inessential by Brent Simmons

Salinger 2015

The claim — which apppears solid — is that not only did J.D. Salinger continue writing while in New Hampshire, he also directed his literary trust to publish several books after his death. The first could appear as soon as 2015.

Which gives us a year to re-read The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.

My favorite of these is Nine Stories. The story that made the biggest impact on my life, though, is Seymour: an Introduction.

I’ll re-read these in the order listed above, which means Catcher goes first. Of the four, it interests me least, because my memory whispers — subversively, unafraid to break hearts and make enemies — that it’s actually a whiny and annoying book.

I loved it as a teenager, but then teenagers are made to fall in love with whiny and annoying things. We can’t, for one thing, explain The Smiths without introducing biology — we need an understanding of hormones and the development of the prefrontal cortex to make sense of it. But, as with The Smiths, I suspect I’ll like Catcher better than I think I will. The Smiths has Johnny Marr, and Catcher has J.D. Salinger’s sentences.

I can’t help but wonder too how Holden Caulfield would have reacted to the age of the Like button. The way we live now is overdue for some charismatic puncturing.

But, anyway, first things first: I’m in the middle of Mission to Paris by Alan Furst. I’m a big fan of spy novels (like you, I bet) and I thoroughly enjoy Furst’s novels. Good stories, written well. Recommended.