December 09, 2019
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'Only Book-Selling Louts And Big Mouths'

Predictably, the New Yorker has some good pieces on Salinger:

Lillian Ross shares four photographs from her private collection and writes on on her long friendship with him:

Emerson was a touchstone, and Salinger often quoted him in letters. For instance, “A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have barn and woodshed, must go to market and to the blacksmith’s shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly.” Writers, he thought, had trouble abiding by that, and he referred to Flaubert and Kafka as “two other born non-buyers of carrots and turnips.”

Over the years, Salinger told me about working “long and crazy hours” at his writing and trying to stay away from everything that was written about him. He didn’t care about reviews, he said, but “the side effects” bothered him. “There are no writers anymore,” he said once. “Only book-selling louts and big mouths.”

Adam Gopnik on how JD Salinger was a writer and not just a myth:

In American writing, there are three perfect books, which seem to speak to every reader and condition: “Huckleberry Finn,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” Of the three, only “Catcher” defines an entire region of human experience: it is—in French and Dutch as much as in English—the handbook of the adolescent heart. But the Glass family saga that followed is the larger accomplishment. Salinger’s retreat into that family had its unreality—no family of Jewish intellectual children actually spoke quite like this, or revered one of the members quite so uncritically—but its central concern is universal. The golden thread that runs through it is the question of Seymour’s suicide, so shockingly rendered in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” How, amid so much joyful experience, could life become so intolerable to the one figure who seems to be its master?

Critics fretted about the growing self-enclosure of Salinger’s work, about a faith in his characters’ importance that sometimes seemed to make a religion of them. But the isolation of his later decades should not be allowed to obscure his essential gift for joy. The message of his writing was always the same: that, amid the malice and falseness of social life, redemption rises from clear speech and childlike enchantment, from all the forms of unself-conscious innocence that still surround us (with the hovering unease that one might mistake emptiness for innocence, as Seymour seems to have done with his Muriel). It resides in the particular things that he delighted to record....

John Seabrook describes a meeting and much more

'Only Book-Selling Louts And Big Mouths'
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Predictably, the New Yorker has some good pieces on Salinger:

 

Lillian Ross shares four photographs from her private collection and writes on on her long friendship with him:

Emerson was a touchstone, and Salinger often quoted him in letters. For instance, “A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have barn and woodshed, must go to market and to the blacksmith’s shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly.” Writers, he thought, had trouble abiding by that, and he referred to Flaubert and Kafka as “two other born non-buyers of carrots and turnips.”

Over the years, Salinger told me about working “long and crazy hours” at his writing and trying to stay away from everything that was written about him. He didn’t care about reviews, he said, but “the side effects” bothered him. “There are no writers anymore,” he said once. “Only book-selling louts and big mouths.”

Adam Gopnik on how JD Salinger was a writer and not just a myth:

In American writing, there are three perfect books, which seem to speak to every reader and condition: “Huckleberry Finn,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” Of the three, only “Catcher” defines an entire region of human experience: it is—in French and Dutch as much as in English—the handbook of the adolescent heart. But the Glass family saga that followed is the larger accomplishment. Salinger’s retreat into that family had its unreality—no family of Jewish intellectual children actually spoke quite like this, or revered one of the members quite so uncritically—but its central concern is universal. The golden thread that runs through it is the question of Seymour’s suicide, so shockingly rendered in “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” How, amid so much joyful experience, could life become so intolerable to the one figure who seems to be its master?

Critics fretted about the growing self-enclosure of Salinger’s work, about a faith in his characters’ importance that sometimes seemed to make a religion of them. But the isolation of his later decades should not be allowed to obscure his essential gift for joy. The message of his writing was always the same: that, amid the malice and falseness of social life, redemption rises from clear speech and childlike enchantment, from all the forms of unself-conscious innocence that still surround us (with the hovering unease that one might mistake emptiness for innocence, as Seymour seems to have done with his Muriel). It resides in the particular things that he delighted to record....

John Seabrook describes a meeting and much more

 

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