State of the Union analysis with JD Salinger

I has jes' one thang ter say...or, since J.D. Salinger died, I'll say what he woulda said:

"Obama din't bother ter shine his shoes fer the Fat Lady."

What does anybody wanna say about Salinger?



Aunty Belle said...

"Holden should just shut-up and take his Prozac"

(10th grader at public high school where 2009 students were asked their opinion of Catcher in the Rye )

Jenny said...

I believe I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't read "Catcher in the Rye" and I think that's something I should correct.

Anonymous said...

Catcher in the Rye is a baby boomer
rite of passage but nothing more.

Pam said...

Tell Boxer not to feel bad. I didn't read it until last year. I think it was sort of banned from my high school; we read A Separate Peace instead. Love the quote from the current high schooler re Holden ... what did kids do before Prozac, eh? GROW UP JUST FINE with a little bit of normal drama thrown into the mix?

R.Powers said...

It was an okay book, but puleeeaaaasse, it's not For Whom The Bell Tolls or Something Wicked This Way Comes.

If I hear one more NPR "How Did Catcher Change Your Life" call in show I will have to drink some Rye.

Actually, if anybody ever told me a BOOK changed their life, my response would be "Get A Life!!"

Aunty Belle said...

Sugar, Aunty doan think thar's much need.

smile...reckon thar's a case to be fer that.


It was ASSIGNED at mah highschool but Mama (Granny Cracker) done threw it in the trash. She tole the principal to assign us Ivanhoe. Heh


oh thas' ripe--comin' from a teacher an all. But does ya need to be so hard on ALL books? Reckon one or two changed ya up some--how about the Boy Scout Handbook?

I is heah to tell ya that Julia Child made a mammoth change in mah life--wonder how many hours coulda been saved iffin' I din't stop to make mah own chicken broth an not resort to store boughten stuff?

All y'all, I has also heard a few yakkers on TV/ Radio chat on how Holden was the the voice of angst ridden American youth.

Wuz he fer ya'?

darkfoam said...

i tried reading the book a few decades ago but didn't get very far. in my teens i was into steinbeck, hesse, thomas man, some brecht, bronte sisters, etc. my 18 year old son has read it and liked it however. for his young age he has read a wide variety of literature, fiction and nonfiction. i tend to trust his judgement. i think, for the most part, he is a discerning young man. but then i'm kind of prejudiced in that respect .. :)

Nicolezmomma said...

My 16 year old finished the book about a week before Salinger died. She liked it a lot, and really wants us to read it. My husband started last night. If it's another navel gazer novel, I doubt I will enjoy it.

Love the Prozac quote.

R.Powers said...

Maybe if I had been angst ridden as a teen it would have spoke to me.
I had a great time as a teen.

Almost 100% of the teen "angst" I see in my classroom is due to horrible parents.
You have to see it to believe it.

As for books changing a life ...
I wasn't thinking of "How To" books Aunty, ... really meant novels.
I am actually often heard saying, "Give me the right book and the right tools and I can make anything."

sparringK9 said...

i havent read it either. boxer, meet me at remedial literature class.

Aunty Belle said...


Hey..I read Bronte Sisters, Cather, Hawthorne, even Thurber and it ruint me fer stuff like Catcher in the Rye--which seemed to lack any true gravitas--an I wuz an insufferable teen--took mahself very gravely indeed. Even granny snidely called me "Mother Superior."

Frankly fer me it was too teen boy-ish in a self conscious way--but that was then an' I wonder if I need to read it again through these ole eyes? Who was Salinger's real audience? Mebbe we should trust yore boy more.

Well, howdy do! I seen ya somehwar' in last few days an' meant to come stop in on ya'. So happy to see ya on the Porch.

Yore 16 year old may also like Salinger's Franny and Zooey--which is whar that post quote is from "Shine yore shoes fer the Fat Lady" the context is radio--how shinin' shoes fer the people who doan see ya still has merit--shows respect fer the job youse doin'.

I'll be curious to know how Nicolzdaddy likes Catcher.


Forsooth,how goest thy young squire's Faire?

(whew...I gotta work on how to speak Medieval Cracker)

I wuz jes' funnin' ya' some. But mercy, ain't no novel ever put a hitch in your stride? Made ya look over ya shoulder? Look deeper inward?

Somehow I figgered ya had the finest boyhood--love all the posts on Mama and Daddy in St. A, an' know them wuz cherished days an that yore OWN youngun's is havin the best time of it too. makes the condition of yore students all the more stark, by contrast.

h said...

The smallest and (usually most quiet) kid in my class said:

"If this whiny punk Holden was in Troll County, he'd get his ass kicked every day and I'd be the first".

fishy said...

Yep, this were a required read in my school too. I didn't love it. In fact I remember shocking my teacher with a book report because the premise was " whoever has time for all this selfishness"? Clearly Salinger doesn't understand a household with younger sibs.
I do however think this English teacher,( who was also the drama director(, loved this because it matched her vision of emotion riddled, theatrical, teen angst.

I reckon it will be interesting to see if ol JD has a room full of manuscripts stashed away in a secret room like the rumor mills posit. If so, it is unlikely I will read them.

NPR Semi-Human Resources Dept. said...

Being emotionally obsessed with over-rated teen-novels and the worship of Barack Hussein Obama are both required for employment here.

moi said...

What Troll said. Whiner-ass lit, the worse kind.

Kymical Reactions said...

I had to read this for a college class. Really, I just thought that HC was a kid with a big ole chip on his shoulder who thought the world owed him something. Not so different from most kids today. It was a decent read, not sure I would have done it if it wern't for the assignment. :/