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Drinks With J.D. Salinger
February 7, 2011 1:17 PM   Subscribe

“No, no,” J.D. Salinger said. “Please don’t go. Please stay and have another drink. Don’t go now.” He was shaking his head... Salinger began walking, then running, alongside, still asking us to change our minds. He hit the cab—with his fist, I supposed—and the driver braked. Joe said, “Drive on!” Salinger was looking in through the window beside me. “Stop. Please come back!” He was shouting now in the quiet street. The cab moved and got through the intersection. Joe said angrily, “He’s absolutely crazy.”
posted by Scoop (51 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
If I ever find myself single again, I think I'm going to write the following phrase on my hand, in small letters, still legible to me:

"But I wondered what he and I would be saying to one another around Hartford."

Thinking about this would have saved me from some of the bad halves of nights that started out super fun.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:29 PM on February 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


Crazy person acts crazy, sepia toned film at eleven!
posted by Keith Talent at 1:31 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weren't there supposed to have been finished works locked in a vault somewhere?

I would have expected someone to try publishing one of them by now.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:37 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting story. Wonder if it's all true and what's been distorted by 50+ years of memory. Thanks for the post.
posted by d1rge at 1:46 PM on February 7, 2011


Whether or not it's surprising that a famously crazy person acted crazy on a certain occasion seems less relevant than whether or not it's interesting that a famously crazy person acted crazy on a certain occasion, and how. I thought this was interesting.
posted by penduluum at 1:46 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crazy or not, the man could write.
posted by morganannie at 1:47 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I got to this line:

she had found Salinger lying on the guests’ coats piled on the bed

I imagined that he had piled the coats on top of himself and was peeking out like a raccoon hiding in a tree, that roguish grin from his one famous photo slung across his face.

That's now how I prefer to imagine him.
posted by burnfirewalls at 1:52 PM on February 7, 2011


huh this

He said something about his own achievement level of Siddhartha. “I’d say that you,” he pointed at Joe, then at me, ”are at” and he mentioned a low level. He said he would put Jill at a higher level.

combined with this

paints a picture.
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 PM on February 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I kind of feel bad for the guy (or at least the guy as described in this essay from a evening recalled from over 50 years ago), 33 years old but worried about the comparative reputation of the college he went to and whether his new acquaintances were in Harvard clubs. I suppose one of the advantages of coming from Nowheresville, South Carolina is that I had no knowledge of Harvard clubs until I watched The Social Network a few weeks ago and so I could never feel inadequate for not belonging to one. You hear that East Coast blue bloods? You may have piles of money and elegant wives and hot mistresses and well-appointed studies and get to have drinks with JD Salinger, but at least I have always been too ignorant to resent you for it! Ha Ha!
posted by ND¢ at 1:55 PM on February 7, 2011 [27 favorites]


I'd read it as:

she had found Salinger lying naked on the guests’ coats piled on the bed
posted by naju at 1:56 PM on February 7, 2011


I read it as:

All you bunch of phonies with your goddamn Harvard degrees and your camel haired coats. Buncha god damn phonies!

posted by Astro Zombie at 2:01 PM on February 7, 2011 [25 favorites]


I read it as:

I'm rolling around naked all over your phony coats! This may not have been the best plan as the camel hair is quite scratchy and is really itching me! Goddam scratchy coat wearing phonies! I'll just roll harder!
posted by ND¢ at 2:09 PM on February 7, 2011 [8 favorites]


It always starts the same way. I am in the garden airing my terrapin Jetta when he walks past my gate, that mysterious man in black.

'Hello Roy,' I say. 'What are you doing in Dusseldorf?'

'Attending to certain matters,' he replies.

'Ah,' I say.

He apprises Jetta's lines with a keen eye. 'That is a well-groomed terrapin,' he says.

'Her name is Jetta.' I say. 'Perhaps you would like to come inside?'

'Very well.' He says.

Roy Orbison walks inside my house and sits down on my couch. We talk urbanely of various issues of the day. Presently I say, 'Perhaps you would like to see my cling-film?'
posted by Naberius at 2:12 PM on February 7, 2011 [28 favorites]


Oh man, Thomas Pynchon would be so much cooler than this. "What are you doing in the coat room Tom?" "Need a light, I have some M80s and some Thai Sticks!" And then later in the evening, he wouldn't awkwardly hit on your girlfriend and ask to drive her to Cornish. He'd seduce her with "Viva mi patria Bolivia" on a Spanish guitar. During a bathroom break, you'd come back only to find him gone, with all your dope, a couple copies of Playboy you left out, and oddly, a graduate textbook on lambda calculus.
posted by geoff. at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2011 [20 favorites]


I don't get it, why do you all suppose he was acting crazy?

He made what was very possibly an off-hand, purposefully outlandish, recommendation to a woman at a party. Don't most people try a line like that at some point in their lives?

Then when one of the women seems to overreact to his boorish comments, he, very likely drunkenly, overreacts to their departure.

Where's the crazy?
posted by oddman at 2:46 PM on February 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.
posted by crunchland at 2:49 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then when one of the women seems to overreact to his boorish comments, he, very likely drunkenly, overreacts to their departure.

His behavior sounds pretty crazy. But Jill's attack of the weepies doesn't sound so mentally balanced either--if the account was written by someone who wasn't a friend, I imagine it could have been treated almost as harshly as Salinger's horrible moment of social awkwardness.
posted by availablelight at 2:51 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surprisingly little crazy. A lot of drunken shenanigans.

Remember , this is back when it was acceptable for an adult to get falling down drunk in polite society.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:54 PM on February 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


I haven't read this yet, but Goddamn, I'm not sure what the big deal here is. Salinger went bonkers in WW II, I think that's been well and fully documented and admitted even by himself through some of his work, and I dare anyone here with his talent or sensitivity to come out of that experience without being out of your fuckin' skull to some extent.

So...the Paris Review can suck my huge literary cock.
posted by Skygazer at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dare anyone here with his talent or sensitivity to come out of that experience without being out of your fuckin' skull to some extent.

You don't have to be a literary genius to be ravaged by war.
posted by milarepa at 3:03 PM on February 7, 2011 [7 favorites]


very likely drunkenly

This is key, b/c except for the fact that a famous author was involved there's nothing particularly unusual about this story: the fact that some minor moodiness, miscommunication, and sullenness occurred among a group of youngish people out partying and drinking is hardly news.

Where's the crazy?

Exactly; while pre-recluse JDS may or may not have exhibited mental health issues (not exactly uncommon among artists), this incident does not really offer much evidence or insight either way, although it does hint that he was already yearning for some escape from the sophisticated pretensions and superficialities of New York life. That he wanted to preserve something of his inner daemon is understandable, given that his most famous creation (Holden) felt much the same way. Who can blame him?
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 3:03 PM on February 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Related comment.
posted by nickyskye at 3:08 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


But Jill's attack of the weepies doesn't sound so mentally balanced either

Yeah, what was up with that? It's not that some tears in response to ungentlemanly behaviour is all that unreasonable, but neither does it justify a (trying too hard to be) salacious tale on a dead and famously snakey author. I expected to find out that Salinger had waved a gun around instead of inviting her to run away together--which, like falling down drunk, was also pretty much acceptable in polite 50s company.
posted by fatbird at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2011


Milarepa: You don't have to be a literary genius to be ravaged by war.

Yeah. I stand corrected.
posted by Skygazer at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2011


Then again, if he'd held a gun on her while inviting her to run away while falling down drunk... I'm not sure that was much over the line back then, either.
posted by fatbird at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2011


Hmmm... I get the impression that, if this were Ernest Hemmingway rather than J.D. Salinger, this might have been a run-of-the-mill Tuesday night.
posted by ob at 3:14 PM on February 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


The only difference is Hemingway tended to piss off other famous people when he was drunk -- ergo, a famously (and probably well deserved) bad reputation.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:16 PM on February 7, 2011


Now that they're both dead, I can never fulfill my wish of watching J.D. Salinger and Bobby Fischer duke it out in one of those steal cage matches. I'd call it Crazymania. Sad.
posted by milarepa at 3:18 PM on February 7, 2011


Remember , this is back when it was acceptable for an adult to get falling down drunk in polite society.

Egads. I need to telephone few friends!
posted by notion at 3:20 PM on February 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


They seem like very different drunks.

Salinger: Weepy and lonely, morose, hides in coat pile because he thinks everyone hates him. more likely to drag random couple home as to not be alone. Wakes up and curses himself.

Hemmingway: Expansive and grandiose. More likely to get into fist fight, more likely to have random couple drag him home for 3way. Wakes up and hits bar for hair of the dog and conversation about bull fights.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:35 PM on February 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


This story reads like a rejected scene from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
posted by Nelson at 3:41 PM on February 7, 2011 [6 favorites]


Its Famous Person subject aside, this was a beautifully written piece.
posted by Morrigan at 4:07 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds like a pretty damn dull Ivy League evening. I would rather have spent the time with Hunter S. Thompson, Dennis Hopper, and Keith Richards.
posted by Xoebe at 4:08 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess he had a thing for chasing after cars, there's of course this sad and unsettling photo of him later in his life. Roll back the years on his face by 3 or 4 decades and you probably have what he looked like that night.

Having read the piece now, I wonder if this is an event that cemented Cornish, New Hampshire in his mind as a place to go into seclusion or did Cornish, New Hampshire have some sort of art town cache at the time, much as let's say Martha's Vineyard has now, or Taos, New Mexico or somesuch thing.

Also, I don't know if Fuller intends this, but the detached, cool and moneyed tone of his piece makes me wish Jill had run away with Jerry, and ruffled the hell out of these pretentious Ivy league twits who, justifiably I think, to Jerry, would rate very very low on the scale of enlightenment.

There's a lot going on there. I'm surprised Jill, agreed for her and Joe and Blair, to go on to Jerry's place. Either his proposal to her, to run away with him wasn't entirely serious, or she was toying with it, was perhaps bemused and stunned by it??

And let's face it, Jerry was entirely enamored with this lifestyle and this class of people. One he was aspiring towards and was perhaps inspired by the mystery of it. The aloofness, the easy comfortable manner of it and probably gave these folks, especially the females, as females are wont to invoke, a great deal more spiritual cache than they really deserved. It took me a long time to realize that sometimes aloofness and detached comfortable intellectuals, don't have much depth at the end of the day.

Anyhow, he was certainly an intense contradiction of sensitivity and pride and self-loathing, not to mention a half crazy war vet and lost soul.

As different as he and Hemingway might've been, there's definitely an alpha male pissing contest / subtext going on there between Joe, Jill's husband, the ex-Ivy swimmer, who probably looked pretty athletic and Jerry, the literary prodigy and genius with the most basic of socialization skills swimming with the sophisticates of 50s Manhattan publishing royalty and WASP intellectuals.
posted by Skygazer at 4:14 PM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyhow, he shouldn't have run after that cab. Those folks weren't worth it.

But I'm sure he wasn't chasing it that car for who was in it, but for what was in it: His self-perception. Maybe a failed vision. Or a severely lacking fantasy that he needed to right in the face of what was the sad truth?

Above all, I'm sure he failed himself I'm sure. His own sense of where he was on the ladder of enlightenment and wanted to undo that. Undo the impossible. At least with those folks and there cemented regimented inner lives.

I guess everyone needs to chase after cars with people who aren't worth the effort at some point in his or her life...
posted by Skygazer at 4:25 PM on February 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


This line I wrote above doesn't read right: as females are wont to invoke, a great deal more spiritual cache than they really deserved.

Just to clarify, this isn't to put down women. It's really more the fault of guys mistaking their sexual excitement for a spiritual epiphany. Guys get their wiring fucked up like that all the time...

You girls/Women...how do you do it??!!

*Shakes fist. Goes outside and chases random cars and cabs*

posted by Skygazer at 4:51 PM on February 7, 2011


Let me tell you about an author I got to spend an afternoon with, and why this sort of story made me say "Yeah, yeah... I could totally see that."

You may or may not have heard of Russell Banks. I've like some of his books, Cloudsplitter and The Darling being my faves, while Rule of Bone was kinda crappy, IMO.

Anyhow, I was on my way to visit friends in Burlington, VT when I got a call from another friend of mine from college. He let me know that he was going to be hanging out with Mr. Banks at his place near Elizabethtown (it was more towards Keene, actually, but my friend lives by GPS and has no sense of spacial function), and asked if I would come up since I had been the one to loan him all of the books back in school.

I thought it was an odd coincidence and I told him I was only about 45 minutes away, and my buddy admitted that it wasn't going to be until later that evening. So, my wife (then fiance) and I went to the area, hung out in a horrific restaurant for three hours and then met up with them at his place.

It was more a cabin, but ranch style kind of. It's hard to explain. It was his getaway place. He said he lived in Saratoga Springs and he had an apartment in Maryland, near the university. Anyhow, we sat and had smores and drank this bitter ceylon tea that Mr. Banks said he gets shipped from China, directly. I thought "bullshit, this stuff sucks," but I remained polite. So, we chat about simple things going on. It was when Russia was messing around Georgia, so we were talking about that. He didn't provide anything more insightful than what I could've gotten from CNN, but whatever.

As the conversation wore on, he shifted into "teacher" mode. I don't know how else to describe it. It was around the time my friend suggested we smoke a little weed and Mr. Banks indulged slightly, but he refused after the first two passes.

He was a pretty cool guy, don't get me wrong, but what happened was he had started talking like this wise old master and we were the apprentices. I don't think it was an ego thing, I think it was more about subtle verbal inflections and nonverbal cues he may have taken from us. I mean, he was far more accomplished in his work than any of us, so we were acting in a manner almost pushing him to give us something that we couldn't get from a conversation with some random guy at a coffee shop. We may have been inadvertantly pushing him to take a masterly tone and teach us life lessons.

That's a huge step to take, but let's face it... even the greatest artists are, at the core, simple people with extraordinary abilities. To be fair, we wouldn't have driven out of our way, delayed our trip to the point where we didn't get into Burlington until 3:45a (fast ferry across Lake Champlain has a less regular schedule after 10) for just anybody, so I can't fault him for the way the remainder of the conversation went, but it was one of those things that kind of irks you...

I guess the one that really got me was when he started talking matter of factly about some of Wilhelm Reich's theories. Let's just say some of his beliefs are WAY out there, and I'm sorry, I enjoyed shooting the shit over smores. Listening to an older guy yap about healthy orgasmic rhythms while you're stoned really ruins your buzz.

So, when I read this article, I see two things happen:

1) JD wanted to get laid, and he was just getting used to his new found fame. Yes, there's more opportunity to be a "pick 'em up and nail 'em" type of guy when you're rich and famous, but if you didn't really have a lot of that experience before, the women can smell that a mile away. You might as well swim in a shark tank after nicking yourself shaving.

2) Hamilton (in Clinton, NY, by the way... nice college, obnoxiously expensive, but great dining halls) is not bad college, but they did play against Ivy Leagues in many sports and there was always this subtle recognition that they weren't quite Ivy League, but they were going to be competing with those guys for jobs. He knew that he was meeting with people from a privileged background both financially and scholastically, and he was trying to find something... some topic of conversation that he could wow them with. After all, he was a famous author. He figured they were expecting that, and to even be on a level playing field with them would suggest that maybe, just maybe, he got lucky with this last novel.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:25 PM on February 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who can blame him?

I can. By all accounts he was kind of a douche. A mind preserved in amber at the age of fifteen, obsessed with the idea that the only wisdom is innocence. There's something both pitiable and irritating about it.

Ah, well. He wasn't to my taste when I was thirteen, and he never will be. Fine short story writer, though.
posted by Diablevert at 6:26 PM on February 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Surprisingly little crazy. A lot of drunken shenanigans.

Remember , this is back when it was acceptable for an adult to get falling down drunk in polite society.


Back when Americans acted like Japanese Salarymen. Those days are gone.
posted by ovvl at 6:50 PM on February 7, 2011


Diablevert: Ah, well. He wasn't to my taste when I was thirteen, and he never will be. Fine short story writer, though.

I'm taking it you mean, you never liked Catcher in the Rye, right? How come?
posted by Skygazer at 9:18 PM on February 7, 2011


I'm taking it you mean, you never liked Catcher in the Rye, right? How come?

I thought Holden was dangerously self-involved and trying to spin his story so he looked like the victim. I think I used it as an example of an unreliable narrator for a HS paper.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on February 7, 2011


Who can blame him?
I can. By all accounts he was kind of a douche.


OK, but just to clarify I meant a) "who can blame him for his impulse to flee the pretensions and cosmopolitan phoniness of New York and also the trappings of his own budding fame?" and not b) "who can blame him for being JD Salinger?"

In other words, I wasn't passing judgement on him as a person or author, merely reflecting on a desire he may have had to escape. Even if found in a difficult person, that desire is one to which most of us can, I think, relate.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 11:09 PM on February 7, 2011


That was a nicely written story.
It was irrelevant that it was JD Salinger, kind of. The whole tone of the piece though, the casual, 'my step-father is chairman of the board at xyz...', 'Joe and I were at the same club at Harvard...' etc is something I find so insanely infuriating. Whenever I come across it I think of Henry Miller (writing 20 years or so earlier) and how he was having sex with some bankers wife (not Anais, yet) and how... well, it's maybe not fit for polite society - the long and the short of it being, you might have all these social pretensions, but at the base, we are all human and I find your wife hot/ she finds me hot and where is all your money now?

Christ, who hasn't run after the cab?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:53 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find your wife hot/ she finds me hot and where is all your money now?

I've described that phenomenon previously as: Sure I've got money, but what I really want is cock.
posted by ND¢ at 3:42 AM on February 8, 2011


So let me understand some commenters' reasoning:

If he made her cry, either

a) she's a nutty pitiful emotional wreck like a lot of women

or

b) he was actually VERY intimidating/manipulative/slimeballish when he said whatever he said or did to her in the bedroom.


So far, everyone seems to be presuming A, because, you know, dames.


How on earth do you know what he really said to her? How do you KNOW he wasn't an asshole to her? Especially if he was an expert at manipulating the emotions of young women?



And every reasonably informed person ought to know by now that many people find that referring to women as "females" is rude at the very least and transparently dehumanizing on the other.
posted by jfwlucy at 7:23 AM on February 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


[Y]ou never liked Catcher in the Rye? How come?

It’s not a bad book, and well worth reading. But it never spoke to me the way it speaks to other people. At 13 I was confused why this should be so, thought there was something about it I didn’t get; now I think there was something about it I just didn’t like. Matter of temperament, I believe ---  I’m fond of cynics, roués, the worldly, the brash and the brusque, the blackly humorous and the darkly ironic. Innocence is a skin you’re better off shedding.
 
The book has survived so long because it’s such a perfect expression of the feeling that everybody around you is fake and false, and nobody cares about the things that really matter. But that’s the quintessence of adolescence --- smart enough to spot everybody else’s hypocrisies, too dumb to see your own. To persist in the view into adulthood seems to me the mark of an immature mind, and so Salinger’s obsession with trying and failing to find purity in a corrupted world doesn’t really interest me.  I’m more of Judith Martin’s mind when it comes to hypocrisy, anyway --- that in sufficiently judicious dollops, it counts as one of the social graces.
 
It’s interesting, the crying jag in the link --- I suppose it’s a mark of J.D.’s power as a writer that I put an entirely Salingeresque interpretation on it. She was drunk, sure, and that makes every emotion run closer to the surface. But I figured she cried for having her illusions shattered --- here’s this great artist who’s confessed himself, however awkwardly, infatuated with her --- would weird you out but you’d be flattered, too. And then to watch him get into a pissing match with your husband over something so trivial, his insecurities laid bare, and using you to try and score points off his opponents, well, it’d break your heart a little, wouldn’t it, to find out he wasn’t really like what you thought he was, give you a suspicion you couldn’t quite shake that maybe all his generosity to you and your friends was just to get in your pants, and that this sourness was his true face? Break your heart a little maybe, too, to watch your husband stumble into this faux pas, too careless and ignorant in his privilege to see what he’s done, marking distinctions where none had been, in your happy confederacy of youth? The world’s so disappointing, you might as well cry….
 
See? Salingeresque. If it were a story that’s how I’d read it. Seeing as she was a real woman, she may have other reasons, and I ought not to be so smug in my confidence that I understand them.
 
posted by Diablevert at 8:56 AM on February 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Loved the story, but as far I can find about J.D. (Wikipedia) (NYT Obit) he never attended my alma mater, Hamilton College. Ezra Pound (Class of 1905) and B.F. Skinner (Class of 1926) are two notables, but no Salinger. BTW, Bathtub Bobsled, I agree with all your points about Hamilton. Some dining halls were better than others when preparing certain meals (Commons D.H. - Sunday Brunch!) and thank God for scholarships and student loans.
posted by Hale Poetry at 5:16 PM on February 8, 2011


Mostly, this story strikes me as yet-another-example of how unpleasantly skeevy JD could be -- yet another person who's work is admirable, but who would be horrific to actually live around.

He said, “I’d be surprised if any of you think of yourselves as Buddhists.”

This implies that he thought of himself as a Buddhist, which surprised me -- he certainly doesn't seem to be remotely mindful of The Noble Eightfold Path (ok, he probably nailed Right livelihood, in a way that eclipses even Arj Barker's meditative coup)
posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 7:34 PM on February 8, 2011


I thought Holden was dangerously self-involved and trying to spin his story so he looked like the victim. I think I used it as an example of an unreliable narrator for a HS paper.

I think that was maybe the point? Personally, I've come full circle on Catcher in the Rye: when I first read it at 13 or 14 I thought it was the BEST BOOK EVAR and Holden is so right and everyone is so phony but meeeee, and then I read it again at around 19-20 and was thought Holden was a hypocritical, self-absorbed little shit and that reading him whine for pages on end was just painful. And now I've softened on it again. Holden IS an epic pain in the ass, but I'm pretty sure Salinger knew it. Just because the protagonist isn't super likable doesn't make it not a good or interesting book.

I like Nine Stories best, though.
posted by naoko at 8:14 PM on February 8, 2011


I hated catcher in the rye not because Holden Caulfield reminded me of myself and I hated myself, but rather I hated Holden Caulfield and my friends said he reminded THEM of ME. ARGH.
posted by tehloki at 6:33 AM on February 9, 2011


Hale Poetry: Loved the story, but as far I can find about J.D. (Wikipedia) (NYT Obit) he never attended my alma mater, Hamilton College.

Salinger's college attendance was problematic. If memory serves, he bounced around a bit, and I guess Hamilton wasn't one of them as I'm sure they'd want that golden nugget to include in their school history, although I guess they could say J.D. Salinger lied about attending Hamilton, which might be an even better thing to include in their school history. He did attend NYU for a bit, Ursinus college for a semester each and then took writing classes at Columbia, which makes it even stranger that he's lie about going to Hamilton.

One thing here that has to figure prominently is that Salinger, was Jewish and these folks Blair Fuller, his sister (the object of "Jerry's" admiration) and Joe Fox, were most likely old money protestants although I can't be sure of that.

One thing I find curious about the story is that the writer makes no commentary whatsoever and refuses to even conjecture or speculate on the underlying subtexts and deeper elements at play within it, and I can't really tell if that's sort of an homage to Salinger and a sign of deep respect, a sort of Salinger-esque take on the past so steeped in that quality there was no other way to tell it and no other way to show just how deeply his writing had effected him and his sister and brother-in-law, or if he simply doesn't want to explode, or unpack it for the reader, as a sign of respect for the very prosaic, very real human failings and suffering of the man. And in turn making it a universal story thing.

It creates a hell of a lot of tension and mood, I'll say that much for it, and it's haunting in that moody Salinger sort of way.

Anyhow, I take back my initial burst of protectiveness towards the memory of the man. That was purely instinctive, as it seems no longer does someone famous pass away, or have a human failing these days that the whole thing is deconstructed and over-hyped and over sensationalized and covered with a parasitic bunch of eviscerating phonies looking to make a quick buck from it.
posted by Skygazer at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2011


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