Why Stephen King keeps coming back

Like an immortal horror movie villain, Stephen King haunts us. We are in the midst of the king’s revival in movies and TV. The gold rush for marketable intellectual property has brought Hollywood back to the work of this popular writer in a spectacular way. Although the performance of Jin’s books on the screen has been fairly stable over the years, the explosive growth of Jin in the past four years has been very noticeable.We are making the first adaptations of new and old works, such as Gerrard’s game, Sleep doctor, In the tall grass, with outsider, And remakes of previously adapted works, such as Pet Theological Seminary with it. And then there are short-lived strange experiments like Hulu Castle rock, Which attempts to remix elements of King’s most popular horror work into a meta TV show, or chapel, The recent Epix series has expanded his short stories Lots of Jerusalem.

The success of these projects is consistent with King’s record of entire film and television adaptations: they are very unbalanced. However, the key batting rate is much higher than in previous decades, and reducing the current wealth of king content to rank opportunism is diminishing. For better or worse, King has left an indelible mark on the culture, and it continues-even if the culture seems to have left him behind, or he has moved away from the horror type he almost unilaterally celebrates.

Although I have been thinking about him and reading him for many years, I didn’t read the 2003 preface until a few weeks ago. Three people figure, The second book in his Dark Tower fantasy epic, I think I finally got Stephen King.

There, Kim wrote down what prompted him to create this series. There were five books at the time, and it will soon end with two books a year later. He tried to figure out why he wrote these books. He attributed this to his inner American: the impulse to “build the tallest, dig the deepest, and write the longest”. I think this is the lasting influence of Kim and the reason why he has come back to him generation after generation. This is his Americanity-not real life in the United States. Many people claim that this is the reason why his work attracts people all the time, but its fiction has become flesh. The empty American dream, repackaged and sold to many people, turned into meat on this tall, pale man from Maine.

The legend of Stephen King


Whenever questions arise about Stephen King’s longevity and reputation as a writer, people often mention two basic aspects of his legend. The first is probably the greatest: he is one of the most outstanding and influential figures in horror novels, a master who has a deep understanding of the fears of all of us. Then there are the facts of his success, which is usually related to his professional ethics: King is a prolific writer who publishes many books every year and is a bestseller.

Like many legends, this legend has some truth, but the amount of health may also be destroyed by facts. Some of them are trivial-for example, Kim is often reluctant to call himself a horror writer, and has accumulated a large number of works outside of this genre. (His most recent work is crime fiction-his latest novel, 2021 Billy Summers, Is a classic vulgar crime story about a killer in his last job. ) Others are more important, such as his influence and praise from critics are still largely limited to his heyday, the dazzling period that began with his 1974 debut Carrie Until the 1980s.

The exact timing of the end of the heyday is very debatable, but I personally will end it in 1987 sufferingDuring that time, he created most of the most widely adapted and most cited works-and achieved great success, so that later, Jin became an institution and fixture, able to withstand the moderate response of his later works. Because his early works have never failed to create new conversions.

Of these two basic parts of the King’s Legend, the latter is arguably the most important. No writer can make a universally unique claim to the understanding of human psychology, even if their work is actually unique.The reality of publishing-a Disturbing unfair areas -It’s hard to ignore that the content posted does not represent the content available.

Danny Torrance in Sleep Doctor

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

This is not to weaken King’s skills as a character writer. Whether in the best or worst case, he can consistently create almost frictionless prose that surrounds the brain and makes reading through doorstop novels unique and enjoyable. Before long, a fledgling Stephen King fan will be fascinated by his bibliography. Kim himself often noticed that he was surpassed many times by other prolific writers. But it is his consistent and unprecedented success that makes his work so compelling, and because of this, his professional ethics story becomes alluring in a unique way.

In his memoirs About writing, King talked modestly about his work ethic-putting aside the absurdity that the interviewer always wanted to know the secret of his success-and delving into its important details. King’s creed is consistency, which is an unromantic view of craftsmanship. He makes 10 pages a day without exception. He believes that most writers should adopt a similar commitment to their daily lives, no matter what suits their lives: each day has a fixed time and place, but it will not fail.

It is here that in the gap between the king of craftsmen and the king of legends, his basic Americanness is most obvious. This is the old-fashioned dream of guiding capitalism. This guy who works in the laundry room, teaches high school English, and struggles with working-class jobs can sit down, write 10 pages a day, accumulate rejections, and become one of the most stable bestsellers in the world. . Only in the United States? He can do it. you can also.

Deadly momentum

As a beneficiary of luck and privilege, Stephen King is one of the few novel writers who can publish every idle idea of ​​his and make a considerable profit from it if he wants to. Usually, according to some devout King fans, he seems to be so.Despite the wide variety of his works-stories of human drama, such as body with Rita Hayworth and Shawshank’s Redemption There are as many impressions as his horror– There is an almost universal uneasiness in Kim’s story.

The Outsider Adapted by HBO


From horror to adulthood to vulgar thriller, King’s story is a vast world of America presented page by page. The momentum of his characters matches his prose, even if they often go to irrelevant places, except for their own bad luck, or the frustration that Kim’s readers often share.

There is an element of exploration in his works, a firm belief that if we keep moving forward — from one place to another, or from one character to another — we will find the answer through our own guidance. When we don’t, we feel fear. This is the key, the dark tower I built to explain this person: Stephen King is the vast world of America, an open throat, which has only grown for decades, it is big enough to swallow us many times in countless ways.

In the process of publishing a large number of books, he has expressed this anxiety to us many times, connecting us with countless other people, and then using this connection to make us feel fear. Think about the changes that have taken place around us during his career. The unknowns that he guides readers through that cause anxiety: cable TV and mobile phones, the Internet and infinite scrolling, all of which push us to a better world. More Promise that as we move forward longer, everything will get worse. Show your destiny, do whatever you want.

Excerpted again from the foreword in 2003 Three people figure:

“When the motivation problem arises, that kind of headache? In my opinion, this is also part of being an American. In the end we can only say This seems to be a good idea.

It is well known that Stephen King had a terrible ending. This habit is widely attributed to his self-proclaimed refusal to outline and his insistence on discovering stories while writing. Perhaps this is where he is most American: he has achieved unrepeatable and unprecedented success in his own field, cheering on the dreams of others, even though he never knows where he will take us. In my opinion, this is Stephen King’s secret and the most American fantasy: a nation can be maintained by dreams and motivation, and disasters can be avoided, as long as we don’t think too much about the ending.