Friday, January 24, 2014

Now really, to include Salinger, what is a writer going to write about but about nervous breakdown stuff, propose a difference of values, go into areas of weirdness, talk about death?  If people can't do that together, he's got to anyway.  He went through the war, give him credit, saw things you and I would immediately sicken and faint at, be reduced to who knows what, as we are talking serious trauma.  "Oh, he wanted to hang out with little school girls."  "Oh, he writes about suicide all the time."  "Depressive."  Well, that's his job, to observe the human condition.  He was just braver, or more confident, than you or I.

So what if you had written something like a parable or a long short story like Salinger's famous book?  What if it was just as good, less voice, more direct thought, so that people wouldn't have to feel latched on to that voice that gets in their head, but then, maybe more like Melville, enjoy the quiet observational poetry, as our own minds get poetic when we go look at the sea.

It would seem the world was so exhausted from enthusiasm over The Catcher in the Rye, and then the great chase for its creator, that it would feel it had to ignore, for lack of energy, the books of like truths.

The authors, speaking as one, of such works as had to come out in that time, had to, broad in style, bridging East and West, would as well feel the same shallowness of the egotistical material culture, such at, as Salinger, would attempt to 'strip away ego,' or 'see the Cross,' as Kerouac attempted to see the Cross, for instance.  There would be the same inclining toward quiet, work space, hours of contemplation, ritual and routine that might leave little time for the active social life as Salinger once had in the great American city of New York.  He pulled away from that, by visceral reaction.

But then so did Dostoevsky before him, a lot of other thinkers too, not to pull away from the basic religious life of man and wife and family and a place to live and work to do, but to get away from distractions and all the people like the ones who bothered poor Kerouac, who demanded a piece of the pop image of the King of the Beats, and all that which wears out a face.

Only the most reverent and judicious of people really are allowed to be writers.  And the rest, the hangers on, the attempters, will, rather than consulting their own religious and moral identities, will cling on, and not be the best of neighbors protective, but want something for their own egos.

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