Saturday, April 04, 2009

JD Salinger shows us how to do it

From the Guardian:

JD Salinger still isn't talking. The famously reclusive author wasn't persuaded to break his silence by a reporter from the Spectator, who made it as far as Salinger's doorstep in Cornish, New Hampshire before being turned away.

The journalist, Tom Leonard, said he heard the author shout "something that sounds like 'Oh, no!'" when told by his wife who was ringing his doorbell, and then saw "a tall but stooped figure in a blue tanktop" sidle "crab-like" out of his kitchen without meeting his eyes. It's hardly surprising: Salinger withdrew from public life in the 1950s, overwhelmed by the success of The Catcher in the Rye, and hasn't spoken to the media since, apart from a brief conversation with a New York Times reporter in 1974 when he said there was "a marvellous peace in not publishing ... I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm trying to do is protect myself and my work."

No new fiction has appeared from Salinger since the novella Hapworth 16, 1924 was published in 1965; although he is thought to have stacks of manuscripts in his New Hampshire home, his published works amount to short stories, including the 1961 novella Franny and Zooey, and 1953's Nine Stories as well as his single iconic novel. "I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure," he said in 1974.

(The rest of the article is here.)

This is taking to the extreme the feeling that I have had and I know others have too: that when you have a book, even though one that is nothing like as successful as Catcher in the Rye, nowhere near, you are suddenly exposed to the public in a way that I hadn't imagined and hadn't desired. And that can cause problems.

I am glad to say that I seem to have cured the anxiety and agoraphobia that have been making my life pretty difficult for the past few months, using a technique called EFT. I was getting quite desperate, I tried it, and there was an instant shift. Two days later, and it seems to have stayed. I don't know how it worked, why it worked, but it did. The world, which has been in black-and-white, or mostly grey, since December, is now in full technicolour. I feel blessed. I know that soon I'll be taking it for granted, but right now I am basking in the joy of spring!


Nik's Blog said...

Truly, truly, thrilled for you, T. Best news I've heard in ages!

Tania Hershman said...

Thanks Nik! Sharing it makes it even better.

Anne Brooke said...

So glad things are better for you now. Loads of love & hugs


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Tania! ~ Miriam

Douglas Bruton said...

I am very interested to hear what being exposed to the public means. Care to elucidate, Tania? What were the emotional difficulties and how did it affect your day-to-day movement in the world? Not an idle question, really really interested in this.

Glad to hear that you are better. Hope some of this technicolour filters onto the written page.


SueG said...

Thank goodness! I'm so glad for you and can't wait to see you over here again! xo

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Wonderful news, T. EFT sounds extraordinary! Where did you hear of this?

Tania Hershman said...

Thanks, Anne and Miriam!

Douglas, I guess I hadn't talked about it too clearly here but I have been suffering from an anxiety disorder which has all but prevented me from leaving the house for the past 3 months. I know that it is both related to the worsening of my underactive thyroid condition, and to the bombardment of attention I felt here about my book. Just before I really crashed, I had been at two large social functions in 10 days and, where I normally enjoy sitting an observing things, I had friends and acquaintances constantly coming up to me, wanting to tell me what they think of my stories. It was a huge shock to my system and I didn't feel I knew how to copy, knew how to kindly and gently put them off. It was this terrible sense of being torn between needing to market and promote my book, and needing to retain my sense of privacy and personal space. I couldn't do it.

Thankfully I have had enough time hibernating and had got to a point where I was desperate and so tried this new technique, EFT, which has now given me a tool that I can use if the anxiety comes back. But I definitely feel that I am in a different place now, feeling stronger about not letting myself feel "bombarded". Also -I hope I am less of a novelty around here 6 months after publication!!

Tania Hershman said...

Sue, me too!

V - I heard about it from a friend who had had her panic attacks completely cured by EFT. And now that I've mentioned it to people, lots of people have heard of it and used it. Why didn't we know about this before, I wonder??! I guess you have to be in the right space to hear about it. Miraculous.