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Streaming Salinger


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Since posting on this last night in the Filmmakers forum, I now see that some of my comments were a bit messy in their construction, so this is an attempt at clarification . . .


The new Shane Salerno documentary is already up for streaming from NetFlix!


So . . . .


Gonna have to say that the hagiographic (saint-making) tone which enters in toward the end gets pretty fulsome, till you're feeling a fair degree of embarrassment for the filmmaker. There are other displeasing elements aside from the scandal mongering of Joyce Maynard (who once auctioned off her letters from Salinger at Sotheby's) such as what some would see as the absurdly puerile suggestion that J. D. Salinger (and Holden Caulfield) are the assassins of John Lennon--well, by instrument of Mark David Chapman, of course.


One author commentator mentioning in the same context, John Hinckley and the murderer of Rebecca Schaeffer (Robert John Bardo) concludes that if three deranged whackos had associated their murderous acts with a book he'd written, that might tend to bother his sleep at night. Yes, well, that might. But then how are we to deal with the fact that Charles Manson claimed the same manner of motivation from songs that John Lennon wrote?


And what of God, and Allah--are they losing any sleep at night over all the murder and mayhem that has been wreaked in the world by those who claim inspiration from the books attributed to them? It's a thorny question. And it may well have bothered Salinger, if it's true as alleged by one commentator that in later years Salinger came to regard Catcher in the Rye as "a mistake" (though perhaps for other reasons, namely the unwanted notoriety it brought him, the loss of anonymity).


But say he did have those tragedies in mind, also? Well then, there's plenty of blame for that 'mistake' to go round, isn't there: Every critic from all the publications who praised that novel to the skies, every high school teacher and college prof that ever assigned it for a student to read, and not least, the publisher that continues to keep Catcher in the Rye in print. What are they to do now, if Jerry Salinger really did call Holden Caulfield a "mistake"? How many more rock stars, Presidents of the United States and pretty California Girls must we lose before Catcher in the Rye, the Bible and the Qur'an are taken from the shelves and burned in a huge Nazi-style bonfire--will we ever get it right?

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