The elusive Salinger still lives--and he's taking legal action | Buzz Blog
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The elusive Salinger still lives--and he's taking legal action



The author of Catcher in the Rye still lives. It’s easy to forget that, since he has remained on the down-low throughout his entire career. The only time he surfaces is when he feels the legacy of his book is threatened by someone else trying to capitalize on it. 

Recently, Salinger sent his lawyers to court against someone writing under the name John David California (apparently it’s not his real name), who has written a book titled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. Though trying to assert that his book is different enough from Catcher, Salinger’s lawyers have said that it is a blatant copy of the book. California has apologized for causing any harm to Salinger.

This is not the first admirer Salinger has taken to court. In 1982, he sued a man who tried to sell a fake interview with Salinger to a National Magazine. He even stopped the publication of an unauthorized biography. In 2003, he stopped the BBC from staging a television production of Catcher.

It seems that Holden Caulfield’s need for purity continues. We should accept the fact that Salinger will live and die a mystery, and will not allow anyone to capitalize on his work. But of course, he is very old (90) and probably does not have much time left. Maybe he will be able to preserve his legacy, maybe not. Only time will tell.