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Old 10-15-2015   #51
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Quote Originally Posted by James Sucellus View Post
I now need a volume of his collected poetry.
James, I highly recommend seeking out The Complete Poetry and Translations edition published by Hippocampus Press. Unfortunately, the hardcover printing is oop, but all three volumes are currently available as Print on Demand. I consider the set a real cornerstone to my CAS collection.

The 3-volume set collecting the poetry of George Sterling is also worth picking up, and is still available from Hippocampus Press for a very reasonable $75 (hardcover).
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Old 10-15-2015   #52
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

The paperback versions included some additional new discoveries. Apparently the prose poetry isn't included but I don't know why, as there isn't enough that it would take up much space.

Last Oblivion is a best-of collection focusing on the fantastical poems.

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Old 06-25-2016   #53
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

After reading The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies I decided to pick up the paperback editions of the Collected Fantasies of CAS 1-3. I am now half-way through the first volume and my favourite so far is "A Night in Malnéant" (1933) which is nothing but brilliant. Surprisingly it strongly reminded me of Ligotti's night stories such as "The Dreaming in Nortown". Maybe there are other more direct links between Smith and Ligotti that have just escaped my attention. I seem to recall Ligotti talking about Smith in one of the interviews.
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Old 06-25-2016   #54
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Quote Originally Posted by kobaia View Post
Quote Originally Posted by James Sucellus View Post
I now need a volume of his collected poetry.
James, I highly recommend seeking out The Complete Poetry and Translations edition published by Hippocampus Press. Unfortunately, the hardcover printing is oop, but all three volumes are currently available as Print on Demand. I consider the set a real cornerstone to my CAS collection.
I concur.

He was a great prose fantasist but I feel his greatest contribution to literature is his poetry. It's criminal that he is such a vastly underrated poet in the American canon.

Though his poems employ a lot of antique language and rhyme scheme, it doesn't feel like you're reading "conservative" poetry; it's remarkably fresh as the likes of Yeats and Elliot, though not quite full-blown Modernist.

"The Hashish Eater" was the first poem to bring me to tears over its beauty.

This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 06-25-2016   #55
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

It's his masterpiece for sure. He's up there with de la Mare, Sterling and Poe as being among the best 'weird' poets. I don't find myself rereading his stories as often as his verse and prose poems these days, fine as they are.
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Old 06-25-2016   #56
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Quote Originally Posted by Prince James Zaleski View Post
It's his masterpiece for sure. He's up there with de la Mare, Sterling and Poe as being among the best 'weird' poets. I don't find myself rereading his stories as often as his verse and prose poems these days, fine as they are.
My personal favorite story of Smith's is "A Plutonic Drug".

This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 06-25-2016   #57
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

I think I'd go for Maze of the Enchanter right now, which becomes pure weird prose poetry and has a poignant ending. Also up there are The Last Incantation, The Dark Eidolon, The Double Shadow, Colossus of Ylourgne, The Tale of Satampra Zeiros and The Abominations of Yondo.

What a supremely talented stylist he was. I much prefer his dark fantasies to his straight horror and sci-fi works.
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Old 06-25-2016   #58
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

I strikes me that most of his short stories really do seem more like prose poems. To put it bluntly: his short fiction actually is poetry, same as with Baudelaire or Rilke.
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Old 03-08-2017   #59
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Just read "The Colossus of Ylourgne" and it is probably the best Clark Ashton Smith story I've read to date. A bit too long-winded for Smith's saccharine prose, I admit. But the atmosphere and the creativity Smith shows in this story is nothing short of fantastic, he seems to have been particularly inspired when writing this tale. Wizardry, alchemy, necromancy and Satanism in medieval Averoigne. The villain's means of revenge is makes for a very intriguing plot.
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Old 03-09-2017   #60
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Re: Clark Ashton Smith

Quote Originally Posted by Nirvana In Karma View Post
My personal favorite story of Smith's is "A Plutonic Drug".
I enjoyed that one too. Felt a bit like Philip K Dick. And his "The Treader of the Dust" feels almost Ligottian:

"Then he was no longer John Sebastian, but a universe of dead stars and worlds that fell eddying into darkness before the tremendous blowing of 'some ultrastellar wind ...."

Btw, there's a good set of readings of his work on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdK..._id=18&sort=dd

"The failed magician waves his wand, and in an instant the laughter is gone." - Martin Gore
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