Of course Salinger was nuts. It’s pretty much accepted now that he actually was Holden Caulfield, and last year I read an incredibly hearbreaking biography which shows just how disturbed and crazy he was, mostly from the results of horrific experiences in the second world war (he was with the first to enter the notorious Nazi concertraiton camp Dachau). This is a guy who told his own daughter “You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live.” Without a doubt these experiences messed his already fragile mind up. Still he had “it”. That magic that few people are born with, such artistic brilliance and natural talent that whatever happens in your life, you create art. I’m counting the days till the paperback release of Joanna Rakoff’s “My Salinger Year”, about her experiences as Salinger’s literary agent in the late 1990’s.
Until then there was a fascinating program on BBC radio a couple of weeks about looking at the spiritual life of Salinger which I really recommend you listen to here. He was heavily into Hinduism philosophy, and a rather extreme form of Buddhism. But then again he mixed up elements of Christianity and Scientology. Basically the guy was lost, confused and didn’t know what to do. Life seemed meaningless and empty to him, and he never quite figured things out. Like I said my overflowing emotion towards Saligner is sadness. But then, I’ll read Franny and Zoeey or Catcher in the Rye and just be knocked senseless by the beauty and elegance of those words.
Once you’ve heard that cool program you might like to hear a song by a band called Airport Girl. It’s called “What Salinger Wrote“. It’s not on youtube or soundcloud but you can hear it on this link.
I’m off to Romania now for a week for Open Hands Charity. We’ve got much to do over there, and I’m going to pick up a book at the airport to keep me going.Maybe the new Matthew Thomas “we are not ourselves“.
I’m really excited about the new album from Emma Kupa later this month. But I’ll write about that, and the awesome new surprisingly loud single from sun kil moon when I’m back.
bis bald 🙂