It's fitting that the 200th episode of American Masters on PBS features writer J. D. Salinger, an author so influential it is hard to imagine the course of 20th century American literature without his imprint of lost innocence in the novel The Catcher in the Rye.
Taken out of their original context and ingeniously recycled into a mosaic of quotations, these sentences now tell a compelling new story that, according to the author, bears a close resemblance to his own life.
By virtue of his genius as a writer and the fact that he became a fascinatingly elusive character in his own right, J.D. Salinger remains, even after his death, an absolute somebody. In the weeks ahead, Salinger is posthumously making the kind of splash that he resisted most of his life.
"Then the excitement for me in really brilliantly done bricolage...is that the pieces come together as intellectual and emotional investigating. The shards have not only speed and magic, but they have momentum qua excavation."
After one book in first person about an athletic icon and another in-progress about the death of a loved one, I was tired of bleeding on paper. Better to ponder David Shields' How Literature Saved My Life with critical distance.