Full Text

21. Picture This: Stephen King's Queer Gothic

Steven Bruhm


Subject Literature

Key-Topics gothic literature, queer theory

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631206200.2001.00023.x


Extract

The Overlook Hotel, playground of the rich and famous in Stephen King's 1977 novel The Shining , is redolent with homosexuality. Its erratic finances seem to require a gay man's touch for redecorating to keep it in the black. For example, there is the current manager Mr Ullman, a ‘fat fairy’ ( King, 1977 , 21) who doubtless powders his hands to keep them smooth and white (65), yet whose capacities as an ‘officious little prick’ (4) and ‘fucking little faggot’ (99) have allowed the Overlook to turn a profit for the first time in years. And before him there was Horace Derwent, the ‘AC/DC’ owner who brought the hotel back from the edge of ruin in 1949, the same Horace Derwent whose ghost continually reappears, trailed by his uxorial lover Roger (who is ‘only DC’ [347]). In a contemporary world where ‘hommasexshuls’ are causing riots – ‘They get frustrated an have to cut loose. Comin out of the closet, they call it’, we hear from Watson, the summer caretaker (21) – Derwent and his queer pals have the aura of metaphor. Their spectral masquerade is a literal coming out of the woodwork, uncloseting as it were. What greater horror could we imagine, then, but to place the white, middle-class, American family – Jack Torrance, unemployed English professor turned hotel caretaker, his lovely wife Wendy and their six-year-old son Danny – in this queerly framed castle, this Fonthill Abbey of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top