Now come the moments JD Salinger fans have been waiting for--the days and weeks and months after his death when, just maybe, we learn what the hell was going on inside that compound in New Hampshire. We've gotten a morsel or two, yes, a lot of it certainly fantastical, but the one burning question we all had--is he still writing?--was never adequately answered. So, what now? Will we be treated to a series of novels and stories that have been stashed away decades, out of the reach of grabbing hands? Had he been hoarding great literary works as a way of getting back at us for bugging the bejeezus out of him when all he wanted was to not be bugged? Are there crates filled with the lunatic ramblings of a man, who, by his own daughter's account, spent a good deal of time imbibing his own urine? Or will the hunt for his body of works turn up the literary equivalent of Al Capone's vault?
Dunno. My guess is that whatever he was doing in his exile will fall far short of the baloney we've been cooking up all this time. I feel pretty certain we'll find some stuff out though. If we couldn't quite manage to leave him alone in life, we're sure not going to in death. Really it's pretty sad to think that a certain percentage of his fans have been waiting for him to die, but I'm sure that's the case. I wonder how many years his obituary has been sitting in a computer file, ready to upload after a couple of tweaks.
What I do know is that the man who wrote arguably the quintessential American novel of the 20th century, the man who made an English major out of me, is dead. I'm going to spend a few days with the 4 gifts that he was good enough give us.