Literary Precedents for The Dark Tower Series

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The Dark Tower series is a challenging blend of fantasy, science fiction, horror, myth, and realism. It owes its conception to Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" (1855), which King read in a college literature class. He wanted to try to write a romantic novel that had the feel of Browning's poem. It took twelve years of intermittent labor to complete The Gunslinger. Allusions to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1902) and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land (1922) establish the dark atmosphere and gothic flavor of the novels.

The setting and character of Roland owes much to the mythic hero, particularly as embodied in novels of the American West. While at the University of Maine, King wrote a short series ("Slade") for the campus newspaper, a typical western tale about a gunfighter that saves a woman's ranch from the clutches of a greedy land-grabber. Jack Slade's...

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This section contains 218 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy The Dark Tower Series Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
The Dark Tower Series from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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