Letter to Clark Ashton Smith

From H. P. Lovecraft

10 Barnes St.

Jany. 21, 1927

Dear C.A.S:—

Your letter arrived yesterday—& meanwhile you no doubt have my postal commenting on Wandrei's work. I was really immensely taken with it, & believe that he has a more truly cosmic & fantastic vision than anyone else I know, with the solitary exception of yourself. There is a quality of genuine bizarrerie in his perspective which I miss in most attemptedly weird writing, & I believe that if he keeps on in his development he will certainly create some remarkable pieces of literature. I noticed the tense & convincing atmosphere of nightmare in The Door of the Room, but as you say, the Fragment of a Dream is a finer performance—as it necessarily is, since it has a broader scene & gives opportunities for varied landscape & other effects which the compressed locale of the other forbids. That piece more than any other made me think of your landscapes. The Messengers is indeed very like your Envoys, & illustrates the essential paralellism of the fantastic imagination in different individuals—a circumstance strongly arguing the existence of a natural & definite (though rare) mental world of the weird with a common background & fixed laws, out of which there must necessarily spring a literature as authentic in its way as the realistic literature which springs from mundane experience.

My novelette or semi-novel is nearing its conclusion—the current last page being 106. I don 't think much of it, & haven't yet given it a name; & I certainly dread the job of retyping it . . . . . . . . As I look it over, I am impressed anew with the truth that the short tale is the best form for fantasy but I am not sorry to have had the practice in carrying plot threads for a considerable distance, since sometime I wish to write a novel of more naturalistic setting, in which some hideous threads of witchcraft trail down the centuries against the sombre & memory-haunted background of ancient Salem.

Ever yr most obt—

P. S. Later

Have finished the novel in 110 pages. Am giving it (at least provisionally) the title of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. (Jan. 22.)

Selected Letters (Arkham House) 257

Printed from: www.eldritchdark.com/writings/correspondence/101
Printed on: January 21, 2019