Re: guess who & when

From: John Gedsudski <>
Date: Sat Jan 25 2003 - 16:13:41 EST

Yes, if one is writing only for oneself, it does not matter if it works for
anyone else. This is why it is, in my twisted opinion, reprehensible to do
so. The result is usually a loss of judgement-an integral one for a
memorable pen- to discern what is interesting to others, and not just
himself. With J.D. Salinger, sometime after The Catcher in The Rye, he
begins to lose the style I once found enchanting and publishes some
dissapointingly dull stories.
It is impressive to read an incredible collection like Nine Stories. Yet,
I read later works like Seymour: An Introduction and see a resentful man one
who loses himself in the obsessions of his own writings. Some
thirty-thousand words later, I believe, my trivial knowledge of the Glass
family has increased exponentially.
I now know every day Buddy reads over 400,000 words, and has so since a
young boy. That Seymour was a very hairy youth and adolescent. That Buddy is
a bachelor,and a recluse who teaches some banal English course at a small
private college on a mountain.
There's nothing, not one iota of prose that gives us insight into Seymour's
suicide. Not even his life, really. Unless you can count mawkish tidbits of
Barbershop experiences and clothing choices.
The fact remains if J.D. Salinger really only writes for himself, he never
would have published anything after Catcher in the Rye. The book has sold
over 250,000 copies every year since the mid-fifties and he'd never have to
worry about that property tax in New Hampshire. If it is privacy he wants,
don't let me read a great story like Zooey.
So if he wants to share with the rest of us "amateur readers" then
follow-through on the promised Glass stories.


John Gedsudski
Adjunct Professor of Wag
Philisita Community College
510 Pontiff Drive

>From: Cecilia Baader <>
>Subject: Re: guess who & when
>Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 21:10:47 -0800 (PST)
>--- John Gedsudski <> wrote:
> > Good work can't have meaning just for the writer.
> > If so, it reeks of self-indulgence and just doesn't work.
>Hear, hear.
>Although, I must (in the interest of slightly inebriated honesty, the sort
>that I suppose I will regret [although, hopefully, not in hand with any
>typos -- I seem to be extremely careful of them in this state] on the
>morrow) admit that if one is writing only for oneself, it doesn't actually
>matter if it works for anyone else, now does it?

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Received on Sat Jan 25 16:17:08 2003

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