This is a new essay added to the Cabinet, which thus can also be found here. It is a bit I have been wanting to do for a while. A little something for you Shining obsessives.
What I want to do here is mostly point out a curiosity I noticed with Kubrick's The Shining as regarding books. It's nothing groundbreaking; mostly a curiosity. Though, with Kubrick's well known attention to detail I think it is safe to go beyond mere curiosity: these are not accidents within the film, but designed and attended to details. How successfully you can read something out of these details is a matter of what it is you want read out of them. I myself will intend only safe steps.
For me, I think there are three such places to go. First, there is the simple issue of visual effect. Second, there is a relationship between books and the characters of the movie. Third, I believe that relationship works if but as one piece of evidence (and not a terribly important one at that) to disrupting what I believe is a false idea about the Overlook Hotel: that is, I believe most people want to read the movie as a haunted house film, that there is something inherently evil about the hotel. I do not read the movie as such: I read it that while there may be evil within the hotel (room 237 is most definitely a negatively defined place), the hotel itself is, as a whole, neutral. Yes, as Halloran says, the Overlook shines. But shining is not in itself evil. Perhaps, to use a theme not absent from The Shining, the Overlook's shine is like a mirror: you get out of it greatly what you put into it.