JD Salinger – The Howard Hughes of His Day

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I didn’t pay much attention in my high school American Lit class. It’s quite possible that all this was covered when I was busy trying to convince my teachers I didn’t have a learning disability. (When I returned from my Junior year abroad, my composition papers read a lot like See Spot Run.)  So I haven’t read JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye – it’s been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust for years, but the movie trailer for the new Salinger biopic out next week makes me want to rip it open immediately.

In 1965, Salinger – at the height of his career – stopped publishing and all but disappeared. He became the “Howard Hughes” of his day – living like a recluse and writing in a concrete bunker for more than 50 years. Some say the manuscripts he left behind in his private vault have just been unearthed, but if they have – his family ain’t talkin’…

This trailer is SO chilling and only further cements my belief that all the cool stuff happens in Vermont (I’ve never actually been there). The movie’s out next week – will you see it?

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5 Comments

  1. I wish I would have had a year abroad and a heap of confidence to counter my fears. Had I been away that junior year, I might have been less paranoid/bitter about a few things. I might have ignored the shadows around me.

    I did read that book in school. And, I wasn’t exactly impressed. It didn’t grab me the way the teachers expected. I didn’t exactly see the main character as my rebellious self. I certainly didn’t use the F word the way he did. However, there is an element to the story that I did respond to which has carried over into my writing. I’ve been writing in a concrete “bunker” myself:P But, not for 50 years (yet).

    1. Don’t be mistaken – that year abroad wasn’t without its consequences (my mom liked to blame it for me failing out of college a few years later – among other things)!

      That’s the thing about “classic” lit – it’s still so completely subjective. I’m not entirely sure I will like Catcher either, but I’m going to give it a swing. We can compare notes after – maybe I’ll go in on rent with you for your bunker.

      1. That last line kinda made me smile:) Score; sharing a creative bunker. I am eager to complete a dynamic duo:D To the batty cave!

        Among other things? Perhaps the experience was a lengthy train wreck, yet you come away from it alive and in one piece, right? You recovered and built yourself up to where you are? I dunno if that’s a deal signed in blood or something inspirational. You tell me:)

        If you want to compare notes on “Catcher…”, I may have to try reading it, again. I barely remember “A Tale of Two Cities” and first saw the Robert Redford version of “The Great Gatsby” (which was decent minus the ending). I did enjoy the imagery of the eyeglass sign.

  2. Don’t be mistaken – that year abroad wasn’t without its consequences (my mom liked to blame it for me failing out of college a few years later – among other things)!

    That’s the thing about “classic” lit – it’s still so completely subjective. I’m not entirely sure I will like Catcher either, but I’m going to give it a swing. We can compare notes after – maybe I’ll go in on rent with you for your bunker.

  3. That last line kinda made me smile:) Score; sharing a creative bunker. I am eager to complete a dynamic duo:D To the batty cave!

    Among other things? Perhaps the experience was a lengthy train wreck, yet you come away from it alive and in one piece, right? You recovered and built yourself up to where you are? I dunno if that’s a deal signed in blood or something inspirational. You tell me:)

    If you want to compare notes on “Catcher…”, I may have to try reading it, again. I barely remember “A Tale of Two Cities” and first saw the Robert Redford version of “The Great Gatsby” (which was decent minus the ending). I did enjoy the imagery of the eyeglass sign.

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