By Edward Nawotka
The saga of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a purported sequel to J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, written by Swede Frederick Colting – using the pseudonym J.D. California – has now reached the courts, where things are bound to get even goofier. It seems to me that this is a bit of a shame, since Colting appears to just the type of person we need a little more of in publishing – more a playful optimist, than cynical opportunist.
Yesterday in New York, a temporary restraining order was issued preventing publication of the sequel in the US – for the time being.
Salinger, who is now 90, won the first round in court. The likelihood is that this will be fought out in appeals – where Salinger surely has deep enough pockets to outlast any effort at appeal by his Swedish nemesis.
Colting is partner, along with Carl-Johan Gadd, (on left in the photo) in a small publishing company in Sweden called Nicotext, a company whose motto is “Happy Books for Happy People” and whose stated aim “to make you giggle.” Their web site claims, “While thumbing our collective nose at the literati, we have found our niche amongst the useless, the trivial and the potentially offensive. The books in our catalogue may not reflect our capacity for intellectual athleticism, but they will put a smile on your face, which is our main objective.”
Their 45 odd titles range from “Bla Bla: 600 Incredibly Useless Facts,” “The Macho Man’s Point-it Book,” to “No Thanks, I’m Allergic!” which translates that helpful phrase into 30 languages. (No, Gracias, Soy Alergico). Sure it’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s also the kind of bread-and-butter stuff booksellers make hay from at point-of-sale.
Up next from Nicotext, “How to Antagonize a 90-year-old Literary Icon and Go Bankrupt Defending Yourself.”
Now that’s not a book anyone would like to read.
BROWSE: Nicotext’s web site.