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Why ‘Catcher in the Rye’ Should Never Be a Film, in J.D. Salinger’s Own Words

Catcher in the Rye
Bantam Books

Filmmaker Cameron Crowe posted an image of a letter from author J.D. Salinger to a producer, explaining why his classic novel, ‘Catcher in the Rye,’ would never work as a film.

Of course if the book were to be adapted, it would instantly lose all its appeal to the angsty teen boys who carry vintage, yellowed copies of it around in their back pockets to seem interesting. Aside from that obvious reasoning, Salinger seems to think that any young actor with the special quality he refers to as “X” is seemingly too self-aware of said quality to know exactly what to do with it. Salinger also reveals his disdain for child actors and their inability to sit on beds without looking ridiculous.

Perhaps most noble, though, is Salinger’s insistence that by denying studios the rights to his work, they will remain with his wife and daughter as a sort of “insurance policy.”

Salinger Letter
Cameron Crowe

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