‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

With Apologies to Mr. Salinger

with 3 comments

J.D. Salinger sues author over ‘sequel’. 

I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Salinger’s claim: The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and says the right to create a sequel to the Catcher in the Rye or use the character Holden Caulfield belongs only to Salinger.”

I think it is pretty obvious that this is a work inspired by his that has taken a character from his literary world and transplanted it into another. The Guardian writes: In 60 Years Later – scheduled to be published in Britain this summer and in the US in the autumn – a character very much like Caulfield is a 76-year-old escapee from a retirement home identified as “Mr C”.

The novel is dedicated to Salinger, who is a character in it wondering whether to continue Caulfield’s story. 

If every artist started to protect their work in such a manner, so much of the wonderful art that we have in our world would be lost. Everyone steals and adapts and moves forward. As if Mr. Salinger was not influenced by other writers and characters from his own time. 

I have great respect for his works and for he need of privacy but this seems a bit much.


3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I could whine about how Salinger sat back after writing just one novel and one collection of stories. I could say how much I hope that he’s been stockpiling stories, that I hope they will be published posthumously or burned at his death, that I hope he wasn’t just bonking bimbos in his years in solitude. But I won’t.

    Frankly, Salinger just comes across as a grumpy old man in this scenario. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to be surprised to find that he was still alive. Most writers would find this thing to be a kind of flattery.

    But then, I never liked like Catcher in the Rye, not even at the age when I was supposed to.


    June 2, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    • I have not read Catcher in the Rye, I have read his short story/novella collections and they are indeed beautifully written and full of emotion. That being said, he is indeed just a cranky old man who I think is a bit crazy after having stayed in all these years.


      June 2, 2009 at 9:51 pm

      • “he is indeed just a cranky old man […] all these years.”

        Ad hominem! I can’t accept this as a valid argument. The point about adapting art stands though. Also, the two Caulfields would be very different (different writing from different writers’ minds), so the new _Rye_ book isn’t exactly plagerism. I don’t know why you’d want to bother taking up such a canonised work though, that will never be judged on its own merits (the new book is always going to be compared with the “original”), but it’s California’s discretion. Let the readers decide the merits of the book, I suppose.

        I never much liked _Catcher_ either, possibly because I didn’t experience teenage angst to the same degree as Holden? Maybe I didn’t know enough phonies…


        June 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: