Dust Jackets

Subject: Dust Jackets
From: citycabn (citycabn@gateway.net)
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 13:42:18 GMT

It occurred to me that a good number of the bfish might never have seen
Salinger's dust jacket writings. They are included only on the dust jackets
of the hardback editions, and are not reproduced in the paperback editions.
(Ian Hamilton reproduces "Franny and Zooey" and almost all of the text from
"Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" & "Seymour--an Introduction" in his

On Friday, there were several posts referring to a portion of the text from
the "Franny and Zooey" dust jacket. Here they are ("Nine Stories" has
nothing by Salinger):

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE dust jacket (1951)

[The note about/by the author in full]

J. D. Salinger was born in New York City in 1919 and attended Manhattan
public schools, a military academy in Pennsylvania and three colleges (no
degrees). "A happy tourist's year in Europe," he writes, "when I was
eighteen and nineteen. In the Army from '42 to '46, most of the time with
the Fourth Division. I've been writing since I was fifteen or so. My short
stories have appeared in a number of magazines over the last ten years,
mostly--and most happily--in 'The New Yorker'. I worked on THE CATCHER IN
THE RYE, on and off, for ten years."

 FRANNY AND ZOOEY dust jacket (1961):

'The author writes': FRANNY came out in 'The New Yorker' in 1955, and was
swiftly followed, in 1957, by ZOOEY. Both stories are early, critical
entries in a narrative series I'm doing about a family of settlers in
twentieth-century New York, the Glasses. It is a long-term project, patently
an ambitious one, and there is a real-enough danger, I suppose, that sooner
or later I'll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in my own methods,
locutions, and mannerisms. On the whole, though, I'm very hopeful. I love
working on these Glass stories, I've been waiting for them most of my life,
and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due
care and all-available skill.

A couple of stories in the series besides FRANNY and ZOOEY have already been
published in 'The New Yorker', and some new material is scheduled to appear
there soon or Soon. I have a great deal of thoroughly unscheduled material
on paper, too, but I expect to be fussing with it, to use a popular trade
term, for some time to come. ("Polishing" is another dandy word that comes
to mind.) I work like greased lightning, myself, but my alter-ego and
collaborator, Buddy Glass, is insufferably slow.

It is my rather subversive opinion that a writer's feelings of
anonymity-obscurity are the second most valuable property on loan to him
during his working years. My wife has asked me to add, however, in a single
explosion of candor, that I live in Westport with my dog.

dust jacket:

'The author writes': The two long pieces in this book originally came out in
Introduction in 1959. Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they
are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character
in my still-uncompleted series about the Glass family. It struck me that
they had better be collected together, if not deliberately paired off, in
something of a hurry, if I mean them to avoid unduly or undesirably close
contact with new material in the series. There is only my word for it,
granted, but I have several new Glass stories coming along--waxing,
dilating--each in its own way, but I suspect the less said about them, in
mixed company, the better.

Oddly, the joys and satisfactions of working on the Glass family peculiarly
increase and deepen for me with the years. I can't say why, though. Not, at
least, outside the casino proper of my fiction.


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