Salinger’s eternal cone of silence

The death of a genius; rocking for Nicole; the General Assembly goes transparent
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 3, 2010

With the death of J.D. Salinger, nearly every obituary featured some quote or reference to his American masterpiece, The Catcher In the Rye, and rightly so. If you don't know the name Holden Caulfield, you don't know ding about literature.

But for all of Catcher's virtues and merit, Phillipe and Jorge believe that Salinger's Nine Stories is even more outstanding. "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is an eternal gem, and when P. first read "For Esmé — with Love and Squalor," he unashamedly burst out crying at the kitchen table. J.D. was a genius.

It also seems to P+J that Salinger's decision to move to rural New Hampshire, turn his back on New York literary/celebrity culture, and descend into a cone of silence was about as sane a response to the world as one could make. J.D. was obviously well ahead of the curve when one considers how absolutely garish and moronic our "culture" has become. Talent, knowledge, and enlightened revelation mean nothing in the Kardashian World of Me, Now. and More.

Sleep tight, Franny and Zooey. (And go here to read Steve Vineberg's appreciation of the mighty J.D.)


Our good friend, Casa Diablo regular and onetime Providence Poet Laureate Ray Davey, tells your superior correspondents about the situation with one of the spoken word community's most dazzling talents, Nicole (yes, one name).

As a 16-year-old in 1993, Nicole entered the BeloJo's then-annual poetry contest and immediately caused a stir by blowing away the older, more experienced competition. In '94 she earned a spot on the Providence Poetry Slam team and also gave inspired readings at that year's Lollapalooza festival. Ray sez: "Not only does her work stand on the page, when she performs (at live readings and slams), she commands the stage."

But in 1996, Nicole was diagnosed with XMRV Associated Neuro-immune Disease (known as XAND), and, due to this chronic and debilitating illness, found herself no longer able to perform. Now she and her partner Jason find themselves facing huge medical bills and a generally desperate and bleak situation.

So this Saturday, February 6, a lineup of area bands will be performing at AS220 (115 Empire Street, Providence) to help out Nicole and Jason. Bellows, Dire Wolves, Arcing, Hector 3, Buddyship, and Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores are on the bill. Mr. Davey also informs us that there are rumors of "awesome raffle prizes" and "Café Intelligencia." The suggested donation is a mere $8, the music gets underway at around 7 pm. This is how the artists have always done it in Providence.


We heartily recommend "The Art of Morris Nathanson," running through February 26 at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative Gallery at the Blackstone Valley Visitor's Center, 175 Main Street, in downtown Pawtucket. While best known as a masterful interior designer with a worldwide, long, and celebrated client list, Morris has also been creating paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and mixed-media pieces for years and this small sampling is testament to a stellar life in the arts. He is always a class act and someone whose longtime presence in Pawtucket is one of the cornerstones of the Bucket's ongoing transition into one of Vo Dilun's premier creative communities.


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