It's been a little over two years since his death at 91, and J. D. Salinger is still making headlines. Or, rather, a political move caused him and his family to be.
As had been reported everywhere, Matt Salinger fought hard for two years to help keep his father's identity protected and not exploited, and the New Hampshire Governor vetoed such a bill. I scanned through a number of these articles, which all stated the same thing. Now, I'm not going to debate the intimate details of the vetoed bill, nor am I going to get political. What I am doing is somewhat siding with the Governor on this one. But for reasons other than political, if I can pull it off.
I didn't read J. D. Salinger until after his death--sure, I read Catcher in the Rye in high school, but I didn't read it like I do books nowadays. Salinger was a master storyteller, and also a master at crafting dialogue.
Salinger had a gift. A gift for writing. Now, if he wanted his privacy, he should've never published any of his stories in the first place. But, in a way, that's being selfish, self-centered, and depriving the world of the fruits of his talented labor. We all know he went into seclusion, and have heard the rumors that he has drawers and drawers of stories, many centered around the Glass Family--I pray that he does have these stories tucked away and that his family offers these fine gifts to the world; not in a way of making money but in a way of being generous and fulfilling our lives just a little more.
One of my favorite movies about writers and writing is the Sean Connery movie Finding Forrester. When I read that it was possibly based loosely around the seclusive life of J. D. Salinger, I became even more fascinated by him. The more and more I read about Salinger though, the more unlike the movie he became . . . but the movie is still great and inspiring in my opinion. I'd love to run into someone like that one day, to have a mentor that so changed the world, so that I could learn from him or her.
If you have a gift, whatever it is, and don't share it, you are doing the world a disservice. Also, I believe the price of fame and putting yourself out there for the world to see is that you cannot keep yourself in a secluded bubble. I understand that the Salinger family wants to abide their father's wishes. I can appreciate that. But sharing his stories with the world is bound to have a positive impact on mankind for decades and centuries to come.