I’ve always meant to get around to researching J.D. Salinger‘s recluse years, which ended up comprising the majority of his life. My wife knows more about the situation, and occasionally it comes up in conversation. At any rate, I’m morbidly fascinated by characters like Salinger and Harper Lee, who, in the wake of a defining work, were never able to satisfy themselves through their art and withdrew from public life. Less so in Lee’s case than Salinger’s, but there are similarities.
Anyway, like most humans, I read Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey when I was a kid. I recall more strongly identifying with F&Z, and have always wanted to go back to it. Perhaps I’d just find it precocious now.
Salinger’s death isn’t surprising — he was 91. Nor was the passing of Howard Zinn, who was 87. Still, I can’t help but wonder: which Titan of American Letters is next? Frankly, there aren’t many left. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Philip Roth. Not that I’m looking forward to that particular eventuality. Just sayin.’