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Manual J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist (Icons)

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Professor, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and founder of the literary Journal, Open City , Thomas Beller. Considering that the bulk of the book takes place in New York, you bet your sweet bippy I would. So, sorry, gang. Salinger is the single most polarizing figure in the entire history of American letters. Plus, Salinger committed the greatest American sin by not wallowing in his fame and instead chose to disappear completely. For most citizens of the U.

But more than anything, Salinger was a genius, and deserving of our collective attention. Salinger: The Escape Artist. And to be blunt, I honestly think that these two books are really all that are necessary to tell the story of Jerome David Salinger. In fact, it might be one volume too many. What sets the two books apart is not only physical size, but overall content, and comparing the two is radically unfair.

It revealed Salinger in all his glory and innumerable personal faults, and all of it came straight from the lips of those who knew him best through the various stages of his life. The answer, unfortunately, is no. Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print.

He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter. To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account.

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See, I feel right the opposite. I have zero interest in the biographies and documentaries. But his books are some of my favorites. I can't wait to get the full collection of the Glass family storeis when it comes out. But as far as how the guy lived, it doens't interest me much. Ruben Studdard was the bomb, yo! I like the idea of a hybrid biography - one which blends the bios of both subject and researcher, because with someone like Salinger, any attempt to be a dispassionate recorder of facts is doomed to fail.

Rereading and Birthing. Salinger J. Salinger was four years old, his mother went out shopping and left him in the care of his sister, Doris, who was ten. Sonny, as his family called him, was extremely close to his sister. They spent a lot of time together. She oft en took him to the movies. Doris Salinger describes the experience: "In those days, you know, the movies were silent and had subtitles that I had to read to him out loud. Boy, he wouldn''t let you miss a single one. The rows used to empty out all around us!

There is no one like the grownup Doris Salinger in J. Salinger''s fiction -- a successful career woman, twice divorced, a buyer for Bloomingdale''s most fashionable department, moving amid other strong, well-earning ladies in New York City''s garment and fashion world -- and yet something about that voice, its wised-up, exclamatory energy combined with a note of exasperation, sounds familiar.

Dear Mr. Salinger [Letters Lost in The Post]

On the day in question, when their mother was out shopping and left them alone, the siblings had a fight. The cause of the fight is forgotten but not the result. Sonny packed a suitcase, dressed himself in his Indian outfit, and left the apartment. He didn''t leave the building, though. A couple of hours later, his mother arrived in the lobby and found her son, dressed head to toe in his Indian costume, complete with a long feather headdress.

His suitcase was by his side.

J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist (Icons)

It was full of toy soldiers. Salinger, I went to the home of a man who was in possession of an invaluable bit of evidence. When I was a little kid I would come to this block every year. A childhood friend lived up the street, and on the night before Thanksgiving his family would have a party. We would watch the Thanksgiving Day parade floats get inflated. Later I became aware that Philip Roth had an apartment on this block, and I associated it with him.

I would see Roth now and then in the neighborhood and once stood next to him in line at Osner Business Machines, a typewriter shop on Amsterdam Avenue that lasted well into the personal computer age.


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I remember thinking it seemed significant that Roth, waiting in line on the worn linoleum floor, still used a typewriter. But now the street would take on a new dimension and association that should have been there all along: J. Holden recalling his school trip to the museum. The titillation of the bare breast in one of the dioramas. My host greeted me warmly and led me into the living room, where I encountered the roof of the Museum of Natural History and a lot of sky.

There was a divan, or a chaise longue -- I''m not sure which is the right term -- and other comfortable, overstuffed pieces of furniture. The light was glorious. He had to go do something before he could sit down with me, and so I had the experience of being alone in a strange house with the prerogative to poke around and explore.

This certainly did not involve stealing anything, or even touching anything. But it did allow for a level of scrutiny beyond what one would feel comfortable doing in the presence of another person. I got to my feet and walked around.

J. D. Salinger: The Escape Artist

Mostly I stared at the books. Many, many interesting books. Among them biographies of Delmore Schwartz and Saul Bellow. Schwartz and Bellow. A bit of an echo there.


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  • Literary Jews. They were both from elsewhere -- Brooklyn and Chicago, respectively -- but had done time on Manhattan''s Upper West Side, probably somewhere north of the Museum of Natural History. Schwartz grew up in Washington Heights; Bellow set one of his major novels, Mr.

    Sammler''s Planet , on the Upper West Side. A line that I seem to remember from Bellow''s Humboldt''s Gift not that I could ever find it flickered in my mind -- the protagonist, I recalled not that I could ever find it , was a professor who could barely keep himself together in any of the normal ways but could discuss bird imagery in Dante with the dean.

    A genius who can''t tie his shoelaces, in other words, which is more or less how Margaret Salinger characterized her father in her memoir, Dream Catcher.

    J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist - Thomas Beller - Google книги

    My host returned, and we settled in for a nice chat. At some point he handed me, in a mode that for some reason I associated with a Bar Mitzvah gift , a bound galley of Ian Hamilton''s J. Salinger: A Writing Life. I had heard about Ian Hamilton''s biography and its peculiar fate, but I had no sense of the world as those events unfolded.

    Only with time did I start to understand what a profoundly strange spectacle the whole thing was. Everyone who cared about book publishing was familiar with the case. Everyone who cared about, or had participated in, biography or biographical research knew about it. It was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. The case "has hung like a rain cloud over the head of every biographer since," in the words of D.

    Max, David Foster Wallace''s biographer. Hamilton was British. His handwriting, I would soon learn, was fastidious and minute. He had produced, prior to embarking on his Salinger project, a biography of the poet Robert Lowell, which involved his becoming embroiled with all manner of dysfunctional American aristocracy -- Boston society stretching back to the Mayflower , money, Harvard, WASP rectitude, and the other side of that coin, the spectacle of nervous breakdowns in public.

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