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The Catcher in the money field
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-06-04 09:35:48
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In the times where Warhol’s prophecy of everybody will be famous for ten minutes has come true, the times when there is a reality show with the nightmarish Orwellian name “Big Brother”, where even the people who came up with the name ignore the reality behind it and in times where kids think that Othello is an action story, I’m not surprised that somebody wants to write a sequel for the classic novel The Catcher in the Rye. I’m sorry I used the word 'sequel' but the whole thing has the taste of Hollywood and probably the future MTV Book Awards!

I love the book; I’ve read it when I was very young and read it again in my early-twenties but for strange reasons it is one of the books I remember well. I remember the writing rhythm and I have to admit that JD Salinger has influenced my writing as I suppose he has with too many others. But how this classic came back in the news is very sad, a man in Sweden under the name John David California wrote a book that uses exactly the same hero and adopting Salinger’s writing style puts him fifty years after; it is the long-awaited Hollywood sequel, something they can make a film, video clip and I don’t know what else, probably action figures and coffee cups. Salinger has stopped them often in the past so they found the way to take their revenge - how dare the writer stop them, ignoring their power and dismissing their money?

What the Swedish man did – I don’t use the alias he’s using because I find it insulting even the choice of the name – was a robbery and a crime and he should never been allowed to publish a product of arrogant insulting robbery and that not only because it is illegal but mainly because it is unethical. Here I want to make a note. Reading a classic or a modern book, watching a film and admiring a painting or a sculpture and all these things influencing your work is not a crime; after all there would have never been any Warhol or Dali if there wasn’t Michelangelo. There would have never been O’Neal and Becket if Sophocles hadn’t shown the way and there would have never been any Tarantino if there wasn’t Hitchcock and Bergman. Every one of them put the foundations to what we consider today modern art in all forms of art and Salinger was one of them.

Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye is one of the books that have put the foundations of what we call modern literature and it is not a classic only due to the story but because of the writing style and the use of the language. Salinger changed literature in the '50s and even though his publishing work after that is not rich the certain book was enough to put him in the pantheon of the greatest writers in history.

You just need to see the name the ‘writer’ of the sequel is using to understand his motivation, John David California! A person who is embarrassed even for his own roots and instead of at least one of the names to be Swedish he's using the most common American names adding in the end "California" showing where his aim is laying.

Of course Salinger has taken every possible legal action to stop the publication and any follow up of the story but he has to deal with the money vultures from Tokyo to London and of course to Los Angeles! After all Hollywood is there. What remains is that the Swedish legal system will take over before Salinger’s actions. And I have a very good reason to mention the Swedish legal system. The Swedish courts just weeks ago sentenced the founders of the Pirate Bay to a financially exhausting sentence with the excuse the protection of the creators. The reality behind the decision was that they protected a ruthless money-maker industry. But here is their chance to clear the controversy and prove that they care for the creators and protect a creator who has robbed in the most unethical way!

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Asa2009-06-04 11:48:30
I have never read the book, but am now searching it out... perhaps an Ovi review in a few weeks!

Emanuel Paparella2009-06-04 13:13:52
Indeed there is always a sequel when it comes to making money in Hollywood, as there was for The Da Vinci Code and for the Opus Dei conspiracy theory. Often the first one is a caricature, the second one is a farse of the original. Everybody can be Michelangelo nowadays: for five seconds.

Emanuel Paparella2009-06-04 20:48:01
P.S. As I read this intriguing story on Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, another novelist and novel jumped immediately to mind: James Joyce’s Ulysses. That novel published in 1922, three decades before Salinger’s, also revolutionized English and American literature. It too provoked great controversies and even obscenity trials and nevertheless has been hailed as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. What is different with Ulysses is that despite the intricacies of following Bloom’s “stream of consciousness” the novel was successfully adapted to both stage and cinema. In 1958 there was a stage adaptation (Ulysses in Nightown) with famed actor Zero Mostel fallowed in 1993 by the BCC broadcasted dramatization. In cinema Ulysses won an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay followed in 2004 by a big budget version. That goes a long version in explaining the temptation to adapt Catcher in the Rye too, which Salinger prevented since the first time it was tried he considered it a gross betrayal of his novel. What is intriguing for me in Ulysses is the openly admitted influence on the part of Joyce of hundreds of influences from other writers among which Giambattista Vico which imbues the philosophy behind both Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake.

Alexandra Pereira2009-06-04 21:20:00
John David California? - this alone shows how uninventive the thief is. Who would buy that book?

David Barger2009-06-05 00:14:01
This is sad indeed. Tell me why so many people cannot come up with their own ideas? Where has creativity grown in these modern times? This goes into all genres of writing, and speaking of "Hollywood", even they can not come up with new ideas for movies. It will come down to the buyers to stop buying all the sh*t. Let alone the rights of, in this case, Salinger. It smells of the sewers where many politicians swim as well, and it all boils down to a quick buck. I hope this Jokey Dumbass California is ready for "Hollywood" to be paying him out in yaun since America is at the edge of being completely bought out by China...a little off the subject but when speaking about bullsh*t ideas I guess it is all realative.

David Barger2009-06-05 00:16:45
relative, that is.

richard Rambaran2009-06-10 03:59:24
the minutes of fame is incorrect, it's fifteen minutes of fame Warhol was quoted.

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