California, whose real name is Fredrik Colting and who lives improbably in Sweden, wrote a book called 60 Years Later as an unauthorized sequel to Catcher in the Rye, featuring a very Caufield-esque 76-year-old who escapes from a nursing home and wanders the streets of Manhattan. Salinger sued to prevent its publication, claiming copyright, and a federal judge ruled yesterday that it's suffiently similar to Catcher that California/Colting can't publish it until the suit is finished, which could take years. The ruling will likely effectively kill the book.
But one of the reasons the judge cited for siding with Salinger sent a chill down our spine:
Both narratives are told from the first-person point of view of a sarcastic, often uncouth protagonist who relies heavily on slang, euphemisms and colloquialisms, makes constant digression and asides, refers to readers in the second person, constantly assures the reader that he is being honest and that he is giving them the truth.
Uh oh! Look you guys, this judge sounds like a real dope to us. A goddam dope. We've seen lots of blogs, some really swell ones, and they're alright. Don't go around listening to judges, cause they'll just mess your head up. It's just not fair. Now this writer fellow is going to come around waving some phony injunction at us. Don't ever blog about anything to anybody. If you do, some crazy agorophobic obsessive-compulsive old man with a taste for teenaged girls might come after you.