remembering a recluse

J.D. Salinger, recluse, author of much--most notably The Catcher in the Rye--died this week at age 91. All I keep thinking is that I wish I would have read Salinger in high school and maybe I would have appreciated it more/differently than I did when I read it in my early/mid twenties. Here are some links to interesting articles post and pre Salinger's death.
  • New York Times, Salinger's NY
  • S.J. Gilman's reflection on NPR
  • A funny reflection on Salinger, which a friend, Bill Shein wrote back in 2004 here.
This is the dialogue in the book which I most remember. Funny how some things stay with us for a long time.

Holden: "You know that song, 'If a body catch a body comin' through the rye'?..."

Phoebe: "It's 'If a body meet a body coming through the rye'!... It's a poem. By Robert Burns."

Holden: "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

*link to Robert Burns poem, "Comin thro' the Rye," (includes the Burns-ian English and the modern translation).*


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