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Sir Stewart

RIP JD

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My parents ran one of the very few elementary boarding schools in the country during the 70's and 80's. The North Country School in Lake Placid, NY is a progressive school with a top notch academic program. In addition, the school sits on 450 acres of beautiful land in the heart of the Adirondacks and has a full scale farm and garden operation that provides almost all of the food for staff and children.

 

In the early and middle 70's, Matthew Salinger (JD's only son) was a student at NCS. JD would come to the campus three or four times a year to visit Matthew and spend time with the students. It is widely known that he strongly prefered speding time with kids rather than adults. My youngest brother was 4 or 5 at the time, and JD would walk around the school with brother on his shoulders. My mother - who taught 7th and 8th grade English - was teaching "Catcher" to her 8th grade class one day (Matthew was one her students) and in walks JD who pulled up chair and joined the discussion about his book with my mothers' 8th grade students. She loves to tell this story because he was so generous and warm with the kids. He listened as they discussed his book and would provide feedback and thoughtful ideas that moved the discussion of the book into uncharted territories. My mother has told me that it was like being a part of a graduate seminar with none of the bullshit. The students didn't care much that he had written the book - and he knew they didn't care. He told my mother after the class that he was excited she was teaching the book, and listening to the kids discuss it was a complete thrill for him.

 

He may have been recluse for most of his adult life, but this small story shows that there was a lot more to him than that.

 

RIP.

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Nice story. Thanks for sharing.

This:

My mother - who taught 7th and 8th grade English - was teaching "Catcher" to her 8th grade class one day (Matthew was one her students) and in walks JD who pulled up chair and joined the discussion about his book with my mothers' 8th grade students.

Brought to mind this:

annie_hall_02.jpg

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. . . I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.[/i]

In many respects, he was.

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Sigh. Goodbye to the most prolific author of all time.

Prolific? How do you figure. Not based on his actual published work at this point.

 

Salinger was one of my favorites from a way back. Sad day. Now perhaps more of his work will actually come out.

 

LouieB

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Prolific? How do you figure. Not based on his actual published work at this point.

 

Think he was making a funny based on that "prolific" debate that was had on here not too long ago.

 

Catcher was great, but my favorite Salinger were his short stories collected here:

 

51CZ36BwsaL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

 

Bananafish, For Esme, Laughing Man. My dad used to read some of the more "innocent" Salinger stories to us when we were kids.

 

I'm hopeful there are some great books / stories to be published upon his death. He seems like the sort of guy that spent years planning for this day.

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i loved reading catcher, but it's "franny & zooey" that i read over and over. each time i read it i put a hashmark in the back of the book. it's been wonderful reading everyone's thoughts and anecdotes.

 

i hope that no one is able to persuade his estate to sell the film rights to his books. only b/c he was so opposed to the idea.

 

radiowilco, that was a wonderful story!

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Yeah, for me Franny and Zooey is the book. I can go back to that every few years and get the same feeling of pleasure. I think the religous philosophy hasn't aged with me but the writing and the tone are still perfect. Salinger captures a particular time and place perfectly.

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we get it. hilarious.

I was hoping that you would! Thanks, man and I'll keep 'em coming. If the Atticus refers to Atticus Finch, then you chose your alias well because it fits you! Cheers, mate! :cheers

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Keep in mind that if you are a subscriber to the New Yorker, or know one, you can read all of the stories that Salinger wrote for them in their archives.

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/backissues/2010/01/postscript-j-d-salinger.html

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Holy cats, I did not know that - thanks! My subscription just started this month...

Please forgive me if you are excited because you are a New York Times subscriber. In my original post, I typed New York Times in error. I hope that you paid attention to The New Yorker link when you became excited. I edited the above. Sorry for taking up more thread space also. :blush

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I happened to read CitR at just the right time: I was in my early 20s and feeling disillusioned about ... well ... everything.

 

I was going to college with a major I no longer cared for and I was beginning to see the world for what it was (at least from a 20 year old perspective) and had no idea how I was going to get my life started. At the edge of adulthood, I experienced my own moment of clarity about the "phony" world and I struggled to "apply myself" wihtin it's constraints.

 

I realize it is a bit cliche and a bit melodramatic to say one identifies with Holden, but I really did at the time. This book reverberated with me like no other I have read before or since (although Copeland's Microserfs came close). Maybe this is why all of us tend to love this novel: at some point we all have a little of Holden catch hold of our psyche.

 

rip

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just this morning i was digging around a bunch of photo albums i've had since childhood and i thought of the scrap books and photo albums that the glass family had mounted on the walls of their over-stuffed apt.

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my 11th grade US lit class read CITR and it changed a lot of lives, no doubt about it. it's always amazing (and rare) when you see literature have that magnetic pull on young people.

 

on a side note, for those CITR enthusiasts, you may recall the scene in the story where Holden is walking through a mummy's tomb. my teacher had an epiphany one day and realized that the mummy's tomb was an analogy for "mommy's womb." think about that in context of the story and it's totally mind blowing. Salinger was a genius.

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The mystery grows: What's in author J.D. Salinger's safe?

 

By Hillel Italie (CP) – 8 hours ago

 

NEW YORK — So what about the safe?

 

The death this week of J.D. Salinger ends one of literature's most mysterious lives and intensifies one of its greatest mysteries: Was the author of "The Catcher in the Rye" keeping a stack of finished, unpublished manuscripts in a safe in his house in Cornish, New Hampshire? Are they masterpieces, curiosities or random scribbles?

 

And if there are publishable works, will the author's estate release them?

 

The Salinger camp isn't talking.

 

No comment, says his literary representative, Phyllis Westberg, of Harold Ober Associates Inc.

 

No plans for any new Salinger books, reports his publisher, Little, Brown&Co.

 

Marcia B. Paul, an attorney for Salinger when the author sued last year to stop publication of a "Catcher" sequel, would not get on the phone Thursday.

 

Salinger's son, Matt Salinger, referred questions about the safe to Westberg.

 

Stories about a possible Salinger trove have been around for a long time. In 1999, New Hampshire neighbour Jerry Burt said the author had told him years earlier that he had written at least 15 unpublished books kept locked in a safe at his home. A year earlier, author and former Salinger girlfriend Joyce Maynard had written that Salinger used to write daily and had at least two novels stored away.

 

Salinger, who died Wednesday at age 91, began publishing short stories in the 1940s and became a sensation in the 1950s after the release of "Catcher," a novel that helped drive the already wary author into near-total seclusion. His last book, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour," came out in 1963 and his last published work of any kind, the short story "Hapworth 16, 1924," appeared in The New Yorker in 1965.

 

Jay McInerney, a young star in the 1980s thanks to the novel "Bright Lights, Big City," is not a fan of Hapworth and is skeptical about the contents of the safe.

 

"I think there's probably a lot in there, but I'm not sure if it's necessarily what we hope it is," McInerney said Thursday. "'Hapworth' was not a traditional or terribly satisfying work of fiction. It was an insane epistolary monologue, virtually shapeless and formless. I have a feeling that his later work is in that vein."

 

Author-editor Gordon Lish, who in the 1970s wrote an anonymous story that convinced some readers it was a Salinger original, said he was "certain" that good work was locked up in New Hampshire. Novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, frequently compared to Salinger because of her novel "Prep," was simply enjoying the adventure.

 

"I can't wait to find out!" she said. "In our age of shameless self-promotion, it's extraordinary, and kind of great, to think of someone really and truly writing for writing's sake."

 

Some of the great works of literature have been published after the author's death, and even against the author's will, including such Franz Kafka novels as "The Trial" and "The Castle," which Kafka had requested be destroyed.

 

Because so little is known about what Salinger was doing, it's so easy to guess. McInernay said he has an old girlfriend who met Salinger and was told that the author was mostly writing about health and nutrition. Lish said Salinger told him back in the 1960s that he was still writing about the Glass family, featured in much of Salinger's work.

 

But the Salinger papers might exist only in our dreams, like the second volume of Nikolai Gogol's "Dead Souls," which the Russian author burned near the end of his life. The Salinger safe also could turn into a version of Henry James' novella "The Aspern Papers," in which the narrator's pursuit of a late poet's letters ends with his being told that they were destroyed.

 

Margaret Salinger, the author's daughter, wrote in a memoir published in 2000 that J.D. Salinger had a precise filing system for his papers: A red mark meant the book could be released "as is," should the author die. A blue mark meant that the manuscript had to be edited.

 

"There is a marvelous peace in not publishing," J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

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He may have been recluse for most of his adult life, but this small story shows that there was a lot more to him than that.

 

RIP.

 

Awesome. Goodness...

 

While a world without the author of the Catcher is a world worse off, I find it kind of beautiful that his reclusiveness coupled with his alleged productivity and the chance these works become released allow his death to be accompanied by some small amount of intrigue/excitement/positivity. I would do anything if the sadness surrounding my death could be accompanied by some happiness.

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Everyone seems to be assuming that the unpublished stuff will now be released. My hope is that the family follows his wishes -- whatever they were.

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More evidence of the kind of person Salinger was. "Meeting JD Salinger - Courtesy of A Rainstorm" from NPR (Listen, if you can. It's better than reading it):

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123080309

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Everyone seems to be assuming that the unpublished stuff will now be released. My hope is that the family follows his wishes -- whatever they were.

 

All I know is I saw a snippet of an article in which his daughter said he had organized what he had written under 2 categories, to be implimented upon his death: 1) ready for release, 2) needs editing before release.

 

Of course, this was some random thing I saw on the interweb, so I'm not assuming its water tight; I'm just hopeful.

 

Oh, found this article with some good info: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/will-j-d-salingers-unpublished-manuscripts-be-published/19336253/

 

Still mostly speculation and the future of any manuscripts seems uncertain.

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Fucking Onion, brilliant. Awesome.

 

I read The Laughing Man before falling asleep last night. I feel like rereading everything now.

 

One thing about Catcher - I grew up (as I know most everyone else here did) in a post-Lennon world, for most part. The association between Mark David Chapman and Catcher In The Rye was impossible to ignore, for me. And I think that was one of the reasons I put off reading it for so long. It wasn't required reading in high school (my town's school system is apparently the only one in America that didn't require it), and though I started it once in my late teens, I dropped it early and picked up a Vonnegut book instead (probably). The reason was that Chapman claimed to be inspired by this book, which translated to me that the storyteller ends up committing a horrifying act toward the end of his story. The title sounds ominous, Holden seems just about unhinged, so why not? When I finally read it, and he got to the point of telling me what he really wanted to do, what the title meant, I lost all sense of fear and cynicism and doubt in him, even just for that moment (a moment I can repeat over and over, thankfully, by just thinking of it). I was expecting the worst of him, and he showed me that no, it wasn't like that, it's like this.

This reaction/experience to reading it probably isn't very different from others', even pre-Lennon's death. It really did seem like he was going to lose it, and that the title could refer to a horrible impulse. Either way, I know I was glad to have the spectre of Chapman's twisted influence gone forever from my thoughts about Catcher.

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