It was kind of an astonishing shock to learn that the reclusive author was a fairly awesome 91 yrs old when he gently passed on the other day of heart failure. More than a little existentially ironic that…
“What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”
Salinger’s fictional protagonist imagined his death this way:
Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. 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.
So will Salinger be unceremoniously dumped into a nearby river or something? Or will he be memorialized in “a goddam cemetatry” against his wishes?