SALINGER by DAVID SHIELDS, SHANE SALERNO, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. SALINGER

November 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

Until recently I knew little about J. D. Salinger other than the fact that he was the author of the Catcher in the Rye, that he was out there remaining secluded, and then he was dead. I could not remember if I had ever read his classic.

After catching some of the documentary by Shane Salerno on PBS about Salinger, I decided to read the biography he and Shields wrote about the author. I found it to be a compelling read exploring the complex personality of the writer and the influence of WW II on his work, and how an off-shoot of Buddhism, Vedanta, influenced his life and made him the man he became after the war. Shields and Salerno brought home the point that Salinger could not tolerate phoniness in people and the life that surrounded him.   This, of course, is the primary theme of Holden Caulfield, the main character in the Catcher.

After reading Salinger’s biography, I decided to either read or reread the Catcher. After finishing the book, I can say that I either totally missed the great revelations supposedly contained within the pages of the work, wouldn’t be the first time, or the book is like a good poem, you take away from the reading what you bring.

Holden Caulfield, Salinger’s alter ego, cannot tolerate the phoniness in all he sees around him. At the age of sixteen, he has an opinion on everything and yet has accomplished nothing other than being kicked out of a series of exclusive prep schools.

It seems to me, and here is where I may be missing something, that Caulfield is the biggest phony of them all. His total existence is dependent on his lawyer father’s ‘dime’. The language in the novel is true to the era, but dated by today’s standards. This should make the future publication the 45 years of constant writing Salinger supposedly accomplished in solitude interesting. During those years, Salinger was allegedly working diligently in fleshing-out the Caulfield family along with the Glass family, the subject of much of his other works.

The setting for the Catcher strongly reflects the 1940’s. It will be interesting, taking into account Salinger’s isolation from the world, how he handles the development of his characters, their language and lifestyles. Needless to say, Salinger’s publishing future provides great anticipation.

To be continued…

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/walttrizna/index.html

 

Barnes & Noble. Com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/walt-trizna?store=book&keyword=walt+trizna

 

 

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=walt+trizna

Entry filed under: OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS, READER'S OPPORTUNITIES. Tags: , , , , , , , .

STRUGGLING TO GET IT PUBLISHED: ABSOLUTE WRITE CONTINUING ON J.D. SALINGER AND THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

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