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JD Salinger: Five new manuscripts and a post-Holocaust film to duck

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JD Salinger died in  died in 2010 at age 91. Some of his unpublished works have been found. Cornel Bonca looks at them:

[T]his is the biggest literary “get” of the American 21st century.

The books include a World War II novel featuring Sergeant X from “From Esme,” the most intriguing character outside Holden and the Glass family that Salinger ever created. It includes a novella, in diary form, written by a World War II counterintelligence officer — Salinger’s job during the war — “culminating in the Holocaust.” Given Salinger’s war experience and his painstaking writing process, these two works could conceivably add up to a contribution to American World War II literature on a par with the work of Mailer, Jones, Heller, and Pynchon.

A third manuscript is, we’re told, a “manual of Vedanta,” a book explaining Vedanta Hinduism (and presumably, its relation to Salinger’s work), “with short stories, almost fables, woven into the text.” Finally, there are two compilations, one entitled The Family Glass, gathering all the published Glass stories together with five new storiesabout Seymour, the last of which “deals with Seymour’s life after death.” Given that once Salinger got going on the Glasses, his “stories” inevitably metastasized into novellas, this book is likely to be a real tome, and might conceivably be the greatest contribution Salinger makes to American letters, dealing as it must, with the question of how to live a genuine spiritual life in a postwar, post-Holocaust world.

Then there’s the final book, which [biographers David] Shields and [Shane] Salerno describe as “a complete history of the Caulfield family,” gatheringCatcher, six previously published (and I would imagine, wholly rewritten) Caulfield stories written in the early-to-mid 1940s, as well as new stories featuring, presumably, Holden, Phoebe, Allie, and D.B. Caulfield. Five new Salinger books! Doubtless, they will make us entirely reconceive Salinger’s current oeuvre. If the books are even close in quality to Catcher or Franny & Zooey, they might reroute the course of late 20th-century American literature.

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Posted: 22nd, September 2013 | In: Books, Film, Flashback | Comment


JD Salinger RIP: Mark David Chapman Was My Agent

JEROME D Salinger is dead. Salinger wrote The Catcher In The Rye. You read it. It was OK. It was short. It sold in the millions. After he killed John Lennon in 1980, Mark David Chapman said he did it “to promote the reading” of that book. John Hinckley, who shot Ronald Reagan, left behind a copy in his hotel room. Shallow America read much meaning into this. More books sold. Killers can read. Who knew? Was Chapman just a literary agent who went too far? Salinger wrote one novel and three volumes of stories. He shunned the limelight with a scowl. These are the pictures of his life:

Posted: 28th, January 2010 | In: Celebrities | Comment