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Clark Ashton Smith Podcasts

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27 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Clark Ashton Smith. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Clark Ashton Smith, often where they are interviewed.

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27 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Clark Ashton Smith. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Clark Ashton Smith, often where they are interviewed.

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S0209 The Maker of Gargoyles by Clark Ashton Smith

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S0209 The Maker of Gargoyles by Clark Ashton Smith

Clark Ashton Smith was born in 1893 in Long Valley, California and died in California in 1961. He began as a poet and wrote decadent, overblown Romantic poetry after the manner of Swinburne. He got early recognition for his work in California.

Lovecraft loved him and with Robert E Howard and Howard Philips Lovecraft he was one of the big three writers of Weird Tales. Ray Bradbury was also a fan. A few months ago, I re-read Bradbury's *Something Wicked This Way Comes* , and I can see that Bradbury too was a lover of poetic, sometimes overblown language—like myself!

Smith was clear that his use of language and rhetorical stylings as deliberate. He talked of trying to create a "sort of verbal black magic."

He uses some obscure words, such as 'vans' for wings and 'ferine' which neither I, nor my spell-checker, had come across before. I must have heard the word before because I read all of these stories as a teenager. But I'd forgotten ferine. Turns out it's a version of feral: savage and untamed.

I did enjoy the word 'troublously' and also 'lubricous'.

Smith wrote poetry from the age of 11, and his first novel by the age of 14. He began to sell his stories aged 17. His influences were The Arabian Nights, and he was clearly entranced by fairy-tale realms. He is also influenced by Edgar Allen Poe and the Brothers Grimm as well as the classic Gothic novel Vathek. Interestingly, he loved the decadent poetry of Charles Baudelaire. He translated his poetry from French as Baudelaire in his turn had translated the works of Poe into French.

He had a period of ill health. He was a correspondent of Lovecraft and also knew Jack London and Ambrose Bierce.

Smith and Lovecraft used the strange names and ideas they conjured in mutually influenced stories. This 'open source' was Lovecraft's greatest gift to horror: he allowed other writers to build on his ideas and so the Cthulhu Mythos was created.

Smith was a massively prolific author, but more or less gave up writing in the second half of his life.

He then turned back to sculpting and painting. He nursed his mother and father during their final illnesses until finally is father died in 1937. Robert H Howard killed himself in 1935 and Lovecraft died of cancer in 1937. It’s thought that these events may have knocked the love of writing out of him.

Smith himself had a heart attack in 1953, but he still married aged 61. He set up house with Carolyn Jones Dorman and took on her children, and they moved to Pacific Grove.

He had a series of strokes in 1961, and one finally killed him.

I must admit that of the 'big three' Weird Tales writers (Lovecraft, Howard and Smith), I prefer Smith. I found Howard mostly preposterous. The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast did a reading of Robert E Howard's *Queen of the Black Coast* which had me in stitches. You need to check Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey out. They are very good.

I loved Smith from my early teens and I think that the creation of the mythical Provencal region of Averoigne is fantastic. I was mesmerised by this medieval city surrounded by werewolf haunted forests. It was merely a matter of time that I managed to sneak a story in, falsely claiming it as a ghost story.

It's not a ghost story, but it is a weird tale and it does contain the supernatural and a bit of murder, so I think it's okay.

Smith on occasion intrudes sexual themes, and these are mostly absent from Lovecraft's work and Poe's as I can remember. Let me know if I am missing something here. I could be. It's late. I'm tired. I've been working on sales funnels rather than poetry. Pity.

Coincidentally, Smith died the year I was born. That's a pity too.

The Maker Of Gargoyles

This is a nice story. I love the setting in the made-up French medieval city of Vyones in the haunted region of Averoigne. Apparently Averoigne is based on the real Auvergne region. Lovecraft used Averoigne in one of his stories 'Out of the Aeons'.

I think Smith illustrates very well the paranoid fear of satanism and the acts of the evil one that must have taken over small towns like this every now and again for hundreds of years. It's a bit like New England and The Crucible in New England or Witchfinder General in old England.

The picture of a population becoming overpowered by paranoid fear about a plague moving in their midst, a fear fanned by authorities, such as the church in this case, is obviously beyond belief.

The central idea of the story that an evil man creates evil works of art; statues that capture his wickedness and lust. It is somewhat reminiscent of The Picture of Dorian Grey, except of course for Reynard in this story, the transference of his evil into the gargoyles appears to have been unconscious and once he recognises his fault in this, he tries to rectify it with a tragic end.

So, he has a bit of a character arc! Also, Nicolette doesn't die. These are both positive things.

It also reminds me of the lost Dr Who story, The Daemons, which I loved as a young boy. In that satanic statues come to life. Very folk horror.

I was also interested in Reynard's sorcerous reputation. He is not a sorcerer, but blacksmiths, another type of craftsman were in older times considered to have magic powers. Then we have the Masons, later the Freemasons who had their own secret and somewhat magical ceremonies. It's something about the craftsman, or woman in that they create things from raw materials and particularly a sculptor who makes things in the shapes of things that might, and in this case do, live.

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Oct 24 2020 · 52mins
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Episode 05 - The Dark Eidolon, by Clark Ashton Smith

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The Dark Eidolon, by Clark Ashton Smith. A Necromancer returns to the city of his birth bent on revenge. Originally published in the January, 1935 issue of Weird Tales.

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Jul 06 2020 · 1hr 15mins

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229 Shadows by Clark Ashton Smith

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Shadows by Clark Ashton Smith
Jun 24 2020 · 36mins
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Clark Ashton Smith - The double shadow

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Classic Lovecraftian horror with incredible depth and beautiful, baroque language. Smith is often associated with the Cthulhu myth authors but had a completely unique, archaic style. The worlds he dreamed up were detailed and full of wonder, from medieval French Averoigne to exotic Zothique and ancient Hyperborea.
May 10 2020 · 30mins
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219 In Thessaly by Clark Ashton Smith

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In Thessaly by Clark Ashton Smith
Apr 15 2020 · 29mins
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Appendicitis 002: Clark Ashton Smith

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In their new sub-series, Appendicitis, Andy and Barney from Loco Ludus discuss works NOT on the infamous  AD&D Appendix N. In this discussion they look at two poignant and horrifying short stories by Clark Ashton Smith; The Immeasurable Horror and The Metamorphosis of Earth. Both deal with man coming into contact with alien lifeforms and suffering the hideous consequences. Two tales that take on even more resonance in our current times of trouble.

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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/andy-goodman8/message
Mar 20 2020 · 1hr 3mins
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Vegetable Horror: The Seed From The Sepulchre by Clark Ashton Smith

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Cian digs out an old favourite from the days of pulp magazine adventure and horror: a short story by Clark Ashton Smith from 1933 about a trip down a South American river that goes very, very wrong. If you enjoy chaps in pith helmets going to forbidden lost cities and learning Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, if you like seriously disgusting body horror, and if you like Triffids and other kinds of vile, vicious vegetation that like to feast on man, then look no further! There's but a smidge of Cosmic Horror here, and perhaps a touch of Ancient Astronauts too. All in all, it's an astonishingly unsettling, horrible and entertaining tale to listen to while you sit round your Christmas hearth. Cian downs a green tea during the telling of this tale, but feel free to have something stronger yourself, if you think your stomach can take it.

Etext of the story

She Is In The Woods by COAG

Dec 17 2019 · 46mins
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The Nameless Offspring, by Clark Ashton Smith, Part 1

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In which our hero visits an old family friend.

Twitter: WeirdTalesPod

Email: TheWeirdTalesPodcast@gmail.com

Please visit http://TheWeirdTalesPodcast.podbean.com for all back episodes and previously posted content. Thanks for listening!

Nov 12 2019 · 28mins
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The Abominations of Yondo by Clark Ashton Smith

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One of the first Clark Ashton Smith stories I ever read.  The Abominations of Yondo is more prose poetry than a well-developed story, but the sheer brilliance of the language and the visceral descriptions of the landscape capture me as few things can.  It really captures the essence of C. A. Smith’s cosmic horror.  I hope you enjoy!

Link to text: http://eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/2/the-abominations-of-yondo

matthewtansek.com

Nov 11 2019 · 20mins
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The Abominations of Yondo by Clark Ashton Smith

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One of the first Clark Ashton Smith stories I ever read.  The Abominations of Yondo is more prose poetry than a well-developed story, but the sheer brilliance of the language and the visceral descriptions of the landscape capture me as few things can.  It really captures the essence of C. A. Smith’s cosmic horror.  I hope you enjoy!

Link to text: http://eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/2/the-abominations-of-yondo

matthewtansek.com

Nov 11 2019 · 20mins
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