Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"That killed me."

"What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."

Ditto, Holden. Ditto. I have not been so sad to say goodbye to a book in a very long time. I felt so worried and afraid for Caulfield and so enamored with his little sister and her selflessness. Salinger nailed it on the head. I realized in the end that Holden wasn't merely self-absorbed, but hopelessly idealistic and noble. He had this idea of a perfect world of decency and human kindness, without hypocrisy (phonies), without demoralization. He is disenchanted, disillusioned with a culture fixated on the immediate, on the shallow, on the surface.

Also, have not read a book silently that made me laugh out loud quite so hard, possibly ever. Example: "Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a toilet seat."

The book is interesting, as well, since it only details Holden's life as it occurs in the span of 72 hours or less, although it narrates much of his past in between. Salinger seems to make a concerted effort to put you in the sleepless state that Holden is in, so that you may, at last, understand his fury...and his disappointment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What kind of punctuation mark am I?

You Are a Colon

You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.

You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.

Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)

You excel in: Leadership positions

You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

"All her kings in the back row..." - Catcher in the Rye - Impressions I

So now that I am four chapters in, I have decided to post some thoughts. I distinctly think 3 things:

1) Holden Caulfield is a spoiled prep-school richie who complains about everything.

2) I don't want to like Holden Caulfield.

3) I like Holden Caulfield.

In addition, the language thus far is dated, but perhaps, this adds to the charm of Salinger's writing. The swearing seems awfully unneccessary but I understand its place in this book. I am still asking myself why Holden continues to keep my attention. I will admit that, in spite of his obvious flaws, he makes some very valid observations about human nature, about why we really do what we do. Indeed, Salinger seems to have a finger on the humanity button.
Favorite quote so far: "I used to play checkers with her all the time...She wouldn't move any of her kings. What she'd do, when she'd get a king, she wouldn't move it. She'd just leave it in the back row. She'd get them all lined up in the back row. Then she'd never use them. She just liked the way they looked when they were all in the back row...Ask her if she still keeps all her kings in the back row."

The Downfall of Society - Don't try to deny it!