Monday, January 17, 2011

GD Phony Sequel to Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield's damnation  ran " he is nothing but a Goddamn phony" It was a perfect motif for a teenager on the town in NY smoking and drinking until his money ran out or his parents reined him in. Both happened. The first antihero of literature for the modern age would have no part of anyone who smacked of a Goddamn phony in manner, dress, or being. Holden was brutal in smelling out the rats among NY society that he passed through like a ghost for three days. From hookers to musicians to bellhops to older women he measured all of them with his tell all barometer of originality.

Now we live in the age of Goddamn phonies. Even more so than Holden's 1950's America. Holden would have hated reality television and all the spin off phonies who become reality vampires in their own right. He would have hated our age of sequels and movies that copy other movies and books that copy other books. He would have hated cable television and probably people with IPODS, people with cellphones, and he sure as hell would have hated the Goddamn phony who wrote a sequel to Catcher in the Rye. For him, Holden would hold a special place in his heart.

Forget that the phoniest of phonies is not authorized to publish the book in the United States or Canada and that the press bringing it out is selling it in a few countries who don't care Salinger's estate tried to block publication. The reason Holden would hate this "writer" more than all others was because he hated people who sold out. What is more of a sell out than to take someone else's plot and use it for your novel? But of course only a GD phony would even attempt to write a sequel to a classic that millions have enjoyed.

There is some precedent. Someone wrote a spin off on Gone With the Wind titled The Wind Done Gone from the viewpoint of the slaves. There was a battle with the Mitchell estate and the book came out and then fell from site. The wind had done gone.  And I'm sure there have been others. But it does seem especially egregious someone should take this one of a kind novel, the first shot of the counter culture, and attempt to siphon off a little fame. Holden would certainly light up a fag, shoot down his Manhattan, cock an eyebrow, and  mutter, "what a Goddamn phony."
Rocket Man will blast off in February

Books by William Hazelgrove