I have posted this piece that found its origins in Salinger, just to place one of the issues that his life raises on this thread. As someone who was a teacher for 30 years and as someone who is more than a little aware that many know little to nothing about Salinger, I post this item here. I was 8 when Catcher hit the market and it was many years later that I frist read that book.
WITHDRAWAL AND RETURN
Many writers, artists, poets, people in the world of culture and the arts, go into seclusion after their early successes. In a radio program today, Arts Today, two such writers were mentioned: J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon. Others go into seclusion later in their careers. It is part of a general pattern which the historian Arnold Toynbee calls "withdrawal-and-return." Others call the axis along which specific changes or rhythms take place 'approach-and-separation.' Sometimes the artist will withdraw and never return. Sometimes he will return or approach in a more moderate way than he had originally. I have, recently, withdrawn or separated from quite an intense milieux of employment and community work and I have returned in a moderate way. The pressure of the times predisposed me to go inward. This process works in solitude and is, for the most part, not observable to others. Insight comes from an inner gestation, a Socratic wisdom associated with knowing yourself, a personal growth. Reversal brings drama, change, intensification, landmarks on a personal quest. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 29 March 2001.
Shocking public events
have inspired this poetic,
to someone born in 1944,
to someone who tried
to find the Kingdom
come with power
and has now seen
nearly half a century
of its slow establishment
around the world.
Here are enough themes
to occupy the time, energy
and genius of a dozen historians,
the inspiration from another realm,
a most wonderful and thrilling motion,
fifty years of it, drying out my
intellectual eyes with a series of
barren fields and psychically
winding my mind with a new fertility
that surpassed all that I had experienced
in life and filled my days
with a revivifying breath
or I would have died in
the wasteland without a wimper.
Ron Price 30 March 2001
Ron Price is a retired teacher, aged 60. He taught for 30 years in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools. He lives with his wife, Chris Jones, in Tasmania. She has written three books since 1999. They are all available on the internet for free.Their 3 children are now aged: 39, 34 and 27. Ron moved to Australia from Wales in 1971.