« Rescuing Public Discourse | Main | Secondary Sources »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jacob Russell

"It is more like the gratuitous, self-delighting detail children use when inventing fantasy worlds." This is really quite breathtaking... that he would see this as a fault! Oh my god, lets us above all things, never confuse art and literature with PLAY!

I first read Franny and Zooey in my late 40's--and was astonished at how fresh it seemed... enchanting, in the best sense of that word--and it was precisely what Kirsch finds objectionable (what a sad stuffy old fusspot!) --a marvelous sense of the everyday... the everyday as marvelous, as a child might discover it. Yes, with Salinger it is filtered through as a kind of lament, as something lost, but for the reader, it's something that one might find again if only one could shake off the layers of false sophistication.

Edmond Caldwell

And from the immortal Jay McInerney:

“As for the purported trove of fiction, I’m skeptical. Not of its existence, but of its quality. Anyone who’s read “Seymour: An Introduction” or most especially his last published work, “Hapworth 16, 1924” will wonder just how readable his later fiction is. “Hapworth” is a rambling, self referential, improbable letter home written by an alleged seven year old at camp. By the time he wrote it, Salinger seems to have decided to dispense with most of the niceties of storytelling, and to be talking to himself more rather than to the readers of Catcher in the Rye. I suspect we are going to be disappointed, but I would love to be proven wrong.”

Rambling monologues that dispense with the niceties of storytelling -- horrors! Even worse -- Austrian!!!


Are you saying that capturing is impossible, so all gesturing is futile?


So what is Mr. Kirsch's point?

Frances Madeson

“How can you grieve for a writer who has been, for all practical purposes, dead for half a century—one defined by his refusal to publish or even to appear in public?”

Well, Jack, just imagine a world where everyone acted like Salinger, refusing to participate in celebrity culture, refusing to bring more product to market. These are “unwholesome” positions to the WSJ, if one thinks being made whole always refers to money, positions that render Salinger not just a worthy, but necessary, target for mockage, ideologically speaking. If Kirsch has to struggle to make the case editorially it hardly matters because the headline says it all. They don’t just want Salinger dead, they want him long dead.

David "Waggish" Auerbach

Those minor authors Homer and Joyce also made extensive use of lists.

Michael Lockridge

Ah, inventing fantasy worlds! Which, of course, is what I do. I have not read Salinger for quite some time, something with this reminder I intend to correct. "Filtered through as a kind of lament" lends a bit of perspective for the reading.

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in an exciting new fantasy adventure series. Did you enjoy visiting Middle Earth? Valdemar? Spend some time at the Edge of the World. Come for the view. Stay for the adventure.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

New Fiction Chronicle: