Thursday, January 28, 2010

R.I.P., Mr. Salinger

J.D. Salinger has died. I won't insult the dead, but I'm pretty sure his literary creation Holden Caulfield lives on, so I'll insult the character.

Maybe I'm one of the few people who wasn't smart enough to get Catcher in the Rye, or maybe I'm one of the people who's just wired differently. But I hated the book and really hated the whiny, self-absorbed protaganist. I distinctly recall writing a paper in high school where the assignment involved interacting with literary characters from novels; my paper included every other character repeatedly smacking Holden Caulfield whenever he opened his mouth. And those were the nice things that happened to that whiny putz.

I know many people like the book, but this is like telling me that many people like watching The Bachelor -- just because it's popular doesn't mean it's good. And most of the literary praise for the book makes it sound like a life-changing novel. I think the paper used to print copies of this book would have been more useful had it been employed as Bounty. I don't really understand why the book was banned in different communities, since none of those bans focus on the real reason the book should have been banned -- it was a tedious piece of garbage.

This has nothing to do with Salinger himself, who seems to have cultivated a very private lifestyle and had the good grace to keep the world from having to watch movie adaptations of his book. I just wish we could bury every copy of his book with him. Not because I want the book banned, but because it would be better used as fertilizer.

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