29 January 2010

JD Salinger and a melancholy post

So - JD Salinger, beloved author of several books and many unfinished manuscripts, has died. Of course, we mostly know him as our Catcher in the Rye. And... while his presence will be missed, it's odd because we hardly knew him - reclusive, private, most people who aren't given to pay attention to the literary world probably thought he was already dead. But - isn't it like Holden Caulfield has died? And - doesn't that upset you? He reached old age (91!)- no longer that youthful rebellious soul for whom we all felt... well.. something... Shocking that Holden - JD - with all those profound, brave and unusual thoughts is no longer here - he's gone.

I mean, we've all read The Catcher in the Rye (if you haven't - I don't want to know - can't imagine it really). So... obviously, Holden will ALWAYS be with us. On those days when you don't know what is expected of you in terms of how you fit in the world, with other people, etc. - think of that beautiful moment in the book when he tells us what he wants to do or be - the one who catches the kids as they play and run in the rye - sort of the one who keeps the child safe - away from the world beyond the rye - in the simplest form of the idea.... There's more....but for now, I guess we just say "good-bye" to Jerome David Salinger. Those of us who often feel that we don't belong - even though we're no longer teenagers :-) like Holden - will really miss him.

How's this for a memorable line from the book?: "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody."

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