A cup and a notebook in my house will never see the light of day. I have cast them down, locked them away, sealed them with a death kiss.
Why? What could they possibly contain? What horrors from beyond this world do these pieces of parchment have power over that would cause them to be lost in the seas of time?
Three words: High. School. Poetry.
Yes, yes, I spun a rhyme or two in a notebook, even reading them aloud at poetry readings to the overwhelming “meh” of my contemporaries.
What was the president of the Literary Club to do?
I do not even know what that last sentence meant.
So why do I keep them around and what the devil made me think of them now?
First, I keep them around to keep me humble. Pretty simple to be able to break out and read aloud the cringe worthy angst of a Kurt Cobain worshiping sixteen year old south Mississippi kid to stop myself from realizing that I should not ever criticize anyone about anything.
Second, to see how far I have come. I no longer write bad poetry. I write bad short essays/fiction and you can spend that gold.
Third, the cup was, like, from a pretty important party and the paper stuffed into it has fused together and to throw it away would be to burn a memory. I think. Also, it makes a great paperweight.
And finally, I just read an article that says new JD Salinger works will be published in the next seven years. I thought back on my old crap as I look forward to his old crap. That’s all.
Have to wonder, why now? Man’s been dead three years. Are his editor’s that harsh? Or is the material so odd.
Speculation abounds as to what the books are. Holden Caulfield, revisited (although the kid would be around 78, so that whole ‘teenage angst’ thing would be kinda bullshit). War stories? Stories continuing the Franny and Zooey family?
I hope not.
And don’t worry, I don’t hope he devolved into writing All In The Family slash fiction, either, although Meathead and Archie has some issues that someone should and probably has addressed.
I just hope it is one of three things:
epic works along the scale of Game of Thrones where Salinger is just going apeshit with a seven book crazy door stoppers that will ignite the writers of today.
quiet, home stories of growing older and dying. The kind of tales that Joyce write in Dubliners where the time passes and the world moves forward and real people just live and hope and enjoy and die.
High school poetry. I hope it is dreadful, just the worst emo shit he can imagine. Weepy tales of woe and hope and boobs and moonlight on boobs and foreign skies dripping with pain. And I hope it is glorious in its broken imagery.
So what do you think it will be? Will it be worth the wait? Should we even be tempted to care, as we were with Mark Twain’s autobiography? Do you think Salinger ever really cared about steamboats? Let me know in the comments.
Stay in and read a book.