Don't take this wrong, but what makes psychologists authorities on
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
On 10/24/2013 2:25 PM, David Boyd
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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