Streams

Online Tributes: J.D. and Howard at the Pearly Gates

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yesterday we lost two cultural giants, novelist J.D. Salinger and historian Howard Zinn. We want your creative online tributes:

Right now, Salinger and Zinn are at the pearly gates. What do you think they're talking about? Post your imagined conversation below!

Comments [21]

Judith from Queens Village, NY

HZ It's great to meet you at last, JD, I've been wanting to talk to you for years about how Holden became the voice of a generation of readers.

JDS If this is heaven, where's my unlisted number?

Jan. 31 2010 04:09 PM
Jim Harvey from Park Slope, Brooklyn

JDS: I'm surprised to see you're here, Howard.
HZ: Hey, JD! Great to see you're somewhere besides your own home!
JDS: Anyway, it's astonishing that we both made it to Heaven.
HZ: Are you sure this is Heaven?
JDS: Of course, those are the Pearly Gates, aren't they?
HZ: Well, let's just hope that St. Peter is a REALLY ugly drag queen.
JDS: Why do you say that?
HZ: Because if he's not this must be the other place, and that's Ayn Rand coming over to greet us.

Jan. 31 2010 03:28 PM
Marc Posnock from Manhattan

Zinn - Fascinating to be here. This should be interesting.

Salinger - Goddam lousy.

Zinn - Hey, aren't you JD Salinger?

Salinger - No

Jan. 31 2010 03:03 PM
Lee Israel from W. 82nd Street, NYC

Salinger. I'm told that a bunch of Upper West Side wannabe writers have been asked to put words into our mouths.

Zinn. God help us!

Salinger. First death. Now this.

Jan. 31 2010 11:37 AM
kumru from brooklyn

almost universally applicable two phases of any critical minded person who rejects/questions the dullness of the recieved social conventions of the mainstream: reclusive defeatist and proactive loud-mouth. I had found refuge in books like Zinn's when my grade-school teachers had denied us reading Catcher in the Rye since "it was not proper for young ladies."

Jan. 31 2010 11:20 AM
Werner Cohn from Brooklyn

Zinn: I am so honored to finally meet you. I am Howard Zinn, you know ...

JD: Howard who ?

Jan. 30 2010 01:34 PM
Robert R. from Maspeth,Queens


"Find it?"
"What," replied Mr. Salinger lowering his head so as not to be spotted by Angels.
"Peace," said Mr. Zinn waving his hand as though moving through Heaven was like walking past a police line.
"Possibly."
"Possibly?" Zinn answered.
"You got to remember I've been living behind a six foot high fence on 90 acres for many years."
"So is this different?"
"I guess we'll see," answered Mr. Salinger reaching for a marble.
"Marbles in Heaven?"
"Worth a try," Mr. Salinger replied, "Worked once for Franny and Zooey. Might work for me."
"You think?" asked Mr. Zinn.
"Always have. Always will," answered Mr. Salinger who excused himself and ducked out of sight, again.

Jan. 29 2010 09:14 PM
nick from brooklyn

Zinn: Drink?

JD: I drink my own urine.

Zinn: Never mind.

Jan. 29 2010 12:16 PM
Robin from Queens

Zinn: “One certain effect of war is to diminish freedom of expression.”

Salinger (Caulfield): "... if there's ever another war, they better just take me out and stick me in front of a firing squad. I wouldn't object."

Jan. 29 2010 12:09 PM
Clay from Manhattan

Salinger: If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is what-all I was doing in New Hampshire for all those years and if there really is a vault filled with my unpublished work.

Zinn: Not really J.D.--My thoughts are more with the people of Haiti and the recent U.S Supreme Court decision allowing more corporate influence in politics...

Jan. 29 2010 11:47 AM
sue from new york City

I revere them both, but Howard Zinn kept on trying to improve our society, clarify our views, adding his heft to any group' he deemed worthy throughout his life
Salinger , who was admired by generatioons of young people, could have been so much more influential . But he could not, or would not

Jan. 29 2010 11:42 AM
Geraldine Librandi from Brooklyn

Im not sure what J.D. would say but having worked with Howard on his play "EMMA" (I was the original Emma Goldman in The Next Move Production in Boston)he would have said: Peace!

Jan. 29 2010 11:41 AM
hjs from 11211

what are they saying...

nothing there is no evidence of an afterlife.
i bet zinn was an atheist.
this might be fun, but foolish

Jan. 29 2010 11:40 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Why would they talk about anything? Especially since Salinger was a recluse for 50 some years. So Zinn gets a monolog. Is there any evidence they had anything in common -- other than they were alive and now they're dead. Maybe they'll be surprised to be at the pearly gates. Hopefully they'll keep their thoughts to themselves.

Jan. 29 2010 11:37 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

JD: [Mumbling incomprehensibly]
Howard: Whoa, and they thought I was a hater.

Jan. 29 2010 11:34 AM
Michael from East Harlem

JD and Howard are on a train that slowly comes to a halt. “Last Stop!” The conductor yells.

JD: I guess this is it. Last stop.
Howard (smiling): For now, we’ll just be headed onto another one soon enough.
JD: That’s the trouble with you Howard, you never saw that it was all the same train.
Howard: No that’s the trouble with you Jerry, you somehow thought you could get off.

Jan. 29 2010 11:27 AM
Michael from East Harlem

JD and Howard are on a train that slowly comes to a halt. “Last Stop!” The conductor yells.

JD: I guess this is it. Last stop.
Howard (smiling): For now, we’ll just be headed onto another one soon enough.
JD: That’s the trouble with you Howard, you never saw that it was all the same train.
Howard: No, that’s the trouble with you Jerry, you somehow thought you could get off.

Jan. 29 2010 11:12 AM
jsh198 from Fresh Meadows

In unison...
'What's a nice Jewish boy like you doing in a place like this?'

Jan. 29 2010 11:05 AM
Greg from Bronx, NY

Howard Zinn: So J.D.! You shirked any real contact with adoring fans who supported you for so long, let's see what Peter has to say about that!

J.D. Salinger: Go to hell.

Jan. 29 2010 11:04 AM
Rebecca from New Haven

I don't think J.D. Salinger did anything with glee per se. He's probably wondering who Howard Zinn is. May both of them rest soundly.

Hey, let's not forget, in spite of these sad deaths, today is Anton Chekhov's 150th birthday. A wonderful man.

Jan. 29 2010 11:03 AM
Patrick King from Philadelphia

They're slapping each other on the back with glee, saying how their dying within hours of each other is just like Michael and Farrah or Lady Di and Mother Theresa. At least for the New York Review of Books crowd.

Little in common in life, linked forever in death

Jan. 29 2010 10:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.