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January 23, 1997 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-23

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4B 1 Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, anuary 23, 1997

W

9

The Michigaaiiy WeekeA~

IJState of the Arts
FORGET ARGENTINA:

CRY FOR THE GOLDEN GLOBES

U U

JOHN
CLEESE

JAMIE LEE
CURTIS

KEVIN MICHAEL
KUNE PALIN

WHERE HAVE YOU
GONE, J.D. SALINGER?
BY DEAN BAKOPOULOS

or-

By now, he's almost a mythical
being.
J.D. Salinger's silence has made him
one of the most deified and sought-
after American writers of all time. The
author of the beloved "Catcher in the
Rye'" as well as "Franny and Zooey'"
"Nine Stories;' and "Raise High the
Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour:
An Introduction," has not published a
book in 34 years. The swarms of read-
ers across the world who have fallen
into a strange love affair with "Catcher
in the Rye" protagonist Holden
Caulfield have eagerly awaited a new
book from Salinger; alas, there was
nothing.
That is, until now. Word has come
that Salinger, 78, will publish a new
book next month. But this will not be
some blockbuster mass-marketed pack-
aging job by Random House or
Doubleday. Rather, it will be a quiet
publication from Virginia-based pub-
lisher Orchises Press, a small company
with only 60 titles under its belt, none
of them a best-seller. The book will be
titled "Hapworth 16, 1924" and it is in
the form of a letter from summer camp
penned by Seymour Glass, a recurring
Salinger character.
There is rejoicing in the hills.
Since America fell in love with
Holden Caulfield, Salinger has lived a
reclusive life in New England. He
won't give interviews. He won't write
for magazines. He never gave a reason
for his behavior, for his self-imposed
isolation; he just did it. And that

Spurr a romanwi tIon of the writer,
one that led not only to speculation over
the reasons for Salinger's silence, but
also to the making of an American
myth.
The never-too-shy-to-speak writer
Truman Capote ("In Cold Blood,"
"Breakfast at Tiffany's") once speculat-
ed that Salinger was, in fact, still writ-
ing. He was just unsuccessful. Capote
said, "I'm told on very good authority,
that he hasn't stopped writing at all.
That he's written at least five or six
short novels and that all of them have
been turned down by the New Yorker.
And that all of them are very strange
and about Zen Buddhism."
Capote's claim is hard to swallow. I
mean, would any magazine editors in
their right mind reject Salinger? The
issue circulation would blow through
the roof with a new Salinger original.
But none the less, the mystery of
Salinger sparks such spcculation, not to
mention fans desperately seeking him,
trying to reach him by mail or phone.
Some even make a pilgrimage to
Salinger's heavily-secured estate.
Still, the silence continued. And
Salinger's myth grew. He was turned
into a fictional character in WP.
Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe." The name of
his Holden Caulfield character turns up
in unacademic, nonliterary pop culture
all the time, from Kyra Sedgwick's
character in "Singles" to angsty pop
songs on MTV.
It was Holden Caulfield who started
See SALINGER, Page 14B

Excuse me: Will
somebody please
tell the world that
"Evita" is a piece
of glamorized,
fluffy crap?
Last weekend, I
saw the long-await-
ed film, starring
ByJenifer peJmski Madonna as
Daily Arts Editor Argentina's first
- ------ lady, Eva Peron.
Huddled among other frozen faces, I
waited outside the State Theater in 20-
below weather - just to get a glimpse
of one of the most hyped films of 1996.
The important lesson of the night'? I
should have stayed home and watched
Mary Catherine ("armpit sniffing")
Gallaher skits on "Saturday Night Live:'
For two hibut; any efrien'd and I
squirmed in our seats, as we watched
funerals, musical numbers, and more
funerals and musical numbers. I left feel-
ing manipulated, as though "Evita" was
desperately trying to milk my tears.
Unfortunately, though, not many
audience members shared my view: The
sounds of sniffling permeated the the-
ater, accompanied by reactions like, "Oh
that was SO moving!" and "Madonna's
performance was INCREDIBLE."
The moral'? People will cry at and
appreciate anything these days.
I wish I could simply conclude that
the reactions of last weekend's State
Theater crowd deviate from the norm, or
somehow that people who attend movies
at the State are generally ignorant and
pathetic, and, as a result, don't know any-
thing about film. That would be cool.
But this conclusion is not the ease, as
evidenced by Sunday night's Golden

Globe Awards, when "Evita" cleaned Like its leading character, "Evita" also
house. Madonna won Best Actress in a made out well, winning over others more
Musical or Comedy over actresses like deserving, like "The Birdcage," "Fargo"
"Fargo'"s Frances McDormand and and "Jerry Maguire." These others
"Mother'"s Debbie Reynolds. And examine real, fleshed-out characters in
"Evita" itself triumphed as Best Picture an array of situations. While "Evita"
(Musical or Comedy) over "The examines Eva Peron, it does so at a dis-
Birdcage" and "Fargo;' among others. tance, because it is more concerned with
Were those who made such choices what looks good on the screen - never
smoking crack when they selected the mind that the inside is hollow as hell.
winners? Did they SEE all the films'? Shame on you, Golden Globes!
Don't get me wrong. I'll be the first You've fallen for the surface value. We
to admit my admiration for Madonna's can only hope that Oscar won't make
ability to always recreate her image. I the same mistake.
wore 10 trillion Madonna bracelets up It may sound like I am anti-musical.
my arm when it was cool; as a 7-year- Rest assured - I'm not. Go ahead and
old, I sang "Like a Virgin" in the halls heap praise on a movie-musical and its
of my house. I do respect Madonna. characters, but only if they deserve it, only
But both she and "Evita" have if they entice you to grow closer to its
received undeserved acclaim for a characters and story throughout the dura-
mediocre film. It is beyond me how tion of the film. "Evita" failed miserably
Madonna rmanaged to beat out at that. I still know nada about Eva Peron.
Mc~ormand, the pregnant 156i ~-hi f- I d9, bow~ver, know that Madonna, with
in "Fargo," for Best Actress. Next to capped teeth, sure looks like Pero: and
McDormand, our Material Girl does not she can really hit those high notes.
seem to be acting. In "Evita'" Madonna And while that may be enough for
is doing what she does best: singing, the State Theater people and the Golden
dancing and revealing her stage pres- Globes, it's just not enough for me.
ence. While she performs well, she does - Jennifer Petlinski can be reached
it without heart and soul; we are left with via e-mail at petlinsk@umich. edzi.
a cardboard cutout of Eva Peron.
How can McDormand have been
ignored in favor of Madonna's perfor-
mance'? McDormand's honest portrayal_
of Margie was overlooked at the Globes";l
for a pop singer's latest recreation of her-
self While actresses, like McDormand"
and Reynolds, are, in fact, acting,
Madonna is performing, singing "Don't
Cry For Me Argentina" over and over,
moving gracefully and making sure she
looks pretty. Is that really what people
will remember as the best of 1996?

SALINGEF
Continued from Page 413
all of this. It was Holden
we couldn't get out of c
we couldn't let fade a
jackets and library she])
something about Holder
even though he even
Salinger's greatest literar
--that the world didn't
Upon hearing the news
inrg book, I went back an
ragged copy of "Catchc
reading the sections of tI
lighted back when I was1
year when "Catcher in th
a sort of sacred text to m
most 1 4-year-olds, was v
the-whole-world. Holder
to identify with. But surpr
STILL gave me a lot tc
although "Catcher" is no
time favorite book, and
still appeals to all of us.
corners, in dusty shadom
and doubt, we are
Caulfields.'Perhaps we ca
society better, but in fact,
_h Same timid and confu
Take for exaniPie,
advice from old Spencer
"'Life is a game boy.
that one plays by the rul
'Yes, sir. I know it is.
'Game, my ass. Som,

ERCE
ATRE

G RE

CAMP COUNSELORS WANTED!
OLIN-SANG-RUBY UNION INSTITUTE
(OSRUI) HAS POSITIONS AVAILABLE FOR
THIS SUMMER!
OSRUI IS A CAMP OF THE REFORM MOVEMENT, LOCATED IN
OCONOMOWOC, WI. WE HAVE MANY DIFFERENT COUNSELING
AND SPECIALTY POSITIONS AVAILABLE. FOR MORE INFORMA-
TION, PLEASE JOIN DAVID LOCKETZ AT PIZZERIA UNO'S ON
CAMPUS FROM 7-9 PM ON MONDAY JAN., 27TH, OR MEET WITH
DAVID AT THE H(LLEL DURING THE DAY ON TUESDAY.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE

Don't Pet Them.
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$weG-1 AENSSTRONGLY CAUTIO 0_:- {; Q ®* o' r ROS[RTY1G DFRE SIIPI ['' IILREESEUNISAL
COMING SOON

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