Friday, January 29, 2010

There Was Nothing Phony About This Man – J.D. Salinger Dies at 91

As most of the world already knows, J.D. Salinger, the mysterious author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” died at the age of 91 on Wednesday. Here is the NY Times obituary of one of the greatest American writers to emerge from the World War II era. 

I’m pretty sure “The Catcher in The Rye” is now required reading at most high schools. I know I had to read it during my freshman year. That said, its hard to imagine that this now standard text was one of the most banned books in schools for over 20 years. In honor of J.D. Salinger, here is one of my favorite passage from “The Catcher in the Rye.”

"Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me.  And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That's all I do all day.  I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be."  ~J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 22, spoken by the character Holden Caulfield

[Images via cas and notablebiographies]

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