April 21, 2010

"It’s a big shitty world, and it gets shittier by the minute."

A nugget from the newly revealed letters of J.D. Salinger. Don't you hanker for more heaping mouthfuls of that?

He had 2 children,Peggy and Matthew.  At restaurants, Peggy had "a double portion of shrimp cocktail, dessert, and milk, with a pickle on the side, if available," while Matthew ate "lamb chops, almost exclusively."

He didn't like us too much: "Murder in my heart, daily, hourly, incessantly, and you ask if I feel as nasty as ever about planetary affairs. … How ready this wretched planet is for the bomb or more Nancy Reagan."

Imagine having such a troubled relationship with other people that you fixated on the idea of a nuclear war that would end it all, not just for you, but for everyone.

IN THE COMMENTS: Seven Machos says:
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is what my kids like to eat at restaurants and what my lousy view of the world is like, and how I am occupied with thoughts of murder, and all that John Wayne Gacy kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

41 comments:

AprilApple said...

...How ready this wretched planet is for the bomb or more Nancy Pelosi.

updated...

El Pollo Real said...

LOL AprilApple!

Seven Machos said...

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is what my kids like to eat at restaurants and what my lousy view of the world is like, and how I am occupied with thoughts of murder, and all that John Wayne Gacy kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

Almost Ali said...

-
Catcher in the Eye...

halojones-fan said...

Wow. What a tool. I can just picture him and Ezra Pound sitting next to each other up there in Heaven, and a two-hundred-mile radius circle around them where nobody ever goes...

Windbag said...

The shitty world comment is spot on.

bagoh20 said...

He was probably right about the world, with himself in the center.

Steven said...

Wow. What a tool. I can just picture him and Ezra Pound sitting next to each other up there in Heaven, and a two-hundred-mile radius circle around them where nobody ever goes...

Oh, there are plenty of people inside that radius. Kept there by patrolling angels with swords. Sometimes they try setting themselves on fire to escape, so the whole circle is full of flames and smoke.

Lem said...

Most stuff that is genuine, anyway, is better left unsaid.

Does that mean people who don't read are off the hook ?

Joel said...

http://thedeathofcommonsense.latimesmagazine.com/2010/02/well-enough-alone.html

Methadras said...

Lem said...

Does that mean people who don't read are off the hook ?


No, it just means they are Tea Partiers. Well, at least that's what a leftard will think.

EDH said...

Shitty is so underrated.

Titus said...

What makes a person so angry?

The guy wanted his privacy and now someone sells his letters.

I do find something exotic and interesting about individuals that escape from it all and are very private-especially in this day and age.

I love him and Souter, out there in New Hampshire living on their own, never giving interviews, etc.

That will probably be me in a few years....surrounded by dogs.

Brian Hancock said...

His son Matthew play Captain America in a craptastic film from 1990.

Pogo said...

If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn't rub out even half the "big shitty world" signs in the world. It's impossible.

Synova said...

"He was probably right about the world, with himself in the center."

That's about it, isn't it?

What sort of world do we each create around ourselves.

I think that people chose either to see beauty or not to see beauty.

ricpic said...

When I was a kid nobody ever let me order a double order of shrimp cocktail. What an extravagance.

edutcher said...

Interesting that most people read only one of his works and wanted no more of him.

halojones-fan said...

Wow. What a tool. I can just picture him and Ezra Pound sitting next to each other up there in Heaven, and a two-hundred-mile radius circle around them where nobody ever goes...

You think he's in Heaven? Even weirder, you think Ezra Pound is?

I'd have thought Pound would have gone the other way.

ricpic said...

What comes through to me is that he was a perfectionist who by his own standard always fell short, poor bastard.

rcocean said...

Come on! Good Grief, comparing Pound to J.D. Salinger?! Pound wrote some great poetry, helped some great writers, wrote some good books like "ABC of Reading". Yeah, he went a little funny in the head, and supported Mussolini. BUT to compare him to a 2nd rate novelist who wrote for teenage baby boomers is a little unfair.

You might as well compare Yeats to John Lennon.

BTW, its been reveled that Hemingway offered the KGB his services. Guess Papa had a reason to be paranoid about the FBI. But he was still a great writer.

William said...

Neil Diamond was a big fan of Salinger's. He wrote a musical version of Catcher in the Rye. He never expected it to be produced, but now the children are in discussion with him about the project. There's some uncertainty over which Jonas Brother is right for the part of Holden, but after that kink is ironed out, the project will go forward. The children are absolutely delighted and hope that Neil Diamond does to Daddy what Cecil B. Demille did to the Bible.

David said...

When I taught school in NYC in the mid 1960's, I had my students read Catcher in the Rye.

Their reaction to Holden Caufield: "Loser!"

No sympathy whatsoever.

Peano said...

Think I'll re-read some Marcus Aurelius just to remind myself how very wrong this whole thread is.

Stephen Snell said...

Okay, I'll be the one: Catcher in the Rye sucks.

David said...

The other distressing news is that apparently he was writing daily for the decades of his seclusion. But it will be a stimulus package for English departments if this is true.

Fred4Pres said...

The menu of shrimp cocktails, pickles and lamb chops works fine with me. A few cocktails to wash them down. Yum.

Penny said...

"It is hard to read these letters, to quote from them, to analyze them, knowing that they come to us through a betrayal."

BUT! Ruth Franklin, Sr. Editor at the National Review, worked right through all her "personal pain" to do just that...

And ALL for you, dear readers.

She says, of that, "That may not have been any of Salinger’s business, but it is ours."

I say to you, Ms. Franklin, watch your pronouns. It is OUR business? It wasn't any of my business, OR yours, OR any business of Salinger's readers...

Until some "friend" named Morgan couldn't help being vengeful.

You wrote a "delicate" little piece here, Ms. Franklin, while willfully or, more likely, ignorantly, missing Salinger's messages.

Matthew said...

@rcocean:

Yeah, a few good poems always makes up for the sins of treason and supporting Fascists.

Ezra Pound shoud have been shot, along with all the other literary "greats", and artistes who supported the Axis.

Then again, most dictators usually start out as artistes, so I guess that's why there's never a shortage of willing artistic douches to support their causes. After all, Mussolini fancied himself a decent playwright, didn't he?

David said...

New Republic, Penny. But otherwise your point is well taken. What a weaselette Ruthie is.

Penny said...

"""It's a big shitty world, and it gets shittier by the minute."""

Shamefully, I have always been a sucker for "potty humor". It makes me LAUGH!

Soon enough I will become a fan of "triple quote" humor. *See above*

Penny said...

David, thanks for the correction.

Have you noticed how much easier it is to "correct" than it is to be right?

Yeah, me too. Bummer.

Alex said...

Hitler was an artist too. Yeah put in the stockades before they kill 50 million people.

Lem said...

JD - I have stuff going that I love, but oh God, so slowly, so hesitantly. … So many middle-aged disbeliefs and burdensome doubts at work in the mind.

Spurred by the Cortney Love tread yesterday I re-red the Kurt Cobaine's suicide note.

Cobaine - Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do,God, believe me I do, but it's not enough).

JD's Coping mechanism.. The trick is to use the disbeliefs in the work, not to shy away from them, and that seems to me what we both must do. I mean something much more complicated and subtle than that, but I’ll let it stand.

There is no denying the two men struck a chord.

t-man said...

Living in New England would drive anyone batty.

Franklin said...

Haha. Seven Machos wins.

Galvanized said...

Poor Salinger, tormented and alienated by the bitterness and disillusionment he "stewed" in for all those years. And what a horrible betrayal, all because he refused to sign a book for this "friend?" It's sad he lost the sunshine and confided so much in someone he shouldn't have trusted. It seems this guy prompted Salinger's correspondence, too, so it's no surprise that this confidante didn't turn over his own side of the years-long conversation in these letters. I hope the man got a good penny for these letters because he clearly sold his soul.

Galvanized said...

And Lem, Cobain's death is still such a sad thing when I think about it. He had such unique way of making repetitive music and simple lyrics say so much. For some artists, fame is the worst kind of torture.

Duncan said...

Lefties are naturally depressive.

If only they didn't try to work out their "issues" on other people.

Kensington said...

How was Salinger able to afford to live in seclusion for so long? Was it all based on Catcher in the Rye money?

Is one relatively modest novel all it takes to enable that?

wild chicken said...

"No sympathy whatsoever."

Guess that's why could never get past the first few pages of it. Yet I kept hearing Everyone had read it! I felt so marginalized.

Trooper York said...

Salinger is not in heaven. He couldn't even come close to the PA announcer gig!