Stephen King, Christine - Text Analysis

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Stephen King is perhaps the most widely known American writer of his generation, yet his distinctions include publishing as two authors at once: Beginning in 1966, he wrote novels that were published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. When twelve, he began submitting stories for sale. At first ignored and then scorned by mainstream critics, by the late 1980’s his novels were reviewed regularly in The New York Times Book Review, with increasing favor. Beginning in 1987, most of his novels were main selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, which in 1989 created the Stephen King Library, committed to keeping King’s novels “in print in hardcover.” King published more than one hundred short stories (including the collections Night Shift, 1978, Skeleton Crew, 1985, and Nightmares and Dreamscapes, 1993) and the eight novellas contained in Different Seasons (1982) and Four Past Midnight (1990). King has published numerous articles and a critical book, Danse Macabre (1981). King’s detractors attribute his success to the sensational appeal of his genre, whose main purpose, as King readily confesses, is to scare people. Like Edgar Allan Poe, King turned a degenerated genre — a matter of comic-book monsters and drive-in films—into a medium embodying the primary anxieties of his age. He is graphic, sentimental, and predictable. His humor is usually crude and campy. His dark fantasies, like all good popular fiction, allow readers to express within conventional frames of reference feelings and concepts they might not otherwise consider. his vision articulates universal fears and desires in terms peculiar to contemporary culture. King is “Master of Postliterate Prose,” as Paul Gray stated in 1982—writing that takes readers mentally to the films rather than making them imagine or think. On the other hand, King’s work provides the most genuine example of the storyteller’s art since Charles Dickens. He has returned to the novel some of the popular appeal it had in the nineteenth...
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