Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salinger...

... died today at age 91.

The New York Times obit describes him as "the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous." (Looks like Pynchon is the last of the great recluses.)

The Catcher in the Rye was a landmark book for me. I think I read it relatively late, in college. Maybe I was nineteen. I don't think I'd ever devoured a book like that before or since.

I know people have a strong attachment to Catcher. That red cover, the yellow lettering, the declarative opening line... The fact that Salinger didn't publish much after it probably has something to do with that attachment, too.

Last year the Times published an article about how kids don't relate to Holden Caulfield anymore. It made me a little sad, but I understand why the book just doesn't resonate as much today...