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Re: HP Lovecraft Vs Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2020 03:11PM
Oh believe me, I've told others that HPL is the more consistently fine writer, and elsewhere I've expressed disappointment in quite a few of CAS's stories (I can barely stomach his "Captivity in Serpens"; there are bland rip-offs of Conan that were more satisfying pulp adventures than that!), or in certain decisions he made within otherwise decent stories. It just happens that in spite of his inconsistencies, I really enjoy CAS's high points in word-weaving, dark irony, and creative conjurings more. Even so, I praise and defend some of HPL's qualities, and acknowledge the differences and even weaknesses in CAS's work. For instance, as I mentioned in another post, HPL is one of those extremely rare authors who can make me feel the sheer presence of mysterious Elder Ones, make me hear the gibbering and fluttering in unknown darkness, and make me lose my breath in the sheer vastness of some time-flung city! CAS does the same for me, of course, but not consistently, and Lovecraft's heightened sense of realism gave him an advantage in that element.

I'm suddenly in a hurry to go somewhere, so I'll have to continue this discussion next time I'm around. I'm eager to learn more about HPL's unique worldview: that strange realm of magic within a material universe. In his letters he is extremely certain, enthusiastic, and sometimes strongly insistent about his purest materialistic worldview, so it would be interesting to explore the deeper nuances in that, especially compared to CAS's own philosophical and mystical inclinations. As I recall, CAS is not religious at all, but has poured libations to Dionysus, and mused about human senses not perceiving a greater, stranger world right under their noses.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 6 Aug 20 | 03:15PM by Hespire.

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