Thursday, January 28, 2010


Not many authors have one or two of their books become a voluntary right of passage among the moody and quixotic generations of teens and young adults, but J.D.Salinger was such a writer, the author of  Catcher in the Rye, the singular book about growing up while dissatisfied. Holden Caufield, the book's narrator protagonist , is a moody youth , prematurely cynical, impatient with the ways of adults and their habits and institutions . The book has been discussed, analysed , inspected and interpreted over the decades that one wonders whether it can still be read as a fresh experience, and I would say yes, yes. Caufield is cynical with a acute bullshit detector, but he is not wise beyond his years; Salinger's particular gift was for to inhabit the skin of a young man masking his confusion with a collection of fiercely protected mannerisms and borrowed attitudes. He was, though, coming to the moment when more was revealed and his life was transformed, and his perspective altered far beyond his tight little world made visible. Attitude, awkwardness, good humor laced with a handily sense of melancholy, it was the work of a master regarding the slogging progress toward an adult sensibility.


  1. Well stated Ted. It will be quite the battle I'm sure over future publications of written but unublished work. I wonder what his will says. I wrote a quick piece about the short story "Teddy" in connection with Salinger's death here:

    If you are interested of course. Keep up the good work. Always interesting reads.

  2. louminatti@earthlink.net12:45 PM PST

    Lance Ito. Am I the first to say that today?

  3. An author is entitled to his or her privacy, I think. In response to numerous inquiries about his personal life, John P. Marquand published an autobiography titled LEAVE ME ALONE, GODDAMNNIT! shortly before his death. It was not written in a sweet spirit.


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