Half a century fearing 'Carrie' | Culture | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

At first it was solely three pages. Three pages that the author Stephen King, at the moment a daily literature professor, had thrown into the trash can. The protagonist of these three pages was a uninteresting and apparently stoic lady who was stricken by her classmates in highschool. The lady was dressed surprisingly. Her mom was excessively obsessive about faith. She was obsessive about the battle between good and evil. An evil that she herself exercised by suffocating her personal daughter with out caring within the slightest. “She seemed like the typical scapegoat, the perpetual butt of jokes, the girl capable of swallowing the most implausible stories, the object of all the bad tricks. And she was.” This is how King describes her in her first look within the showers of the women' locker room at Ewen High School. This is Carrie. Carrie White, the protagonist of the novel who has simply turned 50 and, if it continues to be so powerfully indispensable, it’s as a result of when it was printed nothing prefer it existed.

Because it's not simply that Carrie deal with, in an immersive, empathetic, and intensely actual, bullying, is that it’s achieved from a spot of non-victimhood. That is, it does so by granting him what everybody who has ever suffered that form of each day and invisible torture, socially accepted and perpetuated by the complicity of an atmosphere as responsible because the harasser himself, want to have had: energy. Or, reasonably, sufficient power to hit again.

And what sort of power might somebody who’s being bullied have that doesn’t undergo typical confrontation, fully unthinkable in somebody who has misplaced vanity to the purpose that he doesn’t dare to lift his voice? A psychological power. That with the will for one thing to finish, for the struggling to cease, a form of actual earthquake may be induced, able to defending you from abuse, is sort of a dream come true. And one that will don’t have any place in a practical novel, one which makes use of the fantasy style to show actuality round, for as soon as and in a terrifying approach for the stalker.

King was 26 years outdated when he printed the novel, and in whereas I write, that form of memoir that’s on the identical time, and above all, a writing handbook, he says that the thought occurred to him whereas he was cleansing the rust from the showers within the ladies' locker room on the Brunswick High School, the place his brother Dave labored. summers as a janitor. Until then, King had not seen the containers of pads and tampons, which, after all, weren’t within the boys' locker rooms, and he additionally didn’t know that the women' showers had “pink plastic curtains hung with rings.” He needed to know why, and Harry, the man he was cleansing the locker room with, advised him that the women wanted extra privateness and defined that these trash cans have been for “when they have the days.” An concept immediately shaped in his head. And it was a terrifying concept. One of these trash cans was being unloaded at somebody who, at that second, was having “one of those days.” What was extra terrifying than being attacked with your personal privateness? What if she hit again? But how was she going to do it?

Cover of an American edition of 'Carrie'.
Cover of an American version of 'Carrie'. Alamy Stock Photo

“A few years ago I had read an article in Life where the hypothesis was raised that certain cases of poltergeist They were telekinesis phenomena. Some evidence, the article argued, suggested that young people were more likely to have these kinds of powers, especially girls in early adolescence, when they have their first… whoosh! Two previously unrelated ideas have just come together, adolescent cruelty and telekinesis, and I thought it could be the basis for a good story,” says King, who, however, found himself displaced from the beginning by the character of Carrie White —” “I didn't like him,” he wrote, “partly because Carrie herself knew that he couldn't understand her.

It was Tabitha King, the writer's wife, who rescued those pages from the trash can and told him that she would give him a hand in what it meant to be a girl. And that, she would say, was the fundamental ingredient. Because, from the innocence of those who do not know but want to know, not only the taboo of female adolescence—and its cruelty—but also that of periods was broken.

Blood was associated with the power of the feminine ever since. That is to say, Carrie He reversed that too. The period, that periodic relationship with blood, was not a weakness, but something powerful. Desirée de Fez, author of the juicy and fundamental book halfway between memoirs, chronicle and essay scream queens (Blackie Books), and renowned horror film critic, considers that the “iconography of blood associated with the power of women who break the system” is a continuing in cinema for the reason that premiere of the movie model of Carrie.

The novel was published in 1974 and just two years later Brian De Palma forever turned Sissy Spacek into the queen of cursed adolescence in fiction, also audiovisual. “What happens with Rawby Julia Ducournau, that cannibalism that has adolescence as its starting point, the girl who leaves childhood behind, has something of Carrie. In fact, female horror film directors, since Issa López (True Detective: Polar Night) to Karyn Kusama are deeply influenced by both the aesthetics of the film and the character,” he adds.

Sissy Spacek in an image from 'Carrie' (1974).
Sissy Spacek in an image from 'Carrie' (1974).Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

Kusama, responsible for such an iconic film about cursed adolescence as Jennifer’s Body, he confessed not too long ago “how powerful” the film is, without which, evidently, the book would not have had the impact it had, and continues to have, something that King himself admitted at the time. “The last time I saw her, the moment she comes off the stage, when the destruction begins, I screamed Yes! The story is tremendously cathartic, in some mythological sense. The beginning, that terrible humiliation, the protagonist's lack of knowledge of her own body, is tremendously cruel, and for me it has something to do with the rotten soul of the United States. That everyone is with her, that they accompany her during that revenge, that they understand the rage at repression, is terribly beautiful to me. “It's telling me that we’re all Carrie indirectly, or we’ve got felt like her in some unspecified time in the future,” the director said about the character, that ordinary girl who, King wrote, seemed like “a frog amongst swans” and who will forever be the one who could hit back, all the blows.

All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.



The literary news analyzed by the best critics in our weekly newsletter


Subscribe to proceed studying

Read with out limits