Salinger (M)

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I really liked this doco. A great account of an extraordinary life of an extraordinary man. Has the facts, exclusive footage, memories of family and friends – everything you’d want in a documentary. Made me want to re-read the Catcher In the Rye even though I didn't like it when I read it in my teens.

Salinger seems a perfectionist and a very selfish man to begin with. The public rejection he experienced in his personal life and the horrors of war made him haunted and reclusive. I found that I didn't like much about Salinger as a person apart from his dislike of fake 'adult' world and dedication to his work. The only problem with it the latter is that it seemed to have harmed quite a few people around him.

Whenever I like/dislike a book it's to do with the personality of the author. The author is the book and vice versa. I loved Dostoevsky instantly and hated Tolstoy. When I had learnt more about the lives of the writers I understood why. Dostoevsky appealed to me as an individual and Tolstoy didn't. A very subjective approach, I know. But that's how it is with me.

This film reinforced yet again for me how the author and his creations are in fact one. Salinger believed his characters were real and talked about them as such. He was in all of his stories, it was all about him. And here I think I agree with him – ‘write about something you know’. Most writing is about the human condition, so of course the writer is in his works multiple times.

However, I think Salinger's condition was damaged beyond repair. He had grown to hate the world - he told a young writer that she amounted to nothing because she loved it. He spent over 40 yrs writing without publishing. My theory is that he had spent all those years trying to rewrite the world (superiority complex?). The result we shall see as those works will be published in 2015-2020 as per the wishes in his will. I expect to find answers about the many intriguing events in his life. I doubt that I will like them
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Content updated: 24/04/2019 08:46



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