QotD: RIP J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger died this week at the age of 91. How many times have you read Catcher in the Rye? How did it impact your life? 

y'all know how much I dislike the QotD, but today it serves a purpose

among the avalanche of JDS obits, memories, remembrances, etc. I'll say this:  I read "Catcher , didn't relate to it at all,  found Holden annoying and whiny.  the Glass family stories are interesting. 

yet I got to tip my hat to JDS – when he ran out of things to say, he shut up.

may all of us be that smart

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16 thoughts on “QotD: RIP J.D. Salinger

  1. What's interesting about JDS–I find–is that he didn't run out of things to say, he wanted to write. He thumbed his nose at publishing and everyone's expectations that he should continually outdo himself. He did a uniquely American cultural, generational icon who many of us could relate to and then regretted the exposure. The public comes up with names like recluse, hermit, mentally unstable for people who just wanted to be left alone, who don't care for the hardscrabble world of literary one-upsmanship. Not many of today's kids have Holden Caulfield's wit, astuteness, and whiny rejection of established behavior. Today's generation swallows it lock, stock, and barrel. JD's presence will be felt much more strongly by his absence.

  2. The public comes up with names like recluse, hermit, mentally unstable for people who just wanted to be left alone'zactly. we don't seem able to understand when someone just wants to be left the hell alone.

  3. I didn't even realize he was still alive, he hasn't been seen in public for so long. I read it as a teenager and it had no impact on me. I didn't have teenage angst, I had a solid family and therefore couldn't relate to it more than just as an observer. Maybe if I studied it as part of a class I would have gotten more out of it, but to me it was a book I needed to check off the list of books I felt I needed to read.

  4. I had a solid family and still suffered teen angst. >_< Catholic school taught me it was the debbil in my soul, so Holden Caulfield said a lot of what I thought. Except for noticing the size of some girl's knockers. :-P

  5. Oh, I didn't mean to imply teen angst and a solid family go together, although I suppose they can. I think those are two separate things that sometimes collide. What is that – non-QED? I meant that I thought those were two points he makes in his book, and I couldn't relate to either.

  6. Hmm, now you have me trying to think of what book may have had an impact on me in my formative years. I do remember LOVING "Jane Eyre".I'm starting to feel a bit on the vanilla side of boring. Other than a few dark periods, my life has been pretty much angst-free.

  7. I'm another who could not relate to Holden Caulfield.
    I rather wonder if I shouldn't go back and re-read the thing.
    However, there are so many other things I'd rather be doing, that I don't think I'll get to it anytime soon.

  8. I enjoyed Catcher In the Rye as a teenager, but not as an adult. Maybe it was having to go through the text with a bunch of whiny, self-entitled students who thought, like Holden, they could pass judgement on anyone different from them. But I have to admit the increasingly negative stories about Salinger in exile affected my attitude towards his work. Yeah he had the right to withdraw from publicity and fame, and I don't blame him for that. But having an affair with a teenaged Joyce Maynard turned my stomach. Like a lot of older men, he had absolutely no common sense when he was around a younger woman.

  9. the thing about Catcher… is, as my lovely and talented VOX neighbor Tom puts it, is that it completely overshadows anything else JDS wrote. the stories about the Glass family (every reader has her favorite(s)) are much better than Catcher in literary terms, as personal stories, and as characters.

  10. I'm ashamed to say I had totally forgotten about Joyce Maynard. I read about her affair with JDS and how he controlled and abused her – and like you, it turned my stomach.I'll have to scan the obits of JDS to see if any mention the Maynard affair. she painted a picture of JDS as a cruel, bitter, and jealous man; a man who many of JDS admirers rather not recognize.

  11. We don't know what else he wrote. He's got tons and tons of mss. in his house.I like Franny and Zooey. Truthfully, I don't think I'd enjoy either as an adult as much as I did as a secret rebel.

  12. Loved the author; as a person he was rather awful. He didn't exist for me, period. After hearing about La Maynard well, suffice it to say, he has been dead to me for many years.
    That being said, the Glass family does live, and will continue to do so, I suppose, because I won't stop reading his books. With the exception of 'Catcher', which I liked the least.
    In 'Nine Stories', 'F&Z', 'Carpenters' so many times he captured a thought, a time, a vision that I had experienced and nailed it in words, spot on. No matter what, I can't forget that.

  13. I had to read "Catcher" in high school and found it to be pleh. WTF was this guy whining so much for? And how stupid was he? That was the consensus of most of the kids in the class. Sure, it was nice to read something with a character our age, and some naughty words, but geeeez — I was sure glad when the test was over and I could stop thinking about it. I certainly didn't find it revelatory or shocking or life-changing. Or even believable.I guess I never had much truck with teen angst, even when I was a teen.Nowadays I s'pose I'd give him a WTF, STFU, and <eyeroll>.Just never understood why it was such a Big Deal, either to be required or banned. I barely remember it, and have never owned a copy.Hermitage I'm cool with, but wouldn't Holden C. have had some choice words for an old guy sleeping with/abusively relating to a teen girl? I certainly do.

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