a few salinger links

* For you Catcher in the Rye fans: Walking in Holden’s Footsteps, an interactive map of Holden’s Manhattan.

*Still trying to decide what to make of this website, but at first glance, it’s an extremely comprehensive collection of all things Salinger; summaries of all his works, uncollected works, biographical information, etc. The Glass family page is especially helpful, for those interested.

*A collection of articles/essays in The New Yorker. Adam Gopnik’s essay is brief but beautiful, pointing out that “the isolation of his later decades should not be allowed to obscure his essential gift for joy“. Yes, Salinger withdrew from society and chose to live a hermit-like lifestyle; but he did not withdraw from observing the world, its inhabitants, and the beauty and meaning found in the details of every-day life (see the last paragraph of Gopnik’s essay for wonderful examples). Gopnik’s tribute is an honest look at an author who created some of the most honest characters in literature.  It would be difficult not to appreciate Salinger after reading this…so please read it.

More to come…but can you see why I love this guy? He was able to describe what it feels like to feel too much. Zooey, and Seymour: An Introduction, and Hapworth 16, 1924, and most of Nine Stories; these are all tough to read, because they’re packed with feeling and frustration and proof that living an examined life can be flat-out hard (and isolating…which he almost encourages via Holden’s “don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody“).  But boy, is it worth it. To have lived with “your stars out“, to “shoot for some kind of perfection, and on [your] own terms, not anyone else’s“, and to get busy living, because “the goddam sands run out on you every time you turn around“.

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