Why Catcher in the Rye can Never be a Film

Thanks to our favorite haters for tipping us off to this 1957 letter from J.D. Salinger to a “Mr. Herbert” as to why Catcher could never be made into a film.

The Catcher in the Rye is a very novelistic novel. There are readymade “scenes” – only a fool would deny that – but, for me, the weight of the book is in the narrator’s voice, the non-stop peculiarities of it, his personal, extremely discriminating attitude to his reader-listener, his asides about gasoline rainbows in street puddles, his philosophy or way of looking at cowhide suitcases and empty toothpaste cartons – in a word, his thoughts. He can’t legitimately be separated from his own first-person technique.