Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Not So Perfect Day for Bananafish

Well, I just heard that J.D. Salinger has died.

I can't say that I've read much J.D. Salinger since I left high school. Then again, he didn't actually publish anything since the mid-sixties, so there was nothing new to read.

I've often wondered how he's supported himself all these years, but - thanks to Wikipedia - I now know that Catcher in the Rye still sells 250,000 copies per year. They don't make adolescent angst novels like that any more.

To say that I adored Salinger's writing is not too much of an exaggeration. I wrote a bit about it here, in an essay on the decline of high school yearbooks.  Ours was supposed to have been dedicated to "The Fat Lady." As in Seymour's Fat Lady from Franny and Zooey. As in "Do it for the Fat Lady."  As in, well, you had to be on the 1967 Notre Dame Academy Yearbook Committee to understand just how much we were under the spell of J.D. Salinger.


Maybe I'll stop at Borders later and pick up a copy of Catcher.  Or, better yet, Franny and Zooey if it's still in print.

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