Saturday, January 30, 2010

J.D.Salinger, He of “Catcher in the Rye” Fame Is No More


Alas, the reclusive cult figure of J.D.Salinger is no more. He died on January 27, 2010. He was 91. His singular and seminal work that impressed me was "Catcher in the Rye" which was lauded as "an unusually brilliant first novel" by the chronicler of good writing, New York Times, and spent thirty weeks in the venerable newspaper's bestseller list. In the 1970s several teachers who assigned the book to students were sacked from their jobs in his country, while on the other end teachers were teaching the book to students in other states. (In the US individual states have the freedom to ban books in their areas.)

Asked to name his craft, he is said to have remarked to the effect, "One should get up and shout the names of authors one likes." If I am asked (if my books get published, a big IF) I would shout "J.D.Salinger" first among others such as: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Barthelme, Tolstoy, Dickens, Turgenev, Kafka, Marquez, and countless others. Name dropping am I? Hm.

But the greatness of Salinger and "Catcher in the Rye" and "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" cannot be denied. Rest in peace J.D.Salinger. The Wikipedia article on him is here.

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