Do not watch the Salinger documentary; don’t bother

February 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Salinger (2013), directed by Shane Salerno.

It’s a shame. The documentary is something of a sacrilege. I’m writing this now because I want not only to save you from wasting your time but to warn you off what is sadly a depressing and shitty accomplishment by Salerno.

They did not get the rights, I assume, as no work of J. D. Salinger’s is cited, the entirety of the film. At no point is the beauty of those books suggested.

If I were to recommend you, of all the stories of all the authors that I have ever read, just one set of stories, it would be Salinger’s Nine Stories (English title: For Esme With Love and Squalor). I cannot do justice to the writing, writing of it — may only send you away with that.

This documentary makes a freak and a recluse of a private man. The shots of his writing “bunker” resemble footage of a child-molesting psychomaniac’s hideaway, flashing up on the news. Total fucking bullshit.

Salinger did not wish to be broadcast.

* * * * *

“I’m not afraid to compete. It’s just the opposite. Don’t you see that? I’m afraid I will compete — that’s what scares me. That’s why I quit the Theatre Department. Just because I’m so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else’s values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me, doesn’t make it right. I’m ashamed of it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I’m sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.”

― J.D. Salinger, Franny & Zooey


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