Strange Deafness Afflicts Salinger Lawsuit


By Jack Engelhard


Salinger can’t hear? That’s hard to take.


Reports are coming in that JD Salinger “is now totally deaf.” That’s a quote being attributed to his agent, whose job it is to enforce his privacy.


As I wrote in an earlier piece (“Salinger Alleges Indecent Rip-off”), I don’t know much about the law, but here, as a novelist who names Salinger as one of his literary heroes, I can say what strangeness it is to blurt out such news. I don’t doubt the truth of this revelation, but I do wonder why it got out from his gatekeepers. They must have known it would make headlines – and not in a good way.


Already there are parodies of his aging (he’s 90) and headlines that term him “frail and deaf.” (Shades of Howard Hughes?) I hope we’re not gloating.