[UPDATE] CFP: J. D. Salinger's Literary Legacy (July 1, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory
contact email: 


Call for Papers

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory publishes critical essays that employ engaging, coherent theoretical perspectives and provide original, close readings of texts. Because LIT addresses a general literate audience, we encourage essays unburdened by excessive theoretical jargon. We do not restrict the journal's scope to specific periods, genres, or critical paradigms. Submissions must use MLA citation style. Please send essays in triplicate (if outside the US or Canada, one copy will do), along with a 100 word abstract, to Regina Barreca, Editor, LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, University of Connecticut, Department of English, 215 Glenbrook Rd., Box 4025, Storrs, CT 06269-4025, USA. Please also email an electronic version of your essay to litjourn@yahoo.com.

J. D. Salinger's Literary Legacy

In a New York Times op-ed piece published after J. D. Salinger's recent death, David Lodge charged that many of Salinger's critics simply "didn't get" his work, particularly his post-Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories work. Lodge suggests that Salinger—unbeknownst to his critics--was "playing a kind of Shandean game." Offering a bold alternative to the famously critical 1961 review of Franny and Zooey in which John Updike concedes that Salinger's fiction "matches the tint and shape of present American life," but insists that it "pays the price. . .of becoming dangerously convoluted and static," Lodge implicitly challenges critics to revisit and reassess Salinger's body of work.

Salinger has made this a daunting task: we are wary of Holden Caulfield peering over our shoulders and sneering, "phonies!"; we would prefer not to be lumped with the critics Buddy Glass refers to as "a peerage of tin ears." Nevertheless, in the spirit of Lodge's refusal to define Salinger's legacy too recklessly—to lean too heavily on the reclusive literary icon Salinger became or the phony-hating, chain-smoking character for whom he is most famous—LIT seeks essays that offer fresh new readings of Salinger's work and his place in American literature. We welcome essays that consider Salinger alone or in relation to his literary antecedents, descendants, or contemporaries. We are looking for analysis that is theoretically grounded but also engaging and accessible; we are less interested in strictly biographical approaches. Contributions should be from 5,000-10,000 words in length.

Deadline for submissions: July 1, 2010

LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory also welcomes submissions for general issues.