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Little Willow [userpic]

Family: Lesley M.M. Blume

May 27th, 2009 (07:22 am)
hopeful

Current Mood: hopeful
Current Song: The Luckiest by Ben Folds

The literary family that I've adored continuously - from childhood to the present -- is J.D. Salinger's Glass family. I still really love that one footnote in Franny and Zooey" that describes each of the seven children: Franny, Zooey, Walter, Waker, Boo Boo, Buddy, and of course, Seymour. When I was at Cambridge, I wanted to stage a play based on 'Franny and Zooey,' but then I heard that Salinger sues the hell out of anybody who tries to dramatize anything based on the Glass family, so that was that.

I was amazed, then, when Wes Anderson dished up a remarkably similar family of child geniuses in his film The Royal Tenenbaums -- and came through it unscathed by Salinger's legal team. I loved the Tenenbaums with as much gusto as I loved the Glasses - from Margot with her play dioramas to Chad with his dalmation mice to Richie with his ballroom of paintings.

If I had to put my finger on what attracts me to these families, I'd have to say it's their combination of unbridled creativity and utter dysfunction. The narrative of enormous-yet-squandered brilliance and potential has always been very interesting to me, and I explore it a lot in my own writing. The Glasses and Tenenbaums have also been a big influence on me as I've created my own child-savant characters in my books: Cornelia in Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters is an expert in words; Franny in The Rising Star of Rusty Nail is a piano prodigy; and the title character in Tennyson is an uncannily sharp writer whose talents belie her age.

-- Lesley M.M. Blume

Read my 2008 interview with Lesley.

Read my 2006 interview with Lesley.

Follow the series of family posts.

Comments

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 27th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
so original

and good.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 27th, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Re: so original

Read her books if you haven't already - They'll stick with you! :)

Posted by: aquafortis.mp (ext_178041)
Posted at: May 28th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)

Cool! I'll have to look for her work. Also, I haven't read Franny and Zooey yet, either, I'm embarrassed to say, so I'll have to acquire that too...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 28th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)

I've yet to read F&Z. My sole Salinger read? Catcher.

Definitely read her books. All are strong - Cornelia is quirky and fun, Rusty Nail is determination, and Tennyson is probably my favorite.

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