Friday, January 29, 2010

Did I Miss Out?

David Levithan wrote a little essay on Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, who died this week:

Probably the most popular thing I’ve ever read during school visits is a piece from one of my novels called “My girlfriend is in love with Holden Caulfield.” No matter where I am in America, no matter if I’m talking to freshmen or seniors, guys or girls, every time I say the title, at least half the class knows exactly what I’m talking about. I often say that “The Catcher in the Rye” is the second most misread book in history – when you’re young, you don’t really see Holden’s pain, only his bravado. Then, when you get older, you see the sorrow and confusion underneath. And the book gets even stronger for it. (The Wall Street Journal Online)

I haven't read Catcher in the Rye yet, or anything by David Levithan for that matter. Although both have been on my radar. You can read the above piece about the girlfriend loving Holden Caulfield from his novel The Realm of Possibility, here. Actually I think I'll pick this book up -- "The Realm of Possibility is told by twenty different teens who go to the same high school – straight and queer, goth and gospel, hopeful and heartbroken"

My highschool was too busy reading Lord of the Flies every year to add Catcher to the reading list. Don't get me wrong, I love LOTF, but I feel like I missed out on a part of my formative teen years not reading Catcher. :)



Tales of Whimsy said...

That was awesome.
Thanks for sharing.

Ya know...I never read it either. My school did Lord of the Flies as well.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Yep, I would say you missed out, heh! Catcher was one of my absolute favourite books when I was like 17, it just spoke to me. I don't think it would do the same to me now when I'm 24 and I've changed a lot since then, but when I was an angsty teen, that book was like my bible, lol. It's never too late too - you can still read it! :)

Brian James said...

Interesting. David and I discussed this book many times (He's been the editor on 5 of my novels). I never much cared for book...we had good conversations about it.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read The Catcher in the Rye yet either. Not sure how I missed that one in school. I do have it on my TBR list, so one of these days I hope to read it.

Robby said...

I love David Levithan and cannot wait to read his books. I have to read LOTF next year for English and CITR the year after. I think I'm going to read them both sooner, though, to develop my own opinions. JD Salinger seemed like a great writer.


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