I love Catcher in the Rye … it’s a book I’ve read again and again, like a compulsion. Sometimes I actually miss Holden and want to revisit his almost-unwitting rebellious angst. I identify well with him, which is probably making you think I’ve taken leave of my senses.
Nevertheless, imagine my chagrin when learning that Salinger actually sued the writer and publisher of a sequel to Catcher in the Rye (https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090602/0734325094.shtml). I first read this while considering writing a sequel myself. I feel that this action is hoarding the character known and loved by so many, and is grossly ironic. Here’s what I think … it was stupid AND short-sighted of Salinger. It’s also ironic because he did the very thing he/his estate is kiboshing.
Let’s take the Star Trek franchise as an example. Could we quantify the interest generated by the countless books written both in and around Star Trek canon? Roddenberry didn’t squash such efforts to grace his brilliant sci-fi creation. I should think he found it a high form of praise regardless of whether he actually liked each tale spun by another. I know I would. Hell … if someone took something I wrote and expanded on it, even posthumously, why would I ever mess with that?
It begs the question … why did Salinger? And … further … if we’re going to argue copyright infringement, then who’s arguing for Robert Burns? What if Burns had been alive to squash use of the poem Salinger jacked for HIS story?
Thoughts? Please comment … at least in this context we can discuss the work without some formerly reclusive dead guy’s estate suing us into oblivion.
©2016 Kathe Messina