Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mental Notes: J.D. Salinger

I know I'm a week late for this, but it just had to be done. RIP to the one who made Holden Caulfield, Franny and Zooey, a part of my life.













"Don't ever tell anybody anything," J.D. Salinger wrote in the closing lines of "The Catcher in the Rye." "If you do, you start missing everybody."

For more than two decades now, I've thought about that ending as a piece of code. Not that Salinger, who died Wednesday at age 91 in Cornish, N.H., was an oracle, despite what his most dedicated followers -- those who hung around his driveway, hoping for a glimpse of the reclusive author, or parsed his sentences on a million websites -- might believe.

But Salinger was a writer who refracted his perspective into language, producing work that was personal and profound. Between 1951 and 1965, he produced four uncommonly sensitive books of fiction -- "Catcher," "Nine Stories," "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" -- before retreating to his home in Cornish and refusing to publish any more.

More from the LA Times article here.