Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Memoriam: J.D. Salinger, 91


I just found out, via Twitter (and @neilhimself), that J.D. Salinger has died.

From The Globe and Mail (full article here):

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose The Catcher in the Rye shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.
Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son said in a statement from Salinger's literary representative. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

Although he was a self-imposed recluse for much of the last few decades, his writing spoke to many a young person. He did what all good authors do: He reached beyond himself to influence the way people see the world.

I've only read The Catcher in the Rye once, in high school, but I remember being both turned off and drawn to Holden Caulfield as a character. Sure, he was a bit abrasive, but I think I read this book at a crucial time. I was feeling a little lost and misunderstood, just like Holden, and so I was able to identify a little bit with his struggle (Although I never sought out a hooker...). And I'm just one of millions of people who feel this way.

It is a sad, sad day for literature. Godspeed, Salinger. You've left us with a very important piece of yourself in Holden Caulfield.

4 comments:

Kathmeista said...

Lovely post. I read about this just an hour ago. I haven't read Catcher in the Rye but know many people who have and loved it. RIP Salinger.

Suburban Turmoil said...

I loved Franny and Zooey- I guess I was more surprised to hear that he HADN'T already died than that he had!

Jenners said...

You have to admire an author who wrote so little but everyone knows about him. I read "Catcher in the Rye" so long ago but barely remember it. I should reread it. I guess perhaps now we'll see if he was writing away all these years.

Becky said...

I was sad to hear about this too. My post is here
http://pageturnersbooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/jd-salinger-has-passed-away.html

I will be sure to read Catcher in the Rye now.

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