Clark Ashton Smith - An Autobiographette

Clark Ashton Smith

I am inclined to think that my life is a pretty good exemplification of the theories propounded by Lester Anderson in his interesting and provocative article on Superstition. Anyhow, I was born on Friday the 13th, under Capricornus and Saturn, and have been flirting with most of the orthodox jinxes ever since. I do not whistle in the dark, I have never gone in for Dream Books or psychoanalysis, and I make a habit of walking under ladders when it is more convenient to do this than circumambulate the obstruction. As to black cats—well, I have owned one for many years—a most sinister-looking creature, with all the aspects of an old-time wizard's familiar. Perhaps all this may help to explain the kumiss in the cocoanut, and may account for my ability to peruse the most horrendous staff without batting an eyelash. Also (since there are modern superstitions as well as ancient ones) it may throw a light on my complete lack of faith in the Five year plan, EPIC, and all other cockeyed Utopian schemes. Moreover, it may help to explain my open mind in regard to all outre and inexplicable phenomena, and the fact that I can take the theories of Einstein, as well as of modern science in general, with a salutary pinch of saline seasoning.

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Printed on: December 18, 2018