J.D. Salinger

I’ve reproduced Drudge’s photo and headlines. The amusing wording of the second headline is Drudge’s own, a reference to Salinger’s unhappy teenaged protagonist, Holden Caulfield, who sees “phonies” everywhere.


J.D. Salinger dies

Finally escapes
the world of phonies

In fact, the article, from the London Times, provides much interesting information about Salinger. I read Catcher in the Rye when I was a kid, but I don’t think I had seen a photo of the famously reclusive Salinger (see below) before reading this piece, and I knew nothing about his life. Born in 1919, he served in the U.S. Army in Britain and Europe all through the war, landing at Utah beach in the Normandy invasion.


I think that what most stayed with me from Salinger’s books was not anything in Catcher in the Rye, but the culminating line of Salinger’s 1961 novella, Franny and Zooey, Zooey’s advice to his troubled sister Franny: “Do it for the fat lady.” Who’s the fat lady? Christ.

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January 29

LA writes

Not that it means anything, but I just remembered that I was two degrees of separation removed from Salinger. My great uncle, who was a dentist and the dentist for our whole family, was also Salinger’s dentist.

Kristor writes:

I will always be grateful to Salinger. Catcher in the Rye left me cold, but Franny & Zooey struck me like a thunderbolt when I was about 12. It was from Salinger that I first learned about the Jesus Prayer and The Way of a Pilgrim. That book was my first inkling of what applied Christianity meant—and, even more, what it would feel like. May God bless and keep him.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 28, 2010 07:38 PM | Send

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