A look at genre fiction

Halloween got me thinking about horror fiction. I’m a big fan of the horror genre, and I think that one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is that it’s revelatory. What we fear says a great deal about who we are.

It seems perfectly appropriate the I should be reading Stephen King’s The Shining in one of my literature courses this month. Aside from producing some really high-quality, Technicolor nightmares, this book also raises questions about what is so scary about an empty hotel. Aside from the supernatural element, there’s also a definite fear of being alone with the people you love most. I think anyone who’s been on a family vacation recently can relate to that.

Though King didn’t get much love from the critics at the outset of his career, many scholarly articles are beginning to pop up, particularly about his early works. As people are beginning to examine genre fiction as a legitimate form with its own values and codes, the elements that made it so enjoyable to begin with are still intact.

I just love the fact that intellectual inquiry and scary thrill rides can go hand in hand. Fall is the perfect time to curl up and enjoy both!

Written by: Amethyst V.