TLS signed “As ever, Jerry,” one page, 8.5 x 11, [April 1965]. Letter to Joyce Miller Hodgins, formerly a staff writer at The New Yorker and Salinger's 'old flame,' confidant, friend, soulmate, and peer. In part: "It would be fine, I agree, if we could arrange a meeting soon. Two non-abstract types ought to be able to work out something practical. I don't know how, at the moment, but probably something will come to mind. The truth be said, the non-abstract truth, the season of the year puts me in mind of subway-tale finales, in an unabashed extreme way. At one point or another, we really should have arranged for the setting and action. On the other hand, considering what you told me on the phone about emotional involvement, it's probably better we didn't get any more idiosyncratic notions than we already had. So hard to know for sure. Keep well, old Joyce. I'll wait for your note and just send this on to you. Fond and easy thoughts of you, be assured." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope and Joyce's retained carbon copy of her letter to Salinger, dated April 2, 1965.
A fascinating letter in which Salinger, like his famed protagonist Holden Caulfield, writes that he prefers the "non-abstract truth" to hyperbole, insincerity, and hypocrisy. His comments about a "subway tale" finale illustrate how he viewed even his personal life through the lens of a writer, evaluating how real situations and relationships could be transferred to the "setting and action" of a short story or novel. A scarce and superb offering from one of the great American authors of the 20th century.
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