Tuesday, May 10, 2011

J.D. Salinger reconsidered

This is an interesting article. There's so much Salinger love out there, perhaps because we all come to the author young, and he is all about the young. But how well does he hold up for adults decades after his published work saw the light of day? (Which of course raises the question of whether there's a body of unpublished work, but there's no answer to that yet that I know of.) One writer concludes that Salinger is no longer her cup of tea.

Mary McNamara writes in the L.A. Times:

"I was 10 when my father handed me The Catcher in the Rye, and I found not just a voice for all the wild despair and sudden inexplicable elation of adolescence but an acknowledgement that these feelings did not occur in a vacuum. Salinger reached into the 'vale of tears' catechism of my Irish Catholic upbringing and lifted me out by my hair — don't listen, he said, they're all phonies, just keep your eyes open for small moments of beauty, and you will find them between the lies and the obscenities. I felt like my life had been saved and in tribute spent the next few years of my life calling people 'Ackley kid' and prefacing far too many of my comments with 'if you want to know the truth.' "

Read the whole article, Getting over J.D. Salinger.

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