Friday, November 08, 2019

Together at last …

… Channeling Baseball at the J.D. Salinger Centennial Exhibition | Town Topics. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

William Faulkner’s observation that every time Holden “attempted to enter the human race, there was no human race there” comes to mind whenever I think of the misreadings, not only of The Catcher and “Hapworth” but of Salinger’s work in general and the myth of the cranky, embittered recluse holed up in his New Hampshire bunker. Among the centennial exhibition’s most interesting items is a 1982 legal document wherein Salinger admits he’s been writing fiction “rather passionately, singlemindedly, perhaps insatiably” since he was “fifteen or so” and “positively rejoice[s] to imagine that, sooner or later, the finished product safely goes to the ideal private reader, alive or dead or yet unborn, male or female or possibly neither.”

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