Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP J.D. Salinger

This is not going to be long, or a list, I just felt that upon the passing of as great a literary giant as Salinger the very least I could do was write a brief blog post with my thoughts. I will be the first person to tell you that I am NOT and never have been in the biggest fan of Salinger's most noted work, The Catcher in the Rye. I have a tendency to find a large amount of hype very off-putting, and there is no book in the entire canon of American literature which gets as much hype as Catcher. It's a good book, a really good book even, and one that really appeals to teenagers, and has meant a great deal to so many people, and all of that is wonderful, but I do think the majesty of the novel gets blown out of proportion a bit. Kids in my high school would salivate over Catcher, decreeing it the only school-assigned book worth reading. I enjoyed Catcher, and I really enjoy Salinger's writing, but I personally feel that it comes out even better in Franny and Zooey, as well as in his collection Nine Stories. The characters of Franny and Zooey Glass, as well as the entire Glass family, have a had an immense impact on me, as a person, as well as a writer. They are beautiful, zany, complex, tragic figures, and they are so, so beautifully written. Salinger was a mysterious figure, but he gave the world a great deal of beauty in his life, and for that I thank him, and wish him a peaceful rest.


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