SALINGER The Official Book

SALINGER The Official Book

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SALINGER: 'The Official book of the Acclaimed Documentary Film DAVID SHIELDS & SHANE SALERNO

I read about this book and the forthcoming movie project on JD SALINGER and of the 'revelations' and information that had not been available about him and his life and works. Having read many of Salinger's works and a few books on his life and work and from my own meager experience as a writer since fifth grade, I never believed the claim that he had stopped writing and that there was nothing more of his to be published. Writers usually stop writing when they are dead and not before unless their works are confiscated and they are imprisoned.

Therefore it is no surprise to me that manuscripts of his exist and this book reveals that fifty years after his death some will be published and not before. However, I wonder if, in today's climate, of internet and e-books, if his work will be read even if published and who will be able to relate to any of it, given the mentality of the masses today?

This present book is interesting and intriguing and also suffers from a few things, some of which is obvious: people saying or talking or writing about things they do now really know anything about, but usually 'hearsay', 'innuendo', 'assumptions', 'armchair psychology', and the 'phoniness' that Salinger so assiduously abhorred and despised.

One glaring mistake is the mistaking the CONNECTICUT RIVER for the DELAWARE RIVER and also the obvious intellectual consideration of CORNISH, NEW HAMSPHIRE, a town in which I also have lived and appreciated, and I can understand why Salinger chose that place and hope to discuss this a bit further than I previously have.

WELL, from this book I learned that SALINGER & HITLER had something in common: THEY BOTH LACKED ONE TESTICLE! Apparently, from what I have read, Hitler may have lacked one testicle or it had never descended and Salinger had only one testicle that descended. Both Salinger and Hitler had somewhat an interest in occultism,witchcraft and mediumship/telepathy etc. They both did a bit of 'body-building' in Hitler's case using cables or stretchers and Charles Atlas courses in Salinger's.

I wonder if in the files of the CHARLES ATLAS company, which still exists, there might be some records or photos even of SALINGER or letters? It would be interesting to uncover his 'diploma' from Charles Atlas. I still have mine and I also have the books on sex that came with the course, which, from reading the book on SALINGER, I assume mention of the 'Atlas Books' refers to these, a small library of paper backs on such topics. I will find mine which are in storage and post them sometime on line for all to see.

The compilers and interviewers of this book, Shields and Salerno have divided up the book, which threatens to become the 'definitive work or bio on Salinger' thus far, into FOUR PARTS BASED ON HINDU CLASSIFICATION OF VEDANTIC LISTINGS.

To discuss this in any meaningful, coherent way requires more time and space that what was devoted to this in the actual book especially in view of the conjecture and value judgments made by the compilers and also the contributors whose understanding of why someone would study or immerse themselves into such 'philosophy', 'religion' etc is a mystery and also conclude it was a disaster for his literary endeavors.

But if the compilers of this book had looked a little deeper into Cornish history and the Dingleton Hill area in  which SALINGER lived, they might have found someone near by who also became involved with a 'mystic' by the name of G. I GURDJIEFF. This man was HERBERT D. CROLY, Founder or one of the Founders of the NEW REPUBLIC MAGAZINE who was, like Salinger, friends with JUDGE LEARNED HAND who lived in Cornish also in the same area.  Many who admired Croly thought that his interest in GURDJIEFF was also a 'distraction' and 'waste of his talents'. CROLY & HIS WIFE are buried in PLAINFIELD, NH which nearby.

As for RAMAKRISHNA & VIVIKENANDA, many people in science, such as EDISON, BURBANK, FORD, TESLA had read their works, among others in that area.

ZEN or ZEN BUDDHISM is an offshoot of  MAHAYANA BUDDHISM that was carried into China from India by various monks and also into TIBET and nearby areas and eventually to JAPAN where the DHYANA BECAME ZEN and CHAN IN CHINA. Basically, these terms are just ways to pronounce in local languages the Sanskrit word DHYANA. Zen also made its way to Mongolia and other areas.

ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT has had much discussion in the West, starting academically in most instances, and affecting people in various ways, from BUSHIDO ADVOCATES to BEATNIKS and eventually to some LSD STIMULATED HIPPIES, among other things.

The abstract, intellectual aspects of ZEN along with its seductive koans and 'harsh' practices have made it a form of meditation that is free from the emotional/devotional aspects of many YOGA SYSTEMS as has VEDANTA and the other six or so schools of HINDU PHILOSOPHY.

To undertand why SALINGER undertook to embrace ZEN & VEDANTA as well as YOGA/TANTRA, one has to delve a bit more than the compilers of this work and their informants and interviewees have done as far as I can tell. Their comments on all this appear to me to be highly superficial and the usual stuff.

NEVERTHELESS, this book has done a great service in that THE INVASION OF NORMANDY ON D-DAY and the BATTLE OF THE BULGE as well as other aspects of the conquest of Germany has been made much clearer than previously, save to those who fought and suffered and survived during WWII.

For one thing, it has made much clearer the life of my father who fought in that D-Day invasion and his behavior over the years from that time as well as that of other relative who fought in both War theaters, Pacific and European.

The book also shows photos that have never been shown before and where SALINGER went and what he experienced. Moreover, he was in the CIC, COUNTER INTELLIGENCE CORPS and his work in this can now be more fully known as can some of that the OSS did.

His military work and background also strengthens and makes more clearer than ever his longing for privacy rather than 'letting it all hang out' in self-serving ways as some have done or might do. Having known some persons who have done similar work, I can understand and appreciate their reservations and reluctance to discuss what they did and saw and experienced with persons who have or had absolutely no understanding or real idea about war and death and destruction!

I am still going over the book and reading/re-reading sections and looking at the photos and appreciating SALINGER more than I have in the past.

Friday, October 5, 2012


I've sat down thousands of times  to write 'THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL'  but now I stand up to live 'THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL'!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


In the recent biography titled, J.D. SALINGER, A LIFE by Kenneth Slawenski, I read that from the time he was born and ever afterwards, his parents called him,'SONNY', one thing that I have in common with him as my parents and my grandparents and all my friends all called me 'SONNY'.......and like the late JD Salinger, I lived in Cornish and went to school there as well....... I also used to visit NAP'S SODA FOUNTAIN, especially after the movies there in Windsor,Vermont, but at that time JD Salinger had not moved into to town...bu;t when he did he moved to DINGLETON HILL not far from where my grandfather and his grandparents and some of his friends lived before JD Salinger was born....... Crossing the road from Windsor that cuts across the entrance to Dingleton Hill to the covered bridge near Mill Road is Comings Cemetary where some of my ancestors are buried and where I plan, if all goes well, to be buried...... JD Salinger trained at Fort Dix, where I also received my basic training, and then he was assigned to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey to the Signal Corps, and so was I but many years after WWII of course....... According to the biographer in this book mentioned, Salinger had a preoccupation with death for a multitude of reasons but he was apparently concerned the most with the 'arbitrary nature of death' which means that anyone can die anytime, anyplace, and without any warning or meaning or significance to their deaths...... In later years, Salinger apparentnly became interested in 'organic' farming, herbs, 'homegrown' veggies and fruits and other things now considered 'trendy' and 'new age' etc. and some hail him as a prophet or simply ahead of his time, despite his 'sophisticated' manner and lifestyle and craft.....which seems,when examined, a 'facade' image he presented to the world, which others have written books about..... So why the back woods of Cornish and solitude of rural life? Like Salinger, I long for silent hills and quiet woods with only babbling brooks for conversations and the song
cries of birds, the cawing of crows, the mooing of cows,etc. butting in for their 'say' about things.....and I sort of think he felt perhaps a bit the same way..........but more intensely than I do......

Friday, February 4, 2011


The late JD Salinger has been in the news lately and interest in him continues and will continue for many, many years, undoubtedly... Contrary to popular belief and legend about 'JD" or "JERRY' as some called him in attempts to seem familiar with him, he was not the complete hermit-recluse-anchorite-ascetic many want to make him out to have been but a man who,in some respects, followed the WAY OF THE HOUSEHOLDER.... The subject of 'his Last Supper'(no relation to the more famous, LAST SUPPER of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS) was his last supper consisting of foods he usually consumed at CHURCH SUPPERS in HARTLAND,VERMONT at the CONREGATIONAL CHURCH known better as 'the red brick church' and which enjoys, as do nearly all such affairs in both New Hampshire and in Vermont a devoted following of eaters of all ages and denominations....especially nowadays in hard economic times....where a good hearty, sometimes all you can eat portions are served that everyone comes away fully satisfied...... Confined and unable to attend the supper before his demise, JD'S wife drove to Hartland and got a meal for him to eat at home.....which was his very last 'church supper' the fare and pie he liked to eat unquestionably........

Friday, February 26, 2010

Live Free or Undead

Live Free or Undead: I am placing this here so viewers can enter this contest and this page has all the information one needs to do so. I suggest that if you decide to write something for this anthology you do so at once as it ends in March. In the meantime, I hope to submit my own entry into this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Insearching my memory, I recalled hearing this 'tidbit' from someone, possibly my late friend and classmate and fellow 'TRUTH SEEKER', Bob H. who was from Cornish and lived for a time in CORNISH FLAT or it may have been something I read in a column about Cornish,etc. ANYWAY, it seems that if one wanted to know what interested SALINGER in literature, books, special topics, all one had to do was find out what books he had donated to the CORNISH LIBRARY and/or gave them for their raising of funds through book donations. What caught my attention was the subject of WITCHCRAFT that seemed to be major contribution of his books at that particular time. What else he donated or contributed besides that topic I do not know. Luckily, library information is confidential and even the government's attempts to access and scrutinize such information has been thwarted thus far, although attempts to do so and have a 'national database' is still going on, since the CIA,FBI,HOMELAND SEC,etc. all want to know what everyone is reading these days and possibly also wanting to know what books one orders on line, reads on line, or buys in books stores,etc.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


A number of 'JDS' sightings and encounters by various Twin State Valley residents and former residents have been appearing since his death in some of the 'local' papers. Many of these accounts subscribe to 'the nice man'theory and add more to the image he may have wanted to project as 'THE RECLUSE' which can only remind one of the Tarot Card, 'THE HERMIT'. The ENIGMA OF 'JDS' is not his quest for privacy on his own terms, as if it were a highly desirable state of reclusiveness/exclusiveness, silence, penance, isolation, etc. akin to 'seeking some kind of HOLY GRAIL' but the fact alone, for one whose reputation for enjoying writing, for literary efforts,etc. as some claim, he never allowed or permitted any newer writings to be published after a certain date and never exposed any further writings to the scrutiny of the public eye, some thing that fascinates andirritates those who really and truly desired further stories and novels from him as well as the vast hordes of other literary groups, such as critics and professors of literature. From my very limited perspective on this ENIGMA, I think it might well be a most simple fact that has escaped nearly everyone, especially those who believe in continued 'literary output' or 'literary success',etc. My personal contention is this: he did not need or want to publish what he wrote in his lifetime later on because he had not real financial need to do so and that if he did publish again, the IRS and the GOVERNMENT would step in,much like 'Robin Hood' and garnish his income,etc. Really creative writers, poets, artists, sculptors, actors, and playwrights,etc. always face ' FINE ON THEIR CREATIVITY & PRODUCTIONS' in the form of taxation which in some cases would nothing for them or their fans and followers, except fill the coffers of government and lead in some cases to various legal and tax problems among other things. In other words, it would simply not pay to publish anything further for the reasons that one would not receive the 'fruits of one's own labor' but give the greatest portion of it to the Federal Government,etc. Furthermore, by simplifying his life and dispensing with a large battery of agents, 'experts', CPAs, attornies/lawyers, doctors,etc. saved himself a great hassle and expense that usually results from such. Rather than actually ending up writing for nothing except for his sheer personal enjoyment and satisfaction(if any) and face huge tax burdens, he preferred simply not to publish,knowing in his case he was not likely to 'perish' as far as his place in 'AMERICAN LITERATURE' is concerned. 'JDS',for whatever literary faults examiners of his work have annalyzed, detected, and exposed, never really fell into the temptation, to which many genre writers and authors fall, by cranking out or have 'ghost' written continued stories and novels since,THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING' probably and possibly Holden Caufield's beyond doubt,can still be heard(for those who have ears to listen) and read by all.