kottke.org posts about J.D. Salinger

Ten photographers to ignoreApr 03 2012

If you're an aspiring photographer, here are ten photographers that you should ignore, presumably so that you can develop your own voice and style instead.

Robert Frank was a one-man revolution. Before him pictures for the most part were pretty and clean and pre-visualized, and shot from a tripod. Frank came along and tore a new A-hole in that aesthetic. Fortunately he had something to replace it with: a strong personal vision. Most young photographers who follow in his footsteps don't. They mistake grain, guts, and verve with substance. Sorry folks, but hitting three out of four doesn't count. I know it took cajones to shoot that cowboy bar at 1 am pushing your film to 3200, but that doesn't keep your photo from being boring. Time to shoot something you care about, and don't try to convince me it's flags or the underclass.

This follows a list of "harmful" novels for aspiring writers.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Mark Twain made the American vernacular a literary language; Salinger tried to do the same for the American adolescent whine. We who read Catcher as teenagers in the 1950s and '60s at once considered ourselves free to babble on paper just the way we did over coffee and cigarettes. It was certainly easier than learning how to write a straightforward sentence expressing something more than teen angst.

I wonder if there might be a similar list for designers or artists?

How do you pronounce Zooey?May 21 2010

I just read J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey, and in discussing it, I got to wondering about the pronunciation of Zooey. I couldn't find any record of Salinger discussing the pronunciation, so no one really knows how it's supposed to sound. This Live Journal post has a few comments from people certain it rhymes with showy. It also has a few comments from people certain it rhymes with dewy. MetaFilter was also non-conclusive. Is it possible the internet doesn't know?

Actress Zooey Deschanel is named after the book title, but pronounces her name Zoe. However, when asked about Salinger's pronunciation, Deschanel said "I don't really care what Salinger says about my name. It's my name." So let's take her with a grain of salt.

For my money, I'm going with Zooey as in Zoo-y. If you want an analytical reason why, I'll go with doubting the meticulous Salinger would have used the word "Phooey" in the book if the pronunciation was Zoe. If you find certain evidence otherwise, let me know.

Comments for this thread are open for a bit. I swear you guys, I'm going to be moderating, and if there's any trouble, I'll turn this comment section right around.

Update:
Via Jeremy Stahl in the comments, a disappointing end to the argument.

Salinger's "lost" last bookApr 08 2010

Book publisher Roger Lathbury had a deal in place to publish what would have been J.D. Salinger's last book. But then, he talked.

Around this time, I unwittingly made the first move that would unravel the whole deal. I applied for Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data.

The entire text of the book is available in this back issue of the New Yorker (full text for subscribers only).

J.D. Salinger, RIPJan 28 2010

J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye, is dead at 91.

The uncollected stories of J.D. SalingerNov 20 2009

Dead Caulfields maintains an unauthorized online collection of the 22 stories written by J.D. Salinger and published in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, etc. These stories have never been collected into a book due to the reclusive author's resistance.

Spanning his literary career between the years 1940-1965, these stories display changes in both the author's style and message. While some are plainly of commercial quality, most are serious works containing an expansive gift of enlightenment and self-examination: that very-satisfying "Salinger moment".

(via @brainpicker)

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