I don't think he's that controversial, most people (regular /lit/ users, I mean) just flat-out dislike him. If somebody makes a thread and tries to discuss his writing they are usually new here
I don't hate him, I read him a lot when I was in high school and I get the appeal, it's just that there are a lot of young men who don't know very much about literature and happen to be extremely familiar with only him and few other commercial fiction writers. They don't really pick up on his various shortcomings and are overly defensive when somebody points them out
NOT literary fiction/character-driven literature though.
nothing wrong with this. but they aren't the kind of novels to turn your worldview upside down and make you wonder what it is to be human or possibly question stuff in a way you hadn't considered before.
>>5228279 To put it simply and non-polemically, there is a portion of /lit/ who just loves to read novels... sci-fi shit, King shit, GRRM shit, whatever shit. The other portion of /lit/ are obsessed with literary theory.
And, these days, the place has been flooded with bait, spam, and just general prickery because
A. /tv/-/v/-/lit/ crosspost escapade of 2014 B. "lol it's 4chan we're dix here psshh nothing personnel kid" C. "Wow, you actually believe ___ philosophy/theory/view? How stupid can you get?"
So, if you want to have an actual Stephen King thread, maybe you'll post at the right time and the devourers of genre fiction will come from the shadows.
>>5229914 Sure, because it's easier to read. You can read some shitty book in a day while you need two or more days to understand a short article (or transcribed lecture) of some difficult theory. And when you know some theory you notice stuff way faster so you don't need to read as much shit to learn something either.
>>5228316 I for one liked the Dark Tower series, or have liked them as I'm currently reading the fourth book in the series as of this moment. I can understand peoples views, seeing it as nothing but a juveniles first encounter with literature, but hey, I dont discriminate. His works are not deep and world changing but if you're out for some light reading to entertain you and not enlighten you, go ahead.
>>5229929 Listen, I ENJOY reading and analyzing texts presenting, or based on, some complicated theory of metaphysics or philosophy, and I enjoy immersing myself in a figurative whirlpool of imagination where all the different possibilities implied by such ideas collide, evolve and disintegrate, but god damn it if I personally wouldn't be equally happy writing a straight up supernatural murder-fiction novel where such ideas are either banned, or only wait at the perimeter of the story, as I have equally fun letting a human character bash a vampire pretty-boy's head in with a wrench before staking and burning the body. Not that I've ever published or even shown more than a fraction of what I write to anybody, but my point is that I understand where he's coming from.
What I'm saying is that some writers take the route of more easily digested fiction not out of disinterest or incapacity of more nuanced or complex works, but because it's simply more fun. I've read and listened to several interviews with King and what he always returns to when someone asks how he comes up with an idea is that he thinks either "what if..?", or simply "wouldn't it be fun if..?". That's where he gets his energy from; he imagines something interesting, throws a couple of characters into the mix, and simply rolls with it. I'm reading "Just after Sunset" right now, and it is always this toying and exploration of a simple "what if?". Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five can be summed up as something akin to "an exploration of morality in a moder and post-modern society and of what the effect of a fourth-dimensional perception of existence would entail", while a Stephen King story could be "imagine a college guy shooting up a school" (this was before Columbine), or "what if this horribly repressed and bullied girl got psychic powers?" and then just rolls with it.
Is it deep? No, it rarely is. Is it entertaining? Hell yes.
>>5235601 Of course you can be bored, but there is a difference between getting bored with an author not living up to your personal preferences and dismissing him as a hack.
He is rarely anything beyond shallow, but that should not be seen as a critique of his actual writing. His style is very simplistic, but at least I experience that same bluntness as an excellent way for him to communicate interesting characters. He has his stereotypes, absolutely, but they are communicated extremely well.
b) A feeling that he holds an understanding of all the techniques backed with plenty of experience, so that he could write a work of high literature, something truly great, and shows no interest in doing so.
He has value in being picked apart, and studied. This may be the greatest annoyance of all, that he does not huddle defensively behind his art glaring back at you - but is cheering you on to do so and apply yourself.
Despite insisting humility and acceptance of his role as a pop author, he's awfully pompous in interviews and passively aggressive towards anyone or anything that even remotely suggests that there's a distinction to be made between literature and popular fiction. I'm sure it's probably quelled with age, but it's definitely present in his earlier books and interviews.
He's certainly been published long enough to appreciate the compromise between art and success. Maybe he's bitter about it? I don't know. I wouldn't be if I was sitting on as much money as him.
>>5235678 >He's a liberal Oh, fuck! Here comes the Stein Gang! http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/gertrude-stein-and-vichy-the-overlooked-history
>>5237155 >he's awfully pompous in interviews and passively aggressive towards anyone or anything that even remotely suggests that there's a distinction to be made between literature and popular fiction Now I like him even more! :3
>>5228310 That was -literally- the worst ending to a book I've every read, and I've read a lot of Stephen King books. >he's been walking for days, is delirious and close to death, and was seconds away from giving up and getting a ticket, but OH SHIT HE MANAGES TO SPRINT AWAY FROM EVERYONE AND HE RUNS MIRACULOUSLY INTO THE SUNSET
>It (For some reason the themes of childhood trauma and revisitation really made me enjoy the story. I loved all of the characters, and the amount of time he spent explaining their upbringing and histories was excellent) >Misery (Even though I already knew the ending, it felt so tense as I was reading it. Annie made my skin crawl with some of the stuff she said; she was written perfectly as the classic psychotic fan) >Dreamcatcher (I know that his newer stuff gets a lot of shit, usually for good reason, but I felt like this book in particular was on par with his classics. The story was original, and the portrayal of Mr. Gray was great as well)
>>5237771 But he was the only one who DIDN'T go insane. Even Stebbins cracked by the end of it, yet Garraty or whatever his name was showed no signs of losing it, other than the constant off-topic ramblings that all of King's characters do. Even if he had gone insane, there could have at least been some sort of leadup to it. King described him in the same ways throughout the book, and Garraty didn't do or say anything especially bizarre like basically every other character did at some point.
I still liked the book, think it's one of his best early works, but the ending is like something out of a cartoon.
>>5238090 I don't know man. I laugh at pedi jokes as much as the next guy but they was she kept saying "I love you guys so much" and stuff like that while they were taking turns fucking her in a sewer, then all went on with their business, weirded me out a little.
>>5238139 >>5238149 I know right? It's not just me! I told my mom and dad about how Stephen is the sign of the devil and of the time to come but they told me to go back to that minecraft website chan and play with my ponies. I sulked for a few days and slammed the door shut whenever I was sure no one could hear me as a sign of defiant rebellion.
But then I had the brilliant idea of buying a replica gun and spray-painting the guns clitoris black. Then I went to the mall and shouted "Allah akbar stephen king hackbar" but the mall ninja tackled me. :( Long story short I have to take these pills now.
>>5237896 I've read two of his short stories and I thought they were pretty good. Entertaining, concise, and with minimal bullshit.
I haven't read any of his novels (I suspect half the people in this thread haven't either) but I respect him as a writer. His output is astounding, the man is prolific. Roughly 60 novels in 30 years, discounting plays/comics/etc and that car accident.
>>5238381 His books aren't low-quality though. He may not appeal to you, but to the audience he writes for he's very good at what he does. It's impossible to put in that amount of time into a skill and not become good at it. Find me a writer who has anywhere near the same output as King but hasn't improved at all.
Where did this culture of entitlement and thinking a writer is good because he got lucky come from? Is Harper Lee a good writer? No.
His early short stories are immaculate, though. The Jaunt, Survivor Type, The End of the Whole Mess, The Raft, Dolan's Cadillac, Cain Rose Up...
The guy can write a hell of a short story. I miss his Nightmares and Dreamscapes era when he was freely incorporating surrealism and Jungian archetypes into his work. Like that story about the kid who gets mauled by a tiger in an elementary school bathroom.
Even his more recent short stories are still okay. Everything's Eventual had a few standouts.
The book's 163 years old, man. It's become pervasive in American literary culture. There is no way you didn't know how that book ended. And even if you honestly didn't, there's a statute of limitations on spoilers, and 163 years is way fucking beyond that statute.
Only in that they both peaked decades ago and basically continue their craft just to stay occupied. The biggest difference between them, though, was already stated in this thread. Tarantino honestly thinks he's God's gift to American cinema, while King knows he's a genre writer and has no real aspirations to literary immortality.
>>5238046 can't end his books can't write about emotional relationships btwn man and woman conversational style is pleasant at first then progressively lazy can't do imagery books can usually be summed up in their premise struggles w/ big themes (death! good v. evil! lmao) the shit to alright ratio is not looking very good he's enjoyed by plebs
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