Monday, June 22, 2009

Judge Shelves Catcher In the Rye Knock-Off

Cover of "The Catcher in the Rye"Cover of The Catcher in the Rye

Judge Shelves Catcher In the Rye Knock-Off - Arts & Living News Briefs | Newser

J.D. Salinger is not only one of the most reclusive authors, he is also one of the most litigious. He is very protective of all of his works, but by far his most closely guarded literary contribution is the classic Catcher in the Rye.

Salinger has never allowed anyone to touch this classic novel, despite the desires of many to adapt it to film and/or television. Of course, this is partly due to Salinger's boycott of any kind of adaptation of his works, a conviction that stems from his disapproval of the 1949 film My Foolish Heart, the silver screen version of his short story Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. Years later, he went so far as to block an Iranian version of Franny and Zooey (Iran does not recognize US copyright laws) from being screened at a film festival in America,

Of course, his protectiveness doesn't just extend to film. He has sued often in the past, whenever publishers have threatened his privacy or his copyrights. He successfully stopped an unauthorized biography with extensive reprints of personal letters, although much of the content he wanted to protect ended up in the public records of the court transcripts.

This time around, a Swedish author has come out with a book entitled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. Salinger's lawyers argued that the book went beyond commentary or homage, as it borrowed heavily from the original exploits of Holden Caulfield. Salinger scored a victory, as the federal judge agreed and ordered the book shelved.

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