Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger

photo/ Lotte Jacobi
JEROME DAVID SALINGER/ January 1, 1919- January 27, 2010
J.D SALINGER, the author of "The Catcher In The Rye", has died at the age of 91. Many will remember him, many tributes will be made to this most reclusive of writers, whose reputation rests with a slight body of work with a huge influence: " The Catcher In The Rye", "Nine Stories", the stories about the Glass family: "Franny and Zooey", and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters", among others.
For a big portion of my younger life, I had myself confused with J.D. Salinger. I certainly didn't see him when I looked in the mirror, I being a reasonably comely young woman. And he being a He, and already on his way to being a world class recluse. But first he became the idol and role model for every aspiring wiseguy writer to surface from their complete submersion in his prose. Whenever I put pen to paper...we did in those days, yellow pads, blue Bics, I had to make the decision who I would be that day: Holden Caulfield, or Franny or Zooey. I blushed at how much the Glasses fit in my family's clothes.
I can say that I've never fully recovered from the spell that J.D. Salinger cast over me. A wry and slightly cynical voice was stirred when Salinger's prose appeared. Still breaking away.
Some say that Salinger fulfilled Holden's desire to build himself, "a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life..."
Rest in peace.


Deedee said...

Catcher In The Rye was so far ahead of it's time, wasn't it? R.I.P., J.D. Thanks, Lyn for you comments on my last post. I feel we are true kindreds, and I know I can always count on you to lift me up with your words. Again, thank you, friend!

Tess Kincaid said...

I heard an excellent piece on him this afternoon on NPR. Sad to see a literary giant like this pass on. But, at least we have his brilliant works. May he rest in peace.

Lyn said...

Hi Deedee-
I agree that J.D. was ahead of his time, but really a unique voice for all time..thanks..
Yes, friends are revealed out in bloggy world..that I find to be amazing, and am grateful..

Lyn said...

Hi Willow-
Wish I'd heard the broadcast..there will be many, I'm sure..thanks!

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

Isn't it awful that there are so many writers, rightfully holding their place in the literary pantheon, whose iconic/classic works remain undiscovered by so many of us?

I know this man's name and the book which brought him fame but not the words he wrote!

And then I wonder how many books I have yet to read and how long that might take and would I experience their genius or wonder what the fuss was all about.

Sorry about that, Lyn. It's just how the words formed in my mind!

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Please don't be sorry!!We can hardly get around to everything and most of the time we select what we think will be for "us".
With J.D., I think it was a NY sensibility at first. Even as a kid I was hooked on The New Yorker.I knew what they were talking about..same with J.D.,who they published often enough..same with Woody Allen's stories..I just knew!!

A Cuban In London said...

OK, whatever.

On a serious note, I loved 'Catcher...' when I first read it. But would you believe it that the first time I found out about this book was through Billy Joel's song 'We didn't start the fire'? I was still in uni and the bit where he goes 'Brando, the King and I and the Catcher in the Rye' always left me wondering what this book was about. Since then I have read it a few times and never lost its magic.

Many thanks for that sincere tribute. Not 'phoney' at all. :-)

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Greetings to a Cuban-
Billy Joel has brought us many messages! Not being too phony, but I used to just carry "THE BOOK" way after I finished reading it..ah, to be young again!


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