“I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
JD Salinger, famed it seems as much for fleeing fame as for his handful of books, withdrew into a fierce reclusion, hiding out in rural New Hampshire half a century and more, declining interviews and all the other stuff of public life. Doing so perhaps he showed himself merely an obtuse crank, or perhaps instead an prescient critic of the trajectory of America, where nowadays people seek out fame in and for itself, detached from any grounds for its being. Catcher in the Rye became a kind of Pilgrim’s Progress for some generations of disenchanted youth and remains a good seller today, considered an American classic, up with Mark Twain.
[Assuming what’s in the paper is kind of true, for another take on Salinger see this.]