Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Memoriam: J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

Writer. Catcher in the Rye.

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around--nobody big, I mean--except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff--I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all the day. I'd just be a catcher in the rye and all.

Grand. There's a word I really hate. I could puke every time I hear it.

It was a very stupid thing to do, I'll admit, but I hardly even knew I was doing it.

If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late? Nobody.

I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.

That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write fuck you under your nose.

Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

22 comments:

  1. Oh Man, Now J.D. Salinger. Among my favorites all time. Were all those quotes from "Catcher In the Rye?" I can't remember back that far. But along with "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High The Roofbeams Carpenters" I'm not sure I read everything he wrote but I tried. He captured the essence of young adulthood better than anybody. Sad to hear of his passing. Though I haven't heard anything of him in years.

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  2. Very nice selection of quotes, Kirk! I am 100% with everyone who is blogging about the man's brilliance as a writer. But I also have that deep need to know what people are made of ~ what their existence means. He was a recluse by choice and insistence, for many decades. There would seem to be things about him not wholesome or admirable. And maybe that is what fueled the writing. Perhaps he was a dark genius.

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  3. All from Catcher in the Rye. Other than that I've read Nine Stories, a collection of, you guessed it, nine stories. Never got around to reading Franny and Zooey, but now I'm going to have to make the effort.

    You're not the only one who hasn't heard anything of him in years. He published his last book in the early '60s, and had been a recluse ever since. People have snuck onto his property over the years trying to get a picture of him.

    I identify with Holden Caulfield more as an adult than I ever did as a teenager. I don't know if that's a good thing or not.

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  4. @Limes--Where did you come from, Les? I was just responding to Tag's comment, posted it, and there you were! Anyway, one doesn't have to be a recluse to hide things that are not wholesome or admirable. In fact, that was pretty much the central theme of Catcher in the Rye. The phoniness that's all around us.

    @Tag--by the way, those quotes weren't from memory.

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  5. RIP, J.D. Salinger

    Just reread "Catcher in the rye" about 2 weeks ago.

    Hi, Kirk!

    :)

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  6. I came from my home planet of Gobazz, Kirk. It's like me to come snarking in while one writes a comment. ;~} I get that his writing was about the BS that surrounds us. I'm just curious about what seems such a dark streak to me. I'm curious about human beings.

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  7. @Les: Yet his brother was a journalist and press secretary to JFK and I believe LBJ. Someone who engaged the public on a regular basis. Human Behavior puzzles me, well alien behavior puzzles me too.

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  8. @ Tag ~ Of course, Pierre Salinger. VERY good. You've read my writing about my mother's family of origin. There were 12 children. Why were some such "normal" citizens (whatever that means) and some "aliens"? I want to know about these things. You've really got that alien thing going on, don't you, Tag?

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  9. @Hill--Read it as a kid, then again as an adult. I enjoyed it as a kid, but mostly because I was thrilled that my high school english teacher assigned us a book with all kind of four-letter words in it. You don't get that reading Dickens! When I read it again as an adult, after the romantic appeal of potty talk had faded, much like the bloom of a rose after it's been plucked, I had a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, the book.

    @Limes--Maybe Kitty Kelly will explain it all to us.

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  10. @Tag--You might want to read the wikipedia articles on both Pierre and JD Salinger before you start wondering how two "brothers" could be so different.

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  11. I'll eagerly anticipate Kitty's rendering, Kirk. Remember my strong stomach for "wrong".

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  12. Tag's comment reminds me of something. In the book "Shoeless Joe", which was the basis for the movie "Field of Dreams", the main character, Ray, kidnaps JD Salinger. Salinger is at first paranoid that he's going to be recognised, then becomes disgruntled when he's not. The two stop off at a motel, where Salinger tells the clerk his real name (he's been using an alias up to that point). He's gladdened that the clerk seems to recognise it. But then the clerk says, "You worked for Kennedy, right?" At hearing that, Salinger tries to stifle his laughter. When the clerk asks if something is wrong, Ray replies, "He's just upset about, Jack."

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  13. Such a great writer. I loved Perfect Day for a Bananafish and To Esme with Love and Squalor -- and all the short stories in that book. I'm going to have to dig it out and reread it.

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  14. That's why I usually Google along with my memory. All these years I thought they were related. Oh Well. Thanks for being my editor, Kirk.

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  15. @Limes-When you're being poked and prodded by aliens posing as doctors each week being paranoid is helpful. I see a lab coat and immediately drop my pants. TMI?

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  16. @ Tag ~ Yes, TMI and GOOD Googling! I repeat: not stupid if one just doesn't know someting. Stupid if one can't find the information. You did it quickly, too! ;~}

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  17. @ Tag ~ BTW, I'd have gently disabused you of the Pierre/J.D. association today if you hadn't found out. ;~}

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  18. A simple "They're not brothers dummy!" or "Stfu Taggy, You're out of your element." would have been fine.

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  19. @Tag and Limes--It's a common error. That's why I brought up Shoeless Joe. Speaking of errors, I have Ray telling the motel clerk, "He's just upset about, Jack". It should read, "He's just upset about Jack". No comma.

    @Dreamfarm--"To Esme with Love and Squalor" is my favorite story of his from that book. He goes from comedy to tragedy and then winds it up with comedy again, all in a story that's only a couple of pages long.

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  20. @ Tag ~ I'm gentler than that. Always.

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  21. Les, Of course I know that and love you for it. Take 'er easy

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