Friday, January 29, 2010

J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger died on January 27th.  His 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was absolutely one of the most influential literary works of the 20th century.

He lived nearly the entire remainder of his life out of the public eye.  Bully for him.  "Hapworth 16: 1924", a novella that appeared in The New Yorker in 1965, was the last heard from the Glass Family (Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963)) and the last published piece from Salinger.

Perhaps he spent the last 45 years writing, in which case we might see a great volume of posthumous work being published.  We can hope.

In the meantime, we can enjoy some humor.
"Reclusive author J.D. Salinger dead at 91. As usual, he was unavailable for comment."

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
(The opening sentence from The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger)

Craig Ferguson is regularly amazing.  He certainly is here. From the 2:30 point on, Craig riffs on Salinger.

"Author J.D. Salinger died at 91 after an extremely long bout of teen angst."
(Jay Leno)

"I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy."
(J.D. Salinger)

Bunch of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger
CORNISH, NH—In this big dramatic production that didn't do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud. "He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers," said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don't have to look at them for four years. "There will never be another voice like his." Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it's just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything.
(The Onion)

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