quarta-feira, 27 de novembro de 2013
Author J.D. Salinger 'doesn't go out of style'
By Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY
J.D. Salinger turned his back on the world long before his death Wednesday in New Hampshire at age 91.
The last thing he published was a 25,000-word short story titled "Hapworth 16, 1924" in the June 19, 1965, issue of The New Yorker.
But the reclusive author's work, particularly The Catcher in the Rye, continues to connect with readers.
Narrated by Holden Caulfield, an angry prep school student who rails against "phonies," the novel has sold more than 60 million copies since its publication in 1951.
The Catcher in the Rye has spent 483 weeks in the Top 150 of USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, rising as high as No. 19 in July 2001, the month it turned 50.
Only three books have spent more weeks on the list since it was launched in October 1993.
The secret to The Catcher in the Rye's long-lived appeal? Caulfield.
"His voice reaches (readers) directly and immediately," says John Wenke, 57, a professor of English at Salisbury University in Maryland and author of the 1991 book J.D. Salinger:A Study of the Short Fiction. "He is unique in 20th-century literature."
Wenke has taught The Catcher in the Rye for 30 years and says his students today still respond to Caulfield: "He doesn't go out of style."
Salinger's seminal novel certainly spoke to one Minnesota high school student back in 1960.
Garrison Keillor tells USA TODAY that Salinger was "the great author of my teenage years. He was one of those authors you felt intimately friends with and wished you could call him up on the phone and talk, which is why, I suppose, he spent all those years in New Hampshire not taking phone calls. There must have been millions of young people who wanted to talk to him."
Another gauge of Salinger's influence: He still gets people riled up.
"The Catcher in the Rye has been a constant on our list of banned books for the past several decades," says Deborah Caldwell Stone of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. "It remains one of the most challenged books well into the 21st century."
One of the great literary mysteries of the last half-century is whether Salinger continued to write during his seclusion from the world.
"I'm guessing there is a trove of unpublished works," Wenke says. (Salinger's literary agent had no comment.)
Says novelist T.C. Boyle: "I wonder now if we'll see more stories. I absolutely hope so. I hope he's been writing some great stories that will blow us away."
Contributing: Anthony DeBarros and Bob Minzesheimer.
Posted by Francisco Augusto Vaz Brasil at 08:55