PBS will be airing Salinger, the documentary about JD Salinger this upcoming Tuesday night as a part of their American Masters series. This will mark the beginning of the 28th season of American Masters and will be the 200th episode. Back in August I first talked about this film and the forthcoming books in depth. This documentary was on Netflix for some time late last year, I’m not sure if it is still available to watch on demand but the American Master airing will be the director’s cut of the film and will feature 15 minutes not seen in theaters.
The documentary gives a look into the life of JD Salinger. I never did any deep biographical research into Salinger at any point in my studies of his works. I just knew that he wrote a novel, a pair of novellas and a couple of collections of short stories and that was all that was released officially. Sure Salinger had a bunch of other things published in the New Yorker and other magazines but other than that I didn’t really know much about him. So watching this documentary and seeing the parallels in Salinger’s life to Fitzgerald and Hemingway provided a unique insight into the works. One of the biggest surprises to me was that Salinger was so involved during World War II from the beginning of the US involvement on D-Day to the De-nazification of Germany. It also goes into some depth into the life of Salinger as a recluse and about people trying to find him.
I haven’t gotten around to reading Salinger, the book which is a companion to the film, yet but it is on my list of books to read. If you are a fan of Salinger’s works I would suggest taking some time and watching this documentary as it provides a glimpse into the life of JD Salinger. Hopefully this can tide the Salinger fans over until new books start appearing some time in 2015.