Monday, June 8, 2009

What Exactly Has Salinger Been Writing for the Last 45 Years?

"Finding Forrester" is one of my all-time favorite films. I'm intrigued by the hermetic Salinger-esque William Forrester played by Sean Connery, from the tweed coats with elbow patches right down to references to stories published in the New Yorker, Pulitzers and prep schools with Hogwarth-like storied tradition. However, what really did it for me was the urban element and for lack of a better descriptor, the hip-hoppization of the movie, through the character of Jamal Wallace, a kid from the projects, who's got game, all kinds of game, know what I'm saying! I wish I were that cool, but 'nuff said! Anyway, what I is saying is that hip-hop did to this movie, what "Save the Last Dance" did to ballet.

But that is not the subject of this post. And, I'm not saying that I find beauty in the misguided youth and mental anguish of Holden Caulfield, I'm just saying that Salinger is an institution. Today's posted about what Salinger himself has been up to for the past few years, since last publishing "Hapworth 16, 1924." in The New Yorker.

Save the Salinger Archives! Even if we have to save them from Salinger himself.

By Ron Rosenbaum, Posted Friday, June 5, 2009, at 6:01 PM ET

Do you know about this new J.D. Salinger lawsuit? True: The number of people who lose sleep over Salinger's strange saga may no longer be enormous, but he still has a cult following, and there are also those of us who—without being cultists—think he's an important figure in American literature whose work (and whose subsequent 45-year-long nonpublishing silence) are both worth paying attention to.

And the new suit focuses on the three great Salinger mysteries: 1) Has he been writing? 2) What will become of what he's written after his death? (He doesn't seem inclined to publish anything before then.) And, finally: 3) If it exists, how good is it?

(How do we know he hasn't just been writing "ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY" all this time in his snowbound New Hampshire digs?)

In the suit, the 90-year-old author seeks the "recall and destruction" (subtly oxymoronic?) of a novel that had been set to be published in the United Kingdom this summer and in the U.S. this fall. The book is 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye by a pseudonymous writer who calls himself John David California.

Rest of the article here…

Copyright 2008 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC

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