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The Unexpurgated Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 14 September, 2012 06:40AM
CAS adepts are already well aware, but the casual reader may not know that the texts of Smith's stories differ depending on which source you read them in. Necronomicon Press published a series of stories that were restored from the censures enforced upon them in Weird Tales (and used ever since). However, these restorations did not follow the original manuscripts purely. It was a collation between the original texts and changes "for the better" that Smith made for Weird Tales.

Mother of Toads, Necronomicon Press (1987)
The Dweller in the Gulf, Necronomicon Press (1987)
Xeethra, Necronomicon Press (1988)
The Monster of the Prophecy, Necronomicon Press (1988)
The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis, Necronomicon Press (1988)
The Witchcraft of Ulua, Necronomicon Press (1988)

These versions of "Xeethra" and "The Witchcraft of Ulua" were reprinted in Tales of Zothique, Necronomicon Press (1995). The Book of Hyperborea, Necronomicon Press (1996), may also have some unexpurgated texts, but mainly seems to feature corrected typos.

I have not read the unexpurgated "Mother of Toads" yet, but the first paragraph has significant differences, in a more "erotic" direction.

For "The Dweller in the Gulf", text was removed instead of restored. Because Smith was forced to destroy an unspoken atmosphere of mystery, and add overexplanations to satisfy a dimwitted audience.

"Xeethra" I have not read through, but it does have some differences.

I have not found the unexpurgated "The Monster of the Prophecy". If someone has this in digital, I would be very greatful if you can email it to me. (Or perhaps even better, email it to Boyd, so he can put it on the webpage for everyone to read.)

In "The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis" atmospheric descriptions have been restored. I feel sad that I first read this story in A Rendezvous In Averoigne, beacause that massacred version is much poorer.

I was mistaken in my earlier post about "The Witchcraft of Ulua". It doesn't contain a new scene. But the scene is tweaked. But on the other hand, there is at least one nice description in the old appearance that has been removed in the unexpurgated version.

Re: The Unexpurgated Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 15 September, 2012 07:29AM
I loved to help but I don't own any of the Unexpurgated editions... maybe one day. If they differ from the NSB Collected Fantasies it would be great if someone would republish them in a collected Unexpurgated collection. I'm sure a Zothique collection would also sell pretty well if it was republished. Even PoD would be something...

Re: The Unexpurgated Clark Ashton Smith
Posted by: PaulK (IP Logged)
Date: 16 September, 2012 04:23PM
The Nightshade editions try to go for the "best" text rather than the first version - changes that were held to improve the text were kept, these deemed to be forced by editors were excluded. Some important variations were included in the ppendices.

For The Witchcraft of Ulua they kept the second version of that passage (apparently the same as Necronomicon Press, although I can't confirm that), and published the first and third in an appendix.

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