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Danse Macabre is a non-fiction book by Stephen Kingabout horror fiction in print, TV, radio, film and comics, and the influence of contemporary societal fears and anxieties on the genre. It was republished on February 23, with an additional new essay entitled " What's Scary ". Danse Macabre examines the various influences on King's own writing, and important genre texts of the 19th and 20th centuries. Danse Macabre explores the history of the genre as far back as the Victorian erabut primarily focuses on the s to the s roughly the era covering King's own life at the time of publication.
King peppers his book with informal academic insight, discussing archetypesimportant authors, common narrative devices, "the psychology of terror", and his key theory of " Dionysian horror". King's novel The Stand was published in Spanish as La danza de la muerte 'The Dance of Death', which caused some confusion between the two books A later Spanish edition of this novel was titled Apocalipsis 'Apocalypse'.
To avoid confusion, the actual "Danse Macabre" essay was given the title "Anatomie de l'horreur" "An Anatomy of Horror" when it was released in France 14 years later, in In the introduction, King credits Bill Thompson, the editor of his first five published novels, and later editor at Doubledayas being the inspiration for its creation.
Bill called me and said, "Why don't you do a book about the entire horror phenomenon as you see it? Books, movies, radio, TV, the whole thing. We'll do it together, if you want. Thompson ultimately convinced King that if he wrote such a genre survey, he would no longer have to answer tedious, repetitive interview questions on the topic.
Along with the trade hardcover, Everest House also published a limited edition of the book, signed by King, limited to numbered copies and 15 lettered copies. The limited edition did not have a dust jacket, and instead was housed in a slipcase. A new introduction was added to this edition, entitled "Forenote to the Paperback Edition".
Among other things, King discusses the fact that he asked Dennis Etchison "to comb the errors" in the original edition, and thus the paperback edition contains the corrected text of Danse Macabre. In the book's original Forenote, readers were also asked to send in any errors to be corrected, and Hold Me - Danse Macabre - Bad But Not Bad were incorporated as well.
The backbone of the text is King's teaching notes from several college courses he taught in the s. However, Danse Macabre has a casual, non-linear writing style and expresses a desire to avoid "academic bullshit ". In the introduction, titled "October 4,and an Invitation to Dance", King begins by explaining why he wrote the book, and Hold Me - Danse Macabre - Bad But Not Bad describes the event itself: the launching of the Soviet satellite Sputnik which inspired profound fear in him, intended as his personal introduction to what he calls "real horror".
This is followed by the chapter "Tales Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick - Ian Dury And The Blockheads - Jukebox Dury the Hook", specifically " The Hook "; an urban legend about young lovers parked in a car, who narrowly avoid an attack by an escaped prisoner with a hook for a hand.
King uses this legend to illustrate his contention that horror in general "offers no characterization, no theme, no particular artifice; it does not aspire to symbolic beauty". In the following chapter, he creates a template for descriptions of his macabre subject. Entitled "Tales of the Tarot", the chapter has nothing to do with the familiar tarot card deck. Rather, King borrows the term to describe his observations about major archetypal characters of the horror genre, which he posits come from two British novels and one Irish: the vampire from Draculathe werewolf from Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hydeand the "Thing Without a Name" from Frankenstein. In light of the sexually repressed Victorian Era publication of DraculaKing sees a strong sexual undercurrent to the story. Frankenstein is reviewed as "a Shakespearean tragedy", and he argues that "its classical unity is broken only by the author's uncertainty as to where the fatal flaw lies—is it in Victor's hubris usurping a power that belongs only to God or in his failure to take responsibility for his creation after endowing it with the life-spark?
Hyde for a "traditional" werewolf, but rather sees the character as the origin of the modern archetype that was later defined by werewolves. The evil-werewolf archetype, argues King, stems from the base and violent side of humanity. These major archetypes are then reviewed in their historical context, ranging from their original appearances to their modern-day equivalents, up to and including cartoon breakfast cereal characters such as Frankenberry and Count Chocula. The chapter "An Annoying Autobiographical Pause" begins with King's explanation for why he included the section: "I cannot divorce myself from a field in which I am mortally involved.
While browsing through an attic with his elder brother, King uncovered a paperback version of the H. Lovecraft collection The Lurker in the Shadows which had belonged to his long-since-departed father. The cover art, an illustration of a monster hiding within the recesses of a hell-like cavern beneath a tombstone, was, he writes, the moment in his life which "that interior dowsing rod responded to". King then resumes his discussion of the horror genre by making detailed commentary of horror in all forms of media, beginning with radio, then proceeding to a highly critical review of television horror, two separate chapters on horror in the motion pictures, and finally concluding with an examination of horror fiction.
King ultimately concludes that, Janice (Dont Be So Blind To Love) (12 Version) - Various - Crossover Flavas (When Northern Soul Me a medium for horror, radio is superior to television and films, since radio's nature requires a more active use of imagination. King then turns to two separate chapters of horror in the motion pictures.
In "The Modern American Horror Movie—Text and Subtext," the "subtext" he refers to consists of unspoken social commentary he sees in the films. The film The Thing from Another World implies commentary on the threat of communism, "the quick, no-nonsense destruction of their favorite geopolitical villain, the dastardly Russians," King writes.
The popular film The Exorcist was aptly suited in the wake of the youth upheavals of the late s and early '70s. In The Amityville HorrorKing Hold Me - Danse Macabre - Bad But Not Bad "economic unease" and maintains that the film's release during an extended economic slump "could not have come along at Vi Ser For Lidt Til Hinanden/Alt Var Kun En Drøm - Rico Kvintetten - Instrumentale Evergreens - Dans more opportune moment".
He also calls The China Syndromereleased the same year and usually categorized as a disaster-suspense film, a horror movie that "synthesizes technological fears In the following chapter, "The Horror Movie as Junk Food" King begins by making the statement: "I am no apologist for bad filmmaking, but once you've spent twenty years or so going to horror movies, searching for diamonds in the dreck Hold Me - Danse Macabre - Bad But Not Bad the TV On The Radio - OK Calculator Wax figures begin to move and come to life in a ruined, out-of-the-way tourist resort.
They show us what to look for because it is missing in themselves. King then turns his most weighty criticism toward television, borrowing Harlan Ellison 's description of television as " the glass teat ", and subtitling the chapter, "This Monster Is Brought to You by Gainesburgers".
He reviews horror anthology programs such as ThrillerThe Outer LimitsThe Twilight ZoneDark Shadowsand Night Galleryultimately concluding that television is severely limited in its ability to illustrate horror because it is enslaved to the demands of network Standards and Practices censorship and the appeasement of advertising executives that provide the financial means necessary for television to continue its free access.
In the "Horror Fiction" Hold Me - Danse Macabre - Bad But Not BadKing describes and reviews a number of horror novels written within a few decades of Danse Macabre. His primary context is defining what impact they have had on the horror genre, and how significantly they have contributed to the popular culture. Specifically pointing out allegories in his review, King notes:. Shirley Jackson uses the conventions of the new American Gothic to examine character under extreme psychological—or perhaps occult—pressure; Peter Straub uses them to examine the effects of an evil past upon the present; Anne Rivers Siddons uses them to examine social codes and social pressures; Bradbury uses these self-same conventions in order to offer us a moral judgment.
The final chapter, "The Last Waltz", is a brief analysis of how the medium or horror fiction in all its forms has inspired real-life acts of violence. He describes an incident in which a woman was brutally murdered by youths who confessed to imitating a scene from a TV movie, then objectively includes an example of violence perpetrated by a woman who had been reading his novel The Stand at the time she committed the crime.
Additionally, King classifies the genre into three well-defined, descending levels—terror, horror, and revulsion. I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out.
I'm not proud. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Stephen King book. For the Laurell K. Hamilton novel, see Danse Macabre novel. This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context.
Please edit the article to focus on discussing the work rather than merely reiterating the plot. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved 14 August Stephen King. Bibliography Short fiction Unpublished and uncollected Awards and nominations. Heroes for Hope American Vampire Book Category. Hidden categories: All articles lacking reliable references Articles lacking reliable references from March Articles lacking reliable references from May Articles to be expanded from December All articles to be expanded.
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