Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy birthday, Mr. Salinger!

Reeling from the success of The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger withdrew from public view in the mid-1950s. He published Franny and Zooey in 1961, a collection of novellas (Raise High the Room Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction) in 1963 and then bowed out with a New Yorker short story in 1965. Since then he has spoken only fitfully via his lawyers or been snapped in furious, cowering poses on the roads around his home. And woe betide any of those misguided fans who track him down to explain that they, like, totally love him and can so relate to his retreat from a world of phony bastards. "No you don't," he reportedly told one such visitor. "Or you wouldn't be here."

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