Re: guess who & when

From: Kim Johnson <>
Date: Mon Jan 27 2003 - 14:14:27 EST

a few random responses:

the entire prologue of 'seymour: an introduction', up
through the lighting of the murad, is about seymour's

i can't imagine any real writer giving much worry
about his reader. espcially any poet. in reading the
letters, diaries and essays of writers, i don't recall
any concerns expresssed about the needs of the reader
in the composition of the creative work. the only
time i see that is in those deplorable 'how to write'

although i think 'hapworth' displays a failure in
artistic taste, i certainly believe salinger should
continue to follow seymour's advice in the 'dear old
tyger' letter. that letter pretty wells sums it up.
(personally, i find 'seymour: an intro' thrilling.)

as for salinger not destroying his work (even though
it's written only for his own pleasure): remember, in
'zooey' there's the reference to poor yorick and an
honorable skull. on some level, salinger does care
about a future judgment of his work. (after all, he
is a writer.) i think he might even feel vindicated
by its publication. a sort of 'i told you so': yes,
i've been writing all these years, and yes, it's
pretty damn good.

but who really knows....


--- John Gedsudski <> wrote:
> 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.
> Cordially,
> John Gedsudski
> Adjunct Professor of Wag
> Philisita Community College
> 510 Pontiff Drive
> >From: Cecilia Baader <>
> >Reply-To:
> >To:
> >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?
> >
> >Best,
> >Cecilia.
> >
> Help STOP SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months
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Received on Mon Jan 27 14:14:29 2003

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