In ‘Transcendent Writers in Stephen King’s Fiction: A Post-Jungian Analysis of the Puer Aeternus’ Joeri Pacolet shows that the work of the American (horror) writer Stephen King is more than just popular fiction. In using post-Jungian psychological theories Pacolet develops new insights concerning the potential constructive function of King’s horror stories. His analyses of a selection of classic King novels not only focusses on stories in which the protagonist is a writer, but addresses the importance of the stories within King’s main narrative: the stories of King’s writer-protagonists.
These stories-within-stories are often overlooked by other scholars, but, as Pacolet argues, they offer a unique insight into the psychological development of King’s fictional adolescents and their ambivalent experience of the world. According to Pacolet, during their adolescence King’s writers are more than stereotypically rebellious and destructive. The act of writing that these characters perform plays a crucial role in their search for a stable identity. During the writing process King’s writers learn to accept death, to adjust their imagination to reality, to reflect on their physical developments in relation to their self-image and they begin to explore their budding sexuality.
Transcendent Writers in Stephen King’s Fiction: A Post-Jungian Analysis of the Puer Aeternus’ brings together an analysis of King’s work and a new theory of the puer aeternus (eternal youth), offering a unique perspective on adolescence as well as ideas for an alternative teacher’s handbook on King’s fiction. Pacolet’s book will be of interest to Jungian and post-Jungian scholars, philosophers and teachers focusing on the theme of psychological development and identity and to those with an interest in King’s fiction and gothic or horror stories in general.
Available on the Routledge website