missing j. d. salinger

TLSsalinger_393324kJames Campbell at The Times Literary Supplement:

By the end of his life, in a paradox that itself seems to have come from the pages of fiction, Salinger, on the run from celebrity, not there but always there, was as prominent as any of his intermittently missing characters. What made him a fascinating presence in the minds of his predators, of which Shields and Salerno are perfect examples, was precisely his desire for self-effacement, his wish to go “underground” in Cornish, New Hampshire, just as Holden needed to do the same thing in New York City in order to straighten himself out after boarding school. For long periods, Salinger appeared to have satisfied his own wishes, but then there would be a snooper, a doorstepper, a photographer waiting to snap him as he exited the post office, a reporter on assignment for Time or Life, a woman pretending to be stranded at night after her car had broken down, a former lover eager to confess (Joyce Maynard, At Home in the World, 1998), even a daughter, Margaret, who felt that Daddy had been a disappointment (Dream Catcher, 2001) and that everyone ought to know.

All turn up, in one shape or another, in Salinger, “The official book of the acclaimed documentary film” that was released in the US earlier this year to various reactions, the least of which, it is fair to say, was acclaim. One contributor describes the pursuit of the shy author in terms that, under healthy scrutiny, would be regarded as perverse: “There was a bounty on Salinger’s head. Everyone wanted a photograph of this guy, and no one could get it”.

more here.