Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stephen King Wrote a Book For Me and Put My Name on It: CHRISTINE

People often ask me how to spell my name. It’s not Kristine, though that spelling is more familiar to many Minnesotans. So I often say, “Christine with a C.”

People then respond, “Like the Killer Car!!”

(or, “Like in Phantom of the Opera!”)

People have referenced the Killer Car with regards to the spelling of my name since elementary school. It wasn’t until 2011 and my self-imposed “Summer of Banned Books” that I read Christine. 

Christine was also the first Stephen King book I ever read.

This Stephen-King-Free Life of mine has often shocked friends, acquaintances, fellow English Major, Education Major or Library IT classmates.

During my childhood, a Stephen-King-Free Life was almost unheard of. I was both embarrassed and proud to have never read him. While classmates read Pet Cemetery I read David Copperfield. All the books I did not read, was afraid to read (was discouraged from and/or not allowed to read) turned me into a bit of a literature snob.

So when I approached Christine as an adult, I was sure I’d find a trite, cliché horror story, poorly written, that probably would never be as scary as Edgar Allen Poe (who I probably read too much of according to my mom).

I was proven wrong on all accounts… though Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King are different birds.

I understand why my parents banned and sheltered us from Stephen King. There was fucking, there was swearing (see “fucking”), there was abuse, there was drunkenness, and there was unbridled evil that never died. This Evil that ultimately triumphs in some ways fits very well with the Conservative Christian worldview.

But Stephen King doesn’t offer Hope in the end. And the narrative I was taught was, yes, there is Evil in the world; horrors and demonic possessions exist in reality… have existed, will exist, and in some people presently exists... BUT the Salvation and Love that triumphs in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, makes these Stephen King stories (and even Edgar Allen Poe) a Dangerous Lie.

However, what struck me most while reading the book was that I discovered that Stephen King is a Really Very QUITE Good Writer. And that may have been the most disturbing discovery of all.

Christine lurking the the foreground.
After reading Christine, a library I worked at started tossing (recycling) their entire collection of hardbound LIFE magazines dating back to the original November 1936 weekly.

Devastating but understandable: library space is finite; no one was using them; gazillions of copies of LIFE exist out there and online. However, I was also aghast because my childhood and teen years had been populated with magazines from the 1920s thru the 1960s. They and encyclopedias were my TV substitute.

This tossing of LIFE came on the heels of me having read “Christine” and I immediately started paging through every 1957-1958 copy of the magazine that was left, hoping to find the 1958 Plymouth Fury Christine advertised in all her original glory.

I suddenly HAD To HAVE an original advertisement of Christine!

But most of 1957 had been confiscated by the art department, so I claimed what I could: I salvaged part of 1941, 1948, 1965 and fifteen pounds of April-June, 1958 LIFE.

Not a single advertisement dedicated solely to Christine.

But I did find two ads that included Christine… sandwiched between ads and articles about Ketchup, Khrushchev, and Kentucky bourbons… there she is… lurking.
Christine being obsessed over - mani-pedi-wax.


Infidel753 said...

Funny how a novel or some such work can speak to one on a personal level. Could you tell why he gave the car that name? I haven't read that particular King book.

The days of periodically losing the past may be behind us. Library shelf space is finite, but the internet is not.

Christine Vyrnon said...

O My GOOODNESS!!! A comment on my teandoranges blog! Unheard of! Where's the champagne?!

Seriously... thanks for commenting, Infidel... here and over there.

I found this theory of why Christine is named Christine: "The possible origin of the killer car's name could possibly be from Christine, another movie called Christine which was made in 1958, around the same time the Plymouth Fury was made." from IMDB:

As for digitized copies of print replacing print... to create more space... a topic & debate that is often pursued by us library workers. I've already encountered a situation where a digitized copy of a public domain classic novel misspelled a word, based on the computer's/scanner's interpretation of the physical type... and if hard-copies are not easily accessible for comparison, we've got a whole mess of misinformation being shared digitally... misspellings being the LEAST of our worries. I'm pro-digitization for increased access... but it needs to be accompanied with additional awareness of the importance of archiving & accessing original physical copies. ETC, etc. etc.

Thanks for the comment again!

Infidel753 said...

Hey, it can't be politics and religion all the time -- and you've got some intriguing stuff here.

I was actually thinking of things that were originally created on the net -- no blog need ever disappear unless it's deleted, no matter how big it is or how many blogs there are. As for scanning older material, there are scanners that just take high-resolution pictures of whatever you give them, rather than trying to "read" the words -- that's surely the better way to go.

Related Posts with Thumbnails