Clark Ashton Smith (January 13, 1893 – August 14, 1961) was a self-educated American poet,
Smith was one of "the big three of Weird Tales, with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft",] but some readers objected to his morbidness and violation of pulp traditions. The fantasy critic L. Sprague de Camp said of him that "nobody since Poe has so loved a well-rotted corpse."Smith was a member of the Lovecraft circle and his literary friendship with Lovecraft lasted from 1922 until Lovecraft's death in 1937. His work is marked by an extraordinarily rich and ornate vocabulary, a cosmic perspective and a vein of sardonic and sometimes ribald humor.
Of his writing style, Smith stated that: "My own conscious ideal has been to delude the reader into accepting an impossibility, or series of impossibilities, by means of a sort of verbal black magic, in the achievement of which I make use of prose-rhythm, metaphor, simile, tone-color, counter-point, and other stylistic resources, like a sort of incantation.