Knowing Darkness: Artists Inspired by Stephen King

Knowing Darkness: Artists Inspired by Stephen King Large Folio in Slipcase – Illustrated by Whelan, Wrightson and many others. Centipede Press, 2009. Massive, oversized folio in quarter bound black velvet, silk-screen finish illustrated cloth. Pictorial endpapers, bound in bookmarks, full color glossy pages with sewn signatures. Contains nearly every piece of artwork from every Stephen King limited edition published, along with fifteen new works, with detailed biographies of artists. Two dozen double page fold-outs, six hundred works represented in this stunning book. House in illustrated slipcase. With introduction by Frank Darabont, assembled by George Beahm.

A native Mainer raised by a single mother, in his childhood he is said to have witnessed the violent death of a friend, struck by a train. What we witness in life is powerful, yet who we read is perhaps more so. In his non-fiction ‘Danse Macabre’ (1981), in a chapter titled “An Annoying Autobiographical Pause”, King compares his uncle’s successfully dowsing for water using the bough of an apple branch with the sudden realization of what he wanted to do for a living. That inspiration occurred while browsing through an attic with his elder brother, when King uncovered a paperback version of an H.P. Lovecraft collection of short stories, entitled ‘The Lurker in the Shadows’ [ed. he is likely rather referring to The Lurker at the Threshhold or “The Lurking Fear” a short story released as a serial in January to April 1923 Home Brew magazine.] that had belonged to his father. The cover art—an illustration of a yellow-green demon hiding within the recesses of a Hellish cavern beneath a tombstone—was, he writes, the moment in his life which “that interior dowsing rod responded to.” While Ray Bradbury, H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker are counted among his inspirations, he has called Richard Matheson “the author who influenced me most as a writer”.

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