The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

Episode #9: “The Holiness of Azédarac”

This week’s episode is on Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Holiness of Azédarac” (originally titled “The Satanic Prelate”). “Holiness” was published in Weird Tales in November of 1933.

Illustration of the Holiness of Azedarac

You can hear H.P. Lovecraft & Clark Ashton Smith discussing the history of Averoigne as used in this story in our two interludes: Lovecraft’s letter to CAS and Smith’s letter to HPL.

If you missed the allusions in the text, Iog-Sotôt is Yog-Sothoth of HPL fame and Sodagui is Tsathoggua of CAS’s pantheon/pandemonium. Both are undoubtedly CAS’s attempts to mimic the evolution of pronunciations through the centuries. Lilit is Lilith, first wife of Adam who is thought to be perhaps a demon or a monster.

Our next episode will be “The Disinterment of Venus.”

Special thanks to the Hay Library for being so friendly on our visit and to Mike Mucci for the Azédarac drawing!

Music by: Kevin MacLeod

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  1. Odilius Vlak says:

    I agree with you guys about the lack of a good plot in this story, but even so, there’re a lot of interesting things going on in it, the most of them you have already pointed out in the show. It seems to me that the drink splits the human’s atoms but without make the person explode like an atom bomb. The fact of Azédarac being canonized it’s something that suit perfetly with the Catholic tradition. One thing I can’t accept it’s that “The Book of Eibon” ended up in the hands of Ambrose, in spite of the nearness of Morianis. The fact is that such important item in the Smith’s mythology couldn’t finish in that uncertainly way after eons being handle by the most skillful sorcerers.

  2. Fred Kiesche says:

    I kept waiting for Ambrose to become the original “Quantum Leap”er and go bouncing through time, possibly getting closer and closer to his start point, but never there.

    Or…to either run into Azedarac or even **become** Azerdarac.

    Since he went back with The Book of Eibon (strange how that internally-taken potion worked!), was that the copy that Azerdarac had in the “present” (future)? Time loops, ahoy!