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   Don't take this wrong, but what makes psychologists authorities on 
short stories?

  If you could only query one group on this, would it be a dozen good 
short story writers and novelists or a dozen good psychologists? Would 
you rather read the short stories of a dozen good short story writers or 
a dozen good psychologists or a dozen literary theorists? The average 
lover of good writing would have to say the first, and it is quite 
possible that that is because that group has a talent, has paid its 
dues, and actually /knows what it it doing/ in the realm of short story 
writing. So if Salinger, who is patently an excellent short story 
writer, says what he says about paying attention to the story, not the 
life, I think I'm justified in suspecting he has a legitimate reason for 
that, not just that he doesn't want his "private" life equated to his 
creative work. And having had a cinematic peek at his private life, I'm 
glad I agree with him.


On 10/24/2013 2:25 PM, David Boyd wrote:
> Personally, I'd take issue with the 'to get the story' bit: isn't it 
> about (multi) layers of meaning, whereby one layer carries no pre 
> knowledge etc but other 'takes' may factor-in the biography, or the  
> textual scholarship, or the allusions, etc etc and result in  a far 
> richer-layered sandwich?
> Salinger clearly opted to rely on WYSIWYG, but  the richest, 
> most-multi-layered understanding of his works to me can't 
> realistically exist without knowledge and understanding of his 
> personal life: the two are interwoven and indivisible, as would be 
> thought by most psychologists, if not wacky literary theorists
>
>
> On 24 October 2013 17:24, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>       Just out of plain old curiousity, has anyone seen the
>     documentary out for a while now on J. D. Salinger?  It is, to put
>     it in non-critical terms, not exactly an upper; and while I went
>     to it expecting some dirty laundry to be aired, getting it full
>     force for an hour and forty-five minutes was not what I bargained
>     for. One, or at least this one, feels rather queasy on leaving the
>     theatre with that much negativity to digest.
>
>      The semi-on topic part is that about midway through, the narrator
>     reported that Salinger was adamant that a reader of his stories or
>     of any fiction/poetry does not need to know anything about the
>     author's life to get the story (or poem or artwork). The
>     documentary, of course, made many lines of connection between
>     Salinger's life and events or characters in his stories. To be
>     sure, knowing now what he went through in WWII adds to my
>     appreciation of the background, and in some cases foreground, of
>     Nine Stories.
>
>      My Eliot prof., Eric Thompson, used Nine Stories in the senior
>     seminar course I took with him on literary theory. It was quite
>     eye opening, as it seemed to me then that he got more out of those
>     stories than other profs got out of the giants of literature. And
>     all without referring to Salinger's life, though he did refer to
>     his own WWII experience in relation to "returning with your
>     faculties intact."
>
>     Ken A
>
>