Posts Tagged ‘huck finn’

Aint No Right: the Verdict is In…

July 2, 2009


I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of karmic justice, the older I’ve grown. I’m not a pessimist–but I know what’s happening (most of the time)…

Let’s face it, good is rarely rewarded. Hard work doesn’t pay off too frequently. Look at the facts:

Rush Limbaugh is rich, popular and successful…that alone proves that there’s no karmic justice in this world…but that’s just one example. Barry Bonds still holds the home run record, asterisk or not…The Octo-Mom is getting her own TV show, and the media will continue to enable all that’s wrong in this world…Bush gets to retire with no scrutiny of his wrong-doings…

Rarely is the world fair.

I mean for the love of god….They’re remaking the cult-classic film, the Warriors…Seriously.

Today, however, my faith was restored a little.

Salinger won’t be coldplayed…not today.

This morning, as I sorted through the headlines of the day, I noticed a big one; it just jumped off the screen and did a little metaphorical happy-dance before my weary eyes…

60 Years Later Blocked: Judge Says No to Salinger Spinoff

From Larry Nuemeister via the AP:

NEW YORK — A Swedish author whose new book was promoted as a sequel to J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” cannot publish it in the United States because it too closely mirrors Salinger’s classic without adequate parody or critique, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Swedish author Fredrik Colting tried every avenue of argument and defense, claiming it was:

  1. A critical examination of Salinger’s most famous character, Holden Caulfield (U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts shot that claim down as “problematic and lacking in credibility.”)
  2. The depiction of a character in Colting’s book representing Caulfield 60 years later was a parody. (To this she said She said that Colting and his publishers made no indication before the lawsuit was filed that the book was meant as a parody or critique of Salinger’s work.)

She went on to say, “Quite to the contrary, the original jacket of ’60 Years’ states that it is ‘… a marvelous sequel to one of our most beloved classics. It is simply not credible for defendant Colting to assert now that this primary purpose was to critique Salinger and his persona.”

So there it is…Salinger’s classic character, a character as big as American youth and angst, has been protected.

We’re lucky he was still alive to challenge the publication…had he not defended his work himself, I doubt the ruling would be the same…

Sadly, Mark Twain wasn’t around to do the same. I have no doubt he’s spinning in his grave at every turn of the page of the atrocities of such writers as Lee Nelson, Greg Matthews and Jon Clinch



Ain’t No Right: an Update…

June 3, 2009


Last month I climbed up on my soapbox to wax angrily about lazy authors hacks who make sequels to other author’s books, or as I like to say, coldplayed great literature…

The rant was set off by an article I read about some schmuck who wrote a sequel to Catcher in the Rye, taking hostage one of the literary world’s great flawed heroes

I was livid about this, as were many a writer, critic and every day joe…

Apparently, so was Salinger…from Thomas Zambito of the NY Daily News:

There’s only one “Catcher.”

Reclusive author J.D. Salinger has sued to block publication of a new novel billed as a sequel to his classic tale of teenage angst, “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Salinger yesterday sued the publishers of “60Years Later: Coming Through the Rye” in Manhattan Federal Court for infringing his copyright for the novel as well as the main character, Holden Caufield.

The book by an anonymous author, who calls himself “J.D. California,” finds Caufield at a retirement home in upstate New York, according to the lawsuit.

“It is a ripoff pure and simple,” the suit claims.

Salinger, 90, has never written a sequel to his 1951 classic.

I’ll update this curious event as it unfolds…


Ain’t No Right

May 19, 2009


The world has gotten so lazy…So regrettably devoid of new ideas…

It would seem everyone is going for the fast, easy buck. The insta-celeb mentality has taken over pretty much every vocation from here to eternity.

I’m most troubled by the writers. We’re supposed to be the creative ones—the minds above the masses…We’re supposed to be part of the cultural compass, not mere navigators in the water.

Yet here, in this the most noble of creative paths, laziness and formula win out, just as reality shows topple over the sitcoms like a juggernaut wired on redbulls and meth.

And I’m not talking about those mind numbing series of children’s books about angst ridden teen vampires and snotty British wizards that far too many adults are reading in lieu of adult fiction…

It’s the remakes and unauthorized sequels…

Let’s start with television…that evil box that constantly calls to me from the other room with promises of mind numbing déjà vu.

I should have followed Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s advice and killed my television, but instead I have to fall witness to the new 90210

Didn’t anyone learn from Saved By the Bell: the Next Class? I hear they’re remaking Melrose Place, next.

They weren’t that great the first time around, why would they be any better this time? Come on SAG writers…you’re better than this…make something up…be creative…or quit your day job so better people can step in.

Then there are the movies. These writers gave up a long, long time ago, remaking anything and everything…Psycho was a mess and I’m still pissed off about Planet of the Apes. So help me god, if they remake the Warriors, someone’s ass will be kicked.

But what really troubles me, more than the movie and television hacks, are the authors who are following this horrible and disturbing trend…

Stop making sequels to other people’s books. Hijacking an author’s characters is like kidnapping their child and doing inappropriate things to them. This is someone’s creation, and to feel you have the right to decide someone else’s character’s fate is a little self centered…

Let’s start with some of the worst offenders, Lee Nelson, Greg Matthews and Jon Clinch, each of whom saw fit to jump on perhaps the most famed, revered and iconic American author in the history of time’s coat tails—Mark Twain.

First and foremost, there’s Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians…this book was started by Twain, but never finished before his death. So Lee Nelson decides he has the right to do it for him. It’s horrible, and wrong. The worst offense being the ultimate fates left for Tom, Huck and Jim…

Mark Twain would have never written anything that is so clearly intended to promote the Mormon agenda. He had nothing but disdain for the Latter Day Saints (LDS)…they were the Scientologists of their time… And Nelson has Tom Sawyer converting to Mormonism because it’s the “first religious book that he’s read that’s made sense.”

That alone is blasphemous enough to prove my point. Nelson did the exact opposite of what Twain would have wanted…


And then there’s The Further Adventures of Huck Finn, by Greg Matthews…because Greg, like Nelson, apparently, was incapable of coming up with his own characters, latching on, instead, to someone else’s already popular body of work.

And then, of course, there’s the widely celebrated novel Finn, by Jon Clinch. Again, the author hijacks one of Twain’s characters, and develops him as he sees fit…

Now, I’m not opposed to sequels, per se, if they’re written by the original author…I loved the Graduate, by Charles Webb

The sequel, Home School, isn’t quite the same lofty accomplishment, but it’s Mr. Webb’s choice, and right to revisit those characters…they’re his creation.

And there’s the recent phenom, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith…hey, let’s take a classic, then add zombies…people like zombies…zombies are cool, right? Shawn of the Dead was successful, right? World War Z sold well…

I have to cry bullshit. Smith is an opportunist, at best, though more likely, just a talentless hack…

And then today, I read this little gem in the Guardian UK:

Catcher in the Rye sequel published, but not by Salinger
Holden Caulfield returns
in an unauthorized sequel by debut novelist

Salinger isn’t even dead, and some douchebag asshole writer hack named John David California has written a book called 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye

This is so wrong on so many levels…Who is he to decide what happened to an icon for the dissatisfied youth?

Stuart Evers puts it best, in this piece, also via the Guardian…

60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye might be brilliant. It could be that missing Salinger novel that so many people have craved. Or it might be a flimsy, cheap, attention-seeking piece of opportunistic schlock clinging with whitened knuckles to the coattails of literary greatness. Either way – and I think we’ve all got a pretty good idea of how it’s likely to turn out – I think Holden would appreciate the irony of there now being a phoney Caulfield in the literary universe …


Okay, I’ll quit my ranting now…