Friday, January 29, 2010

Thanks to the Creator of Holden Caulfield

J.D. Salinger, the author of The Catcher in the Rye, along with a great compilation of short stories called Nine Stories, as well as a few other published works, passed away on January 27, 2010. As a fan and a former English major I wanted to make mention of it. Not sure why. He probably would think I was a big ol' phony for doing so.

Anyway, here's some great qoutes from The Catcher in the Rye to remember him by:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 1, opening words of book

I live in New York, and I was thinking about the lagoon in Central Park, down near Central Park South. I was wondering if it would be frozen over when I got home, and if it was, where did the ducks go? I was wondering where the ducks went when the lagoon got all icy and frozen over. I wondered if some guy came in a truck and took them away to a zoo or something. Or if they just flew away.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 1

What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 3

You could also hear old Ackley snoring. Right through the goddam shower curtains you could hear him. he has sinus trouble and he couldn't breathe too hot when he was asleep. That guy had just about everything. Sinus trouble, pimples, lousy teeth, halitosis, crumby fingernails. You had to feel a little sorry for that crazy sonuvabitch.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 5

"Would you care for a cigarette?" I asked her.
She looked all around. "I don't believe this is a smoker, Rudolf," she said. Rudolf. That killed me.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 8

She was terrific to hold hands with. Most girls, if you hold hands with them, their goddam hand dies on you, or else they think they have to keep moving their hands all the time, as if they were afraid they'd bore you or something. Jane was different. We'd get into a goddam movie or something, and right away we'd start holding hands, and we won't quite till the movie was over. And without changing the position or making a deal out of it. You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 11

'You know that song, "If a body catch a body comin' through the rye"?...'
'It's "If a body meet a body coming through the rye"!' old Phoebe said. "It's a poem. By Robert Burns."
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield and Phoebe in Chapter 22

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 22


That's the nice thing about carrousels, they always play the same songs.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 25

All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 25


Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.
The Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield in Chapter 26, closing words of book

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