Dave Eggers Remembers Salinger

In a brief piece on the late author, Dave Eggers touches on the idea that J. D. Salinger had been writing for the last 50 years, as some have hoped, and just hadn’t published anything. He doesn’t sound hopeful.

To me the question of whether or not he continued to write strikes at the heart of the nature of writing itself. If he indeed wrote volumes and volumes about the Glass family, as has been claimed, it would be such a curious thing, given that the nature of written communication is social; language was created to facilitate understanding between people. So writing books upon books without the intention of sharing them with people is a proposition full of contradictory impulses and goals. It’s like a gifted chef cooking incredible meals for forty years and never inviting anyone over to share them.

01.31.2010Tagged with:    

One for the Good Guys

Dave Eggers has a review of the new collection of early, previously unpublished short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Look at the Birdie, in the Times.

The 14 stories in “Look at the Birdie,” none of them afraid to entertain, dabble in whodunnitry, science fiction and commanding fables of good versus evil. Why these stories went unpublished is hard to answer. They’re polished, they’re relentlessly fun to read, and every last one of them comes to a neat and satisfying end.