"BECAUSE SOME STORIES DO LIVE FOREVER": STEPHEN KING'S THE DARK TOWER SERIES AS MODERN ROMANCE
McMurray, Rachel Elizabeth
University of Kansas
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Stephen King's Dark Tower series is a seven-volume work that contains elements from myths, fairy tales, American westerns, legends, popular culture, Gothic literature, and medieval romance. Few scholars have engaged with this series, most likely due to its recent completion in 2004 and its massive length, but those who do examine the Dark Tower focus on classifying its genre, with little success. As opposed to the work of the few scholars who have critically engaged with King's work (and the smaller number still who have written about the Dark Tower), I will examine the ways in which he blends genres and then go further than scholars like Patrick McAleer, Heidi Strengell, James Egan, and Tony Magistrale, to argue that King's use of motifs, character types, and structure has created his own contemporary version of a medieval romance in the Arthurian tradition. My analysis of King's work through this lens of Arthurian romance crosses continents and centuries in an attempt to bring together medieval studies and contemporary American fiction. My methodology includes looking at some of the most famous and commonly studied examples of Arthurian romance from England and France, so that I can examine the ways in which the culturally created version of King Arthur's court influenced King's series, and the ways in which King's reading of the Arthur myth illuminates the Arthur myth for a modern audience.
- English Dissertations and Theses 
- Theses 
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