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In the Mouth of Madness$
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Michael Blyth

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325406

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.001.0001

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‘You Can Forget About Stephen King’

‘You Can Forget About Stephen King’

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter 4: ‘You Can Forget About Stephen King’
Source:
In the Mouth of Madness
Author(s):

Michael Blyth

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.003.0005

This chapter evaluates how the figure of Sutter Cane, the protagonist in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1995), and his elevated celebrity persona, are very much a knowing homage to that other giant of horror fiction, Stephen King. To best understand how Sutter Cane is as much a product of King as he is of H.P. Lovecraft, it is worth noting that King himself is a graduate from the school of Lovecraft. Similar to the ways in which it makes reference to Lovecraft both on a surface and on a deeper textual level, In the Mouth of Madness also positions King as far more than a nominal surrogate for Cane. In addition to allusions to King's celebrity and popularity, perhaps more significantly it incorporates many themes central to King's fiction into its own narrative. Placing an author as a central character is one of King's signature tropes, and like many of King's writer-protagonists, Cane acts as a conduit for the ensuing horror.

Keywords:   Sutter Cane, John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness, horror fiction, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft

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