Re: HP Lovecraft Vs Clark Ashton Smith

  • I disagree with any suggestion that Lovecraft's thematic concerns, however they might be construed, and his artificial mythology make up the ground lost when comparing his stylistic excellence and technical versatility with that displayed in Smith's fiction. The "Cthulhu Mythos" was largely a hybrid spawned from the influence of Machen and Blackwood (not Lord Dunsany). Cthulhu also bears a superficial resemblance to Merritt's "Metal Monster," published in 1920. Criticism of Merritt's florid micro-description aside, he was the preeminent American fantaisist during HPL's gestation period. Lovecraft was only a fledgling author while Smith was a renowned poet whose cosmicism was more akin to that of his mentor George Sterling, or to someone like David Lindsay, than it would ever be to the stubbornly materialistic Lovecraft. Smith's genius took a more original turn in fiction than Lovecraft's, whose tales were aptly described as fascinating but "too redolent of the Lamp." I forget who it is I'm quoting there, if someone could tell me I'd appreciate it. So, essentially I agree with Zabdamar's comparison.


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