Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Salinger and other "born non-buyers of carrots and turnips"

J.D.Salinger (by Lilliana Ross):

...someday, when “all the fiction had run out,” he might try to do something straight, “really factual, formally distinguishing myself from the Glass boys and Holden Caulfield and the other first-person narrators I’ve used.” It might be readable, maybe funny, he said, and “not just smell like a regular autobiography.”
The main thing was that he would use straight facts and “thereby put off or stymie one or two vultures—freelancers or English-department scavengers—who might come around and bother the children and the family before the body is even cold.”

The trouble with all of us, he believed, is that when we were young we never knew anybody who could or would tell us any of the penalties of making it in the world on the usual terms: “I don’t mean just the pretty obvious penalties, I mean the ones that are just about unnoticeable and that do really lasting damage, the kind the world doesn’t even think of as damage.”

[at the Cornish Fair] “I stand around and talk about schools with the other crummy parents, the summer parents,” he wrote in a letter to me. Getting back to work, he said, was “the only way I’ve ever been able to take the awful conventional world. I think I despise every school and college in the world, but the ones with the best reputation first.”

After watching his son, Matthew, playing one day, he said, “If your child likes—loves—you, the very love he bears you tears your heart out about once a day or once every other day.” He said, “I started writing and making up characters in the first place because nothing or not much away from the typewriter was reaching my heart at all.”

“A community of seriously hip observers is a scary and depressing thing,” he said. “It takes me at least an hour to warm up when I sit down to work. . . . Just taking off my own disguises takes an hour or more.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a touchstone, and Salinger often quoted him in letters. For instance, “A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have barn and woodshed, must go to market and to the blacksmith’s shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly.” Writers, he thought, had trouble abiding by that, and he referred to Flaubert and Kafka as “two other born non-buyers of carrots and turnips.”

“There are no writers anymore,” he said once. “Only book-selling louts and big mouths.”

...he described the fun he’d had on a trip to London with his children, where he took them to see Engelbert Humperdinck in a stage version of “Robinson Crusoe”: “Awful, but we all sort of enjoyed it, and the main idea was to see the Palladium itself, because that’s where the last scene of ‘The 39 Steps’ was set.”

Brigitte Bardot once wanted to buy the rights to “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and he said that it was uplifting news. “I mean it,” he told me. “She’s a cute, talented, lost enfante, and I’m tempted to accommodate her, pour le sport.”

“God, how I still love private readers,” he wrote. “It’s what we all used to be.”


См. мой перевод на русский язык

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