Saturday July 13, 2013


“I nominate J. D. Salinger as the least likely tweeter in literary history. A tweet is, by definition, a violation of one’s privacy—in the sense of making public thoughts that would otherwise be private—and Salinger was, for much of his life, fiercely private and seemed to want only the kind of applause that is made by one hand clapping. This wasn’t due to bashfulness—when he was young he went out to parties and to the dance clubs of his day. But for him the creative act of writing was deeply entwined with the nourishing condition of privacy, even secrecy. This privacy, in turn, not only surrounded his work but was embedded in it. His writing seems to be to be spoken in confidence directly to the reader, singular. That is why so many Salinger fans feel that their relationship with his books, especially to 'Catcher in the Rye,' is like an intimacy shared.

”Salinger’s defense of his privacy eventually came to seem as absurd as the attacks on it, but at the root of this defense wasn’t some terrible secret he had to hide but rather an idea of writing as a private ceremony.“

-- Thomas Beller, ”The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing," posted on The New Yorker site.

Posted at 01:00 PM on Saturday July 13, 2013 in category Quote of the Day  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard