Harold Bloom

Salinger, Pynchon & Co.: When writers are recluses

They wait like pilgrims, queuing silently, bearing volumes for inscription and awaiting a chance to touch the hem of his garment. They're not Franciscans approaching Assisi but earnest readers rushing bookstores and cultural temples for word -- wisdom, solace, salvation? -- from on high. Or turning on the TV, opening a newspaper, for insight from their favorite authors. But what if the creator won't come down from the mountain, won't comment on the reasons for his creation? What if he won't publish his new work (like J.D. Salinger), won't allow himself to be photographed (like Thomas Pynchon), won't make public appearances (like Cormac McCarthy) or...