Thursday, August 20, 2009

Smith to Lovecraft, 1925

Smith, Clark Ashton. AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED (ALS), four pages, dated 8 December 1925, to H. P. Lovecraft ("Dear Lovecraft"), signed "As ever, C.A.S.," on two leaves of 6 1/2 x 10 1/4-inch note-paper. Complains about the difficulty of writing when "jaded from so-called useful labour. However, one of the indestructible delusions of the crowd is that poetry is not to be classed as work -- that one should be able to hold a 'regular job' and toss off poetry on the side…." Discusses some crossword puzzles he constructed for a friend of Lovecraft and lists some of the obscure words he put into them. "I made a study of all the rare and archaic words in the language at one time. Few people realize the resources of English and most of them howl a the occasional rare gem with which I embroider my poetry." Mentions some mutual friends, including Benjamin de Casseres, who "not long ago … put me with Poe and Blake!" Old mailing folds, two of the pages have a rectangular area (2 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches) of mild offsetting from contact with a small piece of acidic paper, otherwise fine. (#103863)

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