Elmira V. Vasileva
A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS)
Mythologems of english vampire fiction in Stephen Edwin King’s ‘Salem’s Lot
Vasileva E.V. Mythologems of English vampire fiction in Stephen Edwin King’s ‘Salem’s Lot. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 98–103 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-98-103
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-4-98-103
УДК: 821(73).09‟20”
Publish date: 2023-10-01
Annotation: The article offers an interpretation of Stephen Edwin King’s novel ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) in the context of how its author productively works with the elements of the ‟vampire myth” created and developed by British gothic writers of the 19th century (John William Polidori, Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, etc.). The principal of these mythologems (“the depravity of the century, condensed in the figure of a vampire”; “the foreign origin of a vampire, which emphasises its otherness”; “the aristocracy of a vampire”) are successfully adapted by King in accordance with his artistic objectives, which allows the writer to include his text in a rich literary tradition, while preserving the opportunity to express his own creativity. An important artistic finding of King is the synthesis of two genre subforms of the horror novel proposed by him – a vampire novel and a small-town-horror novel: King fruitfully works with the special aesthetics of the first subform and the ideological content of the second, thus making his novel a socially engaged one and turning the plot about the appearance of vampires in New England provincial town into an allegorical narrative about the loss of moral guidelines and general spiritual degradation in America in the 1970s.
Keywords: gothic novel, vampire fiction, reception of classical literature in modern culture, horror fiction, Stephen Edwin King
Funding and acknowledgments: The work was financially supported by the grant from the Government of the Russian Federation (agreement No. 23-28-00989, 14.06.2022, implementation period 2023–2024) “English Classical Literature in World Culture: Receptions, Transformations, Interpretations.”
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Author's info: Elmira V. Vasileva, Candidate of Sciences in Philology, Senior Researcher of the Department of Classical Western Literature and Comparative Literary Studies, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS), Moscow, Russian Federation, elmvasilyeva@hotmail.com, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4195-5658