Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Lost Novel

J.D. Salinger is not dead.

Many are surprised to learn that Salinger is among the living. Old, but alive.

Decades ago the champion novelist did a weird thing. He retreated from public life, but not from his work. Although his last published work appeared some 40 years ago, we've not seen the last of J.D. Salinger. We'll be hearing from him after he's gone.

According to literary folklore, Salinger has continued to write. In fact, there are accounts that he is sitting on a treasure trove of novels and stories, the sum product of his self-imposed exile. They're meticulously organized and edited; they're ready for publication.

Woody Allen is not J.D. Salinger. But he too should enjoy a posthumous publication or two:
He [Allen] fears that his fame may also work against him. 'I tried to write a novel,' he says. 'And I finished it. But I didn't want to have a novel out there that would be regarded as the work of a celebrity. I didn't want it looked down upon or embraced because it had a celebrity name. I wanted to write a novel that could hold its own with professional novels, and I didn't think that this could, so I have it in my drawer. I just didn't think it was good enough.'
Woody Allen's "lost" novel. It makes one wonder what else is in that drawer.

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