Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unscheduled Interruption

Each time that I read The Catcher in the Rye, I discover new aspects and layers of the story and of Holden Caulfield. The first time I read this book I was around 16 years old. I know I reread it about 2 years ago, and I think I reread it sometime before that as well. When I read it that first time, I don't think I noticed all of the intricacies in Holden's character, particularly in his unraveling and in his humor. It's not real everyday humor, and I'm not sure if it's even meant to be funny, but there are some lines in this story that now have me giggling and grabbing my iPhone to take a picture of the text so I can remember it for later... or so I can post those quotes on my blog.
The edition I am reading is from the Modern Library collection and was published in 1951. On page 39, when Holden is in the bathroom with his roommate, while his roommate (Stradlater) is shaving and Holden decides that he just needs to put Stradlater in a half nelson (the wrestling move), I cannot help but laugh at the line, "So I did it. I landed on him like a goddam panther." Then a few pages later, on page 42, Holden explains that Stradlater is a "very sexy bastard." And that "Only very sexy stuff interested him." I think the difference from our time and the time this was written as well as the tone of voice I am giving Holden, just gets me every time. It probably shouldn't, but I just love the way Salinger wrote Holden as a character and the voice he gave him and the many levels to his personality.
Current progress: Somewhere in chapter 6 of The Catcher in the Rye

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