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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, now living in "Portlandia"!

Friday, July 19, 2013

JD Salinger & Jane Austen Revisited



Three years ago, I posted about JD Salinger as a not-so-secret Janeite...

http://sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com/2010/06/jd-salinger-and-jane-austen.html

...and pointed out the greatest common denominator between Austen and Salinger, which was their sharing the most acute eye for a phony.

I just received a comment at my blog post yesterday, in which another Janeite who also loves Salinger's writing shared the following additional tidbit:

"Salinger also expresses his appreciation for Austen in his last published story, "Hapworth 16, 1924," a letter from young Seymour Glass to his parents

Salinger’s full story can be found here:

http://ae-lib.org.ua/salinger/Texts/Hapworth161924-en.htm

Just look at the following passage: among other books, Seymour requests that his parents send him

"Jane Austen, in entirety or in any shape or form, discounting 'Pride and Prejudice,' which is already in possession. I will not disturb this incomparable girl’s genius with dubious remarks; I have already hurt Miss Overman’s feelings inexcusably by refusing to discuss this girl, but I lack even the slight decency to regret it very much. Quite in a pinch, I would be willing to meet somebody at Rosings, but I cannot enter into a discussion of a womanly genius this humorous, magnificent, and personal to me; I have made some feeble, human attempts, but nothing at all meritorious."

Seymour Glass, Salinger's hypersensitive genius alter ego, refers to "this incomparable girl's [i.e., Jane Austen's] genius", and seems to channel Kipling's narrator in The Janeites when he writes "Quite in a pinch, I would be willing to meet somebody at Rosings..."

Nicely done, J.D.!

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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