Saturday, January 30, 2010

The irreplaceable JD Salinger

Images of 'The Catcher in the Rye' book covers from cover browser and google.

'The Catcher in the Rye' (1951) by JD Salinger holds magical qualities in the same way that only a handful of books I've read could possibly do.

The portrayal of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence of the book's main character Holden Caulfield can be seen as one of the first books depicting teenage years, before the concept of the 'teenager' had even entered our dictionaries or collected consciousness.

However rather than being a book for adolescents it deals with complex issues of identity, belonging, connection, and alienation; as well as taking you for an exceptional journey through New York.

The book is written in first person (as if Holden Caulfield had written it himself). "There is [a] flow in the seemingly disjointed ideas and episodes; for example, as Holden sits in a chair in his dorm, minor events such as picking up a book or looking at a table, unfold into discussions about past experiences. Critical reviews agree that the novel accurately reflected the teenage colloquial speech of the time".

'The Catcher in the Rye' was seen as highly controversial upon its release and has continued to be viewed as such. It's still widely read and highly influential (for example in 2005 it was included on Time Magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923).

Its author JD Salinger (January 1, 1919 - January 27, 2010) was born in New York and raised in Manhattan, and is perhaps best known for 'The Catcher in the Rye'. He also wrote for The New Yorker magazine as well as publishing stories and novellas.

The success of 'The Catcher in the Rye' and the fame it brought its author sat uncomfortably with Salinger and he only published a few works after its release (short story collection 'Nine Stories' (1953), 'Franny and Zooey' (1961), 'Raise High the Roof Beam' (1963) and 'Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction' (1963)).

His last work 'Hapworth 16, 1924' was published in The New Yorker in 1965. He gave his last interview in 1980.

Salinger died on January 27, 2010 at the age of 91 of natural causes at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. He's literary legacy will live on.

You can read about JD Salinger here for example, 'The Catcher in the Rye' here for example - further here, here and here for example.

Take a walk through Holden Caulfield's New York with this map.

1 comment:

kamagra said...

The Catcher in the Rye is a classic that has not only withstood the test of time, but will still be standing long after most of the books you see around now are long gone.