Saturday, June 25, 2022 
--archival-captured-cinematronic-continuity error-daily report-datastream-depth of field--
--drama-44.1 khz-gramophone-inquisitive-needle drops-picture book-twinklepop--
Neumu = Art + Music + Words
Search Neumu:  

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Jim Connelly's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Monday, January 15, 2007
Jesse Steichen's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Friday, January 12, 2007
Bill Bentley's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings Of 2006

Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Anthony Carew's 13 Fave Albums Of 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006
SXSW 2006: Finding Some Hope In Austin

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Letter From New Orleans

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums of 2005

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Music For Dwindling Days: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Sean Fennessey's 'Best-Of' 2005

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Albums Of 2005

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Lee Templeton's Favorite Recordings of 2005

Thursday, January 5, 2006
Michael Lach - Old Soul Songs For A New World Order

Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Found In Translation Emme Stone's Year In Music 2005

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Dave Allen's 'Best-Of' 2005

Monday, January 2, 2006
Steve Gozdecki's Favorite Albums Of 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Johnny Walker Black's Top 10 Of 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005
Neal Block's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Year In Review

Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005
Jennifer Kelly's Fave Recordings Of 2005

Thursday, December 8, 2005
Tom Ridge's Favorite Recordings Of 2005

Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Ben Gook's Beloved Albums Of 2005

Monday, December 5, 2005
Anthony Carew's Fave Albums Of 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005
Prince, Spoon And The Magic Of The Dead Stop

Monday, September 12, 2005
The Truth About America

Monday, September 5, 2005
Tryin' To Wash Us Away

Monday, August 1, 2005
A Psyche-Folk Heat Wave In Western Massachusetts

Monday, July 18, 2005
Soggy But Happy At Glastonbury 2005

Monday, April 4, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 3: All Together Now

Friday, April 1, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 2: Dr. Dog's Happy Chords

Thursday, March 31, 2005
The SXSW Experience, Part 1: Waiting, Waiting And More Waiting

Friday, March 25, 2005
Final Day At SXSW's Charnel House

Monday, March 21, 2005
Day Three At SXSW

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Day Two In SXSW's Hall Of Mirrors

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Report #1: SXSW 2005 And Its Hall Of Mirrors

Monday, February 14, 2005
Matt Landry's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
David Howie's 'Moments' From The Year 2004

Thursday, January 27, 2005
Lori Miller Barrett's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Noah Bonaparte's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Kevin John's Fave Albums Of 2004

Friday, January 14, 2005
Music For Those Nights: Max Schaefer's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Dave Renard's Fave Recordings Of 2004

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Neal Block's Top Ten Of 2004

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Jenny Tatone's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 10, 2005
Wayne Robins' Top Ten Of 2004

Friday, January 7, 2005
Brian Orloff's Fave Albums Of 2004

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Johnny Walker (Black)'s Top 10 Of 2004

Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Jennifer Przybylski's Fave Albums (And Book) Of 2004

Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Mark Mordue's Fave Albums Of 2004

Monday, January 3, 2005
Lee Templeton's Fave Recordings Of 2004

peruse archival


the insider one daily report

Monday, January 21, 2002

Rethinking J. D. Salinger

Neumu's Michael Goldberg writes: If you're anything like me, at some point you read J. D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" and "Nine Stories" and felt that here was a writer who "got it." Reading Salinger, especially those two books, it was easy to feel that he had written with me (you too) in mind. The writing was so seemingly conversational, so inclusive of the reader, so "us vs. them." I think it was 1967 or perhaps '68 when I first read Salinger. Wow, I thought at the time, here was a writer who understand that the "establishment" (not to mention the grownups) was all fucked up — before the '60s.

For some reason, even though I possess the handful of books Salinger wrote (including two unauthorized collections of early short stories), I frequently check the Salinger section in the bookstores I wander into — I guess on the off chance that, one day, I'll be surprised to find something new there. Naturally I never do. But recently, when I looked for Salinger in a bookstore I rarely visit, I found a new book, not by Salinger, but of interest nonetheless, titled: "With Love and Squalor." ("For Esme — With Love and Squalor" is the name of one of Salinger's "nine stories.")

Published last year, "With Love and Squalor" is a collection of essays by 14 contemporary writers, mostly authors of fiction. It was edited by book agent Kip Kotzen and novelist Thomas Beller ("The Sleep-Over Artist"). Beller, who has been published in the New Yorker and profiled Oasis and Stephen Malkmus for Spin, wrote a quite personal piece about his experiences with Oasis for me a few years ago when I was running SonicNet editorial. Ever since I've been interested in his various projects, which also include the online literary site mrbellersneighborhood.com.

"With Love and Squalor" is one of those can't-put-it-down books, if you're as obsessed with Salinger's writing as I am. I mean, I've read "Nine Stories" so many times I've lost count. I would have to say that "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" and "The Laughing Man" are two of the best short stories ever written (although I'm suspect as a judge of short stories, as it's not as if I've read thousands and picked these two after years of research). Still, I bet that if one were to do all that research, those two would still end up in the list of the100 best short stories ever written. And, in any case, they are at the top of my list of greatest short stories, so there.

One of the good things about "With Love and Squalor" is that it's not a valentine to Salinger. Most of the writers — even the writers that dig Salinger — have some problems with his work. Quite a few talk about falling in love with Salinger as a kid, but then, upon reading him as an adult, discovering that the love affair is over. "So how did it happen? When did I start to fall out of love with Holden?" writes novelist Jane Mendelsohn (author of "Innocence" and "I Was Amelia Earhart"). Yet near the end of her piece she writes, "I mention all of this death stuff not as a way of saying that there should have been more teen hotlines in the 1940s, but to describe how completely different the experience of reading 'The Catcher in the Rye' was for me after so many years. It was like running into an old boyfriend and realizing that not only has he lost all his hair or gained fifty pounds, but that he was always bald or overweight or depressed or hostile or just plain crazy, although you had no idea at the time. It was, frankly, a little unnerving, but humbling as well. I didn't actually love 'The Catcher in the Rye' any less; I just wasn't in love with Holden anymore."

Beller himself writes: "Just because you love something at one point in your life doesn't mean you will love it with the same intensity forever."

Some of these writers — the contributors include Emma Forest, Walter Kirn, Aimee Bender, John McNally and Amy Sohn (plus seven others) — talk about being influenced by Salinger, or being called the new Salinger, or being inspired to find their own voice because of Salinger. "Even though it took him nine years or something to write, it feels like Salinger wrote 'The Catcher in the Rye' in a day, and that incredible feeling of ease inspires writing," wrote Aimee Bender. "Inspires the pursuit of voice. Not his voice. My voice. Your voice."

If you're not a writer, it's probably hard to understand this, but maybe not. Writers look for inspiration. Bender nails it exactly. There is something about Salinger's writing — especially "The Catcher in the Rye" and the short stories collected in "Nine Stories" — that inspires. That makes a writer want to write.

The InsiderOne Daily Report appears on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 AM PST, except when it doesn't.

-snippetcontactsnippetcontributorssnippetvisionsnippethelpsnippetcopyrightsnippetlegalsnippetterms of usesnippetThis site is Copyright © 2003 Insider One LLC