Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ad Astra, Jerry

By now, you've probably heard that J.D. Salinger has died.

Rest in peace, you old curmudgeon. It's a goddam shame.

My thoughts go out also to my high school English teacher, Robert Kaplow (who wrote the novel that became Me and Orson Welles). I remember how hard he took it when Welles died. I can only imagine how much tougher it is for him now that his biggest literary hero has typed The End.

6 comments:

Jemi Fraser said...

So sad. I hadn't heard this news yet. I bet a lot of people are feeling like your former English teacher. RIP

Matt Sinclair said...

I'm sure you're right. I don't mind saying that the way I wrote changed significantly when I was a teen reading Salinger's short stories for the first time. I loved the Glass family, and I loved the voice of his work. I'd say I probably started to understand the importance of voice by reading Salinger -- and the venerable Vonnegut as well.

Thanks for your comment, Jemi.

caroline_hagood said...

I'm still sad about this.

Matt Sinclair said...

I agree, Caroline. But I'd add that I'm a little frustrated by all the mainstream media stories about him. This guy who was able to essentially cut off all these folks while he was alive -- asking only to be left alone -- has become in death exactly what he tried to avoid: a celebrity. The poor guy can't just die and let his legacy stand for itself.

I actually started a post about this that I've been too busy to finish. I may need to do so, or just move on rather than contribute to exactly what I'm railing against.

caroline_hagood said...

That's a good point. It's impossible not to contribute a little bit to what you're railing against, but I think it would be an interesting post. Go with it.

Matt Sinclair said...

I might just do that...