Thursday, May 01, 2008


Sometime in my college years I became almost obsessed with JD Salinger and Catcher in the Rye. A lot of people dismiss the book far too easily. I don't know anyone who loves it as much as I do.

I've read everything that was every published by Salinger, including all his short stories published in magazines during the 50s. Once you connect all the dots, it's very fascinating.

Holden Caulfield was my hero in a kind of way.

When I named my first born Holden in my early 20s, I caught a lot of crap for it. "Why would you name your child after someone who had a mental breakdown?!" - was a usual refrain.

I always hoped that someday Holden would read the novel and understand. So when he was about 13 or so I gave him "Catcher in the Rye". He read it and liked it. Then he re-read it. I do not know how many times he has read it now.

A few weeks ago I heard someone complaining about what a 'whiner' Holden is in Catcher and how he needs to grow up. Complaining about the book and the plot and the immaturity of it all. Holden became completely incensed. Holden said "Holden Caulfield is just about the most awesome guy ever because Holden Caulfield wants to preserve all the innocense in the world - He wants to catch all the children before they grow up too fast and tell them to slow down!".

Then he told me he was happy his name was Holden. That it's the coolest name ever.

That made my heart smile.

Here is a quote I found recently from JD Salinger himself talking about Holden "The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it."

That almost makes me cry.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I found it refreshing. I am obviously a supporter of the family...I stay home with my kids. But it's hard to find a balance between fulfilling the traditional roles I was brought up with and maintaining my ideals...not losing who I am. I am so much more than just Katie the Homemaker. I certainly don't want to be defined by my role at home...and I don't want to be stuck in this roll forever, as you mentioned. It was nice to have support from a more experienced mother. So many people who either commented or talked to me about this did not share my views or thought I must not be a good mother. It has nothing to do with motherhood. 'Mom' is the best title I've ever had the chance to wear. The subject of the post was about packing lunch anyway...not whether or not women should stay home. The comments took it an entirely different direction. Anyway...Thanks.

I've seen your comments on my aunt Cindy's blog, but somehow haven't visited yours. Your blog is fantastic. 30 Rock is at the top of my list of favorite TV shows. I am fascinated by the polygamist bust here in Texas and love reading your thoughts. The name Holden has made our top ten list for all three boys. And I regularly wear a bandana for bad hair days, but only once as a protest.

Katie

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