24 September 2007

Clark Ashton Smith, Part IV

It sure has been a long strange trip with Mr. Clark Ashton Smith...

The last of my four article on the esteemed Mr. Smith’s weird fiction is now online at Black Gate. This final installment explores his stories of Poseidonis, Mars, and Xiccarph.

Looking over all four of my essays, I think the one of which I am most proud is the one concerning Hyperborea. It’s maybe the least accessible of Smith’s series for contemporary readers, but I think my approach to the material “opens” it up in a way commensurate with the stories’ style.

Clark Ashton Smith is a difficult author to evaluate in the mere words or a critic (a poem or a painting might do him more justice), but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to express my opinions about an astonishing author who had a tremendous effect on me personally and who desperately needs wider exposure.