Clark Ashton Smith: Thoughts on the Fiftieth Anniversary of His Death

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death Clark Ashton Smith, the unfortunately least well known of the triumvirate that included Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft. With this sad anniversary in mind, I have a few thoughts I want to put down.

Clark Ashton Smith is one of my favorite writers, arguably fighting it out with Mieville and Mashima. Though I am but a newbie to the world of Clark Ashton Smith, every time I read a story of his, I am enthralled and enjoy every minute of the reading experience. The language that Smith uses is simply prose poetry- dense, powerful, and amazing. What the New Weird attempts, Smith achieves. It is as simple as that.

While imitation may be a sincere form of flattery, I do not think that having clones or imitators is a good thing for a writer. Take Tolkien’s clones for example. Their artistic flaws reflect negatively on the whole, genre and Tolkien. When many artists blast Tolkien, often they seem, I think, to mistake the problems of the imitator with that of the master.  So, in a way, I am glad that there are no Smith imitators.

I have yet to have the pleasure of reading the complete works of Smith, but that is one thing I hope to accomplish as the year passes by.

That’s it for now. I’ll try to get another post or two up by the weekend.

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Posted on August 16, 2011, in Books and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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