Sad to read about the passing of JD Salinger

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Ang Mo
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Sad to read about the passing of JD Salinger

Postby Ang Mo » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:59 am

I have read the Catcher in the Rye too many times to count. I bust out laughing every single time. It might be kind of dark in a few places but it is very entertaining.
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

Fred
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Postby Fred » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:24 pm

I attended one of the prep schools that he did. When I was there, finding the hidden references in Catcher that only an alumnus would know was a popular game.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

rahau
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Postby rahau » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:04 am

I too was saddened to hear of his passing. Salinger will always be one of my favorites. I remember reading "Catcher" in high school. Much like our Chairman, I burst out laughing in the classroom while reading it. I was the only one. Most of my classmates read the book with expressions of shocked disapproval.

When the school year ended, I read "Nine Stories." My two favorites were "The Laughing Man" and "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period." I loved them even though I didn't completely understand them, and probably still don't. Yet it was those stories, more than anything else, that instilled in me a both a desire to write and some priceless lessons on HOW to write.

Like most of his fans, I would like to have had the chance to meet him. Back in the seventies, when I lived in New Hampshire, I probably had a better chance than most. But I decided that if I really was a fan, I'd respect his privacy.

Besides, he'd already given me what I needed. One of the recurring messages in his books is that maybe it's okay to be the misfit, the odd person out, the one who doesn't fit in and doesn't particularly want to. Salinger encouraged us to march to the beat of a different drummer. When I was an awkward 17-year old, I really needed to hear someone say that. A good many of us still do.

rahau
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Postby rahau » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:57 am

Darndest thing: One of the best tributes to Salinger came from a man who didn't like his work. Writing in Newsweek, Malcolm Jones says he never learned to like Salinger, despite everyone in high school and college who told him, "Why, if you love great literature, you simply MUST learn to love Salinger!"

Malcolm Jones wrote:Maybe this all sounds mean. I don't intend it that way. Salinger was the first writer I read about whom I made up my own mind about how I felt. I think a lot of readers would say the same thing. Some of us hated his work, some loved it, and some, like me, were more or less indifferent. But whatever your opinion, these were books and stories that said, form your own opinion. Don't worry what your mother says, or some teacher or critic. How you feel about a book should be between you and the book.

I don't know why Salinger's work gives off such a message. I don't know if he even knew that was happening. He must have. People reacted so intensely to his books that they deluged him with mail and showed up on his doorstep. I'd be a hermit, too, if that happened to me. But I have him to thank for being the first writer whose work encouraged me to have my own opinions, no matter what anyone else said. That's a lot to be grateful for.


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