Cleaning Up J.D. Salinger

The subtitle of this post, if there were one, would be “Why I’ll Never Write that Novel, # 132.”

A few weeks ago, Hollywood screenwriter Shane Salerno, who is working on a documentary about J.D. Salinger, released a low resolution image of what he called a “never seen before” photograph of the famously reclusive late writer. The fact that the released version was low resolution (the one making the rounds on the web was roughly 580 x 590 pixels) was perfectly understandable. After all, if it’s such a rare image, you don’t necessarily want to release it to the digital wolves. What bugged me is that Salerno released a scan of the crappy, unrestored image.

Naturally, my impulse was to fix it. So I did. I spent a bit of time (not nearly as much as you’d think, given the low resolution) restoring the image. OK, let’s be up-front; I spent about 20 minutes on this restoration. If I had a high-resolution version I would have probably spent a day or two on it, and wouldn’t have done nearly as good a job as a master like Ctein would have done. But that’s not the point. The point is that if you find an old “never seen” photograph of a famously reclusive famous person, the least you could do is clean it up before you show it off. Showing the dirty version is like coming down to dinner in yesterday’s underwear.

So I cleaned it up. I’ll present to you an even lower resolution version below, as proof. I will say here and now that I have no intention of doing anything with this cleaned up picture except maybe looking at it now and then and feeling smug. If you happen to be Shane Salerno, or Shane Salerno’s lawyer, then bugger off, there’s nothing to see here. This tiny image constitutes fair usage, and I have no intention of usurping your right to show us the shitty version, nor of making any money off of my improved one.

Left: shitty. Right: Blorky.

That was last week’s procrastination. Today I made BBQ chicken & ribs with two different sauces, and reduced half a bushel of Roma tomatoes down to a medium-sized pot of pomodoro sauce for tomorrow’s dinner. When I retire, have my stomach removed, and divorce myself from the Internet, then maybe I’ll write that novel.