Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's A Wise Child

Like so many people, I've always loved J.D. Salinger. Not the obsessive crazy "I'm part of the Glass family" love (although is there any of us who didn't at one time feel that way?), but with the reverence of someone who changes the way you think about writing. I didn't read Catcher In The Rye in high school -- I got to it way too late to really love it. Instead, I gravitated to his novellas and short stories, particularly Franny and Zooey. He wrote of topics that other people didn't, or at least not in the same way, a desire for God, for understanding. His words had a way of lingering. You might not get it all, but he wrote about the ineffable, the things for which there are no words.

And uncommon for this publicity-whoring age (I'm no exception, obviously), he didn't seek the spotlight. Of course, this brought it in that Jungian, What you resist, persists kind of way. Most of what we know about him comes from other people's memoirs and it's not particularly flattering. He stopped publishing altogether. He resisted the movies. He gave up the things for which most of us would give our very souls. Who knows how it was for him in his years in seclusion? The young will always love his work, the way he could see longing and desire and the hopelessness of it all, the beauty.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Jesus knew — knew — that we're carrying the Kingdom of Heaven around with us, inside, where we're all too goddamn stupid and sentimental and unimaginative to look? You have to be a son of God to know that kind of stuff." J.D. Salinger

Cocktail Hour
Loved Big Fan! Will have complete review soon.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


JR said...

To make your mark and then go quietly certainly is admirable. RIP.

the walking man said...

He could have used his fame to pimp his work like say ohhhhhh Ginsburg, Capote, Ferlinghetti, Miller, Kerouac, but then he never sounded like a whore when he did write and allow publication of his magazine pieces. And he never had to live with the public shame of his private life on some tabloid cover either now did he?

If the stories are true there will be legacy publications coming soon enough and maybe his daughter will over time get over the rap she gave in her book to a man who only wanted to be left artistically alone.

Charles Gramlich said...

I always admired Salinger's desire to stay out of the limelight, even though I just really didn't care for Catcher in the rye. I have his short stories but haven't read them. I will at some point.

Anonymous said...


jodi said...

Hi Darling Girl, never did the cult thing that "Catcher in the Rye" was, altho a friend turned me on to "To Esme with Love and Squalor". Oh, and it's cold as "all billy hell" ( a Michelle original) here and I can't take the time to run from the restaurant to the car looking up. Tooo cold!!!

The Non Stop Shoebox said...

Salinger wrote because he had too. The rest was just celebrity, and he didn't need it.

PS: great to see the Canon ir400 being put to such good use.

Anonymous said...

His words had a way of lingering.

Like Genital Warts.

Jason said...

In the middle of a conversation about JD, someone mentioned they weren't a fine of Great Gatsby.

I then became sad for two reasons.