Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Allow Me to Step On My Soapbox For a Moment

With the recent death of J.D. Salinger, the blogosphere has been abuzz with "newsworthy" news: stalking his neighbors, reminiscing about what his books have meant to other writers less averse to publicity than he was, tracing the effect that Salinger's military history might have had on his work, postulating hypotheses about what would be found in his files, etc.

I think it's most important, however, to remember the legacy for which Salinger is best-known: his desire to be left alone and for the media to go f*** themselves.  It's a simple enough wish, one would think, yet Salinger never really escaped the Eye-of-Sauron scrutiny of publications like The New York Times.  (Of course, the media only covers what the public wants to hear, so whose fault is it really that Salinger was perpetually annoyed by reporters?) 

For an interesting glimpse into a similar psyche, take a look at the first interview that Calvin and Hobbes comic artist Bill Watterson has granted in twenty years.  Most notable, in my opinion, is when Watterson says, "An artwork can stay frozen in time, but I stumble through the years like everyone else. I think the deeper fans understand that, and are willing to give me some room to go on with my life."

Can we please grant Salinger's  memory the same respect for which Watterson asks and has, for the most part, been allowed?  (You'll notice that I haven't linked to any articles about Salinger, because I really don't want the extra hits to lead the Times and The Guardian to believe that there's a thirst for information about what's in his trash can or medical records.  For God's sake, a man has died.  Leave his family the hell alone.)


Homero said...

Whlie I agree that the man should be left alone, (or anyone else, for that matter, such as Watterson) I do have to say this: Salinger's work, especially "The Catcher in the Rye" greatly fail to hold up over time.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Oh, I agree 100%. I couldn't stand Catcher in the Rye, but all the Baby Boomers run the big publications so it's been J.D. Salinger week on the internet.

Homero said...

Yeah, I've been seeing that too. Makes me wonder what will be considered significant 40 years from now.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

The Green Day musical?

I kid, I kid.

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