The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on January 29, 2010 · Page 12
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 12

Des Moines, Iowa
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Friday, January 29, 2010
Page 12
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Page12A Friday, January 29, 2010 Metro Edition The Des Moines Register Salinger in 'Shoeless Joe' The reclusive author was a character in W.P. Kinsella's novel, which is set in Iowa. ByMIKEKILEN J.D. Salinger was revered by Iowans who read his classic "Catcher in the Rye" but also was an interesting footnote in Iowa literary history. The reclusive Salinger, who died Wednesday, was a character in author W.P Kinsella's novel "Shoeless Joe," the 1982 book that became the movie "Field of Dreams," both set in Iowa. "When I was writing the novel I was a fan of Salinger," said Kinsella, who lives in Canada but ahum ti"mmjywtm I V . A 2 Kinsella earned a master's degree at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1978. " 'Catcher in the Rye' was the quintessential book of growing up male in North America." In Kinsella's book, the main character Ray Kinsella takes Salinger to a baseball game to discover why he was called to build the field of his dreams. "What if which is what authors spend their time considering what if Ray got into this adventure when he goes off to wherever he goes off to," author Kinsella mused Thursday. The ball field, today a tourist attraction outside Dyersville, and the movie's lines ("If you build it, he will come," "Is this heaven? ... It's Iowa") are now firmly Job searching made easy. careeibuildetio' 1 f 4 V I n n pirn featured part of Iowa folklore. Kinsella said the working title of the book was "The Kidnapping of J.D. Salinger." After a name change and publication of "Shoeless Joe," Salinger's lawyers wrote Kinsella, outraged about the portrayal of the world-wary author. "Salinger made a career out of being publicized for not seeking publicity," Kinsella said. "It was controlled and planned, and it kept his name in the media for 50 years." But the lawyers had a warning: "In a legalese way, they basically said we don't have enough money to sue you but we will (expletive) on your wish to use it in a movie," Kinsella said. That's why, in the "Field of Dreams" movie, Ray Kinsella seeks out fictional author Terence Mann. "What could he have said? Look how I am being portrayed?" Kinsella asked, laughing. "In reality, I'm a surly S.O.B. who sits in a bunker and shoots at tourists?" Kinsella said he never met Salinger, despite rumors that he researched with the author. He never wanted to meet him. "What am I going to say, 'I admire your work'?" But Kinsella said he learned that Salinger has books he wants published after his death. Kinsella, who is in his 70s, said he also is facing death because of failing kidneys and hopes to finish his own finale in the next couple years. "One last kick at the cat," he said. r. . r V RAGBRAI A 31 SALINGER FROM PAGE l A most publicity, he was often called the Howard Hughes of American letters. His silence inspired a range of reactions from literary critics, some characterizing it as a form of cowardice and others as a cunning strategy that, despite its outward intentions, helped preserve his mythic status in American culture. Still others interpreted his withdrawal as the deliberate spiritual stance of a man who, shying from the glare of celebrity, immersed himself in Eastern religions, particularly Zen Buddhism and Hindu Ve-dantic philosophy. His stories heavily autobiographical, humorous and cynical focused on highly idiosyncratic urban characters seeking meaning in a world transformed by the horrors of World War II, in which Salinger was a direct participant. His stellar fictional cre ation was Holden Caul-field, the teenage anti-hero of "The Catcher in the Rye," who was, like Salinger, unsuccessful in school and inclined to retreat from world he perceived as disingenuous and hostile to his needs. A prototypical misfit, Caulfield apparently became a fixation for the criminally disturbed, including Mark David Chapman, who killed John Len- non, and John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan. But Caulfield also cared about children and other innocents, exhibiting moral outrage and a compassion for underdogs that resonated with the genera tion that came of age in the 1960s. wnen renowned psychiatrist Robert Coles lived among civil rights activists in the South in the late 1950s and early 1960s, "scarcely a day went by that Salinger's name wasn't - W ml FLORIDA TIMES-UNION FILE PHOTO In this May 11, 1982, photo, J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher in the Rye," meets actress Elaine Joyce at her performance in"6 Rms RivVu"atthe Alhambra Dinner Theater in Jacksonville, Fla. Salinger died Wednesday at 91 . I What's in Salinger's safe? The death this week of J.D. Salinger ends one of literature's most mysterious lives and intensifies one of its greatest mysteries: Was the author of "The Catcher in the Rye" keeping a stack of finished, unpublished manuscripts in a safe in his house in Cornish, N.H? Are they masterpieces, curiosities or random scribbles? And if there are publishable works, will the author's estate release them? The Salinger camp isn't talking. Margaret Salinger, the author's daughter, wrote in a memoir published in 2000 that J.D. Salinger had a precise filing system for his papers: A red mark meant the book could be released "as is," should the author die. A blue mark meant that the manuscript had to be edited. I A work of astounding impact Sales of "The Catcher in the Rye" are astonishing more than 60 million copies worldwide and its impact incalculable. ? Decades after publication, the book remains .s a defining expression of that most of dreams: to never grow up. Hillal Italia, Associated Press mentioned," he recalled in an article for the New Republic almost two decades later. In the ensuing decades, "Catcher" became one of the most-banned and most-taught books in the country. Salinger also created the neurotic Glass family, who first appeared in stories published in the American a. 1940s and '50s. Among the best-known are two long pieces published in the New Yorker in the 1950s and later combined in the book "Franny and Zooey" by Little, Brown in 1961. The Glasses also were featured in the collections "Nine Stories" (1953) and "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction" (1963). An unauthorized collection, "The Complete Uncollected Short Stories of J.D. Salinger," was mysteriously published in 1974 and went out of print after some 25,000 copies were sold. It contained 21 pieces that originally appeared in magazines in the 1940s but that Salinger never wanted reprinted. The bootlegged edition so outraged the author that he broke two decades of silence when he sued to stop its sale. In a rare interview, Salinger not only condemned the pirating but also tried to explain his extraordinary reluctance to share his writing with readers. "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing," he told the New York Times in 1974. "It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But Reports show airline botched bomb response Detroit Free Press Detroit, Mich. The Dec. 25 bombing attempt aboard Northwest Flight 253 touched off a series of blunders that deprived emergency ground crews of critical information and exposed travelers in the McNamara Terminal to danger if another bomb or accomplice had been on board, aviation specialists said Thursday. The flight from Amsterdam with nearly 300 people aboard taxied to Gate 24 instead of going to an isolated area where baggage and passengers could be screened for explosives a move several terrorism security experts called highly inappropriate. Despite crew and passengers having subdued a suspect who tried to ignite explosives in his underwear, Northwest pilots radioed air traffic control only about a disturbance I write just for myself and my own pleasure." Fans regularly traveled to the remote New England hamlet to find Salinger but rarely made contact. He lived on a hill behind high walls, where a sign warned trespassers to keep out. "He just doesn't want anything to do with the rest of us," Lillian Ross, the longtime New Yorker writer and Salinger friend, once noted. Salingar spant 10 yaars writing "The Catcher in the Rye," which opens with 17-year-old Caulfield in a California mental hospital describing three days he had spent in New York atter tiunKing out ot scnooi for the third time. The rest of the book shows Caulfield as he heads for collapse in a series ot adventures and . misadventures that veer j between the screamingly 1U111IJ CU1U LUG UH-IJ sad. i The novel is written entirely in the vernacular ' nf an imner-middle-class. adolescent Manhattanite of the era. Caulfield litters his sentences with a lazy "and all" (as in how his parents were "nice and all") and is generous with obscenities, t He is kind to children but distrusts most everyone else, calling anyone or anything he dislikes "crumby" or "phony." The book quickly earned a spot on the New York Times best-seller list and stayed there for 30 weeks. ,: The Book-of-the-Month Club made it a main se-lection, an unusual honor J for a first-time novelist. "Read five pages," club editor Clifton Fadiman ' wrote, and "you are inside s Holden's mind, almost as incapable of escaping from it as Holden is himself." But T. Morris Longstreth 1 in the Christian Science Monitor condemned it as j "not fit for children to read" and said Caulfield was "pre- posterous, profane, and pa- i thetic beyond belief." 1 James Stern in the New f York limes , adopted a i voice similar to Salinger's protagonist when he wrote that the book "gets kind of monotonous. And (Salin- Jj ger) should've cut out a lot about those jerks and all at that crumby school." 1 In 1953, Salinger left Manhattan for New Hamp- J shire, holing up in a remote 1 rural spot of the sort that ' Holden Caulfield longed to escape to. Novelist Herbert Gold once asked Salinger for permission to reprint one of his stories in an anthology-Salinger actually wrote back, Gold recounted in the 2002 book "Letters to J.D. Salinger." His answer, however, was no. Gold lost the letter but 40 years later still remembered Salinger's enigmatic last words on refusing a place in the anthology: T have my reasons." a man with firecrackers, records show. Airport police and fire reports show: Baggage handlers continued to unload luggage from the plane even though a ramp supervisor said he believed he overheard terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutal-lab say, "There's a bomb on the plane" as he was i escorted off. The area wasn't evacuated; there was no immediate search for a bomb. Authorities moved the aircraft to an isolated area only after a passenger who sat next to Abdulmutallab told authorities the suspect had left behind a carry-on bag. That was two hours after the plane landed. Delta Air Lines, which merged with Northwest, issued a statement Thursday saying its crew had acted appropriately in going to the gate.

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