While reading the many articles dedicated to the late (need I mention great and extremely talented) J.D. Salinger, I came across a story published in the Australian, which touched upon Salinger and his need to write. In today’s celebrity-obsessed culture, writes Erica Wagner, Salinger did not write because publication awaited him, but “because a real writer writes because he must.”
This sentiment is echoed in a Telegraph article, where it mentions the rumors–persisting for 45 years–that although Salinger shied away from publishing, he was still very much writing and that there could be as many as 10 novels tucked away in his safe.
But perhaps most interesting, in a New York Times article, Verlyn Klinkenborg explains that “to send a work out into the world, was, to Mr. Salinger, an intrusion”–which posed the question: is it really possible to be a writer without publishing?
It’s interesting to read about the many sides of J.D. Salinger’s life, but what really struck me was the fact that for many decades, this incredible author wrote purely for the sake of writing, because he had a need to write–he was not putting pen to paper for literary awards or outside praise. This kind of passion is what will make me enjoy reading his books for years to come.