RIP J.D. Salinger January 28, 2010 by Nathan Bransford 42 Comments One of the true greats has passed.
Can't say I liked the only book of his I've ever read, but it is indeed a great shame. Godspeed, sir.
very sad. I knew him through our mutual friend, Holden. A very popular guy, that Holden.
May he rest in peace.
So, so sad. One of the greatest of the greats. RIP.
Marilyn Peake says
Saw that on the news this morning. So sad, although he lived a long life, passing away from natural causes at age 91. RIP, J.D. Salinger.
First Parker, now Salinger. Shitty year so far.
Anita Saxena says
I love Catcher in the Rye! Rest in Peace Mr. Salinger.
Jonathon Arntson says
This is one of those, I'm going to assess my life moments. All I keep doing is going back to how I can relate 50% of my life to The Catcher in the Rye.
His daughter Margaret wrote that he had dozens of novels completed and stored in the vault of his writing cabin.
His intention was that they would be published posthumously.
I'm sure his agent Dorothy Olding is devistated, but she's got a busy ten years ahead of her.
And a huge thank you to Jerry for his service to our country.
He was 4-F, but finagled his way into WWII… only to be in just about every one of Europe's worst campaigns (D-day, Hurtgen Forrest, Battle of the Bulge) "digging foxholes to cowardly depths," as he wrote his family.
He continued to drive around Cornish in an old Army issue Jeep. He was tremendously proud of his service and kept his army issue buzz cut for the rest of his life.
Thank you for your literature, Jerry, but also thank you for your service.
Half of Catcher in the Rye was written at an airbase in NJ where he waited forever for deployment. The other half was written upon his return. And THIS is why Catcher is a novel perfectly balanced between the fulcrum of innocence and cynicism.
Catcher was the first anti-war book, and it barely mentioned the war.
Time to re-read his books again, perhaps. Ah, those bananafish…
"His daughter Margaret wrote that he had dozens of novels completed and stored in the vault of his writing cabin.
His intention was that they would be published posthumously."
I remember his son said something about a filing system. Forget exactly what it was, but I remember it involved colors. Pulling colors out of my ass, it was something like:
Blue = edit then publish
Green = publish as is
Red = do not publish
maine character says
When it came to writing of youths, he made everyone else look like phonies.
And thanks, Shawn, for the insightful look at his service.
Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! says
I LOOOVE Catcher in the Rye!!! At 27, it still resonates with me.
Susana Mai says
First thing I thought of when I found out was: maybe I can get a looksie at the books he never published…
*feel like a bad person*
I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any of his books.
Nope. Not even Catcher in the Rye.
I will change that this weekend.
“I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddamn cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody.”
Cherry Lou Sy says
His death today brought back memories of my English class back when I was in high school.
I loved my English class.
Ah, the good old days…
J.D. Salinger was sure part of it.
So in honor of him, I also wrote about some funny things I remembered about Catcher in the Rye in my blog.
Samantha Clark says
So sad. Even more sad that he spent much of his life hidden behind closed doors, but I guess he liked it that way.
By the way, Nathan, I'll be at the SCBWI conference in Austin on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing you there.
RIP J.D. Salinger.
Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?
Richard A. Kray says
It's very sad Mr. Salinger is dead, but I can't help but be excited for the book-reading community, getting our hands on all of the books he never published.
Does that make me a bad person?
I love Catcher in the Rye. It's been one of my favorites for a long, long time. It's a real shame. RIP, J.D., you will be missed.
It's such a cliche, but I guess it's a cliche because it's true: For me, reading "The Catcher in the Rye" as a disaffected 9th grader changed my life. It was as if Holden Caulfield sat down next to me in class, leaned over and whispered, "Yeah, it's lousy, but I get it." RIP, Mr. Salinger.
Richard I think we're in the same boat.
I've long held grumbling contempt for a guy who would put me in the position of being "relieved" at the literary bounty unleashed at his passing.
Every January 2nd I thought, "Okay, he's 78 years old today. 82 years old today. 89 years old today. Is THIS the year?"
And so this was the year. On my birthday, no less. I got what I always wanted… and now I'm just bereft. So sad. So very sad.
Indeed sad news, Nathan. Always sad when a fellow author passes on. Rest in peace, sir.
I love everything he wrote. Reading about him from others' books (Margaret Salinger and Joyce Maynard) he didn't seem like the nicest person around, but I chose to love his characters, still. Zooey, Holden, Seymour, Buddy, Franny. They've all been important to me.
Somewhere, Winona Ryder is devastated.
"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy."
THANKS ABC FOR THIS…"I love everything he wrote. Reading about him from others' books (Margaret Salinger and Joyce Maynard) he didn't seem like the nicest person around, but I chose to love his characters, still. Zooey, Holden, Seymour, Buddy, Franny. They've all been important to me.
Somewhere, Winona Ryder is devastated."
Today I set up a link on my blog so others could access one of this Nine Short Stories … Fine Day For Banana Fish … Almost yearly since college I've read Franny&Zoey and love reading one of the Nine when I get blue.
Doesn't matter is he was thought of as a bit strange, he was a one-of-a-kind and like Winona I am also devastated. F.Fois
Why do you say 'has passed'? Surely the term is 'passed away' or 'passed on' if you want to use a euphemism. Died is quite a good word for it, or shuffled off this mortal coil if you want to be coy. But passed, footballers pass, how are we supposed to know what you are talking about if we don't know what you are talking about?
I read Catcher in the Rye AFTER I quit HS and was on my own for about 4 years. I remember the story, certain vignettes, but I need to read it again with the prism of my experiences since those early years.
Amazing how time changes one's view.
What a loss.
Rachele Alpine says
I met the words of J.D. in fifth grade, left him for awhile, found him again in twelfth grade and I have now loved him ever since.
Mary Malcolm says
I was listening to the BBC when I heard, I'm so sad! They were commenting that this is the only book he published because he loved writing and hated publishing.
I sometimes daydream about him and Harper Lee together. I imagine them meeting for secret author teas and talking about the books they've written but not sent out into the world. I hope one day I get to read all those secret books.
Rachel Fenton says
He was 91! A fair innings I'd say. And managed to influence squillions of writers with such a small output! What's sad about that – he was never going to live forever – now he's immortal!
I heard this news on my way home from work yesterday. Apparently he said something like that "if you publish, everyone thinks you owe them something" which is interesting. Being engaged in the world socially is to be turned outwards, whereas writing well requires that one be turned inwards; and not only while writing. The work goes on inside of us even when we're not thinking about it, and excessive socializing can disrupt and derail it. Perhaps he found he could not maintain both his artistic focus and the requirements of courting the public. I've read all of his books, but the thing that I like and admire most about him, especially in a society where the public tends to dissect and devour anyone they can can a toehold on (think politics, Tiger Woods, Brittainy Spears, all of that noise) that all the public got from him was his books. Which really is all that we are entitled to, and only because he chose to give them to us.
He also said to "write with all your stars out".
I'm with Rachel Fenton: Now he's immortal.
"Catcher in the Rye" was one of my favorite books in my early teens. RIP, J.D.
I'm with Snipperoo- the new habit of using the word "passed" really bothers me. It's a cop-out. How can we just pass? pass what? As writers, we should try harder to state the truth, whether poetically,bruntly, or brutally. I challenge all of us to come up with more meaningful terms.
So sad. I didn't even know. I just donated this book to a local Hands On book drive for a Women and Children's home. It was one of my favorite books!
Looking back on my life, "Catcher in the Rye" was a game-changer…
Perry Robles says
It is said that he spent his life solus.
In pursuit of language.
I will miss you tremendously, mon ami.
RIP JD Salinger.
RIP JD Salinger.