Friday, January 29, 2010
j.d. salinger - rip

J.D. Salinger died yesterday, having just turned 91 years old. He was one of my "writing" Gods. I became aware of him with "Catcher In The Rye", the way so very very many people became aware of him. A great beautifully rendered book, filled with so much heart and pain and insight....such a gift! But, for me, Salinger's stories about 'The Glass Family' were the ultimate in great and brilliant writing---these stories were all moving and 'perfect' in every way....I was in love with the Glass Family and waited with baited breath for the then great New Yorker Magazine to print the next special story about this amazing fictional and fascinating family....Any story by Salinger was a "gem" back in the day...but, once you made the connection that many of the stories were about The Glass Family----well, it was like finding 'gold'. I remember how excited I was when I actually discovered that "Perfect Day For Bananafish" and "Uncle Wiggly In Connecticut" and "Down At The Dingy" were all connected to this wonderfully interesting family....These stories about this family were true treasures....! And they were ALL printed in The New Yorker Magazine....As time went on....There were more "Glass Family Stories. "Raise High The Rooftops Carpenters"....and then. "Seymour, An Introduction"....All printed in The New Yorker over a period of many years----then came "Franny", and two years later, "Zooey", the two youngest Glass Children. There was something about Salinger's writing that was mesmerising---always hooking me in 'emotionally'...I tell you, I loved this family.....!Back in the day, my friend Pearl Belkin and I were "Glass Family" Junkies...we scoured The New Yorker every week hoping for a new story by Salinger---always hoping it would be another 'Glass Family' story....Maybe it was growing up in New York in a family that deeply appreciated ALL the "arts"---Music, Theatre, Films, Books, Radio---(Yes, Radio was a big big wonderful addition to our daily life in the form of the great great creative artists of the day....)...The Glass Family grew up in New York...the parents had been 'entertainers'. All the children were 'Genius' level brains...and all appeared on a Radio Show at different tines, called "It's A Wise Child".Seymour was the oldest and most of the stories revolved around him and his brother Buddy in some way---They say that 'Buddy' was Salinger...though he did not come from such a big family---There were seven children in The Glass Family. And Seymour kills himself in one of the early stories---'A Perfect Day For Bananafish'......So, when we read all the other stories about him and his 6 siblings, we already know that he killed himself in 1948. And it is his younger brother, by two years, Buddy, that narrates many of the other stories....This is superb writing. Dense and layered and utterly fascinating in every way. One feels the Glass Family actually must exist because each one of these seven siblings are written in such a thorough deep way. Many people wanted to adapt Salinger's work----including me. He turned everyone down---including me, because Hollywood had butchered "Uncle Wiggly In Connecticut". Destroyed it, really, with "My Foolish Heart". After that debacle, he vowed never to let anyone adapt any of his work for films or the stage---I wanted to adapt three of his stories for the stage, back in 1961-62. I received a very nice letter from his agent which said, basically, Thanks, but 'no thanks', and why. I was very disappointed, but I understood. Salinger was a writer of great integrity and was never interested in 'celebrity'. He was interested in writing, period.We lost a true giant on Thursday. One of the "greats". I was reminded of how exciting those days were back in the late 1950's and early 1960's, waiting for the next beautiful piece of writing by this special wonderful writer. He was unique----an "original". No one wrote like him and no one is writing like him now. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful pieces he gave us. They still resonate. They are still great great writing. And unlike so very many people who long for their 15 minutes of fame today---Salinger was a complete recluse who couldn't bear the trappings of 'fame'. What he gave us will live on and on and on for much longer than any Housewife of Orange County.Rest In Peace, J. D.....And Thank You for all the beauty you gave us.

More To Come.........

had this to say:

Salinger is just one of many writers I've been meaning to read all my life, but never have. My son read "Catcher" a semester or two ago for school. Funny, none of the classics were assigned for me to read at any of the schools I attended. My education is sorely lacking. I will have to put him on my summer read list. Are his Post articles available anywhere?

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 5:48:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

A great loss indeed, but his books will be his legacy and kind of immortality. I loved Catcher in The Rye, which I was introduced to at school. It is one of the few books I 'had' to read at school that I readily devoured and actually bought for myself to keep and reread. The others were 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Pride and Prejudice'.

His writing style and stories were truly original - unlike so much of the boring, unoriginal and flat stuff (IMHO) that is published in popular fiction these days.

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Alas, while I acknowledge Salinger's talent and wish his family peace during this time, I could never get hooked on his work. Catcher put me off and that probably tainted my potential enjoyment of his other novels and stories.


Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:12:00 AM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I'm ashamed to say I never really appreciated him although 'Catcher in the Rye' is one of my favourite titles. Having read what you say I must try harder - it's never too late. RIP.

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 9:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I loved Salinger -- I discovered him when I was in high school and re-read him annually. Thanks!

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I read all of those and enjoyed every one of them. I wanted him to write another book!

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 4:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

He will truly be missed - not only in the literary world - but, by his friends and family.

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 5:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have to admit I have never read anything by Salinger. I believe many students of my era had to read "Catcher in the Rye" at school, but I was educated in England so we studied English literature, none of that American stuff!

Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

This is such a lovely tribute to an author I never knew and now wished I had as I came from a farm family who never supported taking valuable time and reading, thus I've done it in the past ten yers and now I'm going to try to catch up on his books.

Thanks for the inspiration..

Dorothy from grammology

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 5:51:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Yes, a great loss. Catcher in the rye is a true classic that we can come back to or relate to no matter what decade we are in. Timeless excellence this guy created.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 6:42:00 AM PST 

Blogger Ily
had this to say:

Unfortunately, I've only read "Catcher In the Rye" and I was too young to appreciate it. Now you make me want to go back and see what The Glass Family was all about.

It's unfortunate Hollywood butchered Salinger's work causing him to lose faith in filmmakers. It's a real shame.

RIP, Mr. Salinger.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:15:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I love reading and if they made these into books maybe I will look for them sometime...

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'm a huge Salinger fan...really liked his work.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:55:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for your comment at my place re: Salinger. It caused me to think some more and will probably become the jumping off point for additional musings.

Cheers, dear.

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 10:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

He certainly led a life that created a mythology which he didn't seek but happened because it was so unusual. Writers don't generally just stop writing and maybe he did not but he did stop publishing. I read one piece about him thinking that WWII was part of what led to his being so reclusive. Who knows and unless he left something to tell the story, we may never know.

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 10:07:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hiya Naomi, I have not come across Salinger until your extensive post about him and what an achievement and legacy.. may be rest in peace.

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 5:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I read Catcher in the Rye and really loved it but have never read any of his other works. The strange bit of information I heard on the radio this week is Mark Chapman pulled it out of his pocket to read it immediately after he assasinated John Lennon. Nto sure why exactly. I also believe another couple of murderers of famous people did the same. Strange how words can be used by some. Great post, as always Naomi.

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 9:09:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I have never read any of his books, but I have heard of Catcher in the Rye. Now I must read it!
I have been getting back into reading more lately. This one goes on my list!

RIP Mr. Salinger.

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 9:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

A fan here, learned much in your post. Love my prize. Will cherish it always. Thank you so very much.

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 10:53:00 PM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

There's a challenge for you on my post today - but only if you feel like it:)

Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 10:57:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Somehow I have missed reading Salinger. Don't know how I managed though all these years. Thanks to your lovely tribute, I now will put him on my reading list.
I wonder if the rumor about his 15 unpublished books locked in a vault somewhere is real? Wouldn't that be lovely.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:54:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I've never read any of his work, and really feel I should after your post here. If you enjoyed it so much I'm sure I would too. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 4:05:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I love to read but have never read of any his stuff.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 9:47:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I enjoyed this post because I needed an education and introduction to Salinger's work. I find him intriguing as a person. Funny, I think I've read more ABOUT authors lives more than their works. I am a fan of biographies and reading this I kept wondering how much the Glass Family might have been based on his own life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:53:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Kevin Raftery
had this to say:

I was struck by the picture of young Salinger and his likeness to my Father at that age. When I read that Salinger's mother was of Irish descent that explained it; Salinger had the long Irish face that both my Irish Father and Grandfather had.
Learning he had Irish blood in him helps me to understand his personality better.
My Father was a loner and never happier than when he was by himself reading a book. He read everything from biographies to "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." This tough NY Detective could quote verbatim Heathcliff's prose to Cathy on the hills in "Wuthering Heights."
He was not a braggart; You would never know this from himself.
I think "Black-Irish" men are very sensitive men underneath, and that sensitivity comes out in their love of the english language.
Reading and writing can take many hours out of the day ,so a lot of them are loners.
Oh, my Father loved to be with the boys , but not all of the time.
Salinger was thought to be a recluse, but it turns out he went out and about in the town he lived. I think loner rather than recluse is a better word to describe JD Salinger.
You wrote a lovely tribute to him.

Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 8:04:00 AM PST 

Anonymous KR
had this to say:

I just looked at the last comment I sent you and I see the word "english." English should be capitalized. Oops!
Also, in the contest from last week, my submission should have read "Who said I was a nice Jewish girl?" I didn't intentionally capitalize the G. I figured that you probably realized that was a mistake. I think I need new glasses.

Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 10:23:00 PM PST 

Post a Comment

Back To the Main Page

Home | Newer›  ‹Older

view my profile
100 things about me

Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California

Powered by: Blogger
design by: girliebits.