negothick: (Charlotte)
[personal profile] negothick
Authors are not responsible for their readers, and sometimes the authors wish those readers would go away and not let anyone know who they love to read--Tolkien being an example, given that he referred several times in letters and interviews to his most devoted readers by the title of this entry.

Tolkien was far too genteel to do what Stephen King did--immortalize HIS "Number One Fan" as the nightmarish nurse in Misery, who cuts off her favorite writer's foot with an axe and addicts him to just enough pain pills so that he can continue to write just for her. King has said that her behaviors, both the idolatry and the threats of violence, were based on actual correspondence he received from fans--letters, in those pre-Internet days. Misery was published in 1987, and I can attest to the crazed behavior of King's fans in the 80s--I saw him cornered in a narrow hotel corridor at the 1982 World Fantasy Con in New Haven by a scrum of fans waving books, manuscripts (their own, that is--they even pushed them under the door of his toilet stall!), and random bits of paper for autographs. And this is no urban legend--I actually saw someone hand him a grease-stained Burger King bag. He crossed out "Burger" and wrote "Stephen." I believe that may have been the last World Fantasy Con that he attended.

Back then it was fashionable to call him a "post-literate" writer by those who were critical of both his style and the belief that his fans were incapable of reading anything else. These days, King has [insert really large number] of followers on Twitter (which I don't follow) and about 5 million for his Facebook page (which I do).

Only a few trolls, but mostly millions of panting commenters, no more or less literate than the majority of autocorrected autodidacts on the rest of Facebook. What a world!
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