Gothic Remembering in Stephen King's "It Grows On You"


  • Thorsten Burkhardt



gothic, small-town, abjection, semiotic, remembering, Stephen King


This essay introduces the notion of gothic remembering as a means to conceptualize hauntings in a small-town setting. It emphasizes the breakdown of a normative construction of communal past by foregrounding the focus of remembering on abject images and semiotic processes of signification that undermine communal strategies of closure in remembering, thus leading to gothic hauntings.

Author Biography

Thorsten Burkhardt

Thorsten Burkhardt received his degree of magister artium from the University of Leipzig in 2011 with a thesis on Stephen King and the Gothic. Since 2012 he has been working on his dissertation project titled “The Contemporary American Small-Town Gothic“. In addition to King, authors of interest are Shirley Jackson, Charles Frazier, Stewart O'Nan, and the new voices of Cara Hoffman, Wiley Cash, and Julia Keller, all of which deal with the disillusionments of small-town life. Thorsten Burkhardt is a regular guest speaker in BA and MA level lectures and seminars at American Studies Leipzig where he talks about all things gothic in US literature. He has also taught an introductory class in literary analysis at American Studies Leipzig.




How to Cite

Burkhardt, Thorsten. “Gothic Remembering in Stephen King’s ‘It Grows On You’”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, June 2014, doi:10.5283/copas.181.