Bio Of Steven King Essay, Research Paper
Stephen Edwin King was born September 21, 1947in Portland, Maine, U.S. He is an American novelist and short-story writer whose many novels and story collections, and the numerous films adapted from this large body of work, have established his reputation as the leading author of horror fictions in contemporary literature, and with reviving the genre of horror fiction in the late 20th century.
King graduated from the University of Maine in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Abused by a fanatically religious mother and ridiculed by her classmates, Carrie was the first of many novels in which King blended horror, the macabre, fantasy, and science fiction. Among such works were Salem’s Lot (1975), an equally nihilistic novel, which portrays a small Maine village overrun and repopulated by vampires. The Shining (1977; filmed 1980), a writer, his wife, and their young son act as winter caretakers in a ghost-ridden hotel. The Stand (1978), The Dead Zone (1979; filmed 1983), Firestarter (1980), Cujo (1981), Christine (1983), It (1986), Misery (1987), The Tommyknockers (1987), and The Dark Half (1989).
In his books King explored almost every terror-producing theme imaginable, from vampires, rabid dogs, deranged killers, and a pyromaniac to ghosts, extrasensory perception and telekinesis, biological warfare, and even a malevolent automobile. Though his work was disparaged as undisciplined and inelegant, King was a talented storyteller whose books gain their effect from realistic detail, forceful plotting, and the author’s undoubted ability to involve and scare the reader. King’s stories reverberate with subtexts. Carrie resonates with a residual dread of the women’s liberation movement. Salem’s lot reflects America’s post-Watergate fear that corruption exists on every level of society. Thinner (1984), published under the pseudonym ”Richard Bachman,” applies conspicuous consumption with the curse of anorexia nervosa. King typically adapts his metaphors from the stock repertoire of horror fiction. IT (1986) shows childhood fears in the form of such classic Universal Studio movie monsters as Frankenstein, Wolfman, and the Mummy. In Misery (1987) King, not hesitating to be self-referential, pictures a successful writer kidnapped by a crazily devoted fan. The Dark Half (1989) fictionalizes his use of the ”Richard Bachman” pseudonym, as a horror writer’s pen name becomes a threat to his existence.
King’s major contribution to horror literature is to situate it within the general anxieties of contemporary life. His focus is not on vampires, werewolves and such but on ordinary people faced with these horrors and the darker horrors of the lost jobs, disintegrating families, mental breakdown, and all the other fears that haunt the atomic age. His novels vindicate the dreads of that age.
King also wrote the short stories collected in Night Shift (1978), as well as several novellas and motion picture screenplays. Some of his novels were successfully adapted for the screen by such directors as Brian De Palma, Stanley Kubrick, and Rob Reiner.