Wednesday, February 3, 2010

J.D. Salinger

In this morning's Post (here), Kathleen Parker uses the overlap of J.D. Salinger's death last week and the publication by Andrew Young of the John Edwards tell-all to reflect on -- and lament -- the end of privacy in America.

Parker pines for more people like Salinger and Harper Lee, who zealously guard their private lives and are not interested in fame or publicity. She frames privacy in terms of "enigma" -- I really like thinking about it that way.

Here's an excerpt:
As we mourn the death of an author who prized personal space above fame and fortune, we might also mourn the dearth of enigma. Ultimately, respecting another's privacy is an act of self-respect, of which we have too little.
When I read Catcher in the Rye in Mr. Gardner's 11th grade class, I was definitely a fan. I did not identify with Holden (he was way too alternative and urban for me), but I loved the way the book was written and the way it put me uniquely inside the head of someone my age: this made me think more vividly about what was going on in other people's heads, and how they might be viewing the world totally differently than me.

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