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Washington, Sep 21 (EFE) .- Horror literature celebrates its birthday: its proclaimed king, the American writer Stephen King, turns 75 this Wednesday with a recently published work, “Fairy Tale”, and little intention to keep his pen.

He was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine, and with his early contributions to the school newspaper he carved out a calling that brought him worldwide fame since “Carrie” (1974), his first published novel.

To his credit, according to Greg Howard, professor of contemporary American fiction at the University of Maine, the merit of basing his stories on “real” fears and emotions, of mixing genres brilliantly, and of taking the reader into extremes that make him wonder. what if what he said really happened.

STEPHEN KING
Cover of a book by Stephen King. EFE/Raul Martinez

“Always try to be in tune with what is happening around you. He feels his duty as a writer is to take the temperature of the world,” the expert, who teaches at the same institution where King studied in his youth, told Efe.

His bibliography includes novels, short stories, screenplays and even comics, and with “Carrie” he opened up a path that has been a constant in his professional career, that of seeing many of his works adapted for cinema.

This first film was brought to the big screen for the first time by Brian de Palma in 1976; Stanley Kubrick dared in 1980 with “The shine”; Rob Reiner a decade later with “Misery”; Frank Darabont with “The Green Mile” in 1999 or Andy Muschietti in 2017 with “It”.

His latest work, put on sale in the United States on September 6, entrusted this work to the Briton Paul Greengrass, responsible for three of the films of the Bourne saga.

Stephen King: Literary and Film Success

STEPHEN KING
Writer Stephen King. EFE/EPA/Michel Reynolds

The success of these cinematic classics must be seen, according to Howard, as a direct consequence of King’s quality as a writer: “His books are so striking that the directors find it difficult to visualize them.”

According to researcher Thomas Gustafson of the University of Southern California, King “is part of a tradition of horror storytelling in American literature and culture.”

This tradition “draws back to the New England Puritan fear of evil, the devil, ungodly monsters, and our own lack of kindness, compassion, and love, something that can bring us divine reward or punishment” , he explains.

King himself defines himself as an instinctive author, who, once he knows where he wants to go, lets himself go: “We, the narrators, don’t have a very precise idea of ​​what we are doing. When it’s good, they usually don’t know why, and when it’s bad, they don’t either,” he said in his book “On Writing.”

STEPHEN KING
American writer Stephen King presents his new novel, “”Doctor Sleep”.EFE/Maja Hitij

In this reflection on his creative process, he admitted that among his interests, which he dares not call obsessions, are why, if there is a God, “so horrible” things happen ( “The Stand”), the fine line between reality and fantasy (“The Dark Half”) “and above all the irresistible attraction that violence can have for people who are fundamentally good-natured (“The Shining”)”.

Interests that transferred to paper earned him the American National Medal of Arts (2015) and that of the National Book Foundation (2003) for his contribution to American letters, or even thirteen awards from the Association of Horror Writers, the first in 1987 for “Misery” and the last in 2013 for “Doctor Sleep” (Doctor Sueño).

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, flirting a lot, or making friends. Ultimately, it’s about enriching the lives of people who read what you do, and at the same time enriching your own,” the author explains.
King, married with three children, has entrusted himself to this work for nearly five decades.

And as he said in 2019, he intends to do so until he receives a divine sign: “God will tell me when to step down. He will say: ‘Stop, hang up your boots, your cycle is over’. But until then, I will continue. It’s the best job in the world, because nobody can force me to retire at a certain age.

Web editor: Nuria Santesteban

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