Friday, June 05, 2009

Is The Only Thing We Need To Fear, Salinger Itself?

Have you heard of this new J.D. Salinger lawsuit concerning the title 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye? Salinger claims the book by a pseudonymous writer calling himself John David California is an unauthorized sequel while the purported author admits that's it's at least a variation on Catcher in the Rye. Hmm... wtf?

Thankfully, Ron Rosenbaum posited this great "what if?" in Slate:

Wouldn't it be a brilliant jest on us all, for example, if Salinger himself had actually written the Holden Caulfield sequel 60 years later, hired this (apparently) Swedish guy to impersonate the pseudonymous author, then sued himself to insure no one would guess the real author? It reminds me of radio talker John Calvin Batchelor's brilliant stunt: a mock-scholarly speculative essay published in the mid-'70s considering whether Salinger was Thomas Pynchon, who would then have been not a recluse but a pseudonym.

The number of people who lose sleep over Salinger's strange saga may no longer be enormous, but he still has a cult following, and there are also those of us who—without being cultists—think he's an important figure in American literature whose work (and whose subsequent 45-year-long nonpublishing silence) are both worth paying attention to.

[via Slate]

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the running mule

the running mule