Monday, February 15, 2010

J.D. Salinger R.I.P.

This excellent essay is from The New Yorker. February 8, 2010.

J. D. Salinger
by Adam Gopnik

J. D. Salinger’s long silence, and his withdrawal from the world, attracted more than the usual degree of gossip and resentment—as though we readers were somehow owed more than his words, were somehow owed his personal, talk-show presence, too—and fed the myth of the author as homespun religious mystic. Yet though he may seem to have chosen a hermit’s life, Salinger was no hermit on the page. And so his death throws us back from the myth to the magical world of his writing as it really is, with its matchless comedy, its ear for American speech, its contagious ardor and incomparable charm. Salinger’s voice—which illuminated and enlivened these pages for two decades—remade American writing in the fifties and sixties in a way that no one had since Hemingway. (The juvenilia of most American writers since bear the mark of one or the other.) But if it had been Hemingway’s role to make American writing hardboiled, it was Salinger’s to let it be soft, even runny, again. ....

And this just in ...

Salinger and Lennon: A Fatal Distraction
Posted by Simon Warner
on Rock's Back Pages

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