RIP JD Salinger

28 Jan

I know this might be controversial. People have very definite opinions on how they feel about JD Salinger and I was one of the ones who loved his writing.  Catcher in the Rye was one of the first books I ever read for school that I loved.  We were supposed to be reading so many pages a week and I devoured the entire thing in a weekend. I couldn’t believe they were “forcing us to read” such an amazing book.  I never realized that classics could actually be entertaining and it opened up my eyes and made me look at all those books they were forcing me to read with a more open mind. I stopped reading so much trash and started reading the classics.  If it wasn’t for Catcher in the Rye, I would have never taken The Great Gatsby seriously. I would have skimmed it to pass the test and been done with it.

After Catcher in the Rye, I bought every other book that he published.  All of them white paperbacks with just those little stripes on the corner and the title printed in black letters on the front.  Those little white paperbacks are much dirtier now.  From being shoved into bags, from being reread, from being underlined.  Franny and Zooey was my favorite.  On our third date, my husband bought me a hardcover edition of it because he knew how much I liked it.  Even though it was a sweet thought, when I want to read it again, I go back to my paperback.  It’s well loved and practically falls open to my favorite parts and makes me feel like I’m in my parent’s house or a college dorm room, lying on a twin bed, listening to the radio (with commercials! Oh the horror!) and lost in the strange Glass family, half wishing I was one of them. 

I know this is going to sound totally unoriginal.  I’m sure a million people have said it before.  And I’m sure people are saying it again today.  But sometimes feelings aren’t original.  There’s a part in Catcher in the Rye where Holden is talking about some book he read.  And he’s talking about how sometimes after he reads a book, he wishes he was friends with the author and he could call them up and talk to them about it.  I felt that way about JD Salinger.  And I know he was a recluse and I know that he would not at all appreciate it if I had ever tried. But I don’t care.  When I heard he died, I was sad.  Because I wish I had known him so I could tell him how great it was to have his words on the nights when I was lonely or sad and felt like I didn’t have anything else.


2 Responses to “RIP JD Salinger”

  1. abbersnail January 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    I love how you describe this. One of the things I love about reading (and writing) is that the written word has the power to MAKE you feel a certain way. It’s like the author has created a bond with their readers!

  2. Stella M. August 8, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    It never ceases to amaze me how deeply and poetically Salinger succeeds in portraying teen-age years. I have to admit, I was kind of in love with Holden. (Lol)
    I think a lot of people were sad as soon as they found out about Salinger’s death because, even though he was kind of a misanthrope, he did bring to life unforgettable characters like Holden, Emma, Mrs Glass and Franny… All of them will always be part of us, and consequently so will Salinger.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: