Wednesday, February 3, 2010


 JEROME  David Salinger wrote a Novel way back in 1951 named," the Catcher in the Rye" which somehow touched the raw nerves of teenagers and eventually the book and its author became very famous. An average of 250000 copies of the book was sold in a year. The royalty made the author rich. But the state of being famous did not go well with Salinger and brought about a reverse reaction putting the author veritably out of print as he shut himself out in a house and refused all contacts with the public.

 He chose " One hundred years of solitude " kind of life. As Jonathan Yardley said, it’s weird, but it's also his business”. Salinger said and actually feared that the system was trying to make him happy in every way he disliked. Thanks to the fat royalty he received, his wish to lead a secluded life succeeded and he led such a life almost from the 2nd. half of last century till his death at the age of 91 on 27Th. January this year. Indeed a long innings of solitary life. He read books on Vedanta and salvation. He was in search of a Yogic peace without absolutely giving up the carnal pleasures of ordinary man.

At one occasion he explained his reasons for avoiding public as such:

“I've gone through this so many times, there’s no gracious way to tell you to leave. I'm becoming embittered. The words are a little different each time. People with problems, people needing to communicate, people wanting help for their careers. They've collared me in elevators, on the street, even here," He said "I get stacks of mail and questions every day. But there are no generalizations. I'm not a teacher or a seer. I pose questions a little differently, perhaps. But I don't pretend to know the answers. When I started in this business, I had no idea this was going to happen. In ways, I regret ever having been published."

True, when the book got famous the limelight became intolerable for him as he was basically a loner and preferred privacy. All persons who become celebrity, of a sudden experience similar trauma but gradually get accustomed to it but in the case of Salinger things did not straighten out. He switched off the limelight from outside and lived in a house with front door always shut and all curtains drawn.

He said that he was writing for his inner satisfaction, meaning the public have no business in that process. So he wrote profusely and piled them up not showing sunlight.

I think he lived the way he wanted and became simply a hero of sort just by it.

 Image : Google

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