Phonies: J.D. Salinger and Wielding Copyright as Self-Protection

In 1965, J.D. Salinger decided to stop publishing his works and live a reclusive lifestyle in New Hampshire. This decision was met with disappointment from his readers who longed for more of his words. Many attempts were made to draw Salinger out of his seclusion, resulting in legal battles and controversies over copyright infringement and privacy rights. Despite these challenges, Salinger’s belief in total ownership of his works and his radical enforcement of copyright laws helped preserve his identity and his works as unique American originals. Throughout his life, Salinger was resistant to being portrayed or exploited in any way, and he maintained a strong desire for solitude. However, his works faced adaptations and challenges to his privacy even after his death, with unauthorized memoirs being published by those close to him. Despite the controversies, Salinger’s writings continue to speak to readers and define a generation.

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