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LiteratEye #44: Disinformation: Did Jewish Author J.D. Salinger Really Marry a Nazi Official after World War II?

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Filed under: Literary Hoaxes

Here’s the forty-fourth installment of LiteratEye, a series found only on The Art of the Prank Blog, by W.J. Elvin III, editor and publisher of FIONA: Mysteries & Curiosities of Literary Fraud & Folly and the LitFraud blog.


LiteratEye #44: Disinformation: Did Jewish Author J.D. Salinger Really Marry a Nazi Official after World War II?
By W.J. Elvin III
December 18, 2009

200px-JD_SalingerJ.D. Salinger, the quirky author of The Catcher in the Rye fame, slammed a door in the world’s face many long years ago. But he pops up now and then, mostly in the form of legal representatives, to whomp up on anyone invading his privacy.

Salinger is very much in the news these days due to his efforts to block publication of a “copycat” book.

There is another story, though, that hasn’t caught the attention of literary pundits in the U.S. – yet. It relates to an allegation in his daughter’s highly publicized “tell all” biography, Dream Catcher: A Memoir.

Just a bit of background: The Catcher in the Rye, as readers from Melbourne to Murmansk certainly know without it being said, is one of the most influential books of the last century.

Most survivors of the education mill of the ’60s and ’70s have probably read the book, either because it was required or because it was forbidden. Having sold 35 million copies, sales figures still run to 250,000 copies a year.

The book was denounced as a corrupter of youth. And, given certain sinister associations, maybe the tight-sphincter set was on to something in fearing its impact.

Among obsessive Catcher fans were John Hinckley, who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan, and Mark David Chapman, who assassinated John Lennon.

But that’s another story, and so, back to the “Salinger married a Nazi” allegation. (more…)

LiteratEye #30: Can Holden Caulfield Come Out and Play? You”™ll Have to Ask the Judge

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues

Here’s the thirtieth installment of LiteratEye, a series found only on The Art of the Prank Blog, by W.J. Elvin III, editor and publisher of FIONA: Mysteries & Curiosities of Literary Fraud & Folly and the LitFraud blog.


LiteratEye #30: Can Holden Caulfield Come Out and Play? You”™ll Have to Ask the Judge
By W.J. Elvin III
September 4, 2009

salingercatcher-200J.D. Salinger has been hiding out in the woods for the past fifty years or so, rarely heard from except when disputes have drawn him into legal battles. As has been widely reported, one such battle is going on right now, that being his suit against Fredrik Colting, a Swedish author.

There”™s no need to trouble you with a lot of detail since it”™s been in the news. The problem is Colting”™s new book, 60 Years Later.

You have to go to Amazon UK to have a look at the “sequel” to Salinger”™s Catcher in the Rye, since the courts have thus far blocked publication in the U.S..

Salinger”™s reclusive nature has sparked considerable media curiosity over the years. What”™s up with that guy? Most likely Salinger, now 90, simply had enough of life in the hustling, bustling outside world in his youth. Some of us, so it seems, just aren”™t wired for playing hardball in the fast lane. (more…)