Contemporary culture contains no shortage of sequels, prequels, reboots and spin-offs.
In this 1951 file photo, J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher in the Rye", "Nine Stories", and "Franny and Zooey" is shown. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, file
This is true even in the world of literature, where books envisioned as quick one-offs eventually become a series, due in part to popular demand and — perhaps — a desire, on the author's or publishers' part, to make more money.
In some cases, it almost seems as though the rule is, "the more, the better." Fans of established characters want to keep following those characters. They want to become further engrossed in the character's world.
But there are exceptions to every rule, and in this case, it seemed as though one author in particular was exempt.
J.D. Salinger only published one novel in his career: the seminal coming-of-age classic The Catcher in the Rye.
The Catcher in the Rye tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenaged misanthrope with deeply cynical qualities. It is a wildly successful work, in large part because it is easily relatable — especially for members of recent generations, who seem to be afflicted with almost perpetual ennui.
To be fair, Catcher was not Caulfield's only appearance, but it was the character's only appearance in long-form literature.
Now, it seems, that is going to change.
According to the upcoming biographical film Salinger, there are five previously unseen works that the author left instructions to be published five years after his death — in 2015.
That year also marks the 50th anniversary of Salinger's last published work.
Caulfield will be reprised for at least one of the stories.
In a culture awash in sequels, prequels, reboots and spin-offs, it's hard to be anything other than skeptical about Salinger's second act.
In his later years, Salinger was a noted recluse who shied away from fame. He avoided the public eye, sued individuals who used his characters, and showed considerable contempt toward would-be biographers.
He was a deliberate man.
It's only slightly disconcerting that his instructions were to release these works posthumously.
All editorials are written by the Times-Herald editorial staff.