Friday, January 29, 2010

JD Salinger 1919-2010

American author JD Salinger has died at the age of 91. There are numerous appreciations and obituaries, including a series of articles in the New York Times. Charles McGrath writes:
In 1974 Philip Roth wrote, “The response of college students to the work of J. D. Salinger indicates that he, more than anyone else, has not turned his back on the times but, instead, has managed to put his finger on whatever struggle of significance is going on today between self and culture.”
In the Guardian, three prominent American authors, including Joyce Carol Oates, pay tribute to Salinger.
Salinger's great, obsessive theme was the moral rootlessness of contemporary American materialism and its corrosive effect upon precocious, highly sensitive children and adolescents whose religious yearnings were both esoteric (eastern, mystic) and sentimental (narcissistic, naively self-regarding).


  1. JD Salinger wrote a great book, which probably inspired many readers to become writers themselves.

    And he somehow managed to do this without first serving an apprenticeship writing episodes for Casualty, Dr Who, or Eastenders.

    So - despite what the BBC Writersroom would have you believe - there are other ways of doing it.

  2. So many of my students came up to me at school yesterday - we've just finished reading Catcher in the Rye. 'Hey, Miss! We heard that Salinger's died.' I'm waiting for their expression of grief, but what they say is, 'Will someone be allowed to make the film now?!'


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