Let's talk about fear (Topic)

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Let's talk about fear

ImageAt twenty-one, life lies before you like a map. And only by the age of twenty-five do you begin to suspect that you are looking at the map upside down, and by forty you are finally convinced of this. And by sixty, believe me, you will know that you are hopelessly lost”, - this is how Stephen King, one of the most successful lost, reasoned. Today's hero of the day is the author of over 50 books. About 100 feature films and television series have been filmed based on his novels, novellas and short stories. King is considered almost the most screened writer of our time and has long been on a par with the imperishable classics: Jules Verne, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Stephen Edwin King was born September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine. He was the second son of Donald and Nelly Ruth Pillsberry King. By the way, the real name of Stephen's father is Spansky, but he decided to change it to a more euphonic one. The appearance of a child in the King family was a real event. His mother, Ruth, was convinced that she could not have children. The first son of the Kings, two-year-old David, was adopted. Perhaps it was this that heated up the situation in the family, whose well-being was already bursting at the seams. Shortly after Stephen's birth, his father, a retired merchant marine captain, left the house to fetch a pack and never came back.


Left alone with her two children and a mountain of unpaid bills, Ruth turned to relatives scattered throughout the country for help. Part of Stephen King's childhood was spent in Indiana and Connecticut. He began writing when he was seven, after stumbling across a stack of old horror films in his aunt's attic. Then King became a big fan of the work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Together with his brother, they published a newspaper called Dave's Mustard Plaster, in which the aspiring writer published his “sequel stories”. A few years later, the King's family moved back to Maine due to their grandmother's illness. Mother took a job at a mental retardation shelter in New Gloucester. Subsequently, the author often recalled this period of his life in books. So, in the story "Granny" there are references to the image of a terminally ill relative of King,

In the early 60's, King published a collection of 18 short stories with his friend Chris Chesley, whose image was used in the story "Body". The writer’s first full-length novel, The Long Walk, was written during his freshman year at the University of Maine. Stephen sent the manuscript to the publisher, but received a rejection that broke his heart. Fortunately, Tabitha Spruce, whom he met at a poetry seminar, managed to restore the writer's peace of mind. Hearing the girl's poems, King truly fell in love, and in 1971 he decided to officially declare this. Stephen and Tabitha have been married for over 30 years.

At first, the Kings family lived in poverty, the financial situation worsened after the birth of their son Joe and daughter Naomi. In the early 1970s, Stephen was promoted to English teacher at Hampden Academy. After working his day as a teacher, in the evenings he worked on stories that were so persistently rejected by magazines and publishers. Having set out to feed his family, King even decided to try himself in the pornographic genre, but, fortunately, this experience ended in failure.


The writer owes much of his success to his wife Tabitha, who accidentally found three rough pages of a novel about a girl with telekinesis in the trash. The idea seemed interesting to her, so King finished writing the novel, sent it to the Doubleday Publishing House, and never got rejected again. In May 1973, the rights to Carrie were bought by Signet Books for a record four hundred thousand dollars, half of which went to King. Inspired by success, the future King of Horrors quit his teaching job and devoted himself entirely to writing.

At that time, King wrote 2 major works. The idea for The Shining came to him after spending time with his wife in room 217 of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and two years later he published the post-apocalyptic novel Confrontation, part of which takes place in Colorado, where his family temporarily lived.


The death of his mother, Ruth King, could not but affect the writer's state of mind. In the mid-70s, he actually became an alcoholic and drug addict. Thus, the novel "Tomminokers" was written under the influence of various substances. Surprisingly, it was during this terrible period of his life that Stephen King creates his most striking works: "Igniting with a Look", "It", "Running Man", "Pet Cemetery", "Slimming", "Kujo", "Rita Hayworth and Escape from the Shawshank ". An end to King's destructive hobbies was put by his wife and, oddly enough, nurse Annie Wilkes, the heroine of the novel Misery, who personified cocaine and alcohol, which the writer was held hostage for more than ten years.

Without knowing it, Stephen King made a real revolution in the horror genre, which at that time was associated primarily with Lovecraft and his imitators. In the novels Carrie, The Fury, or Roadworks, social issues play a key role, not just a monster with an abundance of shocking bloody scenes. King paid attention to aspects of life that his colleagues usually ignored. The fantastic in his works is most often used as a metaphor and a kind of attraction. Each time the writer proved that the most terrible thing is hidden not in distant space, but among us. Stephen King brought the genre back to its relevance and topicality. It is noteworthy that most of the writer's works take place in his home state of Maine, which he calls “the most mysterious state of America.”


Meanwhile, King began to receive letters from aspiring directors asking for permission to film his stories. The writer agreed, but on one condition: all directors must commit themselves not to release films until they are approved by the King of Horrors.

In 1976, director Brian De Palma released the first film adaptation of Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek and John Travolta. Around this time, Stanley Kubrick took on a film adaptation of The Shining, which King was notoriously unimpressed with. He compared the painting of Kubrick to a large, beautiful Cadillac, which has no motor. The main character, Jack Torrance, goes crazy, but does not change in any way, which, according to the writer, is the main drawback of the film.


King's favorite adaptations include Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption, Stay With Me by Rob Reiner, and The Dead Zone by David Cronenberg. But besides the impressive pictures, King singled out a couple of particularly failed films: “There are several films that make me cringe. Filmed in the eighties, Night Shift is a typical quick-run operational movie. I could also do without all the sequels to Children of the Corn. Although the very first film in the series was quite good.

Once, King admitted that he would gladly give his work to be torn apart by Lars von Trier, whom he met while working on the American adaptation of The Kingdom. According to the writer, Trier is one of the most talented directors of our time.


It is curious that King himself often appears in the film adaptations of his novels. The list of films in which the writer starred is quite large. For example, he played the role of a priest in Pet Sematary, a pizza deliveryman in the miniseries Red Rose Mansion, a pharmacist in Slimming, a lawyer in The Tempest of the Century, and an eerie hallucination in the form of an evil boss in Langoliers. ". He also made a cameo appearance in Sons of Anarchy.

In the late 70s, the successful and internationally renowned writer Stephen King decided to publish his early novels The Long Walk and The Fury under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Subsequently, Bachmann published five more books and even became a cult writer. King's little secret was revealed to one of his fans, who found it suspicious to mention Stephen King in one of the forms of Richard Bachman's copyright. The fan called the writer and said that he knows everything, is not going to blackmail the "king of horrors", but, on the contrary, promises to take this secret with him to the grave. Yet King decided to say goodbye to Bachmann. Moreover, his novel "Fury" was withdrawn from sale after a terrible tragedy in Kansas, where one of the teenagers started shooting at his peers. Then three children died, and during the searches the boy had a copy of "Rage"

In the early 1980s, Stephen King began his first cycle of The Dark Tower with the novel The Shooter. In those years, the King of Horrors had already escaped the boundaries of his favorite genre, but still remained limited to publishers that dictate their own rules. The well-known and sought-after writer had to wait years to publish the story of Roland. And then, the book was released in a limited edition. At that time, even King himself did not know that this was only the beginning of an epochal story, imbued with the spirit of Sergio Leone's westerns. According to the writer, he had a very vague idea of the development of the plot. Fortunately, the initial conflicts at the heart of the first volume gave him the right path.

At some point, The Dark Tower became more than just a Western set in a post-apocalyptic setting. Like J.R.R. Tolkien, in his Lord of the Rings, King addressed cultural heritage using familiar imagery and allusions, but speaking them in his own way. In the books you can find references to various works of the writer and plots of other authors.


In 1999, a terrible accident confined the writer to bed for a long time. A broken leg in nine places, a damaged lung, a cracked spine, four broken ribs, lacerated wounds to the head and collarbone - this is how an accident turned out for King, which still affects his health. A year after the tragedy, King's representative bought the van that hit the writer in order to put him under pressure. In addition, the King of Horrors remained, to put it mildly, dissatisfied with the punishment of the driver, who was sentenced to six months probation. Mystically, justice was nevertheless restored: a year later, the culprit of the accident was found dead at home. The police found no signs of a violent death on his body, so no investigation was carried out.


After the accident, King continued to write. He completed the cycle "The Dark Tower" and to everyone's surprise declared that this was his last work. Fortunately, he never fulfilled his promise. At the beginning of the 2000s, the writer finished the novel Under the Dome, which he began working on back in the 70s, and after that he published the books 11/22/63, Doctor Sleep, and Land of Joy.

In November 2003, Stephen King received one of the most prestigious literary awards in the United States - the Medal for Outstanding Contribution to American Literature, which in fact conferred him the status of a living classic.


King once said: “Cinema will not win over books. Everyone is constantly repeating that the book is dead, society is slipping into a quagmire, culture has been destroyed, all around are idiots, imbeciles, television, pop music, decay, degeneration and all that. And then all of a sudden there is a fucking Harry Potter - 734-page fucking crap that sells 5 million copies in twelve hours. I won't say anything about myself”. This belief in the future of writing inspires hope in the hearts of fans. Apparently, the King of Horrors plans to captivate, delight and immerse the whole world in a state of fear for many, many years, and along with you and me.

The Topic of Article: Let's talk about fear.
Author: Jake Pinkman