Monday, June 24, 2013

Changes In Stephen King's The Stand 1978-1990 Part 18

Like most of the chapters, 58 is expanded, but, unlike many of them, it's not by much.  One interesting addition is that King includes lyrics from Dave Van Ronk's "Backwater Blues" instead of just mentioning the song and mentions Tom Rush's "Sister Kate".  One could almost create a soundtrack to the novel from all the songs King mentions.  Of course, the song mentioned most often, "Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?" by Larry Underwood, would be missing.

59 follows this trend.  One interesting change is that when someone yells out at the meeting about Randall Flagg, King changes the reference to Flagg from "black man" to "hardcase".  Perhaps he was being politically correct for 1990, but it could also be that "black man" was a poor choice from the beginning since Flagg can pass for any race and the more typical "dark man" reference for him implies evil more than skin color.  However, King also changes Mother Abagail's reference to Flagg from "black Imp" to "Imp"; on the other hand, he leaves plenty of other racial slurs in the novel.  Another interesting change is that the ending of the chapter changes its setting from the picnic scene to the scene of the explosion.  It's essentially the same plotwise, but Fran Goldsmith makes Stu Redman swear that he'll return on Nick Andros's blood.

60, a short chapter, is basically the same, just a tad fiddled with and expanded (for example, Glen Bateman has an extra line of dialogue).

61 starts Book III.  One interesting change before the chapter starts is that the epigraphs change a bit.  In the paperback, King quotes the band America:  "I understand you've been running from the man / Who goes by the name of the Sandman / He flies the sky like an eagle in the eye / of a hurricane that's abandoned . . ."  This lyric gets replaced by the chorus of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land".  King also corrects the credit for the "Stand By Me" lyrics from The Drifters to Ben E. King.  61 gets more expansion than the few previous chapters.  Judge Farris's journey west is much more detailed.  One reference update I enjoyed was King's replacement of Howard The Duck (called "Howard Duck" perhaps to show that Bobby Terry, the reader of the comic book stack, isn't very smart) by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They are both funny animal comic books and both were quite popular in their respective times.  King also replaces Superman with Batman, as Batman with his 1989 movie was more popular in 1990.   

62 is next!

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