I’d like to not write a mediocre piece on Salinger. Death, a subject we writers pull from often, ironically, is tough when you’re talking about an icon who shaped the voice and face of so much literature for so many authors in the 20th century. Two nights ago, my roommate and I were having an argument about Salinger. My roommate is a poet and professor and gets rather emotional in the best way possible about literature and he was saying that he is worried because as his semester as a professor starts, the majority of his students seem to be less and less well read as the years go on. “Most of them love Catcher in the Rye but haven’t even read Franny and Zoey,” he told me. Then the next day BAM Salinger is dead. I’d like to think our conversation was doing Salinger some justice, actually. Any way you cut it, everybody loves that moment in their red cover edition of CITR (Catcher in the Rye). Why? Because Salinger gave us honesty. He gave us simplicity, he gave us truth.
It’s rumored he has been writing, by hand, all of these years while holed up in the little cabin in New Hampshire, and even if the works never see the light of day, which I have a strong inkling they will indeed, the fact remains. A real writer, who was amongst us living has now passed. We have lost one of our own.