A letter to camp.
One of the first bits of blurb I received for my debut novel described my protagonist as a pop-infatuated Holden Caulfield. This blurb made the top back cover of the book. I get to live with it. The legend invoked from the start.
Not only was it the most flattering review of my writing I’d ever seen, but the suggestion of having written such a character scared the hell out of me. Creating another Holden was never my conscious intent though certainly the foundation for such a character was imprinted on me by the masterpiece the original lives in.
Through the years I’ve always carried a soft spot on my heart for the man that created the icon that is Holden. Writing such a character is exhausting. To speak the truth and humanity that resonates with an audience as that character requires a writer to dig deep into himself and expose the flaws and frailties that most people spend their lives trying to obscure. To break through and share such visceral truth is to leave oneself fully exposed for the world to see. I know this as a reader. I know this as a writer.
The only possible protection after writing in such a way is privacy.
Holden said it perfectly;
Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.