Thursday, July 2, 2009


An interesting account of the judge's decision in the case of the unauthorized Catcher in the Rye sequel:

Mr. Colting’s lawyers argued, among other things, that the new work, titled “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye,” did not violate copyright because it amounted to a critical parody that had the effect of transforming the original work.

Judge Batts rejected that argument, writing, “The Court finds such contentions to be post-hoc rationalizations employed through vague generalizations about the alleged naivety of the original, rather than reasonably perceivable parody.”

The judge’s ruling weighed literary arguments made by both sides in the dispute. “To the extent Colting claims to augment the purported portrait of Caulfield as a ‘free-thinking, authentic and untainted youth,’ and ‘impeccable judge of the people around him’ displayed in ‘Catcher’ by ‘show[ing] the effects of Holden’s uncompromising world view,’ ” Judge Batts wrote, citing a memo submitted by Mr. Colting, “those effects were already thoroughly depicted and apparent in Salinger’s own narrative about Caulfield.”

Judge Batts added: “In fact, it can be argued that the contrast between Holden’s authentic but critical and rebellious nature and his tendency toward depressive alienation is one of the key themes of ‘Catcher.’

“It is hardly parodic to repeat that same exercise in contrast, just because society and the characters have aged.”

It's funny to think that this guy wrote an entire novel about Catcher in the Rye without really understanding the book. 

I guess I shouldn't be surprised: Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon inspired by the novel, which he clearly didn't understand, either.


Matthew Frederick said...

While we're on the topic, this is my favorite bench-written piece of criticism.

framiko said...

Written by a regular "J.D." Salinger....