Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Contact High

In an essay for The New York Times entitled, "The Perils of 'Contact Me,'" Ben Yagoda argues that writers have become more and more accessible to the public, providing different categories of letters which writers generally receive.  Yagoda does not mention his own feelings of whether or not the new ease of contacting writers is good or bad, but he does provide food for thought.

Ironically enough, one of Yagoda's examples of readers wanting to contact writers: "Some years earlier, Holden Caulfield memorably observed, 'What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.'"  The fact that J.D. Salinger has proven to be not only uncontactable but out of the public's view entirely has only added a degree of fascination to the mystery of his life.  Maybe this shows that the "all-access" approach, though convenient for the public, can ultimately prove to be detrimental to writers in the long run.

Of course, that won't stop me from writing to the authors I read and enjoy, because "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."

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