Transcendent Writers in Stephen King's Fiction : A Post-Jungian Analysis of the Puer Aeternus book cover
1st Edition

Transcendent Writers in Stephen King's Fiction
A Post-Jungian Analysis of the Puer Aeternus

ISBN 9780815396727
Published February 13, 2019 by Routledge
152 Pages

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Book Description

Transcendent Writers in Stephen King’s Fiction combines a post-Jungian critical perspective of the puer aeternus. Offering new insight into King’s work, it provides reconceptualisation of the eternal youth to develop a new theory: the concept of the transcendent writer.

Combining recent Jungian and Post-Jungian developmental theories, this analysis of a selection of classic King novels addresses the importance of the stories within King’s main narrative, those of King‘s writer-protagonists; an aspect often overlooked. Using these stories-within-stories, it demonstrates the way in which King’s novels illustrate their young protagonist’s trajectories into adulthood and delineates King’s portrayal of the psychological development of adolescence and their ambivalent experience of the world. This book demonstrates how the act of writing plays a crucial role for King’s writer-protagonists in their search for a stable identify, guiding us through their journey from disaffected youths to well-rounded adults.

Transcendent Writers in Stephen King's Fiction will be of interest to Jungian and post-Jungian scholars, philosophers and teachers focusing on the theme of psychological development and identity, and to those studying literature with a particular interest in horror.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Stephen King’s Transcendent Writers: Stereotypes or Archetypes?

Chapter 2: ‘The Body’

Chapter 3: Carrie

Chapter 4: The Shining

Chapter 5: ’Salem’s Lot

Chapter 6: Stories within Stories: Adolescence and Education



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Joeri Pacolet teaches philosophy in several schools in and near Leiden, The Netherlands.


"Several King scholars have explored the central role the fictive writer plays as a metatextual reference point in King’s landscape. But no one has analyzed this figure with greater insight or originality than Joeri Pacolet. The argument for reading core King texts—Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, "The Body," and The Shining—in the context of post-Jungian theory will surprise and enrich readers of both Jung and King. With the publication of Transcendent Writers in Stephen King’s Fiction, Pacolet establishes himself as the authoritative voice on the role of the writer and the act of writing in the King multiverse."

Tony Magistrale (professor), Forrmer Chair of the English Department, University of Vermont, author of The Shawshank Experience.

"Transcendent Writers in Stephen King’s Fiction takes psychology into literature in a provocative re-imagining of three important areas: Jungian psychology, literary criticism and popular culture. Following C. G. Jung, Pacolet shows the puer aeternus or the perpetual adolescent to signify psychological rejuvenation rather than stuckness. Literary criticism, is enriched by his new theory of the ‘transcendent writer’ or a writer-protagonist who can steer readers towards maturation and wholeness. Finally, popular culture generates revelatory psychic narratives of social as well as individual renewal. This stunning book is not to be missed by creative Jungians and cultural critics."

Susan Rowland (Professor) Co-Chair MA Engaged Humanities, Pacifica Graduate Institute, author of Jungian Literary Criticism: the Essential Guide.

"With his perceptive Jungian analyses of the theme of the fictional author’s return to youth in the works of Stephen King, Joeri Pacolet at once enriches understanding of the positive role of adolescence in psychological development and adds the important term of ‘the transcendent writer’