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Thread: King's Role in SoS

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Yeah and King could always get turned into a vampire and work for the Crimson King.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Gunslinger Apprentice Jonn Wolfe is on a distinguished road Jonn Wolfe's Avatar

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    This was my only pet peeve for the entire series. I know it's for bringing the reader further into the story, and I did like it at first. After a while though, it seemed really corny.

    It would've made more sense if he had used his Richard Bachman or John Swithen pen names. Bachman even more than Swithen since he used the last name of Bachman for the alternate author(s) of 'Charlie and the Choo Choo'... not to mention giving something else for the Ka-Tet to wonder about with coincidences.

    I think I'm going to mentally translate Stephen King into Richard Bachman when I get to that part of the story again. It may make more sense to me. Not sure.

    As always, whenever I'm a bit sleep deprived, be sure to understand that my mind's a bit muddled and free associating at the moment.

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    Word Slinger Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent has much to be proud of Bev Vincent's Avatar

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    In April 2002, King sent me the handwritten manuscript of this chapter as a thank-you gift for some work I'd done for the Wavedancer Foundation.

    I thought it was the coolest thing ever at the time and it added a dimension to the series that nobody ever saw coming. A lot of King's writing has been an exploration of the nature of creativity and the act of creation--even as far back as The Shining--and this was another facet of that exploration, and a pretty darned profound one. Daring, too.

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    Roont Matt will become famous soon enough Matt's Avatar

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    I totally agree with that. I think putting himself in the story was a way to bring the idea to us that was unique and totally believable.
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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    I agree with Bev and Matt in principle, but I found it very jarring within the actual narrative when King appeared. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about. Eddie even makes the comment that Roland could pass for King's older brother and I must say that I had a hard time visualizing that in my head (not saying anything negative about Stephen King's true physical appearance). Also, I've noticed a few comments about King only being a conduit and not Gan himself. There is a lot of buildup before Eddie and Roland actually see King and they are convinced they are about to see their creator. Because of the buildup, I think there might be some ambiguity about the whole subject. You might see what I mean if you read the passage. I'm not sure exactly how to say it. King may not be Gan, but he's seems damn close in the passages leading up to the actual encounter.

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by obscurejude View Post
    I agree with Bev and Matt in principle, but I found it very jarring within the actual narrative when King appeared. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about. Eddie even makes the comment that Roland could pass for King's older brother and I must say that I had a hard time visualizing that in my head (not saying anything negative about Stephen King's true physical appearance). Also, I've noticed a few comments about King only being a conduit and not Gan himself. There is a lot of buildup before Eddie and Roland actually see King and they are convinced they are about to see their creator. Because of the buildup, I think there might be some ambiguity about the whole subject. You might see what I mean if you read the passage. I'm not sure exactly how to say it. King may not be Gan, but he's seems damn close in the passages leading up to the actual encounter.
    How many times have you read Song of Susannah? Why I'm wondering is because I've heard from folk who didn't like it at first or found it " very jarring" like you put it, got to understand and even like it the next time they read Song of Susannah.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

  7. #32
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    I agree with you on that CK, because I was one of those people. Over my long break away from work, I found the time to reread the last three books, and it is amazing all the things that I missed the first few times

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by obscurejude View Post
    I agree with Bev and Matt in principle, but I found it very jarring within the actual narrative when King appeared. I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about. Eddie even makes the comment that Roland could pass for King's older brother and I must say that I had a hard time visualizing that in my head (not saying anything negative about Stephen King's true physical appearance). Also, I've noticed a few comments about King only being a conduit and not Gan himself. There is a lot of buildup before Eddie and Roland actually see King and they are convinced they are about to see their creator. Because of the buildup, I think there might be some ambiguity about the whole subject. You might see what I mean if you read the passage. I'm not sure exactly how to say it. King may not be Gan, but he's seems damn close in the passages leading up to the actual encounter.
    How many times have you read Song of Susannah? Why I'm wondering is because I've heard from folk who didn't like it at first or found it " very jarring" like you put it, got to understand and even like it the next time they read Song of Susannah.
    CK. I've read the first four about four times apiece. I attempted to read the final three during my semester break. It's interesting that this thread appeared when it did. I actually read the scene with King in SoS this morning and asked my room mate about his response. This is the second time I've read SoS although I've already read DT twice and plan to read it a third within the next few weeks. I still find King jarring. I knew it was coming. It was foreshadowed in WofC, but I was still taken aback. Again, I understand the principle, am fond of it even, but still find it hard to digest in regards to the actual narrative. Maybe some of you have read "On Faire Stories" by Tolkien. It was an essay he wrote about fantasy as a genre. One of the points I remember is that for fantasy to be successful it must remain distinct from the actual world. LotR was conceptualized by Tolkien twenty years before the volumes were published in the fifties. He began with a language (always the linguist) and then let the genealogies and stories unfold from there. I could talk about this for hours, but suffice it to say, that King's appearance made it hard to for me to exist within the narrative imaginatively. The Gunslinger (as well as Eddie) began to lose their otherworldliness when presented next to a writer that exists in reality. Ironically, reality can make the fantasy even less real.

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by obscurejude View Post

    CK. I've read the first four about four times apiece. I attempted to read the final three during my semester break. It's interesting that this thread appeared when it did. I actually read the scene with King in SoS this morning and asked my room mate about his response. This is the second time I've read SoS although I've already read DT twice and plan to read it a third within the next few weeks. I still find King jarring. I knew it was coming. It was foreshadowed in WofC, but I was still taken aback. Again, I understand the principle, am fond of it even, but still find it hard to digest in regards to the actual narrative. Maybe some of you have read "On Faire Stories" by Tolkien. It was an essay he wrote about fantasy as a genre. One of the points I remember is that for fantasy to be successful it must remain distinct from the actual world. LotR was conceptualized by Tolkien twenty years before the volumes were published in the fifties. He began with a language (always the linguist) and then let the genealogies and stories unfold from there. I could talk about this for hours, but suffice it to say, that King's appearance made it hard to for me to exist within the narrative imaginatively. The Gunslinger (as well as Eddie) began to lose their otherworldliness when presented next to a writer that exists in reality. Ironically, reality can make the fantasy even less real.

    For me it had the opposite effect. I don't agree with Tolkien on that...and it sure seems the Dark Tower series has proved him wrong.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

  10. #35
    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    I'm sorting through it CK. I wasn't saying that Tolkien's point was true for the whole series. Its just that "going nineteen" made Roland's world so fantastical that it wasn't as believable to me as it was before. By presenting it side by side with the actual real world (Oz, King, Salem's Lot, Harry Potter etc...) it made it harder for me to exist within the fantasy. I wish it had the same effect on me that it did to you because I love Roland's world. In this sense, I was a little mad King showed up. (But it's his story and he is certainly free to do so).

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    For me it had the opposite effect. I don't agree with Tolkien on that...and it sure seems the Dark Tower series has proved him wrong.
    In my opinion, Tolkien was absolutely right as far as the purety of Fantasy as a genre was concerned. But TDT is not fantasy. It's a novel in a league of its own, like any other great novel.

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    I had the same initial reaction as Obscurejude, I have to say. I was blithely enjoying this other world and then thud! King appeared and it...well, jarred is the exact word I remember using at the time on another forum.

    However, as CK has pointed out - over subsequent rereads (and I think you need to leave a good amount of time inbetween rereading if you can, to be able to go back into the story with a fresh perspective) I can't imagine how the story could possibly flow without him, it seems fitting now.

    And also, from another point of view - to the large majority of Constant Readers who are possibly never going to get to meet King, he is almost a fantasy himself, so its quite easy to consider him alongside the ka-tet, y'know?

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    DT.Org's Official Sweetie Wuducynn will become famous soon enough Wuducynn's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    In my opinion, Tolkien was absolutely right as far as the purety of Fantasy as a genre was concerned. But TDT is not fantasy. It's a novel in a league of its own, like any other great novel.
    If TDT isn't fantasy than I don't what you would call it. Autobiography?
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Hail_The_Crimson_King View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    In my opinion, Tolkien was absolutely right as far as the purety of Fantasy as a genre was concerned. But TDT is not fantasy. It's a novel in a league of its own, like any other great novel.
    If TDT isn't fantasy than I don't what you would call it. Autobiography?

    Well, IMO it is fantasy, but it also encompasses to a large degree aspects of all fiction "genres".
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    AllHail: it's a novel. It defies the very concept of genre. It creates its own rules and plays by them, like any great novel does.

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
    When one is in agreement with bears one is always correct. (mae)

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  16. #41
    damned and saved Letti will become famous soon enough Letti's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkthoughts View Post
    Yeah, this is cool - I was online until midnight last night, so I wasn't expecting to have much to do when I came to the board this morning

    When I first read the books and got to King's role in them, it really jarred me at first. See, when I'm reading - it doesn't matter where I am, alone or with people, somewhere quiet, somewhere noisy - if I get into the story I'm simply not there at all while I'm reading. I totally get transported by a good book.

    But when SK first put himself in the tale it was as if I'd been thrown back into my chair and reality with a bump. There was too much realism in it, but not in a good way. Then, I kinda started to enjoy it because it started to make sense - plus the writing was still good, and King furthered the plot and gave it a new twist as a character, instead of being self ingratiating.

    Now, whenever I'm rereading, I can't imagine the book without King being in it.
    I felt and feel absolutely the same way. Thank you for putting it into words, Lisa.

    Anyway I must add King amezed me so much... when I first heard somewhere that he would appear in the book and when I first met him there I was sure it's impossible to make it acceptable (or make me accept or like it because I couldn't stand it at all) or good and it wouldn't fit the books.
    And he did it! He put himself into the book and it was so damn great. It made this series much richer. It's still incredible to me. King was big in my eyes before that but now... I just say wow wow and wow again but it was so dangerous.. but he stood and he was true.
    Congratulations, sai King.

    Roland would have understood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Letti View Post
    King was big in my eyes before that but now... I just say wow wow and wow again but it was so dangerous.. but he stood and he was true.
    Congratulations, sai King.
    Also well put

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    AllHail: it's a novel. It defies the very concept of genre. It creates its own rules and plays by them, like any great novel does.
    I'm not sure what putting it in bold does but it doesn't make me think its not a series of fantasy novels.
    Fantasy, AKA make-believe, you know? Now, its a mixture of fantasy genre's such as science fiction and horror and goes beyond them both.
    "It's his eyes, Roland thought. They were wide and terrible, the eyes of a dragon in human form" - Roland seeing the Crimson King for the first time.

    "When the King comes and the Tower falls, sai, all such pretty things as yours will be broken. Then there will be darkness and nothing but the howl of Discordia and the cries of the can toi" - From Song of Susannah

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkthoughts View Post
    I had the same initial reaction as Obscurejude, I have to say. I was blithely enjoying this other world and then thud! King appeared and it...well, jarred is the exact word I remember using at the time on another forum.

    However, as CK has pointed out - over subsequent rereads (and I think you need to leave a good amount of time inbetween rereading if you can, to be able to go back into the story with a fresh perspective) I can't imagine how the story could possibly flow without him, it seems fitting now.

    And also, from another point of view - to the large majority of Constant Readers who are possibly never going to get to meet King, he is almost a fantasy himself, so its quite easy to consider him alongside the ka-tet, y'know?
    Its been about three years since I read it the first time. Still jarred unfortunately. Especially after reading Tolkien's essay. Don't hate me cause I'm still jarred. Also, I was using fantasy very broad Jean (as Tolkien did). I think its interesting to bring him into the conversation because King has several times in regards to DT, most notably in the new essay at the beginning of the revised Gunslinger. I'm not sure I understand any of your comments in this thread Jean (but I thoroughly enjoy most of yours).

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Just to clarify, nothing I have posted in this thread is an initial response to King's appearance. I've been thinking about it for three years. Still jarred.

    Oh yeah...I'm still jarred.

    Did I mention the jarring aspect of King's appearance?

    Again, I wish I felt the same as all of you. Maybe in another three years. Does anybody STILL feel the way I do? Please let me know.

    Also, I'm a little giddy and I hope you all have a good evening.

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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    Light sabers and sneetches? Seriously?

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  23. #48
    Citizen of Gilead TerribleT is on a distinguished road TerribleT's Avatar

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    jude, I understand what you're saying, and I empathize. It just didn't have that effect on me. For me it lends itself to the concept that I discussed in another thread about all worlds revolving on the same axis. It would seem natural for things like sneetches, and light sabers (both major parts of our modern culture) to show up in Roland's world. Kings appearance also fits well within this framework for me. Also, if I look at it in the context of the series, where it bascially starts off with a young boy showing up in the way station from modern day NYC, it fits even more. LotR is much different, in that there was never any bleed between that world and our. The Talisman kind of addresses this topic as well, if memory serves me. Either way, I respect the fact that you're jarred by it, and different things hit different people different ways.
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    Banned obscurejude is on a distinguished road

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    I appreciate the kind tone T. I love the concept idealogically, but again, it hurt what was going on inside my head when it came to the narrative.

  25. #50
    Gunslinger Apprentice ATG is on a distinguished road

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    What bugged me about SOS was Mia and Susanna chatting it up on the walls of the castle.

    King being in the story was risky, but he pulled it off.
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