Originally Posted by Baron
The thing about Salinger is he supposedly has completed 4 or more novels since he stopped publishing and will publish them all posthumously. I hope he doesn't freak out and burn them all.
I'm curious to see what happens with this, too. My personal thought is that Salinger simply said what he wanted to say and then quit. As well, I think having such a phenomenal success right out of the gate can be a terrible thing for a writer (Harper Lee, Margaret Mitchell, etc.)
In general, though, novelists are like directors or any other artist, if they don't keep doing it, they stagnate. Part of that process is publishing and having your work reviewed, read, critiqued, and interacting with others (even Pynchon interacts with SOMEBODY and his work is part of the public sphere).
Salinger hasn't been doing that for half a century and, honestly, I feel like his work might suffer for it, especially because it is a "social" type of work... it isn't Walden or anything.
We'll see, but I just don't think Salinger is the amazing creative genius many make him out to be, or that I myself once made him out to be when I felt like his work really clicked with my life. I agree with the earlier statement that "Nine Stories" had some amazing stuff in it, but beyond that, the only other non-mainstream published late work of his, "Hapworth 16, 1924" (or something like that... it's been a few years since I found the old New Yorker it was in and so I may be off on the title) was seventeen times too long, drawn out, and without the "punch." In short, it was withheld from general publication not due to Salinger's hermitism, but probably because it was just an inferior work that really didn't need to be held up with the others.
What more, as a hermit, does Salinger have to add to a world that has long since left him behind (and that he left behind first)?