Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Salinger

Upon arriving home today i heard the news that one of my favorite recluses had passed. I was not one of those kids who fawned all over Catcher in the Rye, it was a good book but not the life changing experience i've heard many spout off about, no i prefer Nine Stories, my favorite story being A Great Day for Banana Fish, if you've never read it you should. What i admire ole J.D. most for is his turning his back on fame, his utter disdain for the life that came along with being a top selling author in an era where that was like being a rock star. He stated it invaded his privacy to much and though he loved writing he preferred to write for himself and no one else, a writer of the No according to Enrique Vila-Matas, a bit like Gogol or Melville, J.D. from what i've gleaned liked to write and fuck and study eastern religions and didn't like people much, sounds reasonable enough to me, i wonder what he left behind seeing that he hasn't published a thing since 1965, i wonder if he has a room full of manuscripts or if he sat in his back yard in New Hampshire watching the clouds roll in, glass of whiskey in his hand, tossing pages into a big metal drum to watch them burn, laughing and thinking "Fuck Holden Caulfield."

7 comments:

daisyfae said...

when i was young, i thought "Catcher in the Rye" to be sheer brilliance... read it again in my 30's, and it was totally different. i like your take on his last few years... and this:

"I prefer to think JD Salinger has just decided to become extra reclusive." - John Hodgman

JMH said...

I might have expected a Howard Zinn eulogy instead.

But the world is full of phonies. So phull of fonies.

Kono said...

JMH - though i do admire Mr. Zinn and have prescribed to his his way of thinking in regards to the writing of history, the victor goes the spoils therefore we are always at war with Oceania, Howard was an open book and not a recluse, take nothing away from his accomplishments for they are many and distinguished it's just that when i dream of writing i dream of a man hiding out in a house in New Hampshire, 6ft fence, people stealing his laundry, wondering if he has a computer or still uses an old Smith-Corona, does he go to the grocery store? does he still write? yes in J.D. i can see a raging egomaniac yet it's the mystery that we love, had he not become a recluse it's quite possible no one would've cared that he died, maybe he's written nothing but shit novels since 1965 but we don't know and what we don't know intrigues us, just ask all those crazies dreaming of God.

Daisy- first line in the paper, "As usual Mr. Salinger was unavailable for comment."

nursemyra said...

I love his writing. Joyce Maynard's book was also interesting and revealing, but in the end all that matters is that he was a great writer

twin said...

Mr. Salinger was(is) one of my favorite authors. And...not unlike yourself Mr. Kono....I much prefer Nine Stories to Catcher. Although...I read & re-read Franny & Zooey so many times....it runs a close second.

Kono said...

Nursie - you are more than right and i might have to check out that Joyce Maynard book.

Twin - Great minds think alike :)

Rassles said...

I remember reading Catcher in high school and feeling cheated and pissed off. I couldn't relate. Read it again years later and realized I related too much.

I considered a Zinn post and decided against it. I considered a Salinger post and it turned into a rant on Avatar. So I fucking win.