October 22, 2010

First encounter with "Nadar"


On Tuesday I posted a poll to determine what readers thought about J.D. Salinger‘s literary worth. In the post, I mentioned this YouTube video, which I described as “creepy.”

Thursday morning I received an email from someone who asked to be referred to as “Nadar.”

I’m the guy who put that “creepy” video of Salinger on youtube. Why do you think the video is creepy? When I edited the 3 clips together I did not think of it as creepy. Actually, I thought someone as hidden and famous as Salinger is, having only a few recent photos of him on the internet, people would be interested to see video of him.

I’m just curious why you think the video is creepy.

I responded:

I certainly think the video is interesting! I merely thought it was “creepy” because it was shot in slow motion and seemed a bit like footage shot during some kind of surveillance stake-out, either by a private detective, a stalker, or a spy. Anyhow, that made it seem creepy to me. Purely my opinion, naturally.


Ok, I like your explanation. But “creepy” came across to me as negative.

I like doing internet research on authors I like. Over the last year I’ve become quite good at tracking information, going deeper than a google search.

I found Thomas Pynchon’s Upper West Side condominium [as of 2008] (But I’m real resistant to saying the address). And just a short distance north of REDACTED, Ca, Pynchon lived in a small cabin for about a year and a half during ’76 to ’77. You can ask REDACTEDREDACTED, a former HSU professor, all about it, if you can get a hold of her, she rented the cabin to Pynchon.


What a funny coincidence. I grew up in REDACTED, CA. The locals all assumed Pynchon had lived in the area due to certain references in Vineland, but I never knew where exactly. My father used to teach at HSU. I think he might know REDACTEDREDACTEDREDACTED.


I knew you grew up in REDACTED and your father taught economics at HSU. I said those things to perk your interest.

My information about Pynchon in REDACTED is 100% correct & verified. However, Google Maps takes you to the wrong location. It took me 9 months to pinpoint the cabin Pynchon lived at circa 1976-77 [attached photo]. My informant also said Raymond Carver lived in the cabin at a different time…

About 2 years ago I started looking for Pynchon. When I finished the Pynchon project I started researching other authors’ locations. This obsession is coming to a close as in December my wife will have our number 2 son, so family matters will be more important than hunting authors.

I found Cormac McCarthy’s current 2 houses too–El Paso & Tesuque, NM.

Nadar's ariel photo of Pynchon's cabin: street names removed

Nadar's ariel photo of Pynchon's cabin: street names removed

By this point I was hooked. I asked Nadar if he would mind telling me more about his research on reclusive authors. He responded, “Give me some time. I’ll give you more than you’ve bargained for.”