Words of Praise for "The Book of Jade"

From Selected Letters of Clark Ashton Smith, Ed. by David E. Schultz and Scott Connors; Arkham House, Sauk City, Wisconsin(2003), (page 78):

Clark Ashton Smith to Donald Wandrei, July 10th, 1925:
"Dear Mr. Wandrei,
     I am greatly indebted to you for the loan of the Book of Jade, which I will return to you in a week or two. You are right about the mortuary poems being the best: some of them, such as the 'Sonnet of the Instruments of Death,' 'Sepulchral Life' etc. are truly impressive, and, it seems to me, very original. There is a tremendous idea in the 'Grotesques,' also, in the second of the 'Fragments.' In the first section, the sonnet 'Ennui' impressed me as being perhaps the best, or at last, the most perfect. Ennui and sheer corruption are both extremely difficult subjects to handle. If I am ever in a position to edit an anthology, I will certainly include at least half-a-dozen of these poems.
     Thanking you again for The Book of Jade, and for the magnificent compliments you pay me, I remain,
          Very sincerely,
               Clark Ashton Smith"

From H. P. Lovecraft: Selected Letters IV 1932-1934, Ed. by August Derleth and James Turner:

H. P. Lovecraft to Maurice W. Moe, September 18th, 1937

"…and who could have written that nasty, cynical Book of Jade? internal evidence indicates a Harvard student…"(p. 66)

H. P. Lovecraft to James F. Morton, September 21, 1932

"Wandrei's quest at the collection [the John Hay Library at Brown University] concerned a very fine but forgotten Massachusetts poet "Frederick Tuckerman" who although writing in the Victorian aera
escap'd many of its most absurd characteristicks; also an Harvard youth, Park Barnitz, who killed himself after publishing a remarkable volume of decadent verse(1902) entitled The Book of Jade and dedicated to Baudelaire……."(p. 68)

From "Poet of Eternity" by Litterio Farsaci(1963), in In Memoriam Clark Ashton Smith, Ed. by Jack L. Chalker, Baltimore, 1963, (p.52):

     "…This was no tentative explorer, on the fringes of earth, but a connoisseur of world in the realm of undiscovered suns. With few exceptions, and these only occasional ventures by others, there has been nothing comparable in the spirit of cosmic intensity to the poetic works of Clark Ashton Smith. Therefore, all superlatives become applicable when we speak of this poet.
     I can say that I have them all, one of the largest and certainly most rare collection of books of fantasy poetry in the nation. There are the books and poetry collections of Lovecraft, Long, Loveman, Lilith, Hersey, Noyes, Coblentz, Wandrei, etc. Anthologies of such verse, and such rarities as DARK ODYSSEY, NIGHT, THE SINGING FLAME, THE BOOK OF JADE, ECSTACY, FLOWERS OF EVIL, THE MAN FROM GENOA I've read them all, the wonderful, the weird, the glowingly fantastic, the eerie, the exotic, the awesome. I've read and reread them, savored them through the years, delighted in the discovery anew.
     But the conclusion is inescapable; treasures as all these works are, still Clark Ashton Smith stands out as a nova among the stars…."

From "Lotus and Poppy", Don't Dream: The Collected Horror and Fantasy Fiction of Donald Wandrei, Ed. by Philip J. Rahman and Dennis E. Weiler, Fedogan & Bremer, Minneapolis, MN(1997), (p. 355-56)

     "…There is a mighty music in a certain kind of prose; there are poems haunted by a wizard imagery; and this was the prose and poetry that I sought. I was not studying prose values, of course, nor did I then know that the greatest prose and poetry ever written was that completely removed from life in its ordinary physical forms, that which was timeless; it was instinctively that I rejected the most powerful literary myths. The authors I read were Poe, and Bierce, and Machen, Swinburne, Clark Ashton Smith, Park Barnitz, and Baudelaire, Thomson, Blake, Keats, Saltus, these and all such others that I could find. Their work was pure literature, prose and poetry in their highest and most enduring forms. I did not realize it then, but I did realize that their writings gave me an ineffable pleasure.
     "Arthur Machen has said that those who quest in Eternity will have done most of their dreaming before they are eighteen. I do not know. But in my own earlier years dreaming was to me the breath of life and something more than life, the realm of the mind my abode, and world-making my occupation always. It was the books I read that fanned the flame and sent me searching in farther heavens. The discovery of Poe was the greatest literary event of my life; The Hill of Dreams for months made the reading of other books wearisome; The City of Dreadful Night, Can Such Things Be, Shadows and Ideals, The Book of Jade, these and a handful of others were the volumes I admired. I began to dream, and to dream on larger and greater scales until sometimes existence itself became an unreality before what was to me reality…."

Content © 2007 - 2008 The Book of Jade
Design © 2007 -2008 Thaumaturgic: Web Development