In memorium

Jerome David Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, died today, at 91 years old.

Of course, that is only his chronological age. Morally and emotionally, it is not clear the author ever really left adolescence. Everyone could connect to Holden Caufield during their first reading of Catcher back in high school. Salinger got teen angst. Looking back on the book a few years older and wiser, we saw the holes in Holden’s philosophy, and drew the conclusion that Salinger, with his considerable powers of artistic command, punched those holes on purpose. But then one recalls Salinger withdrew from the world, never even risking drawing attention to himself by publishing again. (And he did say in one of the rare interviews over the last five decades he was working on “a piece of fiction.”)


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