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Topic: J.D. Salinger, (devout ascetic & pervert)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 3:38 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

J.D. Salinger, whose life has now been represented in a new movie, was a self-appointed “enigma”, but also something of an “ascetic pervert”. I read two biographies of the man last year, and at least one attempted to continue self-avowed adulation of the man, but to no avail, IMHO.

I read his books, but the man himself isn’t, IMHO, worthy of admiration.

This is an article – given the current hoopla stirred by the movie – written by one of the young women Salinger exploited. I thought there was some relevance here: Given the TPA’s penchant for the occasional “religious thread”, there’s a (very clear) message in this article for those “true believers” and other “devout”. It should be obvious.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013....ld.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 9:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hmm, I have long appreciated the writing of J.D. Salinger, but this is an interesting interpretation.  

I have been wanting to read the new biography, and the previously unpublished works, but now I want to read the published works of Joyce Maynard also.

It seems that Salinger did not exploit her sexually, and maybe that is the source of her animas??  

His was a seduction played out with words and ideas, not lovemaking, but to the young girl reading those words — as with a few million other readers — there could have been no more powerful allure.

I grant you that he was taking advantage of a younger, less experienced person, but apparently his whole focus was mental, not physical, and that may well be why a sexually aroused young woman felt like she was done wrong.  

A very interesting case in any event.

I will be reading a lot more on the subject.

They exchanged 25 letters, and Maynard dropped out of Yale the summer after her freshman year to live with Salinger in Cornish, New Hampshire.[3] Maynard spent ten months living in Salinger's Cornish home, during which time she completed work on her first book, Looking Back, a memoir that was published in 1973, in which she adhered to Salinger's request that she not mention his role in her life. Her relationship with Salinger ended abruptly just prior to the book's publication. According to Maynard's memoir, he cut off the relationship suddenly while on a family vacation with her and with his two children; she was devastated and begged him to take her back.

Maynard never returned to college. In 1973, she used the proceeds from her first book to purchase a house on a large piece of land in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, where she lived alone for over two years. From 1973 until 1975, she contributed commentaries to a series called “Spectrum”, broadcast on CBS radio and television, frequently debating the conservative voices of Phyllis Schlafly and James J. Kilpatrick.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyce_Maynard

Read the whole article, pretty weird lady, but certainly the kind of person who might be involved with J.D. Salinger.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 9:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

John Hiatt said "Sure, I'm a professional songwriter...but I'm an amateur human being."

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v....eBUDID8

 His point was sometimes artist are hard on the ones around them and themselves to produce the art.  Not making excuses for Salinger, draw your own conclusions, but its a common theme with artist.  I think the author makes a good point about an 18 year old being a "woman".  It's impossible for a 53 year old man to have a consensual relationship with an 18 year old.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 9:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Sep. 15 2013, 3:38 pm)
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Given the TPA’s penchant for the occasional “religious thread”, there’s a (very clear) message in this article for those “true believers” and other “devout”. It should be obvious.

Not obvious to me, other than if people, both old men and young women, followed God's plan for human sexuality there would be a lot less hurt.


Please explain your meaning further Gabby.

If your gist was Salinger was a scumbag in the way he treated these young women, you and I agree.

That is something noteworthy in itself.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 11:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Three @ Sep. 15 2013, 9:49 pm)
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...f people, both old men and young women, followed God's plan for human sexuality there would be a lot less hurt.

You mean raping and pillaging? I disagree.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 8:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wwwest-  It seems that Salinger did not exploit her sexually, and maybe that is the source of her animas??


 Ya, I'm  sure it had nothing to do with convincing her to drop out of Yale..  rape is about power, not about sex.  Maybe he was unable to perform sexually so he abused her in the ways that he could.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 9:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"...rape is about power, not about sex..."

Bingo

I wrote that subtitle to succinctly highlight the contrast, though "perversion" ("devout ascetic & pervert") as I used it has little to do with what certainly most easily comes to mind about Salinger’s relationships with the multiple young women in his life.

Salinger apparently disdained the idolization he received from the public for his work, but then used the authority it gave him in nefarious and clearly perverted ways, though sex was the least of it. Reading about his life, even in a text written by an admirer who attempts to absolve the man, gave me the same unpleasant and disturbing feeling I get at the implied suggestion that supplanting one illusion/addiction with yet another presented by “an authority” - a "mentor", a "guru", a "savior" -  is a "cure" rather than “manipulation”. That's one thing.

I am certainly not qualified to "analyze" Salinger's behavior - one can only speculate about the obscure relationships between his war experience (horrific), his upbringing and his apparent quest for some kind of "release" from an unspecified torment in multiple "religions", herbal and food “practices” and other such palliatives - but his manipulative use of gullible and relatively innocent young women, and his excessively jealous and litigious activities concerning his "works", as well as his obvious abstemious character, all have clear analogues to the common strains in the practice of "the authoritarian divine", which makes Three's immediate prescription all the more startlingly ironic, at least given the (admittedly veiled) context of my observation.

I may not fully understand this man, but I do most certainly recognize the MO of the authoritarian predator, how tightly related are the ascetic and the profligate, and how closely “perversion” follows on “pure”, “innocent” and “chaste”.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 10:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Damn, you use big words.  Even with my age, college degree, and vast readings, I find it intriguing that such prose finds its way onto an internet board about backpacking, although this section has nothing to do with that interest.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Still pretty interesting and thought provoking.

I am not all sure that Gabby's thesis is the correct interpretation, but I understand the gist of his argument, and see how it could very well be true.

Still seems leave out the role of the gullible young women who both aroused and fed J.D.'s psychological needs.

I would say that in general it is much easier for smart, articulate, focussed 18 year old women to seduce 54 year old men, than the other way round.  The record of rich, old codgers being fleeced by voluptuous, young gold diggers seems to bear that out.  Salinger just had intellectual cachet, rather than gold.  

And it seems that Joyce Maynard used that relationship to further her own attempts at intellectual sucess, much more so than Salinger used her.  

But, I really don't know.  Got a lot of reading to do over the next couple of months to try and get more insights.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wwwest -  I would say that in general it is much easier for smart, articulate, focussed 18 year old women to seduce 54 year old men, than the other way round.

 A Clinton apologist would probably have to see it that way..lol.  but I'd give the edge to the predator who has practiced this behavior for decades prior to meeting this particular 18 y.o.  I'm not qualified to identify sexual predators but if it quacks and walks like a duck...


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Sep. 16 2013, 10:04 am)
QUOTE
Damn, you use big words.  Even with my age, college degree, and vast readings, I find it intriguing that such prose finds its way onto an internet board about backpacking, although this section has nothing to do with that interest.  

I am going to change my moniker to "Authoritarian Predator" in honor of Gabby's analysis.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 2:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is a refreshing thread.

I know little about Salinger, other then the acclaim as a writer that he has achieved. All the same I hold him in high regard. My life as a clueless 16 year old was enriched through his influence on my high school girlfriend who's curiosity was stimulated by reading Catcher in the Rye.

Nobody should be too quick to judge the relationships of other people. There are too many unknown variables. Even to the two people involved in the relationship.


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