Salinger Revealed to Be Human Being
Author enjoyed hamburgers
The late JD Salinger has long been described as an eccentric recluse by journalists and publishers—probably due to his dislike of journalists and publishers. We are a sensitive bunch. Now, thanks to newly released letters between the author of Catcher in the Rye and his British friend Don Hartog, a new understanding is appearing: JD Salinger was not just a big weirdo who wouldn’t give a cub reporter a break. He also had a “human side.”
Salinger, in 50 letters and four postcards written between 1986 and 2002, describes trips to Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, gardening, and how Burger King has the best fast food burgers (which, to be fair, clearly shows a touch of insanity in the man). There is also a July 1944 letter sent from Salinger’s father Sol to Hartog, who was a Lieutenant in the Royal Rifle Corps, insisting that his son’s friend visit Salinger’s family in Tel Aviv if he is deployed to Palestine.
A summary of the letters’ contents, released by the University of East Anglia, are kind of lovely on their own, like found poetry. I’m not sure I’d want to read the letter described below, but I might want to live it.
[Letter, JDS to Don, 11/10/1989]
JDS writes of firewood and a tomato crop, his views on travel, his son’s acting career, an Indian restaurant in London, hearing aids, Wimbledon tennis, a Russian dance ensemble, and BBC television series.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.