Sunday, August 25, 2013

Second acts

Didn't sleep a wink last night. Didn't feel well. Finally nodded off about 7:30.

But that's not what I wanted to talk to you about. Hope you're having a good day.

I'm spending Sunday afternoon the way I usually do, with the papers and Jonathan Schwartz.

Interesting news from the literati today. Looks like the late J.D. Salinger, reclusive and retreating in life, may publish again. If this New York Times story is true, all those hidden works we have heard about may see the light of day. (For you "Field of Dreams" fans, the Terrence Mann character in the movie was actually named J.D. Salinger in the novel, "Shoeless Joe.")

How about that?

 The director of a to-be-released film on Salinger is quoted in the article as saying this is going to be a second act unlike any other, especially for a writer. Jonathan Karp, publisher of Simon & Schuster, says it will be the publishing event of the decade. Schwartz just corrected him on his radio show:

"Of the century!"

Second acts are relatively rare in American life. Scott Fitzgerald claimed there aren't any, although scholars have argued for years over what he meant.

Sinatra had one. So, too, did Tony Bennett. And Elvis.

And Churchill. And Nixon. And a few others.  

So, in the truest sense, they happen.  But rare they are. Rare indeed.

For some reason, we as a country love to build up people, then watch them fall. I never have understood that.

Still don't, on a Sunday afternoon or any other day of the week.

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