Talk:J. D. Salinger

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Salinger was raised in Manhattan, not the Bronx. He lived on Park Avenue as this is documented in Alexander's Salinger: A Biography. Jim Steele 23:37, 11 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimsteele9999 (talkcontribs)

Well, since no one bothered to change this, I did. Salinger may have spent some time in Riverdale, but he was bron in Manhattan, raised there, and as Zooey Glass said, likely nearly run over there. Twice.

Somebody outta lock this page, to prevent the vandalism and random wrong facts that creep in here. Jim Steele (talk) 23:20, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

McCarthy allegory[edit]

This whole bit is way too detailed for an interpretation that I think most would consider fairly forced, and which has few followers or references.

Public Domain - not![edit]

The links to stories allegedly in the public domain should be deleted. That is a Hungarian pirate site and the stories copied there are emphatically not in the public domain. (talk) 17:09, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree. No way are those works PD in Hungary. I removed the external links to unless someone can point to what exemption in Hungary law allows the work of a living person into the public domain. --JayHenry (talk) 01:44, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Those works are in the public domain in the U.S. I searched the renewal records for J.D. Salinger and could not find renewal notice for any of the three. Since they were published prior to 1963 without renewal that makes them public domain. You are more than welcome to sit down at your local library and check yourself, but you will come to the same conclusion. I cannot vouch for what else that website offers, but those are valid public domain titles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:07, 2008-11-07

Since records at the copyright office from prior to 1978 are not available online, this is a difficult task. More to the point, because we are unable to find evidence of copyright does not mean it does not exist. Among the many things Wikipedia is not is a legal service; we do not interpret law but rather adhere to it, especially copyright law. Unless we have definitive evidence that the work is in the public domain, we must assume it is not.  Frank  |  talk  14:49, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Date of Catcher[edit]

I'm looking at a paperback copy of Catcher in the Rye. It says, Copyright 1945, 1946, 1951. Renewed 1979. How did Salinger get it copyrighted in 1945 if it's a 1951 novel, as this article says? Friendly Person (talk) 01:44, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

The novel contains scenes in which once appeared in earliar short stories that he wrote.-- (talk) 13:37, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

That's good knowledge - could it be included and referenced in the article? Spuddddddd 17Jun09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Review from Scartol[edit]

As promised, here is my review. I'm doing some copyediting as I read, but there are certain spots where I'm not sure how to adjust the writing.

Early life

  • During the second semester of the class, Burnett saw some degree of talent in the young author. This is pretty vague, but I'm not sure how to adjust it. Did he commend Salinger on his writing? Did he offer to provide more in-depth reviews? Did he urge him to publish? Etc. Yes check.svg Done
  • Good, but there are two quotes in this section without clear attributions. Try: He acted in several plays and according to XXXX "showed an innate talent for drama",…. – Scartol • Tok 12:58, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The bit about their estrangement needs a citation. Yes check.svg Done
  • Nice. Much better. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

World War II

  • I'm not sure how to feel about the cruise ship bit. It's interesting, but it feels very much out of place in the WWII subsection. The previous paragraph dovetails nicely into the war, and the cruise ship info really breaks that up. Yes check.svg Done; I moved it in between the Oona stuff and the first mention of WWII, where it ought to have been, anyway.
  • I know it gets tedious using "he" over and over again, but "the writer" is distracting and I've replaced it. (It's especially difficult later on, when discussing more than one writer.)
  • I've removed the phrase "according to Hemingway biographer Carlos Baker", because it didn't seem necessary. I added a citation to the quote it preceded. I reinserted the "according to"; I actually think it's crucial, because otherwise, readers may get the impression that what follows is a direct quote from Salinger's letter to Hemingway. It's not; Salinger won't allow any of his letters to be published, so Baker was forced to rephrase what he said. Whatever we know of the letter is, quite literally, according to Baker.
  • Then I don't know if a quote is appropriate here. The reader (at least this one) still assumes it's a direct quote from Salinger. I think unless we have such a direct quote, paraphrasing Baker's paraphrase is the way to go. – Scartol • Tok 12:58, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • He was also among the first soldiers to enter a liberated concentration camp. This sentence seems very significant and could use a bit more in it. Do any of the bios mention anything about what he said about it? Unfortunately, they don't; this revelation was presented for the first time by Margaret in her 2000 memoir, and no book-length biographies have been published in the intervening 7 years. To me, it is understandable that Salinger—already mum on so many other topics—would keep mum about this.
  • Alas. – Scartol • Tok 12:58, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Just a note for future reference: When writing about historians or biographers, it's good to use the literary present. To wit: "His biographers speculate…".

Post-war years


  • I suggest shortening the subsection title to The Catcher in the Rye. Yes check.svg Done
  • Uhh. Sparknotes as a reliable source? Isn't there a book analyzing Catcher which we could refer to instead? (As an English teacher I loathe SparkNotes.)
  • The quote referring to "immorality and perversion" (critical reception) is from Hamilton; is that his assessment? Or is he quoting another source? A casual reader will probably assume the former, so let's clarify. Yes check.svg Done; The footnote now explains that the quote is taken from The Christian Science Monitor.
  • Good. Cheers. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • In the seventies, several U.S. high school teachers were "fired or forced to resign for having assigned" the book… Why is this part quoted? If it's not essential to preserve the original wording, it's better to rephrase it. Yes check.svg Done
  • Looks good. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

That's it for now. It's a very good article, as I've said. More to come! – Scartol • Tok 01:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Writing in the fifties and move to Cornish

  • In July 1951, his friend and New Yorker editor William Maxwell in Book of the Month Club News asked Salinger about his literary influences. This is confusing. Did he pose the question in an article? Or was it part of an interview? If the latter, better to say: "In a July 1951 interview in Book of the Month Club News, Salinger's friend…". Yes check.svg Done
  • I don't think entire sentences should be put in parentheses except in rare occasions. (It's distracting and usually unnecessary.) Yes check.svg Done
  • …Salinger wrote friends of "something momentous [making] an appearance in his life." My feeling is that it's best to quote from a biographer only when it's absolutely necessary, and then it needs to be attributed in the sentence text. If it's anyone other than Salinger being quoted, best to indicate as much in the sentence. The same applies to "remarkably so for a volume of short stories". Yes check.svg Done
  • I like the phrase "tightening his grip on publicity". Good call.
  • I'd like to know who said "in splendid prominence". Yes check.svg Done; It was Hamilton, and didn't need to be quoted.

More to come! – Scartol • Tok 01:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


  • I'm a fan of shorter section names and this one is a doozy. Maybe: "Last publications and Maynard relationship"? Yes check.svg Done
  • The "Glass family series" reference is unclear to me. Did I miss something, or is this a reference without a clear antecedent? Yes check.svg Done
  • Good. Very helpful. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • …he felt he could not stand the reality of children again (as opposed to the fantasy children in his writings). This is unclear. How about: "…(he preferred the fantasy children in his writing)."? Yes check.svg Done; I looked up the source (added by someone else), and realized that all of the "fantasy children" stuff was an observation of Margaret's; Salinger actually told her he was "too old." I've replaced the whole phrase with that.
  • Nice job. Reads better. These other changes above all look good too. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


  • Is "instances of" necessary in the title? Yes check.svg Done
  • I moved it, but note that left-aligned images should go above sub-section headings. See WP:MOS#Images. Yes check.svg Done
  • I think it's best to choose either "Margaret" or "Ms. Salinger" and then stick to it. Yes check.svg Done

Two more sections. I'll finish those today, I expect. – Scartol • Tok 14:51, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


  • I don't know that we need to start fiddling with the larger structure at this time, but if/when you prepare this for FA (and I hope you will), you should separate style and themes into two different sections.


  • Who provides the quote: …were also affected by "Salinger's voice and comic timing."? I read it as a Roth quote. Let's clarify. Yes check.svg Done
  • Good. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Finally: In the Bibliography section, I'd remove the Geocities links. I'd say they belong in the External Links section (if anywhere – many editors are uneasy about GC pages). Yes check.svg Done; I've removed them from the bibliography, but kept a link to the site in External Links. It's one of the few Salinger web sites I know of that actually has content (it has all of his high school newspaper columns and several rare interviews, along with summaries of his unpublished stories.)

Thanks for bringing me in on this project – please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Good luck with it! – Scartol • Tok 15:55, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I have made some of your suggested changes (and addressed others), with more to come. Thanks! Hobbesy3 (talk) 12:02, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Further changes. Hobbesy3 (talk) 20:14, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I believe I have made or addressed all your suggested changes, except for one. You asked that I replace the two SparkNotes references, but the trouble is the passage for which they are the source:

The book is more notable for the persona and confessional voice of its first-person narrator, Holden. Holden serves as an insightful but unreliable narrator who expounds on the purity of childhood, the "phoniness" of adulthood, and his own alienation and loss of innocence.

These are such blanket, overarching observations about Holden and the nature of the novel that I'm having a hard time finding a reputable (and non-summary, non-encyclopedic) source that mentions all this in a way that can be sourced. Like, I'd probably be able to find these observations in a book about Catcher, but I'd have to read the whole book to get them all. Do you have any suggestions, or would you be willing to find a source? Thanks, Hobbesy3 (talk) 03:27, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I'll take a close look at the changes soon – probably this weekend, but I can't make any promises. Meantime, I've found a book (ISBN 0816188947) which should be of use. I'll probably be able to replace the SparkNotes stuff. – Scartol • Tok 03:43, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I know somebody with a copy of this. Might be able to cite these very broad (and not even particularly controversial, methinks) observations pretty quickly. --JayHenry (talk) 04:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Also, just for fun, I noticed the NY Times still has its initial reviews of Catcher up: Ah, the World's a Crumby Place and Books of the Times. Probably best to just include those as external links on Catcher though... --JayHenry (talk) 05:05, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
These repairs look fine indeed. I've gotten some books on Salinger and I'm going to go through (hopefully today) and replace the SporkNotes references with books. Kudos for your hard work and keep me posted. – Scartol • Tok 16:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I've cleansed the piece by changing the SporkNotes stuff to a critical essay. I do believe I've done what I came here to do. Good luck with this (I can't imagine it won't pass GA this time), and do let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. – Scartol • Tok 17:10, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Excellent! Thanks, Hobbesy3 21:46, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Salinger studying education[edit]

Salinger seems to have been a disinterested student based on what Hamilton says, and what is on this page now suggests he had no intention of obtaining a degree. However, at least one source ( Donald M. Fiene: "A Bibliographical Study of J. D. Salinger: Life, Work, and Reputation," M.A. Thesis, University of Louisville, 1962)does say he considered studying special education--maybe to be a teacher eventually. Among other things referenced are the college transcipts. Seeing how Salinger's character's Buddy Glass and his brother Seymour were teachers (I think Zooey was encouraged by someone to be one too), and Holden visits two in the course of his journey in Catcher in the Rye, it doesn't seem unlikely this would be a field that interested him. Also, the possibility he did consider special education as a field is believable, especially after reading Elaine and Teddy. Anyway, I went back in and added this as a detail during his NYU days. LewWasserman9 01:22, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I just have to add one tid bit...This is helpful I hope Another influenced by Salinger's style was Jack Kolinsky a teenage writer who recently won the Bishop prize (by recently I mean over fifteen years ago) I think this deserves an honorable mention...Hmm? Thoughts anyone. He can't be found on google interestingly enough... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna influence prior to Paramahansa Yoganda[edit]

Could someone please clear up the religion aspect? Salinger is a student of a form of Vivekananda's Vedanta, this is confirmed in both his Daughter's and Joyce Maynard's memoirs as well as some themes in his fiction, and his reclusive way of life outside of his work*. [*NOTE: I have refined this statement as it is incorrect in the sense of Vedanta being long-term in Salinger's life, which I explain below in my response to JayHenry]. Also, the Scientology information is misleading as it was a passing fad for him at most based on information about his life.

His religion is already discussed in the article at some length, and by reviewing the footnotes, one can see that the relevant portions of Margaret Salinger's and Joyce Maynard's biographies (and several other biographies) are already cited. Further, I don't understand what part of the article you feel is misleading about Scientology. The article here never suggests that he did anything other than try out Dianetics as one of a series of religions. In other words: it is already quite clear to me from reading the article that it was a passing fad, and not something significant or something to which he is believed to still adhere. --JayHenry (talk) 05:37, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

My Response to Jay Henry : Here is a Selection of Relevant Quotes on Salinger's pre-marital religious influences , and relatable links to his fiction.

Margaret Salinger, Dreamcatcher, pg. 12:

"Claire would stay the night with him on those black sheets, but they were not intimate. Jerry was very involved with Vivekananda's Vedanta center at the time, she told me, and as his character Teddy said, meeting a woman was heading in the wrong direction for enlightenment. Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda's guru and predecessor, expressed the same opinion, though more forcibly, in his book The Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna (which my father sent to his British publisher, Hamish Hamilton, as the only thing worth reading)..."

Now in the quote below, I discover I am incorrect as far as Vedanta and The Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna being long-term beliefs with Salinger. I want to clear up that confusion first, and then continue to focus on the relevance both teachings did have in Salinger's life before Paramahansa Yoganda came into the picture:

Margaret Salinger, Dreamcatcher, pg. 86:

" father had found a new guru with a message that appeared to reconcile the conflict between earthly attraction and heavenly renunciation. According to the teachings of this guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, women and gold, the two enemies of enlightenment and karmic progress, were transmuted from Ramakrishna's bags of "phlegm, filth, and excreta" into something potentially holy. Marriage, for the first time in my father's postwar study of religion, was held out as something potentially sacred rather than automatically defiling."

According to Margaret Salinger--and what she writes her mother telling her--Salinger basically changed course into the teachings of Paramahansa Yoganda and dropped Vedanta somewhere in-between dating Claire Douglas prior to their wedding. This is further explained in the quote below, from the same page:

"During the fall and winter evenings prior to Jerry and Claire's wedding, they had been reading a miscellany not of Vedanta, as Seymore had prior to his marriage, but rather, Paramahansa Yogananda's book Autobiography of a Yogi."

I stand corrected as far as Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings replacing Vivekananda's Vedanata and Sri Ramakrishna in Salinger's life. I was confused and thought it was the opposite. BUT, I argue his study in Vedanta and Sri Ramakrishna before this described change (or progression) to Autobiography of a Yogi is of noteworthy interest and should be inclouded in the article. Especially since there are links to some of Salinger's fiction with those influences, and that it sheds further light into his pre-marital relationship and mindset in that time period. The article only talks about the discovery of Paramahansa Yogananda's book and its aftermath.

Further example of these links in his fiction before Paramahansa Yogananda:

Margaret Salinger, Dreamcatcher, pg. 77:

[about Salinger's short story De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period ]"...The first two students are an embodiment, almost a caricature, of what Sri Ramakrishna, whose work my father was studying deeply at the time, referred to as the excreta of "woman and gold"."

Margaret Salinger, Dreamcatcher, pg. 89:

"..I am convinced were it not for the teachings of Lahiri Mahasaya*, that neither their marriage nor my birth would have taken place at all, so caught up was my father in the teachings of Ramakrishna. The teachings of Yoganda held out to my father the possibility...of marriage as an institution not hopelessly defiling, setting back one's karmic progression many lifetimes (recall Teddy's comment about a woman being responsible for his having been reincarnated in an American body)."

[*Note: Lahiri Mahasaya (1828 -1895) was Yogananda's guru, his stories inter-connect with Autobiography of a Yogi ]

All of this amounts to valid historical context into Salinger's life, and to some degree his fiction.

The wikipedia article, by the way, appears to be incorrect in the highlighted portion of this quote: "Margaret Salinger wrote in her memoir DreamCatcher that she believes her parents would not have married – nor would she have been born – had her father not read the teachings of a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda."

Who was the "disciple"? Autobiography of a Yogi is written by Paramhansa Yogananda--and is the only book mentioned in Dreamcatcher associated with that religious philosophy. The mangled sentence in the quote incorrectly suggests some alternative literature by some "disciple" of Yogananda being the driving force behind Salinger's interest.

As for Scientology--though it's certainly a much smaller issue than my main suggestions--I think it's more accurate to say Salinger became disenchanted with Dianetics. I feel as it reads now it's slightly open-ended. At least from Dreamcatcher, Claire Douglas is quoted as saying, " He soon became disenchanted with that..."(pg. 94).

I can also acquire more quotes related to Vedanta and possibly Sri Ramakrishna in Joyce Maynard's book, as well as Ian Hamilton's and another biography that I'm sure mentions it is by Warren French, titled "J.D. Salinger Revisted". However, I think the Dreamcatcher quotes are more than sufficient. What's curious to me is how some of those quotes already cited in footnotes have not been used completely, or have been too heavily edited, so as to not reveal the full back-story contrasting Salinger's introduction to Autobiography of a Yogi. It's a biographical crime to ignore these key details.

In a matter totally unrelated to the editing I suggest for the article...A tangent I think is interesting to explore just as one curious reader to another, is these ever-changing beliefs being a psychological cult phenomenon in Salinger's post-war years. It is suggested somewhat expansively in Dreamcatcher pg. 96-107 and leaves room for a lot of thought. However, it is also very difficult to say where one Eastern sprituality quest really ends or begins with Salinger, I believe there are many elements in his reclusive mode of life that still mirror Vedantic Karma Theory, for example. And deeper elements in some of his fiction than Margaret Salinger grazes.

I've made some changes to address your concerns and will make some more later. The "disciple" of Yogananda was Lahiri Mahasaya--as you note, Mahasaya was actually the guru and so I have fixed the error. As for Vedanta and Vivekananda are already the focus of the second paragraph in this section, so I don't know how you can justify your claim that there's a "biographical crime". Those details are not ignored!! Re: scientology, I have added the word "disenchanted" per your request--I respectfully disagree that this was open ended before, but since it gave you that impression I have changed to your desired wording. --JayHenry (talk) 06:31, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

GA pass[edit]

This is a very good article on Salinger. Here are my suggestions for improvement beyond GA:

  • There isn't a ton of scholarship written on Salinger's works, but there is some. It would be a good idea to use more of that to discuss his literary style and the themes of his works. Books such as The Catcher in the Rye: New Essays would be particularly helpful, I think. Biographers tend to use what is called "biographical criticism" (it is one way of interpreting literature) - we want to make sure we don't leave out the other interpretations of his work. I see the article has some critics from the 1960s as well, but all of this could be expanded using more research.
  • I would delete the infobox. Infoboxes are optional and the "influences" fields here are a bit out of control. Readers should be presented with that information in context, where it makes sense (I like the "Influences" section, by the way). A text-heavy box also detracts from the image.
  • He started his freshman year at New York University in 1936 (purported to have considered studying special education) but dropped out the following spring. - parenthetical is confusing
  • The two writers began corresponding; according to Hemingway biographer Carlos Baker, Salinger wrote Hemingway in July 1946 that their talks "had given him his only hopeful minutes of the entire war". - confusing - Baker's or Salinger's words?
  • Salinger had confided to several people that he felt Holden Caulfield deserved a novel - confusing - remind the reader that Salinger wrote about Holden before this time
  • There is some minor overlinking of obvious words like "sue" - see WP:MOS-L for advice on linking.

Overall, this is an excellent article and I have no doubt that it can become an FA with a bit more research and refinement. Awadewit | talk 01:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I've made the last three of your six suggested changes. Hobbesy3 (talk) 16:59, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

He brought her to the United States, but the marriage fell apart after eight months and Sylvia returned to Germany. ------please clairfy--Shawnlandden (talk) 08:37, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

A break in reclusiveness[edit]

Given how infamous Salinger is for refusing to meet his fans, would it be worthwhile to mention the following event:

? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Following his death, and no longer in need of their protection of his privacy, the people of Cornish began to speak more freely about how often he was seen and how accessible he was to them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

J.D.Salinger, date of photograph[edit]

The photograph of Salinger captioned "Salinger in 1953" is the same photograph that was printed on the back of the first edition of "Catcher in the Rye". It therefore dates back to at least July 1951. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

JDS Early life, absurd ethnicity[edit]

"Jerome David Salinger was born in [[Manhattan, New York - he was half-Scottish and half-Irish.[1] His father, Sol Salinger, was a Jewish man of Polish origin who sold kosher cheese."

Hello, how on earth can JDS be half-Scottish and half-Irish and have a Jewish father of Polish descent? Trefalcon (talk) 01:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

The article had been vandalized so this didn't make any sense. It should have read that his mother was half-Scottish and half-Irish. I've fixed it so it's logical again. --JayHenry (talk) 02:02, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks --Trefalcon (talk) 01:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


Salinger has been mentioned on Colbert, he claiming that he will somehow get the recluse on his show. I suggest a vandelism lock in preemption. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 03:55, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I too vote for protection. ThreeOneFive (talk) 17:21, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Page protection shouldn't be used pre-emptively, you see. You should wait until vandalism occurs to warrant it. Powerslave (talk|cont.) 01:03, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

FA push[edit]

I think this has been sitting around close to FA status for long enough. I'd like to make that final push to get it across the line. Does anyone have any suggestions on how the section on Literary style and themes should best be expanded or subdivided? I think the other sections of the article are satisfactory. --JayHenry (talk) 18:01, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I asked María, an experienced editor with literature projects, for some suggestions. Here was her advice:

Salinger is looking great, and I think an FA push is definitely in its near future, but I agree that the themes need expanded. First of all, I would separate the style details from the thematic. Salinger's style(s) is sufficiently explained, I feel, but the common themes need to be better described and in more detail. This sentence is key: Recurring themes in Salinger's stories also connect to the ideas of innocence and adolescence, including the "corrupting influence of Hollywood and the world at large", the disconnect between teenagers and "phony" adults, and the perceptive, precocious intelligence of children. What else can be said about each? It would be great if subsections on each of these important themes could be developed. For example, the struggle through adolescence to adulthood as a theme: what role does it play in various works and what critical insight is there about it, specifically? It's like pulling teeth, but explicit examples from the works would help.

I took a quick look at some sources at Netlibrary and found Harold Bloom's J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, which has a section dedicated to thematic and structural analysis, which may be of help. That's where I got my above example from, in fact. If you'd like more suggestions for sources, just let me know and I'll put my reference librarian game face on. There isn't much, but there is some stuff out there. María (habla conmigo) 19:31, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Just for reference purposes... --JayHenry (talk) 05:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
As another note/to-do reminder, I've located two bibliographies of Salinger's work. I'll glance through them and see if there's anything relevant to be added. --JayHenry (talk) 01:43, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Influence on popular culture[edit]

I have noticed that the article does not make mention of Salinger's influence on modern pop culture, specifically when it comes to W.P. Kinsella's novel, Shoeless Joe. This novel went on to become, of course, the motion picture Field of Dreams which, unfortunately, does not mention Salinger. ArtemusDark (talk) 18:42, 28 July 2008

The difference the above makes is, I think, very harmful to the movie. In the novel, Ray visits Salinger, convinces him to go to a baseball game, to Minnesota, Iowa, and Salinger eventually heads off "to heaven" through the corn with the mission and desire to tell the world what it's like. In the movie, James Earl Jones plays a fictitious reclusive author.
I had heard that Salinger succesfully blocked the use of his character in the movie. Do celebrities have different rights over the use of their "character" in books vs movies? --Timbaldwin (talk) 22:11, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
A fictional depiction of a living person without their consent or cooperation in a film could be considered an infringement of their personality rights, or not. Salinger probably threatened to litigate it (he hadn't been at all happy about his use in the book), and the studio's lawyers probably thought it was better to just change the character's name than go through all that. Daniel Case (talk) 04:13, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

What about Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums" (the New-York vibe, the family saga thing), and P. T. Anderson's "Magnolia" (the children's quiz show if nothing else)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) (14:48, 28 November 2009)

The purported influence of Salinger, especially his Glass Family stories, on The Royal Tenebaums is discussed in that article. As for Magnolia, do you have a reference that indicates P. T. Anderson was influenced by Salinger in any way? The genius boy, for instance, who appears on the quiz show could be based on Teddy, from the story of the same name, but that is just supposition. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 00:40, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
That wouldn't work at all. Teddy never participated in any quiz shows. He was examined by academic groups but never in a game show like Stanley Spector in Magnolia. Moreover, Seymour Glass and the other childrenplayed under different names during their quiz show run, so that they would avoid some of the fame (the opposite of Magnolia's character, whose father pushed him that direction regardless of the consequences). You're way off with that, in fact, it is more of a blind guess then a suppostion, but I guess I can see where you might have guess that based on skimming Teddy.Jim Steele (talk) 00:41, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I was not proposing that Teddy was the source or inspiration, I was merely responding to the anonymous user's supposition, which is all it is. There is not, as far as I am aware, any source that indicates P. T. Anderson was influenced by Salinger. I certainly do not see any influence in his work. And it is not our place to speculate. Hence, my response to the anonymous editor. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 02:49, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

"The genius boy, for instance, who appears on teh quiz show could be based on Teddy..." I take it what was your theory, as the previous poster just mentioned Magnolia and the general potential for quiz show a la Salinger connection. You made the connection to Teddy, which, as I pointed out is off base. One one hand you say "I do not see and influence in his work" then after say "it is not our place to speculate." But if you're looking for Salinger's influece in Anderson then you are already specualting. Anyway, that being said, there is not mention of Teddy being in any game show as you mention--nor wanting to for that matter. I suppose there may have been an orange somewhere in Anderson's work at one time but hey the peels are here today gone tomorrow, right? Jim Steele (talk) 21:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references ![edit]

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "mehr" :
    • {{cite news |last=Mckinley |first=Jesse |url= |title=Iranian Film Is Canceled After Protest By Salinger |publisher=[[The New York Times]] |date=1998-11-21 |accessdate=2007-04-05}}
    • {{cite news |last=Mckinley |first=Jesse |url= |title=Iranian Film Is Canceled After Protest By Salinger |publisher=[[The New York Times]] |date=[[1998-11-21]] |accessdate=2007-04-05 |format= fee required}}

DumZiBoT (talk) 18:16, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

"Recent privacy invasions"?[edit]

This heading doesn't seem NPOV, and may violate BLP with respect to those alleged to violate his privacy. --NE2 05:16, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree that this section should have a different title. Do you have any suggestions? I'll try to brainstorm some myself. --JayHenry (talk) 05:26, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I changed it to "Recent publicity" because the sections describes the recent publicity Salinger has received. That he did not want the publicity is clear enough from the text. Does that seem like a good solution to everyone? --JayHenry (talk) 22:49, 9 August 2008 (UTC)


Due to recent vandalism as well as the fact someone inexplicably erased the Early Life section, this article should be locked to prevent edits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zo0ey999 (talkcontribs) 00:31, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Current religion[edit]

In the section: marriage, family and religious beliefs, the most recent belief of his that is mentioned is Christian Science, but that refers to years ago; the categories currently describe his religion only as Christian, not Christian Science. Can anyone clarify what religion and denomination he follows now? F W Nietzsche (talk) 03:46, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Does it matter? He lives not far from me and would likely echo the sentiment. If you've read his daughter's book he has changed religions like some girls change hair styles. If you've read his books you will have an idea of what religion(s) he follows. Jim Steele (talk) 23:22, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't matter insofar as now he is dead but the topic matters nonetheless this article isn't necessarily for those who have read his books but those who have not as well. I would be very interested to know what religion if any he was practicing at the time of his death. Crusadinggoonie (talk) 23:22, 3 July 2012 (UTC)


I see that Lennon's assassin has been added as one who was influenced by Salinger. Are the influence sections of the infoboxes supposed to be for literary influence, or general influence? The The Catcher in the Rye article notes that the book is associated with the assasination of Lennon, but not that it influenced Chapman. Is there any reliable evidence that it did so? It seems unreasonable to associate Salinger on his bio page with Chapman in that way without citation or explanation. Should Hinkley be added as well? Grcaldwell (talk) 09:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree, those boxes are for literary influences and Chapman should be removed. -- (talk) 12:43, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

The 2009 lawsuit[edit]

The June 2009 lawsuit is mentioned twice in the introduction. We have to combine that. The first mention says the suit is against the writer, the second one says it is against the publisher. The reference @ CNN was not clear about who J.D.S is suing. I'd be on the lookout as more sources emerge, could someone please do the same... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Keecheril (talkcontribs) 04:59, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I edited the sentence regarding speculation that the California/Windupbird project may be a stunt and removed the following: but "wind up" could have other connotations: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is the title of a 1997 novel by the popular Japanese writer Haruki Murakami which features a Holden Caulfield-esque protagonist. Not only was this merely unwarranted and unsubstantiated speculation, it's characterization of Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was incorrect - the protagonist was a husband in his mid-thirties and therefore not at all Caulfield-esque (I think the contributor may have been thinking of Kafka on the Shore, in which the protagonist is a troubled 15-year-old runaway). I believe in light of these changes, the [dubious – discuss] tag should removed, or at least moved to the end of a different sentence in the paragraph (assuming it is still applicable to another part of the paragraph). Sissnitz (talk) 00:28, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

A "globalization" issue[edit]

I've been noticing something rather annoying in bio articles on various authors from the Anglosphere: the mention of their impact on other literatures almost always approaches zero. Since I have recently added two articles about significant Romanian authors who were/are significantly indebted to Salinger, I wonder what level of info these articles expect on these, admittedly less important, issues - particularly since they are very often sourced from material in the vernacular. Does anyone seriously aim to include mention of these, or are we evolving into segregated spheres? As an extreme example of this, let me note that Edgar Allan Poe is an FA, but mentions next to nothing about Poe's immense influence outside the US, in very many countries, even though this has also been the subject of English-language critical literature (see here, just one in a long series of books American universities publish about the individual impact of American authors on a worldwide stage).

I realize this is not a stringent issue, but what exactly are we aiming for here? If I were to add, say, a word or two about Salinger's influence in Romania here, would anyone consider it irrelevant? What's more, is the ultimate goal to list Salinger's worldwide influence on writers that are themselves notable? If not, where does the influence stop? And, if it does, what is the level of detail we aim for?

Lastly, why does the infobox "influenced" section end in a comma? Dahn (talk) 10:22, 28 June 2009 (UTC)


Regarding initials in his names, the applicable style guidelines (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Middle names and abbreviated names) does allow that there's no consensus either way, but for article titles, the style does include a space. As this and the first mention of his initials in the article both contain a space, it seems sensible to do so in the heading above the picture, so I've made that change back to the previous spacing.  Frank  |  talk  09:34, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Death, vandalism[edit]

pls fix the vandalism, i dont know how —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


Should someone lock the page to prevent the vandalism that comes with the announcement of his death? Remember (talk) 18:29, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Done. --BorgQueen (talk) 18:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Death section?[edit]

Should the subject's death really have its own section? The layout guidelines say "Very short or very long sections and subsections in an article look cluttered and inhibit the flow of the prose." This section is currently only a couple of sentences, and neither should it be more. He was 91. He died. Anything more would be a lack of balance. A separate section can serve as an invitation for editors to give a presentist, sensationalist slant to what is a really good article. The standard for most Good or Featured Articles is to have separate sections if there is anything unexpected or otherwise noteworthy about the death. Otherwise it's subsumed under a "Later life and death" or simply mentioned at the end of "Later life". I don't want to start an edit war over this, but it just seems a bit ridiculous the way it is now. Lampman (talk) 20:23, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I disagree. I like the little death blurb. Keep it. If I'm researching JD, and I want to know when and how he died, it's nice to have a specific death section, instead of dredging through a jumbled mess on his later life. I don't think it's ridiculous. (talk) 22:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
me too. There isn't a lot of information on his death, but soon when people find out, there will be more than two sentences, trust me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's no smaller than what's at Kurt Vonnegut, and that seems fine. Zazaban (talk) 23:29, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Natural causes[edit]

What exactly is death by natural causes? Theres always something that kills you, people just don't die out of nothing. Was it a heart attack?

Well, the guy was over 90, so it's not surprising that he could have, and probably did, die of old age. (talk) 20:27, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Death by natural causes.  Acro 20:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Those were the words used in the statement released by his son, so that's all we have right now. Lampman (talk) 20:31, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Interesting article[edit]

Interesting article here from the Daily Mail which may be of interest to contributors. (talk) 23:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Unpublished novels[edit]

Is there any information on the number of works he had written since the mid-sixties but never finished? It's been speculated there's as many as ten finished novels in a vault somewhere, and at least two. This should be added to the article. Zazaban (talk) 09:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

There isn't much information on Salinger's writings since the 1960s because they haven't see the light of day. Specuations aren't necessary here, and until these novels, if in fact they are to be published, are released there won't be a section on them.

Jim Steele (talk) 20:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

This article states that there are 15 manuscript in the safe:

However I wouldn't use this as a source yet as it just looks like speculation, but there should definitely be a section on the outcome of these supposed works. First of all, it's an important biographical aspect of his life--whether they are to be published or not--that he kept writing through all these years and that they are a testament to that, if we find out they exist. Secondly, Mr. Salinger's wishes for them after his death if they are not to be published is just as noteworthy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:12, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand why the rumoured novels are listed under "books" and the unanthologized stories have recently been deleted. The novels in the safe haven't been corroborated by anyone yet, whereas the unpublished and unanthologized works were not only referenced by the author in letters, they are available to select people in certain locations.

Jim Steele (talk) 11:39, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

I think there should at least be mention of the speculation that Salinger had written works that haven't yet(or might not ever be) published, even if it turns out this isn't the case. What we shouldn't do is state, flat out, that there are unpublished works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

We know for sure that there are unpublished works. Several people, including the man himself, have said there are writings left in a vault somewhere, even with a short description of the filing system involved. It is indeed the case, so we should say so. Zazaban (talk) 18:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
We don't know anything for certain about these unpublished works. The references rely on a neighbor who once allegedly talked with him. Another is based on his daughter's accounts (one of which, of this "filing system" you mention, claims he marked some works "edit first then publish." Anyone who knows an iota about his preferences knows he wouldn't want something he wrote to be edited first, then published), all of which his son later refuted. Moreover, his agent has said there are no plans, immediate or otherwise, to release any new work. So, it is not "indeed the case" as you say.

Jim Steele (talk) 19:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

JimSteele is dead-on about this... I'm only visiting this article to see if there are updates about the unpublished books, and since there is absolutely nothing to the speculation it shouldn't be posted on Wikipedia. You Salinger mythologizers should recall the night his home in Cornish caught on fire in the 90s. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wgglass (talkcontribs) 00:53, 3 March 2012 (UTC)


The article used to say that Salinger's mother was half-Scottish and half-Irish, but this was recently changed to Scots-Irish. There is a difference between half-Scottish and half-Irish, which could mean having one parent who is Scottish and another who is Irish, and Scots-Irish, which refers to a specific group of people in Ulster who were ultimately of Scottish origin. We should try to figure out which is the case with Salinger's mother. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

It should be changed back to half-scottish, half-irish for now. Zazaban (talk) 20:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
"We should try to figure out which is the case with Salinger's mother." Good luck on that. Jim Steele (talk) 19:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Last interview in 1980?[edit]

This interview was in 2006, wouldn't that be his last interview (if they aren't any more recent interviews).

That wasn't an actual interview. That was satrical. Oh, how I weep for the future...

Jim Steele (talk) 17:12, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


I'm adding some unpublished stories previously unavailable to the public. The sources include a scholar who compiled an extensive archive of Salinger's work as well as the location of the stories now. I see the last ones were reverted because of lack of sources. Interestingly, only two of the dozen or so published short stories (uncollected) have sources. Seems they've been up for awhile without issue. Jim Steele (talk) 01:01, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

The title you spitefully removed at least had an article, unlike the two you added which I removed. That title has now been restored, and the title you added has been properly formatted. Cheers! ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 01:26, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Hi. The article was not removed out of apite but following your logic--that is the stories I added were removed because of a lack of source, so should TOFOBB. Isn't protocol to tag an article needing sources rather than removing it? Just wondering. Because TOFOBB has neither, and the bulk of his uncollected short stories have no sources at all. I don't know what you mean by the fact that the stories I had up did not have an article. I created both in my sandbox before adding them. They looked like articles to me.Could certainly be a mistake on my part...Jim Steele (talk) 11:39, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I will reserve comment on your perceptions. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 13:12, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'd appreciate the comments, if they would help my editing. I'm just going by your edit summary,not my perceptions, which said "unsourced" and didn't mention anything about a lack of title, as you mentioned above as the reason you reverted the edit. Thanks.Jim Steele (talk) 14:06, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
The fact that the TOFOBB article has no references is problematic---the article should get an unreferenced template stuck on it---but at least there is an article with some proof that the story is real. Titles without articles are worse, because no proof is offered that the story is real. Obviously, this is now moot as you have written the articles. Well done, too, I might add. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 14:31, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I'm going to add The Last and Best of the Peter Pans to the "unpublished" section. I think that should be enough for that section. There's more stories--certainly--that the author wrote/sold but never published but TLABOTPP is an important one, seeing how there's inklings of other characters in The Catcher in the Rye. As usual, if the article needs any work (and knowing my job it's highly likely) then feel free to revise as needed (not that you'd my permission to do so). In the meantime, I'm going to be adding much-needed references to the author's other short stories. Jim Steele (talk) 23:10, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Please note that the Shane Salerno documentary, now free for citation with its appearance, lists a number of unpublished works at its close, including some referenced here, and so can serve as a further source of this material. The documentary indicates two sources for the list it presents; <<>>. LeProf — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:55, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Photo caption in infobox[edit]

The peculiar photo caption in the infobox spends one line identifying the 1950 photo shown there, and then two more lines describing some other 1953 photo, the last that JDS allowed to be made, which appears nowhere in the article. I seek consensus to trim out the inappropriate final two lines. — HarringtonSmith (talk) 15:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Since no one objected, I removed it. — HarringtonSmith (talk) 17:18, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

File:J. D. Salinger as a child.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Wikipedia and Salinger[edit]

I have a strong opinion that the J.D. Salinger page should NOT exist.

In high school, someone gave me a copy of Ian Hamilton's book, and I threw it away without reading a page.

I understand Wikipedia is a not-for profit site, one to which I donate money regularly.

Is nothing sacred? If Salinger was content to have been mostly anonymous while walking mud among the lillies of the field and we who would imitate had we the conscience, compassion, and discipline, & it would seem in the opinion of his daughter, mostly harmless, would we each not be better off to let him have the same now?

Who among us can control others, and who among us would willingly give up that control for the sake of courtesy? I can state I am convinced a J.D. Salinger Wiki-page should not exist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Respectfully disagree. Just as WP policies apply to determine if a topic or individual is insufficiently noteworthy to recieve WP attention, they likewise apply to determine if they are sufficiently so. I believe there can be no question that JDS is sufficiently so, per WP policies, based on the wide publication of and interest in his work alone. Religious convictions of adherents can be argued as a basis for sensitivity in treatment (e.g., in treatments of the Prophet, in Islam), but not, I believe, for exclusion from coverage. With regard, LeProf. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Upcoming film (Salinger (film))[edit]

I tried to insert a reference to Salinger (film) into this article, but there didn't seem to be a great place to insert it where it wouldn't look awkward and out-of-place. --MZMcBride (talk) 19:47, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Further information on B Eppes final interview, from Salerno documentary, and NYT and Eppes sources, added to clarify[edit]

The nature of the Eppes interview was clarified from these indicated sources, because it is from reliable sources and casts a somewhat different light on this last interview and set of pictures (from June 1980). As well, the contradictory attributions of the related Paris Review article are indicated and cited. LeProf