Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fifty years in the making

A photograph of J.D. Salinger -- last previously available photo taken about fifty years ago. Salinger on the right. Doesn't look like a loon to me.


David Chute said...

This recalls the issues raised by the previous post about John Irving.

Writers are by nature reclusive and sensitive -- or they'd be doing something else. For every scribbler who's comfortable with book tours and readings and getting reviewed, many are not. And for every Salinger or Pynchon who decides flat out that they can't handle that stuff and/or consider it a huge waste of time(cf. Murakami, who moved to the US to escape his fame), many others feel obliged despite their disinclination and handle the resulting stresses with various degrees of aplomb.

Inveterate bookworms should be familiar enough with the general syndrome to be able to sympathize.

Tulkinghorn said...

Completely. That's why the photograph was embargoed for a year after Salinger's death.

Where he's unique, of course, is in his desire to withhold publication of his work as well.

If he, like Kafka and Nabokov, asked that his unpublished work not even be published after his death (and we don't know this yet) should we sympathize with that as well?

Don't think so...

The greed of the reader.