Samara O'Shea

J.D. Salinger Please Don’t be like Stephen Joyce

“Lawyers for Salinger, 90, have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, seeking to force a recall of what it says is a copycat book titled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, by someone writing under the name JD California. It also seeks unspecified damages.” [From the Telegraph]

I read yesterday that J.D. Salinger was gearing up to cause trouble for this unnamed writer: JD California. I think it’s sad. He hasn’t plagiarized any of Salinger’s work. He’s simply taking a character created by Salinger and continuing on. Isn’t that what literature is for? For the people to enjoy and be inspired by? Perhaps interpret? The Margaret Mitchell estate granted the rights for a sequel to be written for Gone with the Wind. Readers know that it’s a new author’s interpretation of an old author’s story. If they don’t want to read it, they won’t. It doesn’t diminish the original work in any way.

This act makes Salinger come off as a bitter old man. Just like Stephen Joyce. If you have two minutes, Google Stephen. Skim a few articles and you’ll see what a miserable person he is. He’s so resentful of being the unaccomplished grandson of James Joyce that he wields the power he has (which is unfortunately a lot for the time being) to stop public readings of Ulysses and other Joyce works. Come on! This is how James Joyce is going to live on and you want to stop it at all costs. I don’t understand!