In J.D. Salinger’s work, persons and objects, even when they are part of the commonplace, assumed a certain glow that could not be conveyes in lengthy quotations out of context. It is this quality that most strongly linked Salinger to F.Scott Fitzgerald.
In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald could take a very obvious and theatrical device, the all-seeing eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, and make it work. Similarly in Franny and Zooey, Salinger employs the theatrical trick of the telephone in the unused room and makes it work almost as well. In The Last Tycoon Fitzgerald managed to give stature , dignity, and reality to a motion-picture producer, a nearly impossible accomplishment; there is an air of petty glamour and slightly false shoptalk about theatre for film people in fiction that usually keeps them from appearing a believable characters.
On a lesser scale Salinger is as successful in overcoming this handicap with Zooey, the television actor, as Fitzgerald was with Monroe Stahr, the soulful producer. Both Fitzgerald and Salinger seem to have an inner conviction about their stories and their characters which is comparable to the successful comedian’s profound, contagious conviction that the joke he is telling is funny.
Salinger criticism runs along a fairly clear ideological and philosophical spectrum, from left to right. On the left were the critics who regarded him as a sociological writer whose theme is man vs. society, the individual vs. conformity. Salinger disappointed them.Maxwell Geismar is a dash of pseudo-psychology sprinkled with Veblen, wrote that he saw in Holden Caulfield, “the differential revolt of the lonesome rich child, the conspicuous display of leisure class emotions.” There was not much mileage to wring out of Salinger on these lines on these David Reisman, The Lonely Crowd, lines of analysis; there was nothing about Erich Fromm and the Frankfurt School about him. In fact, a chronically disgruntled critic, Isa Kapp, once complained flatly, “You cannot find out much about society from Salinger.” Thus, and typically, Salinger was often blmed for not being the role critics would like him to be: a junior Marquand, or better still, and urban, Jewish, upper middle class alienated, and of course differential John O’Hara.
On the right, moving in the other extreme, were the critics who saw Salinger as a kind of religious novelist. The critic Josephine Jacobsen characterized this approach to the limit and perhaps beyond when she discerned in Salinger the theme of ” incarnation, the revelation through matter of spirit…. the gift made flesh.” All part of a central Salinger theme of “the human exchange of beatific signals.”
Such adulation threatened to turn Salinger into a sort of Dostoevsky floating above vague contexts as American light, a little less filling and portable for the mobile Yank. However, on the whole, the critics on the right probably had the better of the argument. Salinger was simply not a sociological novelist, at least within its established parameters. The views of most critics fell somewhere vaguely in the neutral zone, but few failed to see that what Salinger was up to is not a description of social life, but an exploration of inner life; not the critique of a period or a particular situation, but of the human condition, however narrowly observed. In short, he knew that the Lonely Crowd was humankind.
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…Salinger rejected the celebrity which dogged him for most of his life. In the mid-1950s he moved to the remote rural town of Cornish, New Hampshire, where he lived in a house behind high walls and a screen of trees. It was reached by a rough road. Visitors described how there was no mailbox at the end of the steep drive leading to the house, which was surrounded by “No Trespassing” signs.
Salinger’s bizarre behaviour was repeatedly referred to in the 1999 biography At Home in the World: A Memoir, written by his former girlfriend Joyce Maynard. The following year his daughter Margaret published Dream Catcher: A Memoir, in which she claimed that her father hated sickness and tried to cure his children with homeopathy and acupuncture, which he practiced with wooden dowels instead of needles.
Salinger’s own descriptions of his life, however, seem much more ordinary. In the archive he refers to his increasing old age and various associated health issues, and remembers fondly the time he spent with Hartog in Vienna, before it was annexed by Nazi Germany. He appears to have fond memories of the city’s Eislaufverein skating rink.
The writer takes a keen interest in Hartog’s family, at one point offering to help his three children by suggesting books that might be of interest. These included I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-41, a chronicle of anti-Semitic Nazi persecution during the Second World War. He also discusses a 1996 attempt by small publisher, Orchises Press, to publish his novella Hapworth 16, 1924, which originally appeared in The New Yorker in 1965. When the media got wind of the move, the publication date was pushed back, before being cancelled.
“Salinger just saw the publicity thing coming his way again,” says Mr Bigsby. “He wasn’t really interested in that. We think of him as strange because he didn’t play the game which writers today all play. To him, it was just the books that mattered. But publication brought him attention which he didn’t want. He often enjoyed writing for his own pleasure and these letters reveal that.”
The secrecy surrounding even these letters is typical of Salinger. He initially tried to stop the publication of Hamilton’s biography, but the book eventually appeared in 1988 in paraphrased form. In June 2009, he consulted lawyers about the proposed publication in the US of an authorised sequel to The Catcher in the Rye by Swedish publisher Fredrik Colting. The case is still ongoing. Now, on agreement to the conditions, the correspondence can be seen on request. Read More:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/jd-salinger-my-love-for-tim-henman-and-other-stories-2195534.html
( see link at end) …A meeting with Hemingway in France, when Hemingway, took out his Luger and shot the head off a chicken, should be noted as an important incident. The shooting clearly affected Salinger. From The Catcher in the Rye onwards, he has always informed the reader of his heroes, and indirectly of his own taste in literature; the school of realism, and Hemingway in particular, comes under strong criticism, while romantic writers and those with visionary power or qualities of meticulous craftsmanship enjoy favour.
However, Hemingway’s painstaking revisions of his own manuscripts are well known, and Salinger’s dislike of him is doubtless a reaction to his personality rather than his art. Critics have not been slow to notice Salinger’s romantic leaning, which has furnished scope for interpretations of his work such as John Lyons offers in The Romantic Style of Salinger’s ‘Seymour: An Introduction , or Carl Strauch in Salinger: The Romantic Background J.B Salinger found or made time to write during his period of service; Grunwald informs us that he carried a typewriter around in his jeep, and acquaintances remember him working, crouched under a table, when the area was under attack. Although the influence of war is felt in many of his stories, it is not a subject which he writes about with passion; his principal concern here is the unsettling, psychological effect war exerts on the human mind.Read More:http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5830&context=opendissertations&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F