"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

David Copperfield’s Crap

Here’s just a few more Salinger links for you.

1)  The Heart of a Broken Story, Salinger’s first short story for Esquire (1941).  

2)  This Sandwich Has No Mayonaise, another Salinger short story for Esquire (1945).

3)  JD Salinger: The Man in the Glass House, a profile by Ron Rosenbaum.

5) Justice to JD Salinger, a defense of Salinger’s work by Janet Malcolm for the New York Review of Books.

6) Finally, a nice appreciation in the New Yorker (there are several tributes in the current issue) by Lillian Ross:

At one point during the more than half century of our friendship, J. D. Salinger told me he had an idea that someday, when “all the fiction had run out,” he might try to do something straight, “really factual, formally distinguishing myself from the Glass boys and Holden Caulfield and the other first-person narrators I’ve used.” It might be readable, maybe funny, he said, and “not just smell like a regular autobiography.” The main thing was that he would use straight facts and “thereby put off or stymie one or two vultures—freelancers or English-department scavengers—who might come around and bother the children and the family before the body is even cold.”

A single straight fact is that Salinger was one of a kind. His writing was his and his alone, and his way of life was only what he chose to follow. He never gave an inch to anything that came to him with what he called a “smell.” The older and crankier he got, the more convinced he was that in the end all writers get pretty much what’s coming to them: the destructive praise and flattery, the killing attention and appreciation. The trouble with all of us, he believed, is that when we were young we never knew anybody who could or would tell us any of the penalties of making it in the world on the usual terms: “I don’t mean just the pretty obvious penalties, I mean the ones that are just about unnoticeable and that do really lasting damage, the kind the world doesn’t even think of as damage.” He talked about how easily writers could become vain, complaining that they got puffed up by the same “authorities” who approved putting monosodium glutamate in baby food.

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Ben   ~  Feb 1, 2010 8:56 am

The more I read about his seclusion, the sadder it seems to me. Not the writing part... who cares if he never wrote again. I loved his books, but I got over the fact that there would be no more.

The picture that I'm seeing drawn of him is he gave up all the fun parts of life, meeting new people, seeing new things, in order to keep the phonies at bay. Imagine being so fed up with the world that you never ride the subway again? Oh well. Weird choice.

2 oncewent3for2   ~  Feb 1, 2010 2:43 pm

word, Ben
i can relate to the tendency to withdraw, and i would call it more a reaction than a choice.
my main thought is: the man JD's gripes have kept it real for countless folks since 1941.
at his best, the cranks in his crankiness offer clarity.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver