Stephen King: ‘I have outlived most of my critics. It gives me great pleasure’

Xan Brooks interviews Stephen King in The Guardian:

You started out being dismissed by the literary establishment as a lowly peddler of cheap horror. You’re now a lauded national treasure. How does it feel to be respectable?

It feels good to be at least semi-respectable. I have outlived most of my most virulent critics. It gives me great pleasure to say that. Does that make me a bad person?

Isn’t it also partly because the boundary between literary fiction and genre fiction has become more porous? The old high/low distinction doesn’t exist in the same way.

Well, there’s still a strange – to me, anyway – and totally subjective line between high culture and low. An aria from Rigoletto, La donna è mobile, for instance – is high culture. Sympathy for the Devil by the Stones is low. They’re both cool, so go figure.

I’ve heard that you like to write to loud music. Isn’t that really distracting?

I’m listening to Fine Young Cannibals [right now]. Soon to be followed by Danny and the Juniors and the Animals. I love rock – the louder the better.

More here.