The Eldritch Dark

The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith at 19.

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:

25 Oct, 2014 7:44PM by Geoffrey

“Thank you for your review. It sounds like a fascinating book. I've asked my local library to purchase it.

The back cover says that the "notorious Black Magic quote" is covered in "unprecedented detail". What insights does the book give on this matter?… ”

25 Oct, 2014 2:35PM by Ancient History

“John Haefele's paperback (and affordable) version of A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos is out, and I've done a review of it on Amazon. It's a very solid book in nearly every regard, and I think adds considerably to the scholarly analysis of Derleth with regards to Lovecraft and weird fiction.

One thing that did catch… ”

22 Oct, 2014 1:55PM by Fiendlover

“I definitely plan on acquiring this book, it is also very high on my list.

Black Nebula by Wade German is an excellent book and I am sure you will quite enjoy it, Wilum.… ”

22 Oct, 2014 10:50AM by Jojo Lapin X

“Martinus Wrote:
> Again?! As I pointed out to you four years ago
> (!)

I am sorry; I suppose I did not find it entirely convincing.… ”

22 Oct, 2014 7:08AM by Ancient History

“calonlan Wrote:
> I would suggest you need to chat a bit with me
> before finishing your perspective - I am the last
> living person who knew Clark, both before and
> after his marriage - it is possible I may be
> useful to you.
> Dr. Farmer

Bit late for that now, sadly. Although I am curious for… ”

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