The Freedom of Fantastic Things
As poet, fiction writer, and artist, Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) has left an indelible mark on the fields of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. But criticism of his bountiful and varied work has been surprisingly scanty, and oftentimes ill-informed. The Freedom of Fantastic Things represents the most substantial volume of criticism of Smith’s work ever published, and includes both original and previously published work by the leading scholars on Smith.
Among the notable contributions are Donald Sidney-Fryer’s exhaustive discussion of Smith’s relations with his early mentor, George Sterling; Brian Stableford’s brilliant analysis of Smith’s cosmicism; Fred Chappell’s sensitive treatment of Smith’s fantastic poetry; S. T. Joshi’s essays on The Hashish-Eater and on Smith’s prose-poetry; Scott Connors’s penetrating study of Smith’s relations to literary Modernism; Lauric Guillaud’s rumination on fantasy and decadence in Smith’s work; and other essays by Carl Jay Buchanan, Charles K. Wolfe, Steve Behrends, Stefan Dziemianowicz, Ronald S. Hilger, and other leading authorities.
At the conclusion of the volume is Steve Behrends’s exhaustive chronology of Smith’s work and a comprehensive primary and secondary bibliography. All in all, a feast for devotees of the necromancer from Auburn!