Stephen King - The Second Decade: Danse Macabre to the Dark Half

Overview

The popular success of Stephen King's novels is, of course, a fact beyond dispute. Perhaps because of his popularity, however, he has been denigrated or ignored by most literary critics and scholars. A previous volume in Twayne's United States Authors Series, Joseph Reino's Stephen King: The First Decade, Carrie to Pet Sematary (1988) redressed the balance for King's works published between 1974 and 1983. In the present work, Tony Magistrale takes a critical look at the novels and non-fiction of King's second ...
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Overview

The popular success of Stephen King's novels is, of course, a fact beyond dispute. Perhaps because of his popularity, however, he has been denigrated or ignored by most literary critics and scholars. A previous volume in Twayne's United States Authors Series, Joseph Reino's Stephen King: The First Decade, Carrie to Pet Sematary (1988) redressed the balance for King's works published between 1974 and 1983. In the present work, Tony Magistrale takes a critical look at the novels and non-fiction of King's second decade, devoting extended analyses to King's critical study of the horror genre, Danse Macabre, and to the novels published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Magistrale shows that King cannot be confined to the reductive categories of genre fiction. Rather, the master of the macabre has drawn on many literary traditions from both high culture and low culture in the composition of his novels. Moreover, Magistrale makes a convincing case that King's art has a depth and subtlety rarely found either among "serious" or "popular" writers, and that his work is characterized by an astute knowledge of fundamental American myths and archetypes. Especially notable features of this book include the extensive interview with Stephen King that makes up the bulk of the first chapter, and the author's insightful and well-informed analysis of the "gothic inheritance." Stephen King: The Second Decade is an important revaluation of a fascinating writer, and will appeal to students and scholars of American literature and popular culture.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- Magistrale has written this critique with clarity, simplicity, and obvious admiration for his subject. A book that could easily be read from cover to cover, it may also serve as a reference for students interested in King's more recent works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805739572
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 3/28/1992
  • Series: United States Authors Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Chronology
Ch. 1 The Writer Defines Himself: An Interview with Stephen King 1
Ch. 2 Tracing the Gothic Inheritance: Danse Macabre and a Context for Terror 20
Ch. 3 Evaluating the Bachman Books: Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, Thinner, The Dark Half 47
Ch. 4 Science and the Apocalyptic Imagination: The Talisman and The Tommyknockers 67
Ch. 5 Ship of Ghouls: Skeleton Crew 86
Ch. 6 Art versus Madness: It and Misery 101
Ch. 7 Experiments in Genre and Form: The Eyes of the Dragon and The Dark Tower Saga 134
Ch. 8 Toward a Third Decade: Points of Reflection and Departure 149
Notes and References 161
Selected Bibliography 173
Index 183
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