Just a quick non-food post today, then right back to the eats.
J.D. Salinger’s recent passing has gotten a lot of attention. He’s best known as the author of the groundbreaking, teen-centric post-war novel Catcher in the Rye. To do my best Holden Caulfield impersonation:
“I just re-read the damn book. It’s a riot! I’m not kidding!”
Seriously, if you haven’t ever read Catcher, or haven’t read it in years, please do read it. It’s astute, full of irony, and hilarious. Holden Caulfield is one of literature’s most memorable anti-heroes.
No doubt Salinger broke the mold and wasn’t afraid to live life on his own terms.
So what does all of this have to do with Iran? As it turns out, back in 1998, J.D. Salinger blocked a New York City screening of an Iranian film that was loosely based on his book Franny and Zooey. The film was named Pari. A quick Wikipedia search unearthed this plot summary:
Pari is a student of literature at a university in Tehran. She is a confident yet angry girl who is projecting her inner struggle by outwards aggression towards her tutor, her fiancé and her brother and she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown or a mental suicide.
An old sufi book by the name of “solook” helps take her on a journey to find herself and discover who she really is. Her brother helps her accomplish this goal.
The film, directed by Dariush Mehrjui, was set for a screening at Lincoln Center. WhenSalinger got wind of this news, he sicced his lawyers on the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the screening was canceled. A New York Times article gives details.
Apparently, the adaptation was unauthorized.
At the time, Mehrjui said,
“. . .the film was indeed ”loosely based” on ”Franny and Zooey,” but he added that he had written to Mr. Salinger seeking permission to use the material before making the movie. ”I wrote him a letter indicating that I was just a small filmmaker doing an adaptation,” he said. ”But I did not hear back, so I just continued and made it,” he said.
So now I’m curious. I’ve been meaning to read Franny and Zooey anyways. Now it looks like I have to hunt down a copy of Pari for viewing as well. Netflix doesn’t carry it. If anyone has any leads, or has ever seen Pari, please let me know.