Salinger bids phonies goodby

 I first read J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" in my mid-teens and absolutely loved it.

Every page seemed like a revelation.

About 10 years later, I picked it up  to re-read it and could barely get through 50 pages. The book's anti-hero, Holden Caulfield, came across to my older self as nothing more than a lazy, self-pitying, self-center whiner who did absolutely nothing but complain about other people.

Well, perspective is everything.

Still, there's no denying that Salinger's principal work, and virtually his only work, is a classic of American literature that  sells thousands of copies each year and still appeals to alienated teens

As for Salinger, he was a real wierdo. Too bad for him. His life could have been so much richer but for the demons he surely fought. Maybe his experience fighting in World War II damaged him psychologically. Maybe not.

The New York Times published a terrifically interesting obit of Salinger. He and Holden apparently were two peas in a pod.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/books/29salinger.html?em

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