Ghost Of J.D. Salinger To Sue, Haunt Any Paper That Publishes News Of Reclusive Writer's Death
As reclusive in death as in life, J.D. Salinger, the famed author of Catcher in the Rye and probably some other books, has refused to allow the press to acknowledge that the writer died at age 91 of natural causes.
Through his last will and testament, Salinger has promised to sue and haunt any pressroom that squawks, extending his legendary social aversion to prevent the world from knowing whether he is alive, dead, or even ever born at all.
"We had set aside a large chunk of the front page to mark [Salinger's] passing, but before we went to press, a ghostly wailing and blood dripping down the walls to form the word 'PHONIES' made us reconsider," complained Chicago Tribune editor Gerould Kern. "We just couldn't risk having his ghost around for an eternity. Plus, the lawsuit."
Instead, Kern and his staff filled the space with news about Apple's new iPad (which legally may not contain electronic versions of Salinger's books), a few gang-shootings, and a sexual interest story about a man and a woman who spit their drinks into each other's mouths.
Through his trance medium/literary agent, Salinger issued a statement to the media explaining that he wants his admirers to leave him alone, and even if he is dead -- which he's not saying he is -- his privacy is no less important to him dead or alive. In addition to withholding any books or letters written since his last published piece in 1965, he further threatened that every last copy of Franny and Zoey would mysteriously vanish should obituaries or eulogies try to infringe on his solitude.
"Wow, a statement from J.D. Salinger himself!" Kern marveled upon receiving the news. "It's taken him decades, but he's finally starting to come around. In another 50 years, I bet he'll even be willing to have a picture taken of his corpse. Er, his live body that's definitely not dead."
While speculation continues over the possibility that Salinger's alleged unpublished works may soon see the light of day, most publishers say they would be unwilling to risk the possible legal and health repercussions of printing these for public viewing.
"It would be great to know what happened to the Glass [Salinger's favorite fictional] family since we last heard from them, but even if such works existed, I have to assume that his power in death has only been increased tenfold over his power in life to keep anyone from knowing anything at all about him, or his work," said Don Bartoush of the Penguin Publishing Group. "Publishing even one new word of his would just be asking for some kind of terrible cancer, or Lord knows what else he's capable of doing from the spirit realm."
The author's family has not commented on what powers he now possesses, instead merely asking that his privacy be respected while they conduct a thorough search to find the most geographically and culturally remote location in the world over which to scatter the ashes of the perhaps-deceased.