Farewell Jerome David Salinger

28 01 2010

Yesterday nine people contacted me to alert me that my J.D. Salinger has passed away. I suppose that’s evidence of my abounding obsession for the notoriously reclusive and unbelievably brilliant author. He’s best known for the cult classic Catcher in the Rye, a great teen angst novel that captures his chatty style, but by far not his greatest work (in my humble opinion).

He was, however (and unfortunately for his readers) reticent, leery of the press and stopped publishing well before he should have (in my humble opinion). In any case this enigmatic, magnificently intelligent man created a world which I loved, a family of geniuses who have entertained me and taught me and kept me company, since I discovered them in high school.

And so, on this day, I thank Salinger for introducing me to the Glass family, and to the Fat Lady, and to levels and schools of thought that have entertained and sustained me over the years. His are the words one wants to read over and over. He’s mapped New York and he’s inspired obsession in many more than myself.

There is a part of me that’s hopeful that now more of his elusive works will be available. that in his death I may experience more of his genius. But, in respect for his character, only a small part. The rest of me just considers Buddy Glass’s words at the close of his ode to his brother, Seymour, an Introduction: “Seymour once said that all we do our whole lives is go from one little piece of holy ground to the next. Is he never wrong?”

Farewell, Mr. Salinger. Best of luck on your new piece of holy ground. And thanks.

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One response

29 01 2010
mom

And I thought I was so clever forwarding the article about him to you. I thought you would be impressed by my cleverness — silly me! Guess I’m not alone in knowing how much you liked him — right?

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