JD Salinger died yesterday. And you know what? I don't care.
I liked JD Salinger. A lot. Nine Stories tops the list as my favorite body of short stories. Franny and Zooey is up there too. Ahhh, the Glass Family remains a genius invention. (I'd be remiss not to mention Catcher and the Rye; while I liked it, it was his short stories that made me swoon.) So yeah, I was a fan. But he was 91 years old. That's a really long life. And for decades he didn't want to be found. Which means that in artistic terms, he might as well have been dead already.
There will likely be volumes of unpublished work emerging from his estate. The executors and family and whoever else is in his will will comb through every belonging: the library, the journals, the neatly typed sheets of paper (I have a hard time picturing him in front of a Mac), and the world will finally have a chance to read what he had been hiding for the last five decades. Likely, millions will gobble up the new works, longing for that familiar ghost. Except he didn't want us to. He *chose* not to publish -- it's not like he couldn't get a book deal -- so to read what he intended to be hidden just seems a little uncool. All this may be moot because he could have had some clause in his will that was all like, "X stories are to be published posthumously. Use Y editor. Blah blah blah." But unless that provision is there, count me out. I'll remain, cherishing his earlier works like an old friend who's moved far away: we visit every few years and pick up just where we left off.