Ellis Paul Featured in "Letters to J.D. Salinger"


Ellis Paul was featured in Chris Kubica's book Letters to J.D. Salinger which was published recently by the University of Wisconsin Press. Read Ellis' letter to Salinger, which appears on pages 58-9 of the book,  below.

Dear Mr. Salinger,

I have read The Catcher in the Rye a half dozen times, and each time Im older, though its still reading fine  right now, its raising pimples on my thirty-somethin face, I feel the queasy sting of adolescence on this dirty subways space, you get me all pent up and Im enjoying the self-loathing, Ive spun my hat right round backwards and made fun of strangers clothing  I survived the ride, stumbling tonight, now walking through the streets, like a juvenile outsider and I left your book on the subway seat  Im feeling Holden Caulfield  hes in my fucking skin, he does this every time, with that stupid shit-faced grin  Im just a punk student running out of a class, skipping out of school, getting called a stupid-ass by parents, friends, cabbies  the whole damn worlds straighter than me, Im drunk, all crooked lines, and Im fucked by my own whimsy.

What pisses me off the most is you wrote this brilliant book, so good some asshole decided to give John Lennon too hard a look and thats the thing with god damn art  it either brings you to yourself, or it pulls you right apart.

God damn, the book is great and heres my apology  it should have never been a tool for reworking Gods astrology  some people are chosen for great, great deeds, some hearts were meant to bleed and bleed, and old Holden Caulfield thought he was both, and so did the guy whos gun stepped close, and what a fucking shame, cause I bless this book, your heart, your name, theres a part of me in every page, that dignified my teenage rage  but the bullets, man, they werent that smart  the finger pulled back on art  the bullets went where they were pointed, like they tend to do, left the killer on the sidewalk, with your book, hes reading you

Hes where he belongs,

And Im still singing Lennons songs

And if you want to take a look,

On my shelf resides another copy

Of your potent ageless book

Thank you for your work, it helped me through a harder time, when I couldnt speak a single word of why I felt so blind  to myself  this little book was like a big-ass mirror that gave this boy some faith, by God, and made the whole world a little clearer.

Im a musician, and I write what I see, and who I am, and what I want the world to be, and that, Mr. Salinger, is all she be  thats what your little book taught me.

Highest regards,
Ellis Paul


updated: 9 years ago