cOlbert's Book Club - Shane Salerno on J.D. Salinger

  • Aired:  09/10/13
  •  | Views: 13,716

"Salinger" author and director Shane Salerno talks about J.D. Salinger's lost love Oona O'Neill and the reason for Seymour Glass' suicide in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish." (5:49)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

THANKS SO MUCH.

FOLKS, MY SECOND GUEST TONIGHTIS THE DIRECTOR OF A NEW

DOCUMENTARY, SALINGER, ANDCOAUTHOR OF A BOOK ALSO CALLED

SALINGER.

BUT IF THEY HAVE THE SAME NAME,HOW WILL I KNOW WHICH IS WHICH?

PLEASE WELCOME SHANE SALERNO.

SHANE, THANKS FOR COMING ANDJOINING ME.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: NOW --

>> I AM GOOD.

>> Stephen: AGAIN, I AM THEONLY THIRSTY ONE HERE TONIGHT.

NOW, SHANE, YOU ARE THE COAUTHOROF A NEW BIOGRAPHY.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: OF J.D. SALINGER,YOU ARE ALSO THE WRITER AND THE

DIRECTOR OF A NEW MOVIE AGAINCALLED SALINGER.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> WHY DID YOU THROW YOURSELFINTO THE LIFE OF SALINGER? WHY

IS HE YOUR WHITE WHALE?

>> HE WAS, THAT IS A GOOD WAY TOPUT IT.

HIS LIFE IS SO EXTRAORDINARY.

WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT J.D.

SALINGER LOST THE LOVE OF HISLIFE TO CHARLIE CHAPLAIN.

>> THIS IS WHAT A HIGH ROLLERSALINGER WAS.

IF EUGENE O'NEILL'S DAUGHTER.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: AND AT AGE 16 WHOIS SHE DATING.

>> BETWEEN 16 AND 18, PETERARNOLD.

>> Stephen: THE GREAT NEW YORKCARTOONIST.

>> J.D. SALINGER AND BASICALLYMARRIED CHARLIE CHAPLAIN ON HER

18TH BIRTHDAY.

>> Stephen: FROM 16 TO 18.

>> SHE WAS AN EXTRAORDINARYWOMAN.

>> Stephen: SALINGER GOES OFFTO FIGHT WORLD WAR II.

>> SHE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD ANDMEETS COMARLY CHAPLAIN.

>> Stephen: BUT SHE IS HISGIRLFRIEND WHEN HE GOES TO THE

BATTLE OF THE BULGE AND READS INTHE NEWSPAPER, GUESS WHAT, YOUR

GIRLFRIEND JUST MARRIED CHARLIECHAPLAIN.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WHO IS 53.

>> YEAH.

AND SHE IS 18.

>> SHE IS 18, AND THAT CHANGEDHIS LIFE FOREVER, EVERY WOMAN

WAS COMPARED TO UNA, SHE REALLYIMPRINTED UPON HIM AN AGE AND

PERIOD IN HIS LIFE.

>> Stephen: LET'S GET INTOWHAT I THINK IS REALLY THE

SHOCKER IN THE BOOK, THE THINGTHAT REALLY REVEALS SAL JERRY IN

HIS TOTALITY.

>> HE HAD ONE BALL.

THAT IS A REVELATION IN HERE.

I DID NOT KNOW THAT BEFORE IREAD YOUR BOOK.

IT IS TRUE, RIGHT?

>> IT IS ONE PARAGRAPH IN A 700PAGE BOOK.

BUT IT IS TRUE.

>> Stephen: IT IS.

ONE PARAGRAPH, ONLY ONE BALL.

>> NOW -->> Stephen: IS THAT WHY HE

WENT FOR SUCH YOUNG WOMEN, YOUNGVIRTUAL VIN NATURAL WOMEN.

>> VIRGIN NATURAL AND HE WOULDSAY, NO, NO THEY ARE ALL LIKE

THAT, THEY ARE ALL LIKE THAT.

>> .. I AM GOING TO TAKE THEFIFTH ON THAT ONE.

>> Stephen: HERE IS MY BEEF.

HERE IS MY BEEF WITH YOU.

WHY LET ME KNOW THESE THINGSABOUT SALINGER? HE WAS SOMEONE

WHO GUARDED HIS PRIVACY AND IRESPECTED THAT PRIVACY BY NOT

INTRUDING BECAUSE WHAT IF I FINDOUT THINGS ABOUT HIM THAT CREEP

ME OUT? I AM WORRIED IF I LEARNTHINGS ABOUT SALINGER THAT I

DON'T LIKE I WON'T LIKE HISBOOKS ANYMORE IS THAT A DANGER?

>> I DON'T THINK THAT'S THE CASEIN THE LAST FEW WEEKS SINCE THE

PUBLICITY OF THE FILM AND THEFILM HAS BEEN RELEASED CATCHER

IN THE RYE JUMPED TO NUMBERSEVEN ON AMAZON.

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU THINKWE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT A GUY

WHO HASN'T REALLY -- HASN'TWRITTEN ANYTHING ANYBODY THOUGHT

WAS REALLY ANY GOOD SINCE THE1950'S?

>> SALINGER IS A IS AONE-OF-A-KIND SINGULAR VOICE AND

THE IDEA HE WORKED FOR 45 YEARSEVERY SINGLE DAY AND PUT THAT

WORK IN A VAULT TO BE RELEASEDSTARTING IN 2,015.

>> Stephen: WHAT DO YOU HOPETHOSE STORY ARE? AND WHAT DO

YOU HOPE THEY WEREN'T?

>> WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK --WILL HATE THE MOST?

>> I THINK WHAT IS GOING TO BEINCREDIBLE TO SEE HIM COMPLETE

THE GLASS FAMILY, TO SEE ANARTIST COMPLETE SOMETHING THAT

HE HAS BEEN WORKING ON FOR 40YEAR.

WE HAVE ONLY SEEN HALF OF THEPAINTING.

THAT IS WHAT WE HAVE SO FAR.

WE HAVE HALF OF THE PAINTING.

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU THINKHE DIDN'T LET US SEE? HE WAS

WRITING EVERY DAY AND THE STUFFIS REALLY OUT THERE AND I WILL

TAKE IT ON FAITH.

WHY DO YOU THINK HE WOULDN'T LETUS SEE IT.

>> HIS RELIGION SAYS YOU DON'TDO ANYTHING THAT FEEDS YOUR EGO.

>> Stephen: THAT SUCKS.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: DO YOU KNOW -- I

DON'T KNOW.

I MEAN, YOU WORK IN HOLLYWOOD,SO YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHAT FEEDING

AN EGO IS LIKE.

BUT YOU KNOW HOW DELICIOUS IT ISTO FEED YOUR EGO?

>> BUT I THINK THAT THAT IS WHY.

I MEAN, HE REALLY FELT THAT THEWORK ITSELF WAS THE REWARD, AND

SO THAT AFTER HE PASSED AWAY AFEW YEARS IT WOULD BE EXACTLY

FIVE YEARS AFTER HE PASSES AWAYTHE WORK WILL START TO BE

RELEASE SOD HE IS NOT THERE FORTHE EGO GRATIFICATION OF SEEING

IT PUBLISHED, THAT IT IS JUST APURE ARTIST DELIVERING HIS WORK

TO AN AUDIENCE.

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU THINKTHAT SEYMOUR SHOOTS HIMSELF?

>> BECAUSE OF THE TRAUMASUFFERED IN WORLD WAR 2 AND

SALINGER KNEW THATEXTRAORDINARILY WELL, AND

SALINGER WALKED INTO ACONCENTRATION CAMP AND NEVER

WALKED OUT AND FOR THE TEST OFHIS LIFE HE WAS LIVING IN

POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROMEAND OUR FILM DETAILS THAT AND I

THINK IN AN UNPRECEDENTEDFASHION SHOWS HOW DAMAGED HE

REALLY WAS.

THE INTERESTING THING ABOUTWORLD WAR II AND SALINGER IS IF

J.D. SALINGER HADN'T GONE TOWORLD WAR II WE WOULD HAVEN'T

THIS WORK, SO, YOU KNOW,.

>> Stephen: SO MAYBE WE OWEHITLER MAYBE JUST A LITTLE

APOLOGY.

YOUR WORDS.

YOUR WORDS.

NOT MINE.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>> Stephen: SHANE SALERNO, THE

BOOK AND A MOVIE, SALINGER.

WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK.

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