The Dark Descent: Essays Defining Stephen King's Horrorscape

The Dark Descent: Essays Defining Stephen King's Horrorscape

by Tony Magistrale
     
 

Surely one of America's most popular novelists, Stephen King has only recently begun to receive serious attention from scholars and literary critics. The Dark Descent assembles fifteen illuminating original essays that consider King from a variety of intellectual orientations, addressing the major novels and central thematic concerns that represent King's

Overview

Surely one of America's most popular novelists, Stephen King has only recently begun to receive serious attention from scholars and literary critics. The Dark Descent assembles fifteen illuminating original essays that consider King from a variety of intellectual orientations, addressing the major novels and central thematic concerns that represent King's contributions to American letters and elevating King scholarship to a new level of critical discourse. This volume places King firmly within the canon of contemporary American fiction.

The essayists are concerned with explicating the meanings of individual narratives and creating critical contexts for their interpretion. While covering a broad range of his works and using multiple theoretical approaches—including reader-response, mythic, psychoanalytic, and structuralist criticism—to offer insights into King's fiction, most of the essayists reflect on one of two central theses: that King's body of literature may be seen as having been deeply influenced by the mainstream traditions of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European fictions, and that the narratives may be read as profound commentary on the major political and social tensions shaping contemporary American life. King's supernatural horrors reflect actual horrors, and his compelling style makes art out of horror fiction. A King chronology, bibliography and an expository introduction flank the analytical essays.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313272974
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/30/1992
Series:
Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy Series, #48
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

TONY MAGISTRALE is Associate Professor of English at the University of Vermont, where he teaches a course on the novels of Stephen King. His previous publications on King include Landscape of Fear: Stephen King's American Gothic, and he is at work on another book tentatively titled Stephen King, The Second Decade: Danse Macabre to The Dark Tower.

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