I keep hoping to have time to write something lengthy and meaningful about the passing of J. D. Salinger, but it doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon.
If you've been reading my blog for more than a couple years, you might recall that I once forced myself to list my Top Ten books of all time—and both The Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories made that list. The list would likely be different now, but those two Salinger titles would surely still be on it.
There's been a ton of Salinger-related news this week, including a resurrection of rumors that his office has shelves overflowing with unpublished manuscripts, as well as roundups of favorite quotations, and memoirs from the few people who ever got to meet him. This was perhaps my favorite moment from the past week, not surprisingly from the Onion:
Bunch Of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger
CORNISH, NH—In this big dramatic production that didn't do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud. "He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers," said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don't have to look at them for four years. "There will never be another voice like his." Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it's just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything.
Farewell, J. D., and I hope you finally get the peace and privacy you longed for.