I have always loved Salinger’s realistic writing style. He can characterize like no other writer. The past few nights I have been re-reading some of his short stories and parts from “Zooey”, which is perhaps tied with “Catcher” as being my favorite of his works. What do you think of J.D.?
Profoundly gifted writer, but I’ve wondered if only young men of a certain age and class really ‘get’ Catcher: for them, it’s a cultural touchstone without equal.
For the rest of us, its like a perfectly preserved insect in amber-- the private school boy sneaking off to NY to hang in the nightclubs, drink, listen to jazz… the way he uses ‘corny’ as the ultimate put down, the obvious but unstated classism: it perfectly captures a life and time, yet doesn’t say much to me about my time.
There’s a certain universality in his adolescent angst, but one wonders if Salinger himself really got just how pathetically self indulgent his hero was, how self absorbed and typical of persons of a particular age and class.
Still a masterpiece, but as forigen to our world today as Martin Chuzzlewhit’s adventures in pre-civil war New York.