In my last blog post, I talked about how wrong I was in my belief that Stephen King’s Misery was about the artist trapped in the horror-genre. After reading his book, On Writing-A Memoir of the Craft, it turns out that he was writing about being trapped and crippled by drugs and alcohol. So much for my years of literary interpretation I learned at school!
This has opened up my eyes and I now wonder how many other novels or short shorts are about addiction and alcoholism masked in metaphors. This is not something that professors and critics seem to discuss very much, they seem more interested in looking for hidden themes like life and death, religion or spirituality, good and evil or sex.
Take one of our favorite Gothic tales, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and let us examine it from a different perspective. And sure the neck-biting IS kind of sexy. Here we have this creature-who lives in near isolation, has a destructive anti-social compulsion to drink this particular fluid, is always seeking more and more to drink and comes alive at dusk. Ring any bells?
I’d love to hear from anyone out there with similar takes on other fiction.