October 19, 2010
J.D. Salinger. The poll.
by Melville House
Jason Boog over at GalleyCat has posted a report about two upcoming J.D. Salinger biographies, including an 800-page biography by David Shields. The post also includes a creepy YouTube video of an elderly Salinger out for a stroll, set to the Pink Panther music.
The seemingly endless appetite for all things Salinger-related has always perplexed me. While his short-stories lacked much fire for me, the restless, dissatisfied energy of Catcher in the Rye certainly had an impact when I was young–but I have read many books since that capture that youthful agitation with equal or greater fervor. I’m tempted to argue that our Salinger fixation has ceased to be based on literary merit and has more to do with our love of reclusive “geniuses.” But I’m hesitant on this one, so I’d like to turn it over to the MobyLives readers in the following poll (multiple answers allowed):