Stephen King and Philosophy PDF » Stephen King

Stephen King and Philosophy ➭ [Ebook] ➨ Stephen King and Philosophy By Jacob M. Held ➹ – Haunting us with such unforgettable stories as The Shining Shawshank Redemption Salem s Lot Carrie The Green Mile and Pet Semetary Stephen King has been an anchor of American horror science fiction ps Haunting us with such unforgettable stories as The Shining Shawshank Redemption Salem s Lot Carrie The Green Mile and Pet Semetary Stephen King has been an anchor of American horror science fiction psychological thrillers and suspense for over forty years His characters have brought chills to our spines and challenged our notions of reality while leaving us in awe of the perseverance of the human spirit As the first book in the new Great Authors and Philosophy series Stephen King and Philosophy reveals some of the deeper issues raised by King s work From retribution freedom and Stephen King PDF/EPUB or moral relativity to death and insanity the chapters of this book expose how King s stories access the uestions and fears that nag each of us in the middle of night.

10 thoughts on “Stephen King and Philosophy

  1. Dannii Elle Dannii Elle says:

    I received this on a read to review basis from NetGalley Thank you to the editor Jacob M Held and the publisher Rowman Littlefield Publishers for the opportunityThis is a fascinating little insight into the philosophical issues raised and addressed in the numerous works of horror maestro Stephen King This brings forward the ideology that whilst dealing with horrifying and often supernatural elements King's writing primarily deals with the human condition This leads to uestions arising concerning the fundamental nature of knowledge reality and existence in the novels and dissected in this bookThis brings forward the theories and ideologies of philosophical greats like Hume Aristotle and Plato and uses King's writing to exemplify their strategy and significance What is left is well rounded arguments for a variety of topics such as the existence for and against God why we love horror Oedipal mental dynamic repressions and the representation of femininity and sexualityBoth the editor and King themselves argue against these horror novels as not apexing the scale of literary greatness and yet these essays provide proof of the depth and diversity of the topics touched upon It certainly made me eager to reread King with a academic gaze heightened with my new knowledge and perceptionThe only negative and the subseuent loss of one star was that each essay was often littered with spoilers about the texts they were addressing I can see no way the editor could have gone around this without leaving out critical information and creating a less fully rounded argument It did however ruin the few King novels I have yet to read

  2. Heena Rathore P. Heena Rathore P. says:

    A good book for King fans though I had to skip some of the parts because of not having read some books on which the parts were based on But I really enjoyed the writing and did enjoy the various discussions

  3. Lolly K Dandeneau Lolly K Dandeneau says:

    I don't know anyone who hasn't a clue who Stephen King is If they haven't read any of his work certainly they have seen something This is dissecting his work but nothing macabre about it While I confess to being disturbed by his horror stories it's a strangely fulfilling panic Carrie is so much than a misfit who takes her revenge as much as every story King has written holds meaning than simply to frighten or thrill us Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a short story that lodged in my throat thick with emotion It's proof that while he is the master of horror he can create beautiful stories about human beings too His characters can be low lives or weirdos but never just that To think of his work as fast food for readers doesn't ring true and in Stephen King and Philosophy there is evidence why his writing is full of meaning Fan or not it is an interesting read I found myself thinking about what he is telling the reader intentionally or not Naturally we all read a different story when handed the same book Our own life experiences where we are in life everything merges with our reading so no one has the same exact perception nor emotions I think the same can be said of writing Our stories take on lives of their own sometimes authors just like artists may even unintentionally be saying something they hadn't set out to say It sneaks it's way out through the pen and when it's pointed out they think 'hmmm I am saying something here I particularly enjoyed reading Held's thoughts on Carrie and it's rich symbolism of coming into womanhood I also thought about the male friendships in the stories The Body which Lean On Me was based on and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption I remember feeling so many different emotions because of The Body How is it he can write about boys looking for a dead boy which is in itself horrifying and yet conjure this emotional journey where they are free to express their feelings something certainly not encouraged in those days? Held has done a much better job of exploring the meaning and depths of King's work and I spent time pondering things I never considered somehow neglected to absorb This book is incredibly engaging and I can't wait to read reviews by die hard King fans

  4. Rt Rt says:

    Stephen King and Philosophy ed Jacob Held Free review copy I particularly enjoyed the opening essay by Held and C Taylor Sutton on the problem of evil how could God be both omnipotent and beneficient when there is so much suffering in the world? If a fawn dies slowly in a forest fire with no one to see for example that suffering can’t educate or otherwise improve anyone else The author runs through a number of philosophical treatments of the issue including the lesson of Job and King after him suffering just is and if it is consistent with an all powerful and all good God humans can’t comprehend why “If we claim that we see no reason for evil is that a claim about God or about us? Is our lack of imagination proof against God?” I particularly liked the discussion of theodicy and the argument that free will is a good that accounts for human evil “If I build some kind of autonomous cleaning robot few would say that I could improve it by giving it the capability to murder even if it is not programmed to use that capability” But cf Tony Stark Ultimately however he argues that a finite embodied existence must have suffering; a world without evil would lack the differentiation and finiteness that are conditions of specifically human consciousness Then the argument turns Bayseian The existence of suffering doesn’t argue for or against the existence of God because we have no idea about what the prior probabilities involved are Instead of the problem of evil he argues we need a strategy to cope with suffering because suffering isn’t an argument “but a condition to be tolerated and perhaps redeemed” And that returns us to King whose works are generally about that issue and whose recommended strategy is to care to struggle even if there is no ultimate answerAnother chapter by Kellye Byal covers female subjectivity in Carrie—one bad mother encourages Carrie to harm herself while another motherly figure tries to get her to fit in but that’s not a solution either Another by Katherine Allen discusses Pet Sematary and The Tommyknockers as “bioconservative fables” cautionary tales about trying to exceed human boundaries “When knocking down a wall one should first check that it is not load bearing; our limitations may frustrate us may often cause us great suffering but they are also central to our identity” Another by Greg Littman covers The Dark Tower and the idea that Roland’s flaw is his vision of his life as a linear uest rather than a circle; if it is a circle then the only way for him to find meaning in it is to make it meaningful Like Sisyphus the author suggests one must imagine Roland happy Another chapter by Michael Potter and Cam Cobb covers Apt Pupil the need for propaganda in successful teaching and the way that power is fluid Elizabeth Hornbeck treats the Overlook Hotel as a Foucauldian heterotopia—a place that challenges ordinary social arrangements and brings together elements that aren’t supposed to exist together; the hotel is particularly suited to this function because a “home” isn’t supposed to be heterotopic but is rather one of the normative social spaces against which heterotopias are defined Heterotopias both protect “normal” spaces from transgressive activity and provide a space for those activities to take place it is vital that they are both isolated and penetrable by those with the right permissions as hotels areJoseph Foy Timothy Dale examine Richard Bachman’s works in which humans—particularly humans mediated by a reality TV culture—are the real monsters and bread and circuses pacify the masses Drawing on Hannah Arendt the authors suggest that repressive cultures such as those in the Bachman books use violence to break down connections between people that might otherwise lead to political change Yet the violence is reuired the people uestion or distrust or resist the power of the state The Bachman books are not hopeful in that they end with individual rebellion rather than a joining together I didn’t realize that King allowed Rage to go out of print because he didn’t want to inspire school shootings; I think it’s probably too late Greg Littman addresses the ethicalartistic role of horror comparing the attitudes of Aristotle and Plato towards fiction “Sadism toward imaginary people hurts nobody in itself so need not be a wicked pleasure but if it conveys any moral lessons at all they aren’t good ones” Yet horror fiction can be a useful way of thinking through for example what we’re justified in doing in order to survive Horror can’t just be a way of purging negative emotions because those of us who like it don’t feel like we’ve purged ourselves; we feel that it’s affirmatively pleasurable to read and not really because of the author’s literary skill “The we are sucked into the story like a child down a sewer the less literary evaluation is likely to enter our head” and horror connoisseurs “can get a taste for really shitty art” Instead the author proposes the pleasure of horror is the pleasure of exercising our imaginations—and that’s why even bad horror can be so much fun; the work supplies a basic structure and our imaginations do the restCharles Bane deals with the vagaries of intertextuality and how King now says that the film version of The Shining was bad—because it was so “cold” with Jack being crazy from the beginning and the book was “hot” with Jack trying and failing to be good But as the author points out King actually uses a lot of other authors’ works in uotations especially song lyrics The beginning epigrams set the novel’s tone even though King didn’t write them; this same intertextuality means that Jack seems disturbed from the outset in the movie because Jack Nicholson’s presence inherently evokes One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest King added a scene in the TV adaptation of The Shining in which Jack’s ghost visits Danny and they share an intimate moment “reminding viewers that Jack wasn’t such a bad guy after all Why this change? Perhaps King simply wanted to revise Kubrick’s reading or perhaps he had begun to suspect like Kubrick that maybe Jack wasn’t such a good guy” Ultimately King doesn’t have interpretive authority over The Shining any than anyone else doesPaul Daniels deals with time travel and the uestion of linear time in The Langoliers is time like space in that every moment in it exists now but we’re not there or is there something special about the present? The eternalist says “it’d be a mistake to conclude that Pluto doesn’t exist merely because it’s not here and likewise it’d be a mistake to conclude that Julius Caesar doesn’t exist merely because 49 BCE isn’t now” The promise that there will be only one future only one outcome is the way that we hold ourselves together psychologically as we move through time and King’s implicit argument in his books that deal with time are that ordinary people can hold up against the assault of many possibilities even horrible ones uite well Randall Auxier discusses time in the Dark Tower series and other books including UR which was released twice once as a Kindle Single and once in edited form as part of a collection removing references to JFK as well as to Gore’s loss in 2000 Finally Held returns to the problem of evil this time invoking Schopenhauer As he points out King’s characters always face a choice run or drink or fight against evil There’s no ultimate victory and no God given goal King’s children in particular suffer intensely and often without hope of rescue which is King’s view of our shared condition But if suffering is inevitable then Schopenhauer says that the best life is a heroic life “struggling against overwhelming odds in some way and some affair that will benefit the whole of mankind” even if they don’t reach their reward And this struggle can be extending compassion to just one person who needs it As King writes “One kid doesn’t matter—not in the face of this It was logical but it was croupier’s logic Ultimately killer logic The kid matters or nothing matters”

  5. Ethan Ethan says:

    I originally picked this up out of personal interest with the vague thought that I might use it in a class someday I'm a philosophy professor This semester I'm teaching a class on horror and philosophy so I thought this book might provide some interesting material for that class And I was right I assigned the Littmann chapter on why people like horror and the Allen chapter on Pet Sematary The Tommyknockers deathism and posthumanism Those both worked well in class the students read Pet SemataryI skipped or skimmed some of the chapters especially those on the Dark Tower series which I haven't finished yet but I plan to pick up with book six soon now that I'm done with this Other favorites were the Byal article on Carrie and female subjectivity the Mannien piece on friendship in the superb novellas Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and The Body Hornbeck on The Shining and heterotopia Bane on the death of the author in The Shining dealing with the novel and the film and Held on Schopenhauer compassion The Tommyknockers and DesperationBooks on philosophy and pop culture can often be hit or miss but this one was mostly pretty good I have as I like to say rekindled my relationship with Stephen King in recent years after not reading him much since high school Jacob Held has edited a volume that has enriched my love of Stephen King as both a fan and a philosopher It makes me appreciate all the work I have read and excited to read all the books I haven't gotten to yet Held's pieces for example make me keen to read Desperation which never sounded all that intriguing to me before Who knows? There might even be an iteration of a universe with a future in which I teach a whole class on Stephen King and Philosophy with this as the main text Maybe we live in that universe now?There are some spoilers in most of the chapters but I'm not the kind of person that minds them much As King himself says somewhere if you really love reading for the experience of reading spoilers shouldn't bother you that much I think he's right which is a good thing as I embark upon the last few Dark Tower books having been spoiled by some of the chapters here After I finish the Dark Tower series I may revisit some of the essays in this book and then revisit the Dark Tower and then re revisit this book andSee my blog review

  6. Kevin Lucia Kevin Lucia says:

    Excellent Took me awhile but only because of stacks of books Full review soon on CDonline

  7. Artemiz Artemiz says:

    Stephen King and Philospohy deem it was interesting and difficult readIt's difficult since sometimes I got the feeling like the author forgot that this was suposed to be about King and their thinking got lost in open fields of philosophy or in another authors booksIt was interesting since it's about Stephen King about some of King's books and about philosophy It's a pity that it covered only some books films since King has many wonderful books but I understand that if it would cover all his books Anyway be warned if you have not read all the King's books especially his first books this book contains spoilers about endings and key pointsInteresting and enchanting reading

  8. scherzo♫ scherzo♫ says:

    Some essays were very good a couple didn't say much repeatedlyChapter 10 Broadcast Dystopia Power and Violence in The Running Mile and The Long Walk Joseph J Foy Timothy M DaleIt is true that storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it Hannah ArendtIn her Reflections on Violence Hannah Arendt describes the way in which violence not power or force or strength has through technological development and historical evolution become a means confused with its end Rather than violence being the way in which regimes pursue goals that they deem necessary violence itself becomes one of the purposes of society The existence of war in this context becomes a pervasive condition of society instead of a limited activity of necessity The people who live in such a society must accept that human life is expendable and willingly accept that violence is to be preferred over connection to others The violence gets and extreme and pervasive as does the structural violence within the system designed to maintain the extreme gaps between the wealthiest and the poor As is postulated by Arendt when describing the divergence of power and violence the violence that is applied the resources and efforts the state must dedicate to that violence further diminishing its ability to meet the needs of governance

  9. Book Him Danno Book Him Danno says:

    I found the insight and philosophical issues address in in many of Stephen Kings book interesting and this story From Carrie to the Dark Tower series each book deal with the horrifying and often supernal side of the human mind IF you get past the imaginary of Stephen King you find he write about the human condition and how people react to the unknown Each Novel brings up uestions we all much find answers for ourselvesThis book dives into those uestions and answer we have to find and justify This book has a look at the different series and books written by Stephen King and the uestions he sends out to readers as they find themselves pulled from word to word A uestions is brought out is Stephen King another philological like Aristotle and Plato using words to imaginary to help the human mind discover what they need to find out for themselves FYI if you haven't reads some of Stephen King Novels this will ruin some of those stories and plots So read with cautionsReceived Advance Copy from Netgalley

  10. GONZA GONZA says:

    The essays that I appreciated in this book are mostly the one about The Dark Tower series IMHO because it's a philosophical story in itself Some of the other were too complicated or they seem to have no real philosophy to talk of but maybe it's just because I'm not so aware and interested in philosophy myself or not intelligent enoughI saggi che mi sono piaciuti di piú sono uelli che hanno scritto riguardo alla serie de La torre nera fondamentalmente perché secondo me uella é una storia filosofica in sé per sé Alcuni degli altri saggi o erano troppo complicati o mi sembrava che volessero inserire a forza la filosofia dove non c'entrava niente ma magari ho avuto uesta impressione perché non conosco bene l'argomento o piú probabile ancora non sono abbastanza intelligente da capireTHANKS TO NETGALLEY AND ROWMAN AND LITTLEFIELD FOR THE PREVIEW

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