The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast

Posts Tagged "averoigne"

Episode #14: Au Revoir, Averoigne

This week is our last in Averoigne. We talk about the three major synopses from the Eldritch Dark and a little biographical and critical information. Synopses: “Queen of the Sabbat,” “The Werewolf of Averoigne,” and “The Sorceress of Averoigne | The Tower of Istarelle.”

The essay Phil referenced is “Into the Woods: The Human Geography of Averoigne” by Stefan Dziemianowicz, in The Freedom of Fantastic Things: Selected Criticism on Clark Ashton Smith ed. by Scott Connors. Tim quoted from “Eblis in Bakelite” by James Blish, “James Blish versus Ashton Smith; to Wit, the Young Turk Syndrome” by Donald Sidney-Fryer, and “Who Discovered Clark Ashton Smith?” by Scott Connors, all published in the Lost Worlds journal.

So–what did we have in Averoigne?

  • 1 cathedral
  • 1 convent
  • 2 monasteries
  • 14 Necromancers
  • 1 demon
  • 1 alien
  • 1 evil statue
  • 11 mentions of werewolves
  • 1 actual werewolf
  • 2 sorceresses, unaligned
  • 1 witch, batrachian
  • 2 vampires, lazy
  • 1 staff of household vampire servants
  • 2 lamias, unconfirmed
  • 1 art-loving archbishop
  • 7 gargoyles
  • 1 corpse giant
  • 2 epidemics of murder
  • 16 dead monks

Next week, we’ll be doing our first Poseidonis story: “The Last Incantation.”

Music thanks to: Kevin MacLeod.

Episode #13: “The Satyr”

This week, we’re covering the last published Averoigne story, “The Satyr” along with its variant conclusion.

The poet referenced in the story was Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585), who was a member of the group of French poets known as La Pléiade.

The phrase we were looking for from the Podcast to the Curious was the “Jamesian whallop,” an especially good phrase when said in a British accent.

In next week’s episode, we’ll wrap up Averoigne with a discussion of the setting and a look at three synopses/outlines CAS wrote for potential Averoigne stories. The synopses we’ll be covering are “Queen of the Sabbat,” “The Werewolf of Averoigne,” “The Sorceress of Averoigne | The Tower of Istarelle.”

Thanks again to Kevin MacLeod for the music.

Episode #12: “The Enchantress of Sylaire”

This week’s episode is on “The Enchantress of Sylaire.” Enchantress was published in the July 1941 issue of Weird Tales.

Illustration from Weird Tales most likely by Clark Ashton Smith.

The Wikipedia entry for Cromlech has an illustration of a basic one, as well as more complex outlines.

A few links here for those interested in illustrations of monsters carrying women and the “carry phenomenon.”

Next time, we’ll be doing the last of the Averoigne stories, “The Satyr.” You may also want to read read its variant conclusion, which we’ll be discussing on the show.

Thanks again to Kevin MacLeod for the music.

Episode #11: “Mother of Toads”

This week’s episode is on “Mother of Toads” (abridged version here). As with “Maker of Gargoyles,” we warn listeners that this story does contain sexual assault, in this case against a male.

IMDB page for The Theatre Bizarre in which the “Mother of Toads” adaptation Phil mentioned appears (and picture of Richard Stanley). A trailer for the horror compilation in which the “Mother of Toads” film appears The Theatre of the Bizarre. A clip in which the wife buys the Elder Sign earring.

The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, in which an illustrated (but not graphic novel/comic) version of “Mother of Toads” appears.

Next time, we will be reading “The Enchantress of Sylaire.”

Thanks again to Kevin MacLeod for the music.

Episode #10: “The Disinterment of Venus”

A transcription of this episode is now available.

This week is a somewhat shorter episode on Smith’s “Disinterment of Venus.” After a number of revisions, this story first appeared in the July 1934 issue of Weird Tales alongside “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” by HPL and E. Hoffman Price and other stories.

The goddess Smith had originally intended to conflate with this Venus was
Kotys (or “Cotys”, “Cotto”, “Cottyto”, “Cottytus” depending on the spelling). According to Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, her priests were called “Baptes”

[their] midnight orgies were so obscene that they disgusted even the even the goddess herself. (p.73)

Our next episode will be “Mother of Toads.” This one will carry a warning for sexual violence.

Music by: Kevin MacLeod, Illustration by Mike Mucci.

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