Fredrik Colting, the 33-year-old author of The Macho Man’s Drinkbook: Because Nude Girls and Alcohol Go Great Together and, most recently, 60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye, an unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, has now had his book banned indefinitely in America. A federal judge ruled yesterday that Colting’s book did in fact infringe on Salinger’s copyright, and was not, as Colting’s lawyers attempted to claim, protected as a work of parody:
To the extent Defendants contend that 60 Years and the character of Mr. C direct parodic comment or criticism at Catcher or Holden Caulfield, as opposed to Salinger himself, the Court finds such contentions to be post-hoc rationalizations employed through vague generalizations about the alleged naivety of the original, rather than reasonably perceivable parody.
Colting, in a recent interview with the Voice, defended his book, saying 60 Years Later was both “as original and creative as Catcher,” and that, quote:
Dreams and creations have to be able to roam freely, otherwise we wouldn’t have popsicles nor would we have had people walking on the moon. That’s the whole point of creativity, to think outside of the box, not to stick it inside a pre-measured mold and chop off anything that dares to stick outside. This is what moves things forward and my exploration will shed new light over two of the greatest characters in the history of US literature, Salinger and Holden.
Now that exploration will never happen.
Judge Rules for Salinger in Copyright Suit [NYTimes/City Room]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 1, 2009