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Long Life Not Dependent on Sociability or Sanity
Old 01-28-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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Long Life Not Dependent on Sociability or Sanity

‘Catcher in the Rye’ author J.D. Salinger dies - TODAY: Book news
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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Good note on the longevity thing. He's one I never got. Read CITR and thought except for a few dirty words, it wasn't much of a story. I always thought he was highly over rated. A few dirty words and a life as a recluse makes people think you are really something, I guess.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:07 PM   #3
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It's not been a good couple of weeks for writers--Erich Segal ("Love Story"), Robert Parker ("Spenser"), now J.D. Salinger. I always liked Salinger's other books more than CITR.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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CITR was one of those books I could never really understand what the fuss was about. I read it as an adult, when I was going thru one of those phases of having to read all the classics and it left me cold.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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I loved the book when I was young and read it myself. But I did get on the net and read about Salinger and this lady after I saw this obit in USA Today. Interesting...
Salinger did have a very peculiar diet. Guess it was supposedly a health food thing...sounded awfully dull and non-tasty, but heck! hey lived to 90, so maybe it worked for him.
He sounded pretty controlling overall from what I read. Pretty anal....sounded like a no-fun guy if anything.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:56 PM   #6
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I liked CITR when I was 11 or 12. Definitely "got" Holden Caulfield's disdain for "phonies." However, as the daughter of a middle-class, blue-collar father and homemaker mom, I have always found it hard to relate to the so-called Terrible Problems of rich kids in expensive prep schools. Pretty much any F. Scott Fitzgerald character was inaccessible to me for that reason; I could appreciate the fineness of his writing, but couldn't appreciate the angst of people who would never have to worry about earning a living. It always seemed to me they had the problems they did, simply because they had the leisure to cultivate them.

Salinger's reclusiveness, while fine for him, isn't for everyone. It would not be for me. I do believe most of us need some social network if we're to stay healthy and happy.

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Old 01-28-2010, 06:01 PM   #7
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When I read it in high school, I thought Holden Caulfield should just buck up, stop whining and get on with life.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:43 PM   #8
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I was very moved by "Catcher in the Rye" in 7th grade. It also seemed very grown up and sophisticated to me. But more than Catcher in the Rye, at that age I liked "Franny and Zooey". I was intrigued by Zooey.

"Catcher in the Rye" wasn't allowed in my school at the time I read it, though. My brother had a copy of it hidden in his room which I borrowed. The adults seemed very threatened by it and I really couldn't figure out what the problem was. Later it was not only allowed but on the ninth grade book lists. Figures.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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CITR was one of those books I could never really understand what the fuss was about. I read it as an adult, when I was going thru one of those phases of having to read all the classics and it left me cold.
It was assigned reading when I was in high school, & I didn't 'get it'.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:53 PM   #10
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I read CITR about twelve years ago and liked it. Maybe I shouldn't have?

Hmmm...I think I'll read it again just to make sure. As time goes by, my interpretation of a book/film changes.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:04 PM   #11
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I just finished a re-read of Catcher this week as I'm trying to work my way through Time's top 100 books. I really enjoyed it although Holden's nihilism did get a little tired but I blamed it on his brother's death - and his age, of course. Kind of a coincidence that I went to a fancy dinner with a bunch of lawyers from a "prestigious" law firm the day I finished it and got to experience the phonies first hand... It even made me want to move to a cabin in the woods or jump out of a window like Holden.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #12
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It's not been a good couple of weeks for writers... Robert Parker ("Spenser")
Robert B. Parker, Best-Selling Mystery Writer, Dies at 77 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com

Aw, crap.

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The cause was a heart attack, said his agent of 37 years, Helen Brann. She said that Mr. Parker had been thought to be in splendid health, and that he died at his desk, working on a book. He wrote five pages a day, every day but Sunday, she said.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:05 AM   #13
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I liked CITR when I first read it as a young teenager. I read my older sister's copy of the book. I could not relate to Holden Caulfield at all, but it was so different from Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. I remember really devouring my sister's copy of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and feeling how different it was from usual juvenile reads.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:56 AM   #14
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"Catcher in the Rye" wasn't allowed in my school at the time I read it, though. My brother had a copy of it hidden in his room which I borrowed. The adults seemed very threatened by it and I really couldn't figure out what the problem was. Later it was not only allowed but on the ninth grade book lists. Figures.

It infuriates me when schools ban books - even ones that they have had in their libraries for a long time- because one parent objects to it for whatever reason. Recently a school district near us banned Diary of Anne Franke, for cripe's sake.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:46 AM   #15
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This school district recently banned (and just reinstated) a dictionary:

Banned dictionary to return to Riverside County school - latimes.com

Banning CITR, Diary of Anne Frank, Huck Finn, etc., following the law of unintended circumstances, is one way to ensure that the books will get read ("They banned CITR? I better read it and find out what all the fuss is about!")
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:12 AM   #16
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It infuriates me when schools ban books - even ones that they have had in their libraries for a long time- because one parent objects to it for whatever reason. Recently a school district near us banned Diary of Anne Franke, for cripe's sake.
How ridiculous to ban Diary of Anne Franke, which was one of the most inspiring books I ever read in Junior HIgh School. It is a book that young girls can identify with, and that helps them to realize how wonderful it is to be free. That article that BestWifeEver linked to about the banned dictionary is ridiculous, too. That is just insane.

Now I can see a school being careful about what books are required, but not what books are permitted. But allowed books? I allowed my daughter to openly read (or watch on TV) whatever she wanted and the only dubious result from that is that she has no problem watching "Friday the 13th" type movies which I just cannot watch because they terrorize me. She now reads more than any 31-year-old I have ever met and belongs to fan clubs for great authors on Facebook and that sort of thing.

I can vouch for the fact that at age 12, knowing Catcher in the Rye was not permitted just made it seem more exciting, adult, and glamourous to me. I might not have read it if it was just another book on the book list. I thought Holden Caulfield was brilliant, sensitive, perceptive, etc., and probably really good looking. As a junior high school student at the time, going through some of the worst teenage years, I could relate to his angst and railing about phonies (I *still* don't like phonies). I don't even remember any bad words so I guess they didn't make much impact. All this said, I still didn't think it was a wonderful book. Just OK. At the time I thought Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island were wonderful books. Neither of those was on the book list either, but they weren't banned.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:08 PM   #17
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At the time I thought Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island were wonderful books. Neither of those was on the book list either, but they weren't banned.
Well they might be today, wherever school administrators are more sensitive to attacks from a few fanatics of whatever persuasion than they are to the education of their students.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:48 PM   #18
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I never read it. For some reason I didn't read a lot of the "classics" in high school. Must have been a new educational model or something.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:12 PM   #19
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CITR is second on the most frequently banned classic books list (Great Gatsby is first):

ALA | Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course top 100 novels of the 20th century

Interesting website.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #20
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CITR is second on the most frequently banned classic books list (Great Gatsby is first):

ALA | Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course top 100 novels of the 20th century

Interesting website.
I hated The Great Gatsby, which was required reading in my eighth grade English class. I just hated, hated, hated it because I thought it was stupid, irrelevant, and pointless. I felt like a sixth grader could have written a better book. It didn't help that I had to do an oral report on symbolism in Gatsby, in front of the whole class (not an easy thing at 13).

If only it had been banned at the time! I probably would have devoured it and thought it was oh-so-adult, just like Catcher in the Rye.
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