthulhu? I'd love to read a story from that era.… ”

24 Sep, 2018 5:44PM by Platypus

“The Three Eyes, by Maurice LeBlanc (1919 in French; trans. 1921)… ”

22 Sep, 2018 12:27AM by Minicthulhu

“Thanks a lot.… ”

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