February 1, 2010
The Onion truthin’ it on J.D. Salinger
by Dennis Johnson
Amidst all the writing about J.D. Salinger the last few days, there’s only one obituary you need to read — this one, from The Onion, reprinted here in its perfect entirety:
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.
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives