Sue Young Histories

Jerome David Salinger 1919 – 2010

January 29, 2010

Jerome David Salinger 1919 – 2010Jerome David Salinger 1919 – 2010 was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980.

Read Dana Ullman’s essay J D Salinger and his Love for Homeopathic Medicine in the Huffington Post 10.7.2013.

Salinger was an advocate of homeopathy, and in a typed letter signed by J. D. Salinger dated March 28, 1981 he describes his successful use of homeopathic powders to heal his knee, and his daughter Margaret Salinger, wrote a book about her family, Dream Catcher, noting that her father typically spent several hours each day studying homeopathic medicine, ’his beloved homeopathy‘,

Salinger often used homeopathy to treat his own family and friends,

Salinger worked for counter intelligence during World War II and saw a concentration camps for himself.

Salinger’s experiences in the war affected him emotionally. He was hospitalized for a few weeks for combat stress reaction after Germany was defeated, and he later told his daughter: “You never really get the smell of burning flesh out of your nose entirely, no matter how long you live.” … After Germany’s defeat, Salinger signed up for a six month period of “Denazification” duty in Germany for the CIC.

In 1998, Joyce Maynard, a New York Times columnist, wrote a book about her year long affair with Salinger At Home in the World: a memoir, where she also noted Salinger’s special love for homeopathy.

Joyce Maynard noted that Salinger typically prescribed homeopathic medicines for his family, her family, and even pets, often with surprisingly good results.

At one point, Joyce Maynard describes a visit by her mother, who had an infected toe at the time. After an interview with her, Jerry Salinger prescribed a homeopathic medicine, and within minutes, her toe swelled considerably and then burst, after which the pain disappeared instantly (Maynard, 1998, 138).

Joyce Maynard describes Salinger’s interest in high potency homeopathic medicines and his appreciation for constitutional homeopathy (one of the important and sophisticated practices of classical homeopathy, in which a single remedy is prescribed based on the totality of a person’s physical, emotional, mental, and genetic characteristics in order to strengthen a person’s entire constitution).

Joyce Maynard also notes Salinger’s method of giving a person a homeopathic medicine in water, which is an advanced method of dispensing remedies to people (or animals).

Ultimately, Joyce Maynard moved out of Salinger’s home, got married, had children, and then got divorced, but throughout this time, she too has sought treatment from professional homeopaths.

Gerald Rosen wrote to Salinger: ‘… when you studied homeopathy to free yourself from the one dimensional model of traditional medicine, I understood‘.

Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II.

In 1948 he published the critically acclaimed story A Perfect Day for Bananafish in The New Yorker magazine, which became home to much of his subsequent work.

In 1951 Salinger released his novel The Catcher in the Rye, an immediate popular success. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. The novel remains widely read and controversial, selling around 250,000 copies a year.

The success of The Catcher in the Rye led to public attention and scrutiny: Salinger became reclusive, publishing new work less frequently. He followed The Catcher in the Rye with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953), a collection of a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961), and a collection of two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963).

His last published work, a novella entitled Hapworth 16, 1924, appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965.

Afterward, Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton and the release in the late 1990s of memoirs written by two people close to him: Joyce Maynard, an ex lover; and Margaret Salinger, his daughter.

In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish Hapworth 16, 1924 in book form, but amid the ensuing publicity, the release was indefinitely delayed.

He made headlines around the globe in June 2009, after filing a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement resulting from that writer’s use of one of Salinger’s characters from The Catcher in the Rye.

Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.

Of interest:

Hugo Magnus wrote Superstition in Medicine in 1905, using in translation (English to German) the work of Julius Lincoln Salinger of Philadelphia, exposing the ideas of Christian Science as an ‘ancient’ delusion, a work referred to by the homeopathic publications at the time,

The Denver Homeopathic College used a work by Salinger Kelteyer as one of their text books, The Clinique, Volume 21 by the Hahnemann Hospital of the City of Chicago, refers to the work of Salinger (presumable Julius Lincoln Salinger) in 1900, as does the Transactions of the American Institute of Homeopathy Volume 58 in 1902, The Homeopathic Eye, Ear, and Throat Journal, Volume 12 by the American Homeopathic Ophthalmological, Otological and Laryngological Society in 1906, The Clinique, Volume 42 by the Illinois Homeopathic Medical Association in 1921,


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