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IN THE the acknowledgements to Joyce Maynard's recent account of her menage with J.D. Salinger, she thanks "the members of my website community with whom I share my coffee every day. That website would not exist without the generous oversight and vigilance of my friends Joe Rosen and Myrna Uhlig."

Such is her woolly style that her editors are guilty of one oversight after another. One might assume that, in her positive sense of the word, this is an American coining; but, no, as a word for both supervision and neglect, it goes back to the 15th century.

The book does, however, have a splendid oversight by Salinger. He once failed to smoke salmon in his chimney, instead of making one of his many trips to Bloomingdale's.