• Monday, Jul 13, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:47 am

JD Salinger and his posthumous literary resurgence

  • Published at 04:30 pm September 14th, 2019
JD Salinger
JD Salinger | Photo credit: deadcaulfields.com

Lit news

Writing about JD Salinger, his daughter Margaret mentions in her memoir Dream Catcher that he hit one of the Normandy landing beaches on D-day in the Second World War, fought for days and when Paris was liberated, he roamed around with famous American author Ernest Hemingway; he also visited concentration camps, which brought him face to face with the Holocaust. The experience he had being an army sergeant, caused him to develop battle fatigue and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But during that time of great suffering, he had been thinking, writing, editing and rewriting a story that eventually came out as the novel The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, which has become an all-time bestseller. This novel and a few other short story collections gave him immense popularity, something that he failed to cope up with. He was hounded by fans and journalists, who were “wanters” in his eyes. So he lived the later days of his life in reclusion, avoiding public appearance, although everybody knew he never stopped writing until his death in 2010. 

Since 1965, when Salinger published his final short story “Hapworth 16, 1924,” not a single word of his has been published. What he has written during his four decades long reclusion remains one of the biggest literary mysteries of world literature.  

This mystery seems to be unfolding within the next few years, as his family has recently confirmed that his unseen and unpublished writings are to be published. But until then readers would love to know that the complications holding digital publication of his published writings have been cleared. Since August 13, online bookstores have been selling the E-book editions of four of Salinger’s greatest published works—The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour—An Introduction.

Salinger was known not only for his desolation, his distaste for computers and modern technology but also for his lack of enthusiasm to publish his works. In 1974, when unauthorized collections of his early magazine stories started showing up in different bookstores, in a rare interview with the Times he denounced it and even said, “There is a marvelous peace in not publishing.” He also quipped, “Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy.” 

So for his son, Matt Salinger, 59, who helps run the JD Salinger Literary Trust and is currently typing Salinger’s unpublished writings, this is a “weird” situation. Over the years he has been a circumspect guardian of his father’s legacy and privacy. “It’s weird, because I’ve spent my whole life protecting him and not talking about him,” Matt said in an interview with the New York Times. JD Salinger was “leery of many things, but he had a profound love for his readers,” he added. “He wouldn’t want people to not be able to read his stuff.” 

He also told the Guardian that his father “was writing for 50 years without publishing, so that’s a lot of material,” and that his father wanted him to pull it together. 

JD Salinger knew, considering the magnitude of his unpublished writings, it would take a long time. So his son affirmed the readers that “there’s not a reluctance or a protectiveness: when it’s ready, we’re going to share it.” 


Hironmoy Golder is Staff Writer, Arts & Letters.

96
95
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail