Letter on Clark Ashton Smith

Stanton A. Coblentz

It gives me much pleasure to learn of the forthcoming publication of the Clark Ashton Smith bibliography, and I hasten to wish you and the publisher much success. I am particularly glad about the publication because Smith — or "Ashton," as we who knew him used to call him — was something of a literary prodigy. If you met him amid a group, he might be quiet, withdrawn, almost uncommunicative; but if you met him by himself, after having once gained his confidence, he would open up and give indications of the vast world of fantasy and imagination that lay hidden beneath. It was this fantasy and imagination that bubbled up in the rare and individual poems that should make his work forever a part of American literature, and this imagination and fantasy likewise transfused his extraordinary tales of the weird and macabre. A writer of his exceptional type may appeal to a numerically limited audience, but it is my hope that it will be an audience of the ages, and for this reason I especially welcome your forthcoming venture.


From: Emperor of Dreams: A Clark Ashton Smith Bibliography, Donald Sidney-Fryer. Donald M. Grant, 1978.

Top of Page