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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Seeking geekdom
Is there a good academic Stephen King site? I failed at googling this, since "Stephen King" and "criticism" picks up every time someone says, "A common criticism is..." and "symbolism" doesn't work especially well either. "Reviews" picks up a few worthwhile items for some reason, even though most of the things it picks up really are reviews, often of the itsy-bitsy variety. I'm looking for something meatier.

I've read most of the literary criticism we have on him here at one point or another, and I've been browsing around looking for a good collection of essays on Shawshank Redemption. To no avail; there are plenty of "I liked it/I didn't like it" sorts of things, but no studies of, say, the portrayal of hope or the use of names and identities and so on. I did find a criticism that amused me--someone complaining that Red is the "Magic Negro" character (vaguely mystical older black man giving advice to the young white hero). I got a grin out of it, since it made it rather clear that the critic hadn't read the book, in which Red isn't called "Red" because his last name is "Redding," but because of his thinning red hair. He's Irish-American. (The toss-off line from Freeman, "Maybe it's because I'm Irish," is a wink to book-readers.) The character is totally aracial, and could be played by anyone, so they got a really good actor for the part, even though he didn't happen to meet the fairly scant bit of physical description in the text.

Slayage has me spoiled. When I'm in the mood for a good essay about Spike and redemption or the contrasting modes of speech among Buffy characters, I can just pop over and enjoy myself to my geeky gills. But at the moment, it's King essays that I'm jonesing for.
9 comments or Leave a comment
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: October 5th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I could ask my husband if he wants to discuss it with you. He was telling me about the "Maybe it's because I'm Irish" crack the other day. I think he'd rather talk out loud about it than write, though, and I don't know if he'd really go for the topics you're looking for.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2004 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I'm just looking for something obscenely academic to entertain myself with. I'm on a severe academia kick. It's like a drug.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: October 5th, 2004 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. Never mind then. I don't think that's quite what he was going for. *g*
straussmonster From: straussmonster Date: October 5th, 2004 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Orbis, bless it, throws up a couple of titles; not sure how good OR available any of these are, but here's some cut and paste:

Writing horror and the body : the fiction of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Anne Rice / Linda Badley. Westport, Conn. ; London : Greenwood Press, c1996.

Stephen King's America / Jonathan P. Davis. Bowling Green : Bowling Green State University Popular Press, c1994.

The Dark descent : essays defining Stephen King's horrorscape / edited by Tony Magistrale ; foreword by Joseph A. Citro. New York : Greenwood Press, 1992.

Stephen King : a critical companion / Sharon A. Russell. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996. (This one's online, too--but you have to have a validated IP address. Bummer!)

Landscape of fear : Stephen King's American gothic / Tony Magistrale ; with an annotated bibliography compiled by Marshall B. Tymn. [Bowling Green, Ohio] : Bowling Green State University Popular Press, c1988.

I hope any of these are findable--all pulled from my library catalog, but it's, ummm, unusually large.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2004 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. The books, I have access to someplace (and I can always just browse his section in the PS's... I love being a librarian!).

I was mostly looking for an online site like Slayage, with pretty regular updates.
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 5th, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know nothing about Stephen King, but I would just like to say that I followed your link to "Slayage" earlier today and spent two hours there. I think the Matrix has gotten me but good :).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 5th, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'n't great? :)
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: October 6th, 2004 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I *love* your new icon.

Did you make it?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 6th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, and yes. :)
9 comments or Leave a comment