The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

Episode #5: “The Colossus of Ylourgne” pt.1

A transcription of this episode is available.

This week’s episode covers the first half of “The Colossus of Ylourgne,” sections 1-4. You can subscribe in iTunes or via RSS.

The illustration above was commissioned by Farnsworth Wright to go along with the story’s publication. According to his correspondence, Smith was dissatisfied with the piece as a whole, but liked the two torturing demons.

For our casting of Gaspard, do you prefer Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, or someone else? Let us know in the comments, otherwise Ruth and Tim will never settle this.

You still have the rest of today (6/13/12) to enter our weird fiction book giveaway. We’ll be posting and contacting winners sometime on Thursday or Friday.

Our next episode will be the second half (sections 5-8) of “The Colossus of Ylourgne.”

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

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  1. Revanche says:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Because.

  2. Eibon III says:

    We know the popularity of stories in Weird Tales stories because they published in the magazine a chart of story popularity from a couple of issues back, based on reader feedback.

    I always thought that this story done in the style of the 1938 “Hunchback of Notre Dame” would have been brilliant as a film.

    Loved the classical music on this episode. It works really well.

    There’s a couple of pronunciations that didn’t seem quite right to my English ears: “wizened” is pronouced “wiz-end” or “weez-end” rather than “wise-end”. “Uncouth” is more normally pronounced “un-kooth” rather than “un-koth” (to rhyme with “youth”). I do appriciate that it’s easy to slip up when reading aloud, and that you’re not being paid to do this. I just thought I’d mention them for reference.

    I beleive Ialdabaoth is mentioned in the Gnosticism article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, so that could be where Smith got it from, assuming that it is mentioned in the 11th edition. The name certainly appears in Irenaeus’ “Against Heresies” (published A.D.180), an anti-Gnostic Christian text, so it has been out there for a long time. You’ll find Smith seems to be quite knowledgable about Gnosicim and Rosicrucianism. It makes one wonder if CAS or his father were ever part of a secret mystical society, like the Masons? His knowledge of Gnosticism could be informing his attitude to organised Christianity.

    An athanor is an kiln or self-feeding furnace used by alchemists for “digestion” of chemicals.

    Thanks for the great work and I loved the podcast and an eagerly awaiting the next one.

  3. GB Steve says:

    Definitely ee-larwn-ya in French.

    Did I hear a snigger during “ecclesiastical thumbscrews and faggots”?

    The untimely resurrection is a great counterpoint to the ultimate resurrection but I’d prefer it for once if we got description before the ironic commentary as it lessens it.

    Nice music!

    The giant vat scene is very reminiscent of the Conan movie scene with the canabalistic stew.

    Loupgarou is more a nickname for a bandit so Jacques is probably not supernatural.

    “Disquietude”, never use a short noun (disquiet) when a longer one will do.

    There’s a Clive Barker story, In the Hills, the Cities, about a giant creature made of people.

    I think the glowing white cauldron was full of melted bones.

  4. John (obviously) says:

    Saponification is the process that produces soap from from fats and lye (specifically animal fats and vegetable oils).

    Just randomly stumbled upon this podcast, and decided to share some of my high school chemistry knowledge.

    “Rendering” is the first step in the process of saponification.