"The true artist-seer, the heavenly fool" : the transformation of the artist in J. D. Salinger's publications.




White, Holland.

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This thesis traces the development of the function of art and the role of the artist throughout J. D. Salinger's publishing career, including his earlier uncollected short stories. Salinger creates a dichotomy between true art and phony art in his early stories that influences the artist characters of his subsequent publications. His short stories published in The New Yorker in the 1950s along with The Catcher in the Rye portray an image of the artist as the voice of truth in a phony world. In the third phase of Salinger's publication, his focus on the Glass family leads to the conception of the ultimate artist as a spiritual seer. Ultimately, Salinger confronts and shuns the critics at the end of his publishing career by following two lengthy, complex narratives with utter silence; he confounds his own conception of artists as those who share.